Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is a post I published long ago. Julie died last Thursday. Age 51 I hear she weighed 80pounds.
She just ran out of fight, I imagine.
Goodbye Julie

Do you remember someone special in your youth? One you thought hung the moon and you wondered why everyone else couldn't see it. I thought this of Julie. I wish you well wherever you are.

tomatoes are cheaper
tomatoes are cheaper

she chirped
skipping past my house
her laugh prodding others

in class
at ballgames
parties and such
she drew me
load and lock

but unnoticed
went I,
or mostly so,
giggles and elbows

there was history
I could tell
and that
I think, the draw

she saw, I think,
my knowing
for I looked past
her beauty
past her shield
past yesterday

I wanted so
to protect
she wanted
destruction only.
victory was hers
in dash

wagons loaded
for the goldfields
she found only
needles and loops.
fool's gold for
with white tender thighs

cruel lords
mastered her desire;
less than nothing,
for it made
her complete

last I heard
bridges for roofs
for company
for yesterday
hollow eyes
for tomorrow
lust slaked
at last

friends that were
tho I doubt,
say no hope
we tried, what a mess
as they tip
their pink drinks
somehow purifying

I'd like to see her again,
to hear her chirp
and laugh
knowing I wont

I'd like to see her
just one more time
to say it's ok
we all fucked up.

pandering ass

tomatoes are cheaper
tomatoes are cheaper

perhaps, maybe
I just liked her
or maybe envied
and admired
her glorious
with no holding back

tomatoes are cheaper


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Trainwreck

In a piss-hole town birthed by a railroad that later changed its mind, lies a hell hole of a tavern-no, tavern's too genial a word-a bar called The Depot but The Trainwreck suits it better.

Just head South to exit 142 and walk one mile north along the tracks. It's accessible by car but you'd get lost anyway and the only parking is in the police station across the street which has housed most of the locals who tried when they had licences.
What it was, was the train depot when there was a train til the train got lost and Elmer Hatcher got an idea and scratched together a few hundred bucks and an old beer sign so he'd have an excuse to not be home.
If there was a front door on the joint, a boxcar hitcher could just jump from one open casket to another, without losing the pallor of death, but the front door was nailed closed as if two exits might be too confusing for the patrons.

You wont find much of a crowd, nor much of a bartender who is also the cook when she ain't working at the factory. With arms the size of my thighs and a gut that could trampoline you straight to Venus, where they apparently get their TV signal from, she also keeps order by scowl and reputation.

The first thing you notice when you lower your ass onto a barstool, is that you really lower your ass! Elmer's cousin Bernie built the bar in his garage and the damn fool built it too high. Bernie swore it was regulation height and even accused the behemoth of a bar-maid of sawing off the stools legs some to make people feel smaller.But seeing as they have ten barstools and no two a match, much like my Aunt Mabel's kitchen set she scrounged from Goodwill, it has to be the bar, a jumble of warped plywood and rusty bent nails.
If you stand, your elbows barely reach and your chin-anybody's chin- sits about level with the bar and some of the local women bring pillows.

You can order scotch or wine but you'll get beer in a warm can cuz the cooler is just an old closet and canned beer is all they got. I once asked the gal what they have on tap and she just squinted mean like and said, "Huh?" as if I had asked her the theory or relativity.
Everyone smokes cuz she smokes and no one knows if it's legal but with one door and no windows the smoke hangs like a blue plague from Moses' staff.
They heat the place with a wood stove and the temperature depends on how many empty cases are available.
The menu offers a choice of three burgers, a fish sandwich, and french fries, all made on the griddle blackened with grease and who knows what, oozing a fatty substance that drips to the floor where  cockroaches scuttle merrily across a mystery meat patty that looked like it’d been there awhile. I watched the cook step on it several times and wondered if she'd pick it up, if she could, but finally she just kicked it under the freezer.

There are two bathrooms just off the bar but it's hard to tell which is which as each has a toilet and a sink but no doors which is just as well as there's no lights either. You can look away when someone goes but you can't help but hear it when the bristly dude two sizes too small for his jeans stands pissing in a toilet as if voyeurism was the provided entertainment.

If you make your way outside for oxygen or to see if it's still day, you'll most likely see an old Cadillac that in better days had seen many a drug deal, limpin in on one hubcap and a dragging muffler. That would be Martha, Elmer's niece who hauls her not right brother around in the backseat as she goes to the truckstop to peddle hamburgers and fish sandwiches to truckers who don't know any better. She got too big for the seat so they ripped it out and put a small beat up recliner in its place. Billy keeps the burgers warm in the backseat under some old towels.
After the cook/bartender/bouncer/factory worker brought out the orders that had been called in on an old CB radio, the Caddie would lumber in reverse, then creak forward on bedspring shocks towards the unsuspecting truckers.

On a good day, say a Friday, The Trainwreck might take in forty or fifty dollars and another ten in the jukebox from those that forgot it doesn't work.
It's not Ruby Tuesdays or even the VFW, but it's cheap and the place has character.
Just no Trains or doors.

(written with a good friend who wishes to remain anonymous-and really, who can blame her?)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Annie In Wonderland

".....the vast opportunities are endless and the growth potential is limitless but the volatility surrounding the structure of our present economy prompts a greater measure of prudence in deciding the direction of our resources at hand....."

Pssst, hey you!
-yeah, you. Wanna see somethin'? Follow me.
And lacking her normal regard for consequence, she did, right down the rabbit hole.


Annie found herself in a magical realm where meetings no longer existed because everyone knew they were bullshit. She twirled around in her white cotton dress and levitated. The rabbit tapped impatiently on his watch while lamenting "We're late, we're late..." and lead her through a tunnel with gum drop walls and tootsie roll beams...right back to her office.

"Wow! Is that my desk? It seems so small without all those papers on it."
The rabbit smiled and looked up at the clock which seemed fixed on 4:00 PM. Annie didn't question its accuracy, just grabbed her purse which seemed heavy with cash, and headed for the door. It was time for her workout. She caught a glimpse of her svelte self mirrored in the window of her Mercedes and smiled slow and wide. She had never looked so fit! Looking young too....25-ish?  As the rabbit buffed his pocket watch on the hem of his coat (the better to distract you with, my dear), she decided on a drink instead.

Alder Bistro had finally replaced the scrap of awning with a brilliant burgundy ensemble. The place looked positively regal. She was surprised to find Joe Bonamassa's bus parked out front. Poster on the door said Joe was doing a special show tonight only, but no one got the memo and it was quiet, save for a few regulars....just the way Annie liked it. Joe and the band were just finishing "If Heartaches Were Nickles" and he jumped down from the make-shift stage and swaggered towards Annie's reserved table.

"Hey, Babe, so glad you could make it! It'd really be great if you could sing a few tunes with us."
"Well, maybe just a couple," Annie demurred.

Annie sang harmony to Joe's lead, deliriously happy to do so as the sun set outside the big glass window, turning the gentleman leaning the lamp post into a black silhouette. He drew on his cigarette in long slow pulls and exhaled in paisley ribbons that danced, entwined, to the ballad.

It was late when she left, and Leonard Cohen was still slanting his hip to the lamplight. He took her hand and walked her to the Mercedes. "Annie, I've been reading your poetry and quite frankly, I've been tempted to plagiarize. I was wondering if,'d co-author a book with me?" Annie explained to poor Mr. Cohen that she really didn't have much extra time but would give it some thought. Leonard threw his hands back and smiled. "Hey, that's all I can ask. Give me a call when you decide."

When Annie got home, the smell of roast greeted her entrance and her husband came out of the kitchen to hand her a glass of wine and let her know it would be a few more minutes on dinner. She would have sat on the couch but her son was vacuuming so she went to take a bath, which was already drawn...surrounded by candles. Singing birds helped her disrobe, dropping her clothes amongst the rose petals which covered the floor. Just as she began to doze in the warm water, she felt herself drifting up...

"....and that's why the sensible approach is careful prudence. The Turner proposal will just have to wait. any questions?"

Annie looked around the room and sniffed hard for roast. She felt her hips, grimaced, and looked to the clock that said 10:15 AM. She then ambled to the window to looked for Joe's bus, but all she saw was a white rabbit, decidedly glancing her way, as he shit on her Ford and disappeared into the alley.