Tuesday, October 9, 2018


if you're numb
if you're just numb
you can block out
the shame and regret
of all you've done
otherwise there ain't no way
you make it through 
to fight another day
you want to have clear
vision not clouded by
tears and your nose
not running with snot
you're running with the bulls
you're running with the devil
you're running from the stench
of the past 
and that's a marathon
you'll finish by god
bloodied but unbowed
pick up your participation medal
on the way home

Saturday, September 15, 2018


And now I find
that I give less and less
of a damn
about any of it

But it would do my heart good
if I knew that just once you stopped
and questioned your motives
for all of it
cuz if it's just by rote
it plays a sad and sour note
to my ears

And let me draw my own conclusions
as to why she smiled at me
in the supermarket
let me hang onto my illusions
a wee bit longer
cuz in my mind
and in my heart
I'm still back there listenin' to
The Mighty Quinn
(everybody's gonna want a dose)

Don't mean to be morose
but I need a reason
to fall out of that bed

Just don't make me feel that
 your day
and your life
won't be complete
unless you are killing something
that smiles

Decades whiz by
in the flash of an eye
and when I say I took her support stockings off
and wore them over my head
and then went out and robbed da liquor store
I think U know what I mean--
it's the universal language of love
ooby dooby dooby doo
 just me and you

Will apologize to neither god nor man
for what I am
my is-ness
is none of you biz-ness
and yet I'll pray
that you'll be forever freed
from your own private hell...
and thus release me from mine

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


Look up
look down
miss the action or
miss the meaning
but you don't want to miss those tits
so to hell with what they're saying right now

Knowing one's priorities

makes life much simpler

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Always felt loosely tethered
well you can kick that up
a notch now
a shadow of one's former
self that was no more than a
shadow to begin with 
giving way
to an emerging grey sky

The why??? of it
 gets caught in your throat
as you laugh and shake your head
at the sudden realization
 that all those angels
and that luck of the Irish
rolling your way 
were just a thing in your head
and things being preordained
seems the only logical conclusion
and talismans are just pretty stones
that dangle at the end of a chain
which seems like a 
totally appropriate metaphor

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Online bullying?

when I was comin' up
it was up close
and personal
and in your face
(not Facebook)

one thing it does
when you're on the receiving end
is helps to build character

so develop a hard shell
like that giant tortoise at the zoo
(and shine it with turtle wax)
and have some empathy
for your tormentors
for they are hurting
the same as you


consider the source

can't tell you how many times
that has seen me through

never once validated
or took their words
to heart

that's called knowing who you are

never knew anyone
of my generation
(them damn hippies!)
who checked out over it


there is a place
deep inside
at your very core
where no one can hurt you

find it

it is your strength
and your reserve
and one day
it will lead you
into the sun

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Didn't send anything 
to your journal this time
didn't send anything to
your contest 
(after winning it last year)
give someone else a chance
I said
but the truth is it's just too much
goddamn trouble 
for little reward

Like a lot of things

Like life


But you're expecting

a poem 
of course you are
that's why you're here...

So let's not disappoint:

Last lessons of the afternoon

your last drive
I said, this misery must end

The rolling English road

bagpipe music
anthem for doomed youth

Buffalo dusk

full moon
what are years?

Look within

the lost man
not waving 
still drowning

I remember the woman

 at the Washington Zoo
wearing flames and dangling wire 
a kiss in space
a taste
Xmas trees
the end of love

All day it rained 

Fuck you 

Monday, June 11, 2018


He's just a nondescript dude
 more polite than most
 no need for posturing
at this stage of the game

The one he's not playing

Saw him at the theater
saw him at the school
saw him at the cafe
in the booth
so calm and cool

Think you're a tough guy
and he looks like a pushover
maybe have a little fun
maybe heap some abuse
but you've just drawn to
the worst hand of your life
with the one you never should choose

Talkin bout the man with nothing to lose

Your woman
your job
your booze
will keep you playing the game
by somebody else's rules
and you'll always stop short
of the things he might choose

That man with nothing to lose

Who knows when
the proverbial straw
came into play
suffice it to say
that life has been exposed
as a game for fools
and he is no longer playing
by anyone's rules

When life's no longer
what it seems
you walk along in a dream
a slow motion movie
where there is no sound
and people's eyes appear
to be screaming
and you wonder
in a curious way
if it has anything to do
with you

Saw him at the theater
saw him at the school
saw him at the cafe
in the booth
so calm and cool

And afterward
the afterword
is how did we fail him
but that's easy because
day by day
and each and every day
we shuffle along in a dream
where we wanted to reach out
we had it in our minds
to reach out
we had it on our agenda
to reach out
we had it on our calendar
to reach out
but somehow
we just didn't
and so it's easy to discern
just where we went wrong
my friend
cuz day after day
and each and every day

Monday, June 4, 2018


Moving down the aisle at the
SuperDuper market, a song from
1968 comes on the overhead speakers:
Hi everybody, I'm Archie Bell of The Drells
from Houston Texas...
just as if none of this crazy shit
had taken place in the interim and we
are back to the purity of The Beat.

We don't only sing, but we dance

just as good as we want
just as if this 3 ring circus
hadn't come to town to stay,
and we realized too late we'd
given the ringmaster too much
discretion and now he's wading
into the crowd with the whip
once reserved only for the lions.

But this message from on high

that's washing me in the blood
is as primal as a heartbeat
and the old gal with her cart
that's doubling as a walker
is moving her hips in a way
that tells me to look away



And whether all of this bullshit
falls away one day
or we're in for a dystopian future
that'll make 1984 seem like 
a mere prologue, my permanent escape
through the time warp in aisle # 5
is already booked,
knowing that all must pass
'cept for the one and only thing
that will save us in the end...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


There are places
in my mind
I just won't go to
as having been there once
is enough for a lifetime

I've no need to relive
every misdeed
or stupid mistake

I'll wait to have all that
read back to me
at the gates
of either heaven
or hell

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


There's a mall just down the road
that's dying 
it's a slow demise
as one by one the shops
are closing up shop
(so where ya gonna shop?)
and a walk down those corridors now
encounters just a few curious soles
making contact with the tiles
and yours truly of course
(cuz I feel so at home in lonely places)

You can say what you want about the malls

but for a long time they served as our surrogate
downtown in the days of urban decay when
nobody wanted the real experience 
too scary
and so we strolled along in air-conditioned
comfort and poked our heads into the shops
and always seemed to run into someone 
we knew (whether we wanted to or not)
and the seniors in their Nikes and jogging outfits
puffing along twice as fast as anyone else
and the smells...oh the smells...
of sinful chocolate delights and sticky buns
and the way they went all out with the
decorations at Christmas time and the 
jolly fat man holding court 
(where the hell you gonna find Santa now?)

It's a lot we're losing and we don't even care

So I just think a eulogy is in order
for the death of brick and mortar
as we gaze glassy-eyed into that screen 
and click add to cart 
and wait for the guy in the brown truck 
to ring the bell
or more likely than not
just dump your package by the gate
cuz he's got lots of rounds to make
and you don't need to greet him
cuz after all
it's not like 
he's anybody
you'd be happy
to run into 
at the mall