train is nigh

end of battle

tired can’t sleep

life full

of non-sequiturs

non-sense and violence

cheap sex never love

or very little

pelvises copulating mid air

no connection to the heart

always flying soaring

to nothing

rules put-downs and judgments

torn down by the veracity of my past

hard to imagine

process logic fire lover

too tired

no lifting cups tonight

war pipes away

needles of deception

found out today

air in the mid night clear

love not supreme enough for me

Coltrane our train is nigh

urbanized safari

the bear caves ripe with shade i go in every night somnambular in waking life there are traces and clues of human nature on the forest floor naked toes step on glass butts used condoms as they make their movement toward the yawning door the bears and zoo have left this wing and moved half a mile to a chic man made compound the trees are pink flamingos brown and the cotton candy makes me blue as i am old but living young the monkeys still amaze me i pet the deer and drool at tigers staring up at me after my tender heart has over flowed with spots on the giraffes backs i go to have a drink and i keep drinking on for days dying in my own captivity

stella mori

universe so dark

just like in my room tonight

stars so far away

this thing

the thing it is fantastically big

dark with some pockets of rainbow

like an oil spill choking oxygen from the sea

this thing it creeps upon me

looks me in the eyes until my glance falls

to the ground beneath my bare feet

such a crazy thing it is comes when i need to rest

and like a vine above my dreams there it hangs

menacing the angels and their holy valor

the thing it swallowed my St. Christopher

when i was three it crush my compass too

ripped my maps to smithereens

left my raft broken in many places

now that i am old and sunken in

this thing still haunts me

it shakes me shrieks at me and makes me cry

i have tried to fight with fire water and dope

then i thought i’d be nice and slept with it

but to no avail this thing grew denser and denser

not even the sacred doves could pacify it

but like all who have come before me

and to those who come this way

i have learned to exist amongst it

this thing my fearful monster

i chained to it

both night and day

civics

I’d been as dry as the moon. My pimply friend from PE class dared me. I didn’t last very long, maybe four days. Sobriety week was excruciatingly strange. My da went to jail and my mom had to bail him out with the mortgage payment. I didn’t witness this first hand, my uncle told me when he came looking for me at the Cecil.

Gjeo found me at Spare Cock’s. He greeted us with two of his brothers from the motor club. My uncle was liberal in his way of thinking. By that I mean women didn’t belong in the kitchen all the time; they could move about the house, preferably topless and in heels.

His Portuguese tongue stroked out for a few moments. Gjeo I suspected had never encountered a woman like Spare Cock. Tall, chocolaty, muscular, blond hair and with scrotum duct taped into her inner thigh.  He stared at Spare Cock and Brother Gertrude while they were snorting lines. Gjeo’s eyes shifted from the tomfoolery in the room back to me.

Until this day, I haven’t figured out how he found me. I was getting sloppy but maybe I didn’t give a shit. I was hallucinating and trembling. He called me out to the hallway. It was the way he said ‘Grady’ that made me feel like bad news was coming, but with the imminent heard of pink elephants with faces like Leonard Nimoy, I wasn’t too concerned.

In his 60’s biker boy lingo he told me that my pops had gotten picked up and that my mom didn’t want to bail him out. Blah, blah, blah slow motion in my ears. I was getting buried beneath the waters of slow decomposing withdrawal at 16.

My eyebrows were raised and my bottom lip curled back into my mouth. Then I’d look into the walls, real far away like. We made small talk and then he grabbed my wrist. I think I pulled away real hard and said I wasn’t going to my mom’s place. He looked at me. The hazel pity darts pierced me through. He had labeled me as a “poor little thing.”

He turned his head to the left a bit and then cracked his neck like a Sicilian Don. He pointed at me with his left hand and forced a whisper through his aging teeth. He ordered me home by the next morning. I asked him why I had to leave. I didn’t hear what I wanted to be told. Instead he said that no blood of his was going to be holed up in a rats nest with fags and… before he could blurt it out I punched him right in the neck. I was pretty short.

Things were never the same between us. But I was never the same either. Briefly, I experienced a moment of clarity. I felt my values and what I would tolerate or not. I loved my uncle, but I too loved Amos no matter who she was.

my way…

i’d been as dry as the moon my pimply friend from PE class dared me i didn’t last very long maybe four days sobriety week was excruciatingly strange my da went to jail and my mom had to bail him out with the mortgage payment i didn’t witness this first hand my uncle told me when he came looking for me at the Cecil.

Gjeo found me at Spare Cock’s he greeted us with two of his brothers from the motor club my uncle was liberal in his way of thinking by that i mean women didn’t belong in the kitchen all the time they could move about the house preferably topless and in heels

his Portuguese tongue stroked out for a few moments Gjeo i suspected had never encountered a woman like Spare Cock tall, chocolaty, muscular, blond hair and with scrotum duct taped into her inner thigh he stared at Spare Cock and Brother Gertrude while they were snorting lines Gjeo’s eyes shifted from the tomfoolery in the room back to me

until this day i haven’t figured out how he found me i was getting sloppy but maybe i didn’t give a shit i was hallucinating and trembling he called me out to the hallway it was the way he said ‘Grady’ that made me feel like bad news was coming but with the imminent heard of pink elephants with faces like Leonard Nimoy i wasn’t too concerned

in his 60’s biker boy lingo he told me that my pops had gotten picked up and that my mom didn’t want to bail him out blah, blah, blah slow motion in my ears i was getting buried beneath the waters of slow decomposing withdrawal at 16

my eyebrows were raised and my bottom lip curled back into my mouth then i’d look into the walls real far away like we made small talk and then he grabbed my wrist i think i pulled away real hard and said i wasn’t going to my mom’s place he looked at me the hazel pity darts pierced me through he had labeled me as a “poor little thing”

he turned his head to the left a bit and then cracked his neck like a Sicilian Don he pointed at me with his left hand and forced a whisper through his aging teeth he ordered me home by the next morning i asked him why i had to leave i didn’t hear what i wanted to be told instead he said that no blood of his was going to be holed up in a rats nest with fags and… before he could blurt it out i punched him right in the neck i was pretty short

things were never the same between us but i was never the same either briefly I experienced a moment of clarity i felt my values and what i would tolerate or not i loved my uncle but i too loved Amos no matter who she was

Becca’s ballad

yeah i’m still at the Gold Digger bar

past 4 am i party hard

slammin’ vodka laughin’ loud

jeans dirty scratched up arms

cigarettes all crushed and ground to the ground

i wear sweat socks with my heals

my man left me for a smack smoking whore

i’m pissed as hell and i don’t know my name

the welfare office cut off my game

during the day i beg for change

and once a month i take three trains

only to have my kids’ foster mom

cancel again

my daddy whupped me and put me on the streets

my momma left him but didn’t take me in

and the clean women from the west side

got a cold fire in their heart

at least my babies are fed

and i’m not crawlin’ on my knees

i guess i lost the social worker bet

the cops they picked me up on Tuesday

they said i was running in the street naked

i ran out of my calming pills

and my doctor said no more refills

it’s ok i understand my face’s a little dirty

my skin is really tan

the boils on my face

kinda’ turn you off

but it’s fine by me

my God above keeps watch

your stinging words against me

are flowers in my crown

i know my kids will grow up strong

and i did the best i could

the court judge calls me unresponsive

a cruel and evil ma’

he don’t know what happened

in Kentucky when i was a baby child

but it’s ok at least I have some common sense

i’d rather let my babies live

than drag them down with me

i never done nothin’ right in life

but i give thanks for my strength

and take pride in the pain

soul

inside between the breastplate and the heart there’s a tiny little nook with an itsy blue butterfly her name is soul and she came to be in the mountains of Kashmir when the atoms were still babes blue prints in the grand masters eyes soul lodges there time immemorial and waits measures holds back explodes forward what the mind judges to do at times mostly in the dead of night soul flutters a little spirit revs up becoming restless and soul makes it right she spreads  here sky blue wings to dry the tears welling in my eyes blue soul corner stone of secrets and filter of the lies the weary life the prices paid to walk in fields of grandeur right before crystalline morning comes mind rages war on blue life soul her wings crushed under a stream of poison

pour toi, Charlie

the cattails sway slow

resin sun settles down deep

she has blazed all day

moon in silver comes

knocking at my back window

dig his Elvis suit

then E Piaf croons

tears brim in my tired eyes

never did i miss

you so much as i

do now even with all of

our misunderstood

way of saying words

to drive each other away

fearing that our hearts

would be ripped apart

by anemic attempts to

share a normal life

you the older one

did not necessarily

know best i was young

i did not know that

fucking my way through real love

in time would never

heal our broken parts

still not all was a failure

truth and wine reveal

to Clyde with love

the vinyl floors were what i really loved about King Eddy’s bar i just never ate the nachos or any of the bar food cooked in the back i just drank their booze the storm clouds had passed i was on long weekend from school by choice of course not because it was any particular holiday secretly i was hoping to see Clyde he was an older gentleman with property out in the desert valley not rich a Salton Sea Hawaiian shirt straw fedora wearing kinda guy he was smitten with me but for a long time he thought i was a very effeminate boy we couldn’t tell each other’s intentions my heart grew fond of him over the months in a time span of almost three years i knew he had been a hustler back in the 50’s and 60’s he knew the entire history of Pershing Square the seedy stuff of course not the pretty ribbon cutting ceremonies and the ice rinks at Christmas i came out i suppose by accident i was cramping pretty badly one Tuesday night and the girl bartender wasn’t working that night but Clyde was there many times before i had seen him hand out aspirins to friends so i thought he might have something with knitted brows he whispered jaggedly you’re a girl and i said yeah i’m not very femme but i didn’t think i looked that butch either ok goldilocks he laughed i was gonna ask you out on a date you see i prefer the company of gentlemen in my private life too not just in my industry wink wink i was confused but flattered thus began a deeper relationship my excesses slowed down i put on weight and i went to school more i read all of my books wrote all the papers took all of the exams and actually enjoyed it because of Clyde’s interest in my education there was a time buttercup he’d call me that when i thought i wanted to go to law school but i got lazy and time just passed me by you’re young kid i’ve been eyeballing you i know what you do why do you go to the Cecil he asked knowing dam well why i went i wasn’t angry at him but rather surprised and then creped out dude are you following me no he said but don’t forget i know lots of people around town buttercup don’t throw your life away is all i’m saying the feeling of genuine care felt like a boulder it was too overwhelming so i split

simple misunderstandings

we

met

by the

fruit table oranges

you said were your favorite

fruit i smitten with the fairy tale ideology

of white pickets two point fives and a dog maybe even the PTA

you upstanding patriarch of the family business man in town i would be your one and only not your rodeo clown

psyche flags were risen and when discussed with the appropriate matriarchal councils all my flags burned down with the kerosene of suck it up or else you are not a woman worth your salt

fuck this i thought in the middle of a fight i would not be how i was expected to lay down

so rogue i went from that world of delusional pleasure tumbling weed freed

but alone in dissension doubt demons taunt relentless

so give me another bottle

to numb the

imposed shame

of

failure