Monday, September 27, 2010


Down in the canyon near the white hotel
there grows a flower whose spirit
belongs more to the sky than to the earth,
and if you listen closely when the wind is right
you can hear it singing "I Get The Blues When It Rains."

Inside the white hotel our eyes met with no formal introduction.
I was a writer who had run out of ink.
You were a fly-by-nighter trying to wangle a drink--
a nun on the run who no longer made a habit
out of seeing the world in black and white.
And me, just out of seminary school,
still wet behind the ears,
but ready to get my feet wet as well.

We were like wind chimes on the verandah--
when the wind sang we all chimed in,
anthem to a blue chrysanthemum
that grows in the winding Canyon Of Love.

When you sang, you thought you were Billie Holiday.
I thought I was Billy The Kid,
so I stuck my gun in your ribs
and said, "Your honey or your life!"
We were busy as bees after that,
holing up in our hive--
room eleven-oh-five--
listening to jive and getting a buzz on.
You moved like music
and you tried every number on me you knew.

All summer I roamed your hills and valleys
where orgasms in dark chasms
brought on the rain.

When the season ended you sent me packing,
lugging your baggage and mine...
you were traveling light.

Making a bee-line for the exit,
you trampled the blossom
that longed only for the same kind of freedom.

Now I'm standing here in these juicy shoes...
Oh Jesus, I've got to think about that one...
think about why I drank the dank skank of your love,
when all you ever said to me was, "HELLO, ROOM SERVICE?"

Down in the street a forlorn horn
laments what should have been a foregone conclusion
to one so prone to illusion,
as the mist forms upon my window
and I think about a flower
that sang, "I Get The Blues When It Rains."

Friday, September 24, 2010


Many thanks to Cindy at:

Protocol normally dictates that you pass the award on to others, but singling anyone out (and perhaps giving the impression of snubbing others) would be difficult for me-- so instead I will dedicate this award to all of the lovely folks in blog land I've come to know and appreciate for their wit, humor, passion, and dedication to craft.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


For One Shot Wednesday

I first saw you pouting
in the magazine I hid in my bedroom
when I was twelve--
the year I resolved that breasts
were the coolest thing since Elvis Presley
I was looking for the secret in your eyes
but they never revealed it...
and I still don't know who you are

I was eighteen
a bit of a late bloomer
you already a faded rose
when you gave me that first driving lesson
in the front seat of my Chevy--
and though you'd been around the block
you failed to warn me that a steering wheel
lodged in one's butt crack on a deserted Missouri backroad
makes for an unsteady ride

Seventeen summers were yours
and I'd chalked up twenty-two
on the night of our first cautious caress
all the perfumed blossoms and you
sending me into sensory overload
I was getting good in the clinches
and there in your backyard you pleaded with me
to climb through your bedroom window
and go for the gusto
play it fast and loose while your parents--
too square to have a clue--
were zonked out down the hall

Discretion proved the better part of valor
until the night at Fat Bruce's house
where we made up for lost time--
sleepless in Cedar Rapids--
while he scoured the city for belladonna
or nutmeg
or anything that might give him some altitude

You left me high and dry in Key West
when you hit the road with my friend...
and I still don't know who you are

I met you again in the summer
in Panama
where you told me I must have had some upbringing
because I held my fork continental style
not realizing I was left-handed
and it just seemed a more natural way to maneuver
Back at the hotel we put the moves on each other--
every afternoon the rains came
and we followed suit
I screwed
my companions
and we headed north in your green Beetle

When we had used up all of Latin America
you dumped me at the Newport Beach bus station
with fifty bucks left in my pocket
trying to explain how you didn't like goodbyes...
and I still don't know who you are

Once I stole you away from my buddy
who had spent one night with you
and showed up at your room the next morning
to find us tangled among the sheets

You said you'd once worked as a courier
for certain underworld concerns
and the aura of intrigue
clung to you like cobweb

Trying to clear customs
from a three day sojourn to Curacao
we were invited into the back room
for an intimate inspection of our belongings...
and I still don't know who you are

One winter you took the elevator
up to the radio station in Penthouse One
I slapped on the long version of
and stood monitoring its progress
through the plate glass window
as you got into the groove
and did what you said you'd do over the phone--
on your knees there on the roof garden
the lights of San Juan shimmering around us

When your girlfriend came outside
I flinched
you didn't miss a beat...
and I still don't know who you are

I've seen you on the streets of
New York
and Paris
brushing by me as you head in the opposite direction
and I study your face for the answer

You've dogged my tracks
and I've hounded your trail
through so many lifetimes
I've lost count
and still you return--
to a poetry gathering
where you try to be inconspicuous
but I know that you're here
for when I glanced around the room
our eyes locked for just a moment
then you looked away...

YOU know who you are

Friday, September 17, 2010


B.S. makes the world go round. We now know that everyone from presidents on down routinely fabricates the truth, and no one thinks anything of it. We've developed a buyer beware mentality about everything.

Television, of course, is the great lie conduit. Where else can a car dealer tell you one thing to your face, while simultaneously flashing contradictory statements at the bottom of the screen in letters so small that no one without an electron microscope can read it?

Our convoluted sense of ethics says that the fine print absolves us of telling the truth, and the advertiser is counting on a certain percentage of dummies who don't look past the surface. If we had a real truth in advertising law, those commercials that depict people winning at the casinos would also have to show that the seedy-looking nicotine addicts who are blowing their rent checks far outnumber the winners.

And those famous "Be All You Can Be" spots for the military that only mention the educational opportunities would also have to explain that when you sign up, you're relinquishing your right to think for yourself, and may be required to murder people in a third-world country at the whim of some politicians.

But there are no such laws, so is it any wonder that most people think that the government is feeding us a crock of doody about the UFOs? (You knew that I'd get around to this someday, didn't you?)

Now, finally, the truth can be told. (Read the oh-so-small disclaimer at the bottom of this page which states that, for our purposes, "truth" means the same as my opinion.)

In the beginning, the flying saucers were being piloted by authentic, card-carrying space aliens. There WAS a crash at Roswell, and some of the extraterrestrials survived. From them we learned how their technology works. The Air Force, in conjunction with General Motors, produced its own line of saucer-shaped craft. (Planned obsolescence, of course--with new, redesigned models each year. )

The aliens that were flying the friendly skies were gradually driven off by the Air Force pilots, who were like teenagers with learner's permits--it wasn't safe up there. Today, most of the 'UFOs" are ours--many of them developed at that super secret base in Nevada that nobody can get close to. At first, the flyboys were making test runs--now they're up there joyriding just to screw with our heads.

And yes, the government has been abducting its own citizens, beaming then aboard the saucers and conducting medical experiments. It's an easy and diabolical way to do it, because the feds know that everyone will think the victims are crazy when they tell their stories. Ozzy Osbourne has been on some of these flights--and so has Lady Ga Ga...which accounts for the abductees who describe their captors as grotesque looking creatures.

Maybe someday the real aliens will come back, because their original purpose was to help us save ourselves from ourselves...and time is growing short. These guys have been there, and they contemplate us with heavy hearts.

They know we've upset the balance of nature by failing to recognize the other species of this world as our kin--by failing to comprehend that their fate will become our fate. They know that the longer we peer mesmerized into television screens and computer screens, the less we will see.

They know we haven't read the fine print.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Buncha doped up hippies
beatin' on their drums...
Buncha drunken rednecks
beatin' on their WOMEN

Buncha doped up hippies
dancing in the street...
Buncha drunken rednecks
PEEING in the street

Buncha doped up hippies
hitting you up for spare change...
Buncha drunken rednecks
hitting you UPSIDE THE HEAD

Buncha doped up hippies
having sex like animals...
Buncha drunken up rednecks
having sex WITH animals

Buncha doped up hippies
could greatly benefit from higher consciousness...
Buncha drunken rednecks
could greatly benefit from higher IQ

Buncha doped up hippies
face down in the potato salad...
Buncha drunken rednecks

Life has a way
of ironing out
the little differences
between us

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I wanna be a semi-distinguished poet
a relative household name
in the households of all my relatives

I wanna do a book signing at a store
that will later slap 50% off stickers
onto all my remaining copies

I wanna go to a used book sale in the mall
and find one of my tomes misplaced
in the foreign language section
with a partially torn 50% off sticker
still clinging to the cover like some kind of skin disease

I wanna be a semi-distinguished poet
invited to travel half way across the country
where my sponsors will put me up in some fleabag hotel
and I will write a poem about the fleas

And I will give a reading for an audience of eleven people
who read about it in the local weekly alternative rag

Most of them will wander in late

And I want there to be one semi-attractive woman
who will approach me afterward
intent upon getting into my pants

to me
is the essence of true romance

I wanna be a semi-distinguished poet
winging my way home
and vaguely apprehensive about the future
beginning a new angst-ridden poem
plucking words from the rarefied air
and drifting into a cloud-shrouded dream

Thursday, September 2, 2010


They came from California, and Texas, and Philly--with ideas that were all over the map. The critically acclaimed and the self-acclaimed, gathered together for three days of readin', writin', and regurgitatin'.

A hundred intrepid writers...and me...there of a morbid curiosity, determined not to listen to anything with too much conviction, lest I turn stupid again and self-conscious about my work.

A haven where, for a fee, the voiceless can have their manuscripts--and womanlyscripts--poked, prodded, and given a thorough physical by an expert word surgeon who then conducts an emergency operation--first to remove the guts, then to take out the heart, then to had it back to you and say, "You can sew it up now!" (A woman beside me is quietly sobbing over her treatise...which didn't pull through the operation.)

In a workshop exercise an author tells us to write a story--in ten minutes time--based on the fable of Cain and Abel. I want to kill him for that.

So instead, I write some drivel about a slob named Frankie, who walks into the G-Spot Diner--a greasy spoon saloon--plops down on his favorite stool, hails the waitress, opens his mouth to speak and-

"TIMES UP," shouts the lecturer. "Now, who wants to read their story?"

The guest poet--who is from the School of Endless Tinkering--declares that the trouble with Ginsberg was that he didn't rewrite. If the guy had thought of it, he might have taken a few whacks at Kerouac as well.

But the best counsel came from the senior sage in attendance--who, in her ageless wisdom, solemnly addressed the assemblage after the lunch break and said, "Don't go back to the can't even VOMIT that stuff up!"

As I left, I recalled Bukowski's advice to aspiring writers: Drink...f#ck...and smoke lots of cigarettes.

Wow...and he didn't even charge for that.