Friday, December 30, 2011

She's never young and always looks as if she has no home. I don't know if there is a God, but I pray she gets warm; has a soft towel to dry her troubles away. It's on those cold and wet days I think of her most. I know I should ask her name. I know I should offer her something:
money to fill her hands
a cup of coffee to bring life to her eyes
a street corner away from the cold, cold rain
But I don't.
See, her anonymity is her life.
And what is this to me? A blogger's post.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A friend of mine is a smoker. When I visit him at his place, there is cigarette haze everywhere. I see him through an acrid shroud and wonder why he does what he does. Why he smokes so much, and drinks every night till he's drunk. Sometimes I want to ask about his pain inside, but there is a bitterness in his words when the questions get too close. I visit him and enjoy his company as best as I can, till things get too sad. When I leave his place, I wonder often about his mysterious youth, if he comes from pain and sorrow since he never talks about those days. So he takes a last drag and turns a bottle one last time. Good-bye my friend, I'll see you soon.
She was a New York girl who told me mid-town lies
I spoke of foreign truths
Our lives collided
We made promises
She told fables and rubbed her falsehoods against my skin
Our lives collided
We stayed together till I walked away and she never said goodbye
If there is tranquility inside of me, like a stillness on a tropical sea,
I'll rest for moments, for minutes, till a hard rain like shark's teeth covers me; till a heavy wind blows its cold wind. But for the time the sea is mine, I'll breathe calmly and take in the warm breeze. Grow strong for what always comes.

You showed up at my door. It was 3am and I hadn't seen you in years. Your hair had become thin and gray just like mine. Your belly grew rounder and your shoulders were sloped. The fire in your eyes dimmed with time, but you still had that old friend's smile. "Come, on," you said. "I just left my wife and I haven't seen you in years. Let's go out like the old days." I rubbed my tired face, and thought: Why not? It's for old time's sake. The next morning our heads hurt, there was booze on our breath...but the man left his wife, and I hadn't seen him since so long ago.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I've been hustled by beautiful losers and empty psychopaths
Sometimes I want to write poems about what they've taken:
Mostly my heart,
my wits,
sometimes my will to exist
But I'll take a walk through old streets and awaken inside:
I'm not the only man with preciousness hustled out of his hands
No big deal. Get over it. The clue is the foolishness inside.
I've got these jumping shoes
I put them on and they take on a life of their own
Higher and higher I jump
Sometimes I think I'll reach all the beauty in the sky above
Touch it with my human fingertips
Then when I land, I'll touch the heavy world below
But this is a dream, for these shoes don't jump nearly that high
Once I knew a girl in a beautiful dress
She wore it in the summer breeze, through tall fields of grass
I"d kiss her young lips under a soft moonlight
Now in evening woe I remember this true love of mine:
The girl I wooed in her summer dress;
and that slow August breeze like a long lost caress

Friday, December 23, 2011

I listened to a singer on a wooden stage
Her arms were crossed
There was a nonchalance in her manner
She swung slightly side-to-side
Her voice was the same. Swinging within a narrow range
Not great.
But it did the trick
Her voice wasn't bad on that wooden stage
It did the trick
I left her song behind
I heard one man say her looks weren't great
But they were all the same
What I remember most: the wooden stage
The girl with her arms crossed
The nonchalance in her voice
Me feeling this song, swinging slightly side-to-side
Some young people like to dance.
Others like to stand on the sidelines; play a tune inside their heads.
Others, yet, wish they had dancing shoes; a tune to play.
For me, my wish was for someplace and some person I'd rather be.
Can't you see this heart is sinking?
Can't you hear it drowning?
Save me,
The fear inside
Revive me
Resuscitate me
Give up your hand
Lift this sinking heart
Or perhaps it written that together we drown
But I've never seen your heart sink as low as this
Then it is a cold truth: the revival of one is the demise of the other

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You wore your long hair all tied up
Then you let it flow easily to uncover a lonely poem
I touched it with my fingertips, and we wrote the rest
You wont see. But I wear dark clothes to blend with the night
Then as the sun shines, you'll imagine me at my best.
I've got a brother in pain
A sister whose tears wash away our name
These were not the days of our youth, the days we loved best
But as we grow older and settle restlessly into our age
We know time as unforgiving for what was best

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh, I've cuffed words of gold. Tailored them to reflect the brilliant light from a burning sun. This brightness is what frees me of darkness that is my heart. It shines upon others in well kept prose, words I value as they fall with a setting sun.
I've said a million times I'm voiceless. No one has responded to this desire to speak. Is it their deafness or words that have no meaning in sound?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For me, I don't know. For me, I have doubts. I am in blindness, but for sad visions of that old love of mine. When it comes to these sightless eyes, I touch my spirit soul. I stare. I cry meekly to a lonesomeness that is forever mine.

We'll meet again. Me and a poem. A prisoner of despair and want, I'll release its chains and welcome it in rhyme and prose to a new home.

I got friends of mine. They walk through a valley of whiskey. Oh my, they fall out of their minds. The whiskey does that, and it worries me. But they're friends, and when they fall I kick the bottle aside and carry what's unsteady away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

They are old now
Once I was a child in their arms
One was gentle
My father was strong
That's what I'll always be from the day they are gone
One memory gentle, the other strong

I'll see if she remembers me. The photos have faded. I wonder if she is gone. There is no way of knowing if she remembers me, or if she has photos that have faded in time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Late in the evening I'll write to music. Sometimes I hear a word which I'll make mine. Mostly, my friend, I'm covered in things I can't find. It confuses me, as it does you, these feelings of loss, but I remind myself that music is a mystery, just like late evenings touched by sound.
I've made up my mind to put all into my art. Like a baker puts what's best into what she makes. The sweet smell of her morning bread inspires my senses, and lifts me so high.

I've always been well fed. But I've felt hunger and starvation like no one I've ever known. Till I met a man hungrier than I've ever been; so I handed him a poem. He tasted the words and stanzas, and became a good friend.
If I walked into silence, what would I hear? Gentle thoughts whispering--where there's love is your lonesome girl somewhere.

A heavy wind blew back her hair. I'd never seen her before. Nor had I known a wind to please so much a dark, wandering soul

If I filled my pockets with the places I've been and the people I've known, I'd wear these old jeans till they frayed with time. Till the places were all gone. Till the people were mine no more.

I've decided what to do. I've decided what to do with this poem. Fold it gently along delicate lines, then place it into drawer and let it repose in gentle rhyme.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I met a woman with sad eyes. I placed in her hand a Humbucker poem and said: "A tired monk gave it to me, now it is yours." If true happiness came to her, I'm not sure. But her small smile told me a weariness was rising from her soul. This city, this Square Corner is my home
I fell into a rabbit hole and watched foxes devour great works of art. With panic in my heart, my feet quickly scurried away. The lupines might have eaten me had Picasso not tasted so fine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For me I can't say. But for others I will say this: Nothing, Nothing, Nothing. Tomorrow may be a day left for a true love's rest.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I see an artist inside your eyes. Or is it your eyes I see inside this art? Paint me a poem as you wish me to be, and I'll always be there.
I wrote some of a poem I placed on a hardwood floor. I got on my knees and finished it. Then I left the poem behind.

After I shut the door, I heard a cold wind knocking. I wanted to open it a crack and invite it inside. But I was tired, and not in the mood for company, especially a cold wind.
I've never sat in front of a dressing room mirror. It's soft lights bordering it's square lines. My mirror is old, dusty and worn. But I see myself as I think I truly am, and it suits me fine.
I was sitting on a park bench eating salt peanuts when a squirrel jumped to my side. He stood on his hind legs and stared at me with misty brown eyes. I handed him a peanut. He handed me a business card and scurried away. Foolish squirrel, I thought. Can't he see I'm as poor as a church mouse? We were different. But I knew his happiness. I hoped he knew mine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I've got strands of memory like long, flowing hair.
If I cut them, will they all be be gone?

Music of this globe streams into my head.
So with a reluctant hand, I cover the song.

I tapped on my forehead till a dark beauty called.
We spoke a bit, then I went home.
Winter birds fly above me
I watch them through my balcony window
They swoop and glide as if they belong together
I wonder if they feel free inside,
and if their weary wings ever touch icy ground
Or perhaps like me, they wish for an early spring

I think I saw a Western years ago
A rattlesnake kills a coyote
With venomous fangs he bites the animal's skin
He draws back and sees him die,
I think I saw this Western before, but I'm not sure
Something bit me days ago
The poisoned blood killed my heart; now my mind is next to die

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am alone
But for the stars in my empty hands
I won't succumb
I wont give in to these tired steps
These starry eyes in empty hands
I walk some more, not so alone

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Poor you
Your brain is broken
A prisoner locked in darkness
No one to touch you, to love you
Imprisoned inside your sallow skin, what is this depression?
Someday a light may shine, warm that coldness
That dispirited self may cease
Like a great rising you will overcome and repair the brokenness
But the dispirited self may be what you will always be
That is a sadness for me too
For my heart wants you to feel my touch, my nurturing love
I'll hold on as long as can be, and hope the sadness dies for you and me

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh, my mind will split
Like a blade sharp and shiny cutting it into two
One is the left side. The other the right
These parts think in opposite ways
It pains me
It confuses me and leaves me without wonder or great thought
Oh, my mind will be stitched
Like a string that ties the two parts together
The disparate ways are as one
The wonder and thoughts are greater than before
But the fear is the blade that will cut this mind for evermore

Friday, November 25, 2011

I wonder who my true love might be
I wonder too, if she is a falsehood
And I question something related to this: am I a blog, or is it her?
These words.
These posts.
I ponder if there is truth in love
Or if we slip lonesome under a plastic sky

Closing Time
Late at night, just at closing time, 'Beer Mugs' Moran stood in the alley behind the One Lucky and smoked a cheap cigarette. The old bartender's shoulders ailed him, so each time he lifted his smoke to his lips he cringed. But through his pain he could hear a sleeping dog breathe. The stray's lungs were deep and powerful, even as he was dreaming; but he also was aging. His hind legs had become arthritic and hobbled his gait.

'Beer Mugs' dropped the smoked cigarette and stepped on it. Lately his knees and ankles hurt him and he wondered if they would grow as painful as his shoulders. He left the alley and uneasily locked the front doors of the One Lucky. Soon the morning's light would shine. This time between closing and sunrise seemed to move faster to the bartender. He had heard the sensation of hours flying by happens to men in their fifties. This worried him as much as his hurting body abandoning him altogether. But in his dreams his lungs were deep and powerful; and he believed this was a good thing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I live on the dark side of the line
In blindness, in this place no man can escape...
Unless I am wrong
What if there is brightness on the other side?
Will it, I pray sometimes, emit its shine?
Its warmth?
Its eternal light?
Then I will emit what troubles me:
This rancor
This darkness
This blindness
But what if it is a fiery shine?
Will it ignite what I emit?
My solitude turning to dust and ash?
I question too much in this blindness, I know
But in rancor and darkness what is one to do?
But to pray against the eternal night

Friday, November 18, 2011

I hate to go,
To say good-bye,
To shut the door gentle and never return
But I'm human, made of flesh and blood
Someday I'll go for good, just like you
It's written in Bibles; medical books, too
This unavoidable So Long
So I'll let in eternal rest and say Hello
Embrace what I love till I'm gone

You wear hats like a mad hatter and complain when people's eyes rest and linger upon your gestures of insanity. You say this is your right; that you can make a statement about who you are. Like a wild aunt I knew, you lay claim to your individuality any way you please, dangling those crazy sausage hats along your head. Yes, you can do this thing if you so choose. But in the end, I wouldn't want other people's eyes resting and lingering upon my narrow strips of saneness.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When y0u hear the crying wind;
When your touch is anguish against the clouds above;
And when your turbulent voice turns to the ocean breeze,
You ask a forgiveness for being human
For the mistakes we've all done
When this is what you hear and say, I know you are my friend

I stood in darkness against the edge of water
I couldn't swim
So in this absence of light I was drowning either way

The Start
The Poet says it's over
They've taken it all away
Burned and buried what matters in art: beauty from the sorrow
It's over the Poet says
Only the sorrow remains,
Pity, I reply. I was only getting started

I am a borderline
Living with truth and lies
Stepping back from madness in reality
I am a borderline
Sweet dimensions of time
Let me be, I am happy and sad on this borderline

Monday, November 7, 2011

I conspired with conceit to control the things I could. The things I thought I could. As in fear rising as a trembling city and then falling down. But in the end conceit betrayed me as it always does. It conspired with self-doubt and left me sorry and weak against the things I've done.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jackie was a dream
She murmured: If sound were a colour, how dark would your voice be?
Pitch black like the universe?
Bright white like bright eyes
Jackie was a dream
She dreamt of voices, and colours, and sounds to make her sleep
She murmured darkly in pitching voice
But all she knew was, dreams kept her awake
Sleep unrested her,
Submerged Jackie pushed away the stammering night
And pulled at colours like chattering butterflies

Friday, October 28, 2011

I wore a warm coat against a cold winter wind
For hours I stood till the cold won
Then I went inside and drank hot chocolate
The sweetness gave life to my lips
I touched my coat, but the wool was cold
But soon it too would be warm
Then I went into the winter wind and made my peace
But the wind deceived me and won as it always does
Inside the hot chocolate sweetened my lips once more,
And when the wool would become warm,
I'd go in peace against the cold winter wind, and stand till it won

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Field
Three boys ran in the tall summer grass,
They were ten, and laughed loudly as they scurried unseen
It was late, near bed time
The boys knew this, and hoped for mothers as the sheltering sky
To be men would take forever to these young scurrying lives
But in the flash of their mothers' eyes:
One boy would go off to war and never return
Another would lose a brother and never be the same
The third would be fine, grow into a man with happiness and fame
But there were those times when he thought of tall summer grass,
Of how the tragedy of youth was woven into his soul
And he too, was never the same

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Walk
I almost made it there by bus
But the Greyhound ran too fast
The people seemed uneasy of its riding wheels
Are they looking sadly and wearily upon their lives, I wondered?
At a bend along the way, I asked the driver slowly to let me go
I told him beyond old trees was a memory of a dirt road
It was covered in pine needles, as always this time of year
They're fun to walk upon, and the air smells fresh
Just as a boyhood recollected by older years
I almost made it there by bus, but a driver let me find a slower way

Words start streaming through my mind like a radio
When I'm home from work, I got these songs as verse:
Like feet dancing on creaky stairs
Like a poet painting the sky
Like fingertips touching her lips
When I feel the stream-a-consciousness like rolling red eyes,
I know its time for work

So I turn on my ear like it's a radio, and:
1. Change the station
2. Paint a poet's sky
3. Hold my breath ...Dance to sleep on creaky stairs

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's pay-back time;
It slipped my mind;
I forgot about this life, now I'm not so sure anymore
Maybe this forgetfulness was called charm once,
Way back when;
But it's pay-back time;
The lifeless ones are filled with vengeance
All of their hearts beat with coldness, I got no place to hide;
It slipped my mind, a sheltering warmth along the way
Here's a warning: Fun and a laugh can take you so far.
I read it in a science book:
At the edge of darkness is where light can't escape,
I swear I read it when I was young;
Believe me, it's true: Fun and a laugh can take you so far
Then its pay-pack time, like a cold vengeance it's lifeless
This is what slipped my mind so long ago
He had the look of voices inside his head;
They'd turn around, scream and terrorize;
They'd meld his hallucinatory thoughts with a red poison night
He'd howl at the moon, and the dripping moon would howl back:
I'm the poet, and you're my stolen, random verse.
Ha! Suffer you, those rhyming demons inside your head.
The moon was cruel, as most moons are.
Crazy, too. In his lunar talk
For that night, he with his look of voices bled by his own hand
Madly, the moon howled back, and stole another lonely verse

Saturday, October 8, 2011

There are women who blink too much. They blink at you because they want to enthrall you, engage you, seduce you with long cat eyes. You see them in bad, run down places where run down people go to hurt some more. Like in smoky bars that burn your insides with cheap cigarettes and stale booze. Like in all night diners with blinking neon signs that tell you of Pyrex coffee poured into red lipstick cups. Sometimes they are too old, or too young. Sometimes, too fat, or too thin. Sometimes they wear too much make-up, or too little perfume. Sometimes when they look at you, fast and wanting, you run as fast as you can. Then there are the times you walk to them; then walk away under the morning sun, feeling desperately hurt by the wounded ones with too much blink in their female eyes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I find myself late at night tossing green tea cups on a shiny floor. I say: "Those Tokyo days!! Come back to me, I got room for you." Now I laugh no more. I just drift till time will end, as it does for us all. "I miss you. I should of wed you. Put that ring on your beautiful hand. Come back to me!" But I know you can't. I feel so sad and empty, and foolish for not letting go.

The best I hope for is that someplace you too are tossing green tea cups on a shiny floor, and call my name. But I doubt this is so, and it saddens me even more.
The congregation poured out onto the street. Their hands were on fire. But their lips were dry, some never touched by a human kiss. They saw a Sunday Bar, a place of ruin with a lone man standing at the door. His apron was as bright a white and as well pressed as a parson's collar. The bartender stared at the congregation, and wanted their souls. Something he could never find in a drink. They stared back and scorned him, he knew. He wondered if these people, their hands on fire, knew of a preacher in white cloth who drank with an old bartender late at night; the hour and place where secrets are kept.

The last of the congregation went by. The lone man walked into the grey church and said a prayer to the old preacher during the hour when his secret was kept. That place where an apron, bright and well pressed, moved in darkness and light. That place where a bartender and preacher clashed, and then wept.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

See, I got these pains that twist me deep inside. They come in the night, through dreams masked no more. I'm revealed and scorned by those I've hurt. They wail in satisfaction at the pain they now cause. I beg, I ask, for forgiveness and mercy for a mind they agonize. But all they know is weakness and revenge, so I stay awake and fight them the best I can. But they have allies in sleepy eyes, so my will gives in. I'll ask once more for that forgiveness, but I expect a hurtful 'no'. So I'll wait till their sleepy eyes tie them down, then I'll give them the same.

One Day
Sometimes when I'm down. When despair weighs on me like all the world's suffering, I pick up this yellow Square Corner. I'll wear it like a shroud; wrap it around my face and press it tight against my silent lips and listen to Heroes...I wish you could swim, like dolphins, like dolphins can swim...then nothing, then nothing can keep us together...

When Bowie's song is done, I can remember, standing by the wall. Then I remember the Square Corner is my shroud, and I release it, a hero for just one day.

I've pursued many things in my life. Words, sentences, beautiful stanzas in high heels and bejeweled decolletage. I've pursued the stories of others in all their glory and shame, sorrows and hopes.

But there are things I haven't pursued. Like my own words and sentences. Sadly, that has made the difference.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is this the blog on a rendezvous? A journey at night to meet the falling star? A journey at dawn to meet the sleepy morn'? I don't know if this is a rendezvous of the now, or a hope and dream on a forgotten page. These feelings of going somewhere, being someplace else, the inevitability of poetic musings like a rendezvous. Once in the moment my spirits rise as the all knowing. Other times I forget as a sleepy morn' forgets a falling star.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

She's got eyes like boarded up windows
A heart closed off to the street
Her hands have fallen:
curled and wasting against her skin lain along her lonely dress
She's too young to rise from hurt, to lift up strong from despair
But as darkness gives way to red light
Her life will be that youthfulness
Till a boy she loves boards up those eyes,
Then she'll wear that lonely dress,
her wasting skin growing rougher and more calloused with age

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Well, I was getting ready for a fight. I wrapped my hands with white cloth tape. In my small room I stood on a rug threadbare and torn and shadow boxed against a cracked dusty mirror. I bobbed and weaved, but the mirror saw me as something funny; see it was warped, just like me. No matter, empty punches came from my clenched hands. My rhythm was off, my timing slow in the stale apartment air. It was 3am, and I was getting ready for a fight. Somewhere I knew an opponent would be doing the same. I wondered if he was warped and scared like me, or if he knew my name.

"Are you ready?"

"Yeah, I'm ready. How about you, Square Corner?"

The blog sat ponderously. He rubbed his yellow beard with small blue fonts as fingertips.

"Sure, I'm ready," he said. "Ready to take off like a rocket."

The first blog in space, I thought.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I got a lip busted open. It's 3am and I just left the One Lucky. My wobbly knees gave way and I tripped over my two loose feet. Lucky I gotta handkerchief to hold up to my laughing, bloody face. I don't know what's so funny, this thing about tripping when I haven't even been drinking, except for a cold beer. Must be the tiredness that got to me, or the cold air, or my thoughts someplace else. Must be something that made me trip and start laughing on this Square Corner night. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Hope I don't need stitches, but even if I do, I'll let the doctor and nurse in on the joke. Then we can all ponder wobbly knees and the absurdity of it all.

I lifted my eyes to look at the moon, but my neck hurt so bad I only saw the rising smoke of rooftop chimneys. I could see higher and higher, except these stiff muscles can only take me so far. Last night I fell in front of the One Lucky and busted open my lip. My neck felt fine, but it hurts now. I know I should be more cautious with my steps; it just seems so funny the craziness of it all. Besides, chimneys with rising smoke are nice to look at, if only for a hurting moment or two.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poison pores bleeding of my tattooed skin
Colours of time, like a melting sky with a red sunrise
It runs, these colours of time, they poison my inside
This tattoo evaporating in pale, earthly white
Disappears with my mortal name
To a heaven's rising, an awaiting
Like a grave needle in my skin
I pierce my soul and taste again
See, I'm this ramblin' pagan
I don't believe in no fancy God in a fancy leather book
See, I'm this ramblin' pagan
I pray to the road in wandering worn shoes
I don't talk no chapter and verse, sing no rising hymn
I just whistle to the open road, my face against a cool breeze
It's Fall a comin'
A season a changin',
But this ramblin' pagan prays when he's walkin' on leather soles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've felt deep shadows in the interior of my mind
Seen unclearly with darkness in my eyes
I've been weighed down by an angry heart as heavy as time
This is constant, these things, this foreboding of an unblessed soul
I know what is gone sometimes will never return
But sometimes it does, and sweeps this all away
So I wait with deep shadows for that sweeping day, if it comes before time

Monday, September 19, 2011

It was 3am with nothing to do. So I turned out of bed and played Indian music on old vinyl. Something I picked up at a yard sale. I ironed my clothes with a rusting iron that slid steamy and slow against a blue shirt I should have made into rags long ago.

I was at peace, the best I'd felt in months, but I became worried the music was too loud. I folded my clothes and put them away. It was now 4am with nothing to do. So I slept and dreamt of India and their fine cotton and wished I were there. Well dressed and alive, my old rags turning into ragas, my heart singing with something to do.
I've been mugged by words. Held up against a wall and had sharp commas pressed against the thin skin of my neck. I've been tortured by pairs of colons tearing into my night eyes. Those syllables like urban gangs, circling me and taunting me, then swarming my frail self and beating my bones till I'm broken and forlorn. Those words teamed with crazy punctuation abhor me. Their wish to ruin me upon a streaked and bloodied page. I hurt from these written posts, but I heal in my own way. That's another story, a crazy comma has come my way.
I am to the fallen these open doors
Glancing in this church, rising in steeple and prayer
I am that, as this too:
The entrance to a rounded temple,
a mosque in minaret call
A synagogue as guiding light
I am those colours that bend in stain glass window
That open belfry that lets in light and crisp, cold air
I am all those things, and the disbeliever, too
There is that importance of all this, this organized prayer
The awe of a God that We create
And there are those days I pray this disbelief will go away
But no matter, there is that rising steeple
that round temple
that singing mosque
that guiding light
I believe in all that, and revel in the beauty and closeness I see in open doors

She's got eyes like boarded up windows
A heart closed off to the street
Her hands have fallen:
curled and wasting against her skin lain along her lonely dress
She's too young to rise from hurt, to lift up strong from despair
But as darkness gives way to light
Her life will be that youthfulness
Till a boy she loves boards up those eyes,
Then she'll wear that lonely dress,
her wasting skin growing rougher and more calloused with age

The Voice
I heard her voice, five minutes away
That cry for help, she wanted me to come to her aid
But she was too far, her voice was five minutes away
The wind was strong, stronger than me; it robbed me of that time
it robbed me of her, her words silenced, she fell quiet as a grave
In years since, I recall only once of that day, that distance
That injured voice dying for my aid

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Bet
Oh, if I gamble on tomorrow,
I'll bet on all the days I own
Around the table I sit
A smoky circle of steely men;
One lays down an Ace of Spades
A Queen of Hearts cries out his name
This time I feel a loss, losing the winner's hand
I missed out on tomorrow, that's all the days I own
But a Queen of Hearts married an Ace of Spades, and I went home

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I was walking near the One Lucky in a state of self-possession when I was pulled into an alley. A wild-eyed youth had pressed me against a brick wall.

"I'm scared inside my head!" he screamed. "The voices, the voices. I'm scared inside my head!"

There was that wildness in his eyes. Then came a sorry, lunatic squint and the slow easing of his two strong hands. I snuck out of the alley and heard the cry of the crazy boy scurrying against night: "I'm scared inside my head! The voices. The voices. I'm scared inside my head."

I too was scared inside my head. Afraid for that stormy youth overtaken by madness. A mother's son. A brother. A sister. A father's boy lost to the randomness of a mind dispossessed and on fire.

I stepped into the One Lucky and sat at the bar. A cynical face looked at me from a smoky mirror, but I saw no wildness, just my own worried eyes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Last Fight
It was 3am and in a back alley an old fighter boxed against shadows. He threw lefts and rights and spoke in small, crazy admonitions: "I'll get ya's Manny. I'll get ya' Manny Weinberg. That belt you got is mine!"

They knew the fighter at the One Lucky as a harmless old fool, a braggart whose tall tales were fueled by too much cheap booze. Some laughed at him. Others ridiculed and mocked him, teasing him into off balance turns of bent sadness and desperate anger. This bothered 'Beer Mugs' Moran who pretended to pay him no heed. But he never ended the cruelty, even though inside it hurt his heart. Instead the bartender let the man box off his booze in the back alley, throwing his half-made fists against men he saw as big as windmills.

It was the first night of winter. The old fighter felt as tough as a charging bull with giant clouds of steam rising through his flared nostrils. The steam mixed with the alley light, illuminating him in a passion play; as if God were a fight fan, and was blessing one last round shrouded in an old man's mortality.

As much as the fighter felt special at 3am, he forgot about winter's first ice. He danced and slipped sharply, his head cracking against a tin garbage can.

He hit the pavement hard. Out cold he was with both arms encircling his head and his two open palms laying against the icy ground. There was no more crazy talk. No more steam rising from bullish nostrils.

An awakened old dog walked from behind the garbage cans where he slept at night. He hobbled to the fallen fighter and pressed his warm nose against the cold human skin. The stray dog didn't lick the man's face. Nor did he whimper quietly out of sadness or fear. Instead he moved with his hurting hind legs and lay down protectively along the human's chest. He felt the last, quieting beats of a dying fighter's heart. The dog then licked his own lips gently and watched clouds of steam rise into God's waiting air.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some people watch TV till their eyes hurt
Others watch dreams in darkness;their eyes hurting at first light
Others watch nothing; their eyes gone blind long ago

I can't remember
I can't imagine a future
I'm in the now, a Hero for the moment?
So scared I am for the past and the instant I'll soon forget
It's best, I think, to hold absently to the coming night

The Screen
I went to a matinee movie
A girl sat alone in the second row
She held her knees up to her heart;
There was a small, tired crying sound,
Perhaps it came from the screen with moving pictures?
I sat in the third row, far from the girl and wondered: tired and alone
The Speech
Don't believe what I say
Question these wandering lips
I'm a wayfarer of words, I travel on broken speech
I've cut wanting hearts on shards of desperation
Made them bleed deeply in soundless emotion
Oh don't believe these moving lips
I'll try to hold back, as much as you've been warned
But I got a serpent's tongue with a razor, poisoned tip
And for you these scarred, slithering lips run fast
Speak slowly in silent time
Be told, you with your gentle eyes
Be remembered, you with your sweet woman's lips
I'm a wayfarer of broken words
I'm a traveller of dying verse
Cut I am by shards of your wandering speech

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Touch
I grow tired of waiting. Waiting for me, the writer, to make words out of this creative sorrow and weave a story worthy of the art to which I aspire. That's my great wait, and it exhausts me. Like I'm crippled by a numbness that tires my soul, I never seem to sleep. My wary, weary eyes never shuttering. The story is the wait, I know. I need to go somewhere. Find something in this closing world.

I swear I grow tired of the places I wait in, too. Like the all the night diners. Alone I sit, a sleep as elusive as a lover I can never kiss. Sometimes I'll stay late on a winter night and watch the falling snow. The stories are those men and women with their caps pulled low, their collars turned up against the wind. That's the art to which I aspire. But my coffee turns icy. So in chilly sadness I ask myself for words to warm these lips. But only a coldness stays, so I wait for that story. Those crippled words to come to life in a parable walk. Like I say, the story is the wait. I need to go somewhere. Find something in this closing world. So I turn up my collar and step into the snowy night and touch my aspiring sorrow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I blink my eyes and hold them shut,
There is a wandering darkness in these stray thoughts
I open my eyes wide. And you are there!!
But in an absence you disappear
I blink my eyes and hold them shut,
but they too are tired
The one chance I had, and you are gone, I bemoan that second
As in the time of a heart's beat, or an eye's lonely blink
As me saying I need you in silence
I am the castaway
I am the tired, broken mind
Good-bye to you, as she falls madly into the night

The City
I look out a window
My city is on fire
Smoke is everywhere, flames rise from the rooftops
I smell the burning
I hear the people's cry: "Our city's on fire!"
I can almost touch the blackness
Soot and fear is everywhere
But I feel safe in this vanishing city, more alive then I've been
Then I hear the voice of my people's cry, and I too begin to fear

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Rain
They killed a man in front of a pizza place last night. A couple of guys stabbed him multiple times. A friend who was at his side said there was blood like it stretched for miles. He told the papers of the scuffle at the Sally Ann, then by chance how they all met under a street light. When they saw his buddy they went after him with open blades. Stabbed him deep, so many times. God only knows if his eyes narrowed before he died. His mother told the paper he was a boy who was troubled by drugs and alcohol. But he had a good heart, before it got sliced open by another mother's troubled son. There I was late at the scene. The cops cordoned off some of the parking lot with yellow tape twisted upside down. Beyond the yellow tape young people were opening the pizza place for lunch. Soon customers would ask what happened and the workers would shrug and say some guy died. Tonight the weatherman predicts another bloody rain. I guess in the end, that's what it takes to wash away a homeless man's name.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I put my hand inside an open window
I pulled out what I thought was mine:
This home of fire
Cindering blackness
Burglarized, or burgled as the British say,
of smoke wrapped round me
Thievery apprehended by smoldering freedom
Whistle blowers
The burnt offering. The window now closed.
Airless lately,
I can't breathe
I lay in clasping breathlessness
I think of what they say: When a brother dies, you die with him
So with open hand as fraternal friend
I pull out what is mine
The hope I know in cindering blackness
I can't breathe
So I slip, slip
So I dream a peculiar dream of home and fire
My final sleepy eyes, like the years ahead, is yet to be

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Canine
I am the Stray Dog. I walk close to the ground. My paws…calloused by time; they stride over broken concrete—discoloured from dried blood of the forlorn. Those sad, discarded drops of red, each a tale of its own; but that’s a human story. I tell you I am the Stray Dog. The Square Corner is my home. I was born to a hellion mother; reared in a hellion litter of nine. A scoundrel of a dog. A mutt. Pug nosed. Oval brown eyes set wide apart. My shoulders broad, I lay low like a bulldog. I’ll pounce. Rip out a pincher’s throat. I’ve done it more than once. That’s my reputation. The Stray Dog from the bad part of town. I’ve never been petted by human hands. Never licked a human face. Sat on a rich dame’s lap. Nor do I beg for scraps under oak tables, resting my wanting head on a kid’s bent knee. I’ve never been leashed. Don’t even try. I’ve never walked merrily through well kept parks…beckoned by a silver whistle. I’m different. I’ve pissed on dead cats. I’ve squatted and shat on tony front lawns. I’ve bitten SPCA guys, watched them bleed from their hands and wrists. I’ve been beaten by them, too. Their long clubs, electric prods. I've done daring, impossible things. I tore my way out of a kennel, before they gassed me in a chambler of death. I am the Stray Dog. Now you know my story. Or you think you do. Because I, too, am the Square Corner. But my paws hurt now. Arthritis in the hind legs. I can barely lift my legs sometimes. I pea like a poodle bitch. They want me, those young mutts. The vicious mix breeds just like me. Tough and cagey, with sharp fangs as I once had. Take down the Stray Dog. They know it’ll make their reputation. Thirteen years I been on the street. Now what becomes my home? The back alley of the One Lucky. Late at night he feeds me, this bartender with aching shoulders. He opens the kitchen door. Drops off table scraps of half eaten meat and french fries, often soaked in human spittle and brown beer. He knows not to pet me. I know not to lick his hands. If he were born years ago to a hellion litter, maybe he’d be just like me. I guess each of us has a tale of our own—some of us tell it close to ground. Our paws or feet, calloused by time

The Bartender
It was 3am. 'Beer Mugs' Moran closed the One Lucky. He had someone to take care of now. In the back alley a stray dog would sleep in between the garbage cans. 'Beer Mugs' fed him, mostly table scraps. He wished he could give the dog something more than half eaten hamburgers and soaked french fries. That's because he respected the toughness in his new friend. There was a kinship betweem them, he believed. That bond that happens sometimes between man and dog. 'Beer Mugs' knew not to pet him. He saw a sadness, a weariness, a fierce independence in those dog eyes set wide. He wondered if canines were like humans. If they, too, thought of death and the last years of life lived in loneliness and hurt. 'Beer Mugs' bent over and swiped the plate of food into his friend's bowl. The bartender's shoulders hurt as he closed the back door. The stray dog ambled slowly to the food with his aching hind legs. He ate alone, satisfied by the human meal he had.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Once I worked in an office. Those graceful days. At night I burnished diamond stairs to the glassy rhythm of time. My first job to sweep golden dust off gilded lines. This teenage boy wore working jeans. His long ropey hair was mine. The corporate men were long past; blinded to me as I was to their money eyes. Ah, those graceful days. I remember the gleam of emeralds. The floor I waxed to a midnight shine. Then lastly, before the morning light, a reflection was my callow dream in shoes hardly worn. That's why I remain as graceful as those days. That's why my eyes stay blind to those gilded lines.

Come'on, Georgie. One more movie. Whaddya' say? Come to my place, we'll watch a DVD. An old Gary Cooper picture, like High Noon.

You lost your mind long ago. Been hospitalized too many times. Your teeth turned rotten and fell out in a bloody mess. People like you know madness. You know homeless sleep on winter nights. Cardboard blankets. Warm bowls of soups for Salvation songs and hungry prayers.

Come on, Georgie. Whaddya got, really? Not your mind. I got an old Gary Cooper movie. What do I got? An old TV. An old collection of movies that I'm sure you'd like. I'll feed you, too. Not much, because I don't got much. But it's better than the streets. It might keep your mind in check. It's the least I can do for a friend I knew before you went mad.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Boy's Summer
When I was a boy I’d hide in tall grass of wonder
Crouched low on muddy knees, my spying eyes would see:
Elephants lumbering; their trunks held high
Those eyes of mine proud as the lion’s main
Ears alerted to the tiger’s yawn,
A plastic helmet I donned, a soldier’s rifle made of the same
I’d take aim at enemy troops, guerrillas behind near trees
Outnumbered I held a steady hand
Then as always a dwindling light as a mother’s kiss:
“Come home my only boy.”
In hungry retreat I’d leave my helmet behind, my gun at my feet
Soon I’d know a maternal whisper
My empty stomach filled with her warm meal
In the bath that night I loved our tired world,
this rustling heart in tall grass
My mother still proud, I think, of her wondering boy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Breath I
I rest on this bed of souls
A hundred years of lost lives
Breathless in time
I wonder nothing, slumbering into the eternal night
Awakened on His bed of souls
I, like a hundred lives, breathe easily the morning of life

Breath II
There are times I wish to God I believed in His blue sky
His wilding rivers
His roaring winds
The prayerful passions He stokes as great fires
I wish I could believe in what is His Goodness?
But I despair, anxious till under an autumn moon, a crisp air draws up my clouds of breath
Perhaps His breath rises along with mine
I wonder to God if this is true

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I hear the sounds of muddy soldiers
Awakened I am at night
Under a silent moon and sleeping star, they march
The empty eyes
The white skeletons walking, the smoky battle of fury behind
What of these clean streets of time, emptied by a sweeping breeze?
These answered soldiers marching to that young man's call
Under the silent moon and sleeping star,
The deathly bones of skinless men
Awake I see what's left in time: their muddy sweeping lives

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dream Ache

Zigman Zibanski awoke with twigs grown out of his ears. He pulled at them in fear. He pulled harder and harder but the pain was too great and he let go in exhaustion. He awoke once more. For this wasn't reality at all; it had been another dream gone crazy.

That night he went to the One Lucky to drink. He kept secret from his friends, these strange dreams. But beneath his laughter he was afraid he could never let them go.
I beg in haste sometimes,
Too fast for this world
I beg in haste for forgiveness
For food to fill a belly worn inside out,
This repentant soul, threadbare by guilt and scorn
Unfasten me in slowness, it heals all wounds in the end
So they say?
I know I beg in haste sometimes,
But I'm bleeding deep inside
Nourish me with a gilded hand
Gentleness in sweet caress
Brush me aside and I'll beg no more
But a repentant soul I'll never have
An ex-beggar's grief will weigh on me in guilt and scorn
It's round midnight
I got a headache, cuz I'm all alone
I'll call Julie, but she's married now
I'd only wake the kids
There's my old friend Charlie Little,
But Drink killed him long ago
I guess when you're all alone, you're alone
When your head hurts like broken aspirin, you're alone
Lay down in pain, I will, and sleep in the space between the years

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I hold an old picture that turns into sand
It sifts as Kodachrome to a bucket below
The photo is gone,but the reds remain
I take the bucket and tilt it into a children's playground,
sorry for the things I've never done

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Turn
I walk a long long walk on a desert avenue
In dreamless vision I spin 'roun. This is what I see:
Square Corner as mirage,
Shrouded in mystery
This misty rising, touching me inside,
like a silver key, tarnished I turn
A montage of souls break open as dark clouds on my dusty avenue
The cold rainfall drenching me for the return
Muddy steps weak and forlorn
Bedraggled I become
But the destination is not a journey
Square Corner is sweet, sweet home, I see an apparition's heart
A tarnished key, like this fallen life, will be turned

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Fallen
I was sitting on a hammock, just me and a broken arm. It said: I'm busted up inside, my elbow and wrist busted in two. I fell off a thirty foot wall and crashed on unconsecrated soil as hard as dried blood on desert ground.

That's no place to fall, I said.

You should know, Tortelli! he exclaimed. I saved your neck, your skull, your ribs from breaking into a thousand pieces.

I left the arm behind. Alone on the hammock I heard his baleful cry: Ingrate! Can't you feel, I'm too fractured to save your beaten soul!

What is the Square Corner?
The sun and stars at darkness's edge
Four walls like lonely men
What is the Square Corner?
An absence of time, of space, of wondrous sound
The Square Corner is blinding and light, sightless and unheard
The Square Corner is four walls
Oh, Square Corner, I say: sun and stars snake back from darkness's desperate edge

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sometimes I take life too hard
I'm on a lonesome highway
Headlights drive by
These black minutes pass like broken lines
I'm 3/4 there, 1/4 behind
Sometimes I take life too hard
I'd turn around as fast as I'm going ahead
But I gotta steering wheel locked on sand and tar
They say once your there, things will change,
others say every thing's the same
One Square Corner just like another?
These black minutes like broken lines I'll leave behind

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Purple Rain was on the radio
It washed away what was dusty and dry inside
Things change, like an old song so new for its time
Now nothing washes away the fading stain
Just an old voice on the radio sings something called Purple Rain
I think I'll sleep now, the bed is dusty and dry like I was inside
I used to sleep on a second floor
That summer, the window open I'd hear heated stories of the night
Sometimes strangers
Sometimes people I knew
They'd bellow, cower
Call out things wrong with the other and life as a broken street
That second floor, the window open, taught me about life
I was young and loved and feared the heated story
They'd keep me up. But why sleep when you are young on a summer night?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Ghost
What is this eternity?
This endless universe? This endless space and time?
What is life?
A few mortal steps and it's done like a cheap steak?
That's right! the Ghost of Charles Bukowski sighes.
So whad'ya got for yourself--a man's life dying inside a yellow post?
The Accident
I just tripped, nearly broke my wrist
Fell in my bedroom
I caught my foot in an old rucksack
Just missed the soft bed
I landed on the hard floor, scratched the inside of my hand
Maybe I should wear that rucksack next time,
go for a long walk at spring's first warm light
The Tip
I'm a horrible person
I know,
I know,

I wear overpriced watches from Taiwan
Cheap sweatshirts that make me look fat
I'm a horrible person
I'll eat more peanuts than anyone else
Grab the most hummus and ruffle chips, leave nearly nothing for the rest
I'm a horrible person
I know,
I know,

I'll speak rudely to waiters
browbeat them over:
a) dry turkey b) salty gravy c) cranberry sauce from an army can
I'm a horrible person
I'm sorry
I'm a horrible person
I know I need to change
I'm sorry, I'm sorry
But that diner food was bad,
It gave me indigestion, put me in a miserable pickle
Horrible or not, the waiter got a tip, it gave him a battled smile

The Bell

An old fighter
Bloody lips drip, drip
Saved by the bell

Monday, February 28, 2011

Killed Off

Johnny the Kid died by a switchblade heart. He stepped as a peacemaker between a nameless feud; then a stiletto cut him deep inside. A darkness seized that night under a blood red moon. He fell to virgin soil, his breath bleeding aside strangers' footsteps. See, Johnny the Kid was fifteen years old and had only begun to dream of a girl. He slept lastly alone on this barren ground. His mother cried for her lost boy. And the imaginary girl: she too slept on bleeding soil. But never she was with Johnny the Kid, a nameless switchblade had cut across her wanting heart.
A Line From Dylan, Sort of
Once I lived in another lifetime
Where a woman loved me, called my name on a lonely night
Then she broke me down as they always do
She said: I own your love, so why blog under this rounding sky?
I told her I write without malice or pain in my heart
But sometimes there's hurt and bliss inside my keyboard soul
I'll write for friends, for foes, with enmity and with forgiving words
She owned my love and let me go, she couldn't share me with something longer than a brief kiss
I thought of her in another lifetime, but I'll write of her no more

Thursday, February 24, 2011


It was 3am when ‘Beer Mugs’ Moran locked the doors at the One Lucky. The oak counter had been wiped and shined. The ash trays emptied and polished. The floor swept and mopped. He had done the inventory with an uneasy satisfaction, however. Beer sales had been good lately. But that meant he had to carry more large kegs of draft up narrow stairs and it hurt his shoulders.

This especially bothered ‘Beer Mugs’. He’d get sharp pains that
ran from his neck and through his shoulder blades and down into his sides. Sometimes when he twisted his torso slightly there’d be an unexpected twitch of hurt.

The bartender knew he wasn’t as young as he once was. A couple of decades ago he could carry beer kegs all night; bounce tough guys onto the street; clean the One Lucky in a hurry; and then dance late into the morning.

But in the last year or so his temples had turned gray. He had difficulty making a tight fist and throwing a steady punch against trouble makers. Like an aging prize fighter he began to have doubts about his life on the floor. In quiet moments he’d wonder if he should sell the One Lucky to a younger man and leave gracefully. But it was difficult for ‘Beer Mugs’ to admit to his mortality. So he did his best to put these thoughts of old and young men out of his mind.

It took a couple of tries for the lock to close. In the morning the aging bartender would get a can of oil and lubricate the rusty parts. He promised himself he wouldn’t forget to do this as he walked into a cold wind. But at the edges his memory wasn’t what it once was.


He walked out of a picture show. The matinee sun closed his eyes, shuddered only somewhat his imaginary state. Zigman Zibanski saw a movie about the highest mountains to be climbed, the wildest rivers to be swum. The man from the old country thirsted for vodka and walked happily to the One Lucky. His thoughts were of an Everest and an Amazon he should see. But soon Zigman knew his true place and drank some more. That night no mountain could be climbed. So onward he staggered ...lonesome in his matinee of darkness

Friday, February 18, 2011

In long woolen coats we'd wear our youth. Tweed caps atop our heads. Scruffy scarves tucked deeply and tightly against our lion hearts. We were long haired soldiers slouching against the dreaded cold. Sometimes half-drunk we'd congregate around sweet laughter. Speaking of dreams...speaking of girls...speaking of dampened cries of wonder and confusion at what life is. The family wounds gone unsaid. The things we hoped we'd never be. Always the gust of cigarette smoke against our eyes. Cold breath rising, we'd see ourselves as old as winter trees but never understood till now the barren warmth of longing youth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A hat grows in Brooklyn
Under an old L Train track the tourist rumbles
His aching body wandering, Manhattan shadows blocking the sun
He walks amidst Williamsburg men:
Spanish, Italian, Jews in old ways
Foreign he feels on snowy streets, the icy sidewalks slipping
This New York for the first time he sees, the tenements
Greatness Boroughed somewhere deep
A hat grows, A tourist grows, An aching body heals
He steps in a shop along the rumbling L Train
The tourist buys a wool cap that is Brooklyn to native eyes
He talks louder, a faster clip as distant men say: You belong

Sunday, February 13, 2011


There was a robbery last night. They broke into Zigman Zibanski's small single room, where there was a leaky corner sink.

He owned nothing of value, but a gold picture frame with a photo of his mother. That's what they stole. Zigman felt sad as he turned up the fallen chair and put disheveled clothes into place. He then drank vodka and fell heavily back into bed. When he was especially drunk he thought of his old country and the days behind the iron curtain where the police took his mother away.

This was his secret, of course. He told no one of that time. Even his friends he'd never let inside. He'd only meet them at the front door and then they'd go to the One Lucky and drink. If not for those nights, his heart would leak like a corner sink.

The Store

Johnny the Kid had crazy eyes for a girl. He kept them secret, hidden behind Ray Ban shades. For months people would say: "What's with Johnny the Kid? He wears those dark glasses night and day."

Those crazy eyes made him crazy inside. One evening he put on a fancy suit he stole from a store. His shaky fingers knotted a silk tie. He was nervous, for this was the night he'd put his shades aside and knock on the girl's front door.

Her mother answered his call and looked nervous into his blood shot whites. She said her daughter that morning left the Square Corner. Went to the big city to live with her new boyfriend.

Johnny the Kid felt sad. But he felt free, too. He dropped his suit at the steps of the store. He went home and saw the world with new eyes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New York Story, Another Day
Under a moonless sky a cafe bleeds:
thoughtful cries,
these words as slashing tongue cuts storied wounds:
A tired New York City, like a hero I can't say
politics best avoided
Then we speak the character of man: cynical and loving,
we fight some more
The touch of drink as lonely voice mixed with bedraggled eyes,
we argue on
but a skyscraper's whisper: its closing time, 3am
Come home again they say and drink with us
A New York song I'll play for another day

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gone Fishing

The Square Corner will closed for the next couple of weeks. Time to take a leave of absence; to give the inhabitants a mental health break--the guys at the One Lucky can fend for themselves.

I'll be on vacation. If there is an internet cafe nearby, I'll check in. Maybe I'll say hello. If not, we'll talk after a stretch.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More years have gone past then lay ahead
Time goes by, a prompt makes me ponder if I'm old and gone
Am I?
It's time that touches me from the past
It's time that retreats like a winter army
I can't hear music through drowning years
I can't see a clock's hands
Nothing moves me!
Nothing moves me!

I feel those days that weigh on me like heavy stones
I feel those days that are easy like a gentle sea
There are those hours, too, I can't recall,
Like photos from an old roll of film,
I can't unspool them, put them back like threads of black and white
I say when Kodachrome died it took a piece of what is mine
But in the end, these prompts as poems are markers, I see, on an uneasy path that is a life

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Meal

Spaghetti. Third day in a row. Watery tomato sauce falls from a jar. A man unwraps a slice of cheap yellow cheese and breaks it up into large chunks onto his meal.

"My God," he thinks. "How did I end up this way. I should have married her when I was young."

That girl was thirty years ago. But the man can't let go. He pulls the tab on a can of warm diet coke and drinks the coke slowly. He'd rather be at the One Lucky and drink with his friends. But times are hard at the Square Corner, money is scarce.

So the man leans back uneasily; his mind is confused. He sits until a weakness comes. Then lastly he lays on a weary bed and speaks of her as his eyes slip into a dreamless sleep.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Challenge
What do they want?
What do they want?

My flesh torn. My blood drained. My heart strings straggled like cords around this seamless neck.
For what?
For what?

They deride me. The Graven One. The Fisheye in intemperance. He too derides me: The Paradox to the Human amalgam of time, of place, of self deception.
Go back to the old ways!
Go back to the old ways!

They declaim in bloggers prose. The disdain. In alluded reference of a city filmed, voice dropped, head lowered.
They want the past.
So they cry.

Go back to the old ways! To the lives of squalor. The Square Corner of earlier times. The pain of lost men. Of lonely dames. The Square Corner of a different place. The lucre of fame a distant dream. They want somnambulist souls crying in heartache and numbed sorrow. The drunken dead poet visited upon a yellow page. They want his presence.
Not the now!
Not the now!

It displeases us. Marshmallow roads with lemon drop tears. They stereotype. I know. Ignore the darkness of the present words. The ascendancy of followers, they say, has cheapened my true voice. No longer clarion in obscure echo, I call your names. I call you out:
The Graven One!
The Fisheye!
The Paradox of Humanity!

Prove it to Tortelli's name. No more roguish comment, please. No more snide reference, please.
Blog it!
Post it!

Be the men you claim to be.
Blog it!
Post it!

Let your views on me be known: The Square Corner one. You shall see the new old me. Your voices silent, and you shall hear this drowning sorrow. The Square Corner like an island sinking into a dark sea.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Home
He climbed to the top of the world's cage
Then rolled his toes, balanced his bare feet
With arms held wide, he muttered a wishful prayer
Like a high wire man to cross a lion's lair
He moved:
Callous only somewhat to the chance at his demise
then the great fall

To the end
He made it to the other side
criss-crossed back to say a victor's good-bye
Stole a liberator's kiss, then went away to his new home
Flew easily with his new spirit wings

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Search
It's all a facade
It's unbreakable glass broken
Block it out!
Block it out!

The untruths
The lies
The Dormant undertakings
Fall away and reveal something to me,
Like a road well taken
Travel under searching light
See me!
See me!

The facade that is my soul

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Fall

Zigman Zibanski fell drunk into a Zen Garden. A gentle monk lifted him up and sat him on a stone large and mossy. He offered green tea and spoke kindly to Zigman, words of concern and of encouragement to walk along a simpler path. The monk waited till soberness came to the drunken one. Then he brought him safely home and returned to the Zen Garden, where he tended to the grass where Zigman had fallen. The sun would set soon so the gentle monk worked quickly and purposefully to mend the earth to the way it had been earlier in the day.

The next evening at the One Lucky, Zigman sipped warm sake. Drunk he soon became. But he saw clearly through an emply glass: of a gentle monk and simpler way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Against the sand and wind they strode
In pitch blackness the lovers as runaways
Like smoke rising in the night
Together and alone with ghostly heels
The spoken words held tight like clasping hands,
Desperate against the climbing sand, the fallen young
The final rising comes, Godly it was believed
At the home of blackness they sealed forever dreams