Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Ballad Of Leaving The South

Oh my eyes they burned without benefit of a flame
And the window which I left from was the one from whence I came
The girl that lay under the covers was through with my name
I wandered to the road in all kinds of shame

Well I slowly made my way back to my house
And my lips were burning from the cigarette in my mouth
I thought long about how we got from then to now
And then I decided that it was time to escape from the south

I packed my bags sparsely and I only took what I needed
I lay in bed awake until the night had receded
I guess it was around seven when I threw back the sheets
I told my parents goodbye and said I’ll see you next time we meet

I didn’t waste any time I headed for the bus stop
When the ticket man asked where I was going I said “Give me what you got”
I had an hour to kill so I looked to see where I would get off
Second thoughts were creeping up so I got ‘em out with a cough

And I was standing in the bus line waiting my turn
When I heard my name called out and it didn’t register coming from her
She said “Honey don’t you know? This bus ain’t going to Tennessee!”
I said “Yes it is!” and she said “Not until you talk to me!”

I was trapped and was holding up the line
So I stepped out and told her to get a ticket like mine
In a minute we were on the bus holdin hands like old times
She spoke first said I won’t lose you ‘til I’m ninety-nine

It was then that I woke up in the bus station once again
She was nowhere to be seen and I missed the bus by ten
At first I was gonna go buy the next ticket from them
But my wallet was gone it was snatched out like a hem

I didn’t know what to do, I walked back to my house
I knocked on the door no expression on my face
Said I should’ve known by now
That there’s no leaving the south

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Questions In Time With The Music

I’m through with every goddamn thing not worth continuing.

That’s the end in a way,
But an optimist would say “a beginning”
In spite of the ‘goddamn‘.

Well goddamn man anyway.
That was his plan that didn’t make it.

But both are so short,
The beginning and the end,
They’re so short in time
That I’ve forgone the journey.

The journey on down the crippled old Nile.

That’s a line from a song I wrote.
I’m 1/3 of a plagiarist,
Elvis still has that market cornered
So I can play second, third, fourth, fifth fiddle,
All the way to the end of Stradivarius’ being called fiddles.

But that’s enough about me
I want to tell you about goddamn Sam.
The firefly whose bulb was too bright,
So he stayed a kid…
There wasn’t a man amongst us.

Least of all Sam,
But he seemed like one.
So that was close enough for us.

I broke my leg when I was 5.
It didn’t heal right so I walked funny.

I say walked because before long everyone wanted to walk like me.

Dirty wheels.
Messed up girls.
Rusted scraps that we can’t chew
Because it’s made of metal. And rusted.
In the rain, the acid rain, the rain, the acid rain, the rain.

Our paths became so intertwined,
We beat the same two-trail into the dust.
And it blew away in the wind. All that wasted dust.

I wanted to destroy everything,
So that I might see the salvagers come out.
And watch them scurry(?), no, they aren’t rats.

I wanted to see something built from nothing,
A nothing that was a rupture from everything.

A tight rope made out of bicycle chains.

A GODDAMN CIRCUS?!?!

This is what the salvagers do?

Goddamn them for not being as romantic as I’d hoped.
No one ever is.
Especially not the romantics.

What happened to romanticism?
It’s floating down the Nile you called crippled.

Would Homer have spoke so well if he wasn’t blind?
The answer would put you in tears.

Was Aesop a real man who lived according to the dictates of his fables?
No one is a real man. They never were.

Are we real?
We aren’t real, we think we are, we think that makes us real. But we aren’t real.

I think, therefore I am?
You think that and you aren’t even thinking. Lazy.

But if we aren’t real, what’s the point?
Well, I’m the only one telling you that you aren’t real.

But why isn’t there an answer?
There never has been, the more we know, spelled with a capitol N, the less we kNow.

But you aren’t making any sense.
I’m not made of cents.

There isn’t a tree you want to sit under?
I want to sit under every tree.

You’ll die one day.
Yes I will.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm All Lost...

This morning I listened to a Clash song
It was "Lost In The Supermarket"
From London Calling

And when I listened to it
I thought of Saturday Morning Cartoons
This made me happy and nostalgic at the same time

Then I kissed someone I love,
Then I just felt happy

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Left Out What You Wanted (But That's Not All)

I punched the keys on a typewriter
Then your name spewed across the page.
The one I was writing my manifesto on,
And at first I was going to start over.

But with only a sentence to go,
I finished it.
And the last line read longer than I intended it to.

It went like a
1
2
1
2
3
4

My ghosts are closing doors
And shutters on the wind
The gusts of the gale
Made it harder than they expected

I guess even ghosts have trouble concentrating
Procrastinating, those ghosts
And I’m sitting here sweating and smoking
Feverishly and methodically not getting a thing done

(Not getting a thing done)

Last thing I knew
Last time I checked
You were on your way to hell
I’m guarding your pumpkin carriage
But that’s not all

(I’m taking up the reins
But that’s not all)

The blues are porous
Everyone’s got ‘em
I’m getting bored
In the spring and the autumn
I’m your leaves changing colours
But that’s not all

(I’m the sun shining different shades
But that’s not all)

Your window was up
I thought I’d climb in
But if I had known
What I was getting in
I might have just went to the front door
But that’s not all

(I might have just burned my house down
But that’s not all)

And this is where
I say your name
You know want to hear it
I know nothing’s changed
But my closed lips are in the way
But that’s not all

(Sometimes you leave me speechless
But that’s not all)


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

James Joyce

A keen October wind was blowin’ round the bank
The drunkards stood waiting around the drunkard’s tank
And people spoke in whispers of the casket in the square
The stone-faced pall-bearers in two lines to lead the fair

And James Joyce is crying old Irish tears
In the corner of a pub, forgotten against the years
And Hemingway leans himself against the bar
He nods at the barkeep who pours him one more

Hell is spraying preachers who warn a coming storm
They sermonize all fears and shoot craps in the morn
But poker is a game for the honest man to play
Though he loses every hand that folds up to pray


Friday, June 15, 2007

he asked for a requiem

What did you expect…. In time everything becomes timeless
Once I knew that we would all look at this and say “Once it was like that”

And then I guess everything will seem incomparable
Nothing will add up, measure up, and the more we cut up…
Bloody noses…
And then the paranoia…

It’s always a tickle
Under the skin,
Goddamn I,
(scratch a broken record)

Hell must have it out for you to put so much in your way.,.,.,
::”””KK

Shelter from the storm and then storm is shelter.
Music better be long enough to be my ringtone.
I want a symphony in my pocket but it must fit.

What?

Class be damned!!! This isn’t class warfare, sorry to the poor
I was talking about respectability,
Do you have it in you to stand in front of a microphone
That’s
In front of a camera
That’s
In front of the world going by god,
Do you think you can do that and pretend to know what’s going on?

It must take some kind of suit and tie
To stand up and say “I KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU”

I’m glad someone does, I was beginning to think no one did,
I suppose I could eat everything that is in eyesight.
Ah that’s cathartic.
I can destroy everything in front of me with a -------

And a -------- is all I need.
Ah that’s cathartic.

I’m the new Scarlett, shit, I’m the new Rhett Butler.
Now you excuse me cause I don’t give a damn, never did.
Ah that’s cathartic.

Can you do me a favor and act like the second coming isn’t coming?
Why?
Well it isn’t. is it?

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLazarus, f*** you. He said it not me.

What the?>>> Where did the word go?

It’s called censorship Mr. Welles.

Give me a war, I need to feel good,
You do too?
I thought it was just a million people on P(oison)rozac.
Well let’s get it over now that we’re losing.

One thing about war,
It makes young people feel old.
Two things about war,
It makes young people old.
They aren’t young during it and then if it lasts long enough, [their] [there] they’re old.

We belong to someone else’s pocket.
That pocket what a sieve.
What a shore leave.
What a way to go.

HE ASKED FOR A REQUIEM

Even though I was young then, I had hoped to get back to who I was before I became who I am. The ashes of smoked cigarettes that once seemed a sign of being mature, now were a signpost to something I thought that I had lost. If I could have been satisfied where I was then, then I might be satisfied where I am now.

I suppose that this life, one of comfort and ease was not meant for me, but I stood at the crossroads of a paradox because I knew that I wasn’t cut out for the pain and hardship others had suffered before me. I had read books, I had heard songs, ones that spoke to me in a language that I understood but couldn’t speak myself. I’ve heard people speak and not just heard the words but heard the colors they spoke, I saw the hurt on their breath when a sad story was told and experienced the change in the air once happy stories were recanted. Stories of heartbreak, passion, friendship, stories of sleeping beside a river, of the open road and drunken beauty. I could see the road before me, I knew that I would never be intimidated, sometimes scared but never afraid, if I held on then my circle would come back around, I understood then that looking back was not an option, I knew that pushing forward blindly was not an option either.

I had found the balance.
I counted myself lucky that I was myself.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga The End

Mason found himself at the most conspicuous border crossing in New Mexico, but no one was there. He was in a valley asking about hills but no hills coupled there was only one and he had to make the crest. He waited a flatbed truck out and then drove to the top of the hill. At the top he got out his binoculars and a high-powered rifle.

Scanning the desert in all its heat distortions and sunlit reverie, Mason drug the tramp Mexican through the mud in his mind. He painted pictures in the dirt for about an hour dusting off the desert every five minutes with his binoculars.

At one hour and thirty minutes and a stick broken into seven pieces a he spied a man hurting. He focused the binoculars. A sound clipping the air to pieces at every turn was showering itself behind him, a helicopter. Vehicles must be near and they were, the off-road aspect of them was in high pursuit. Mason felt a gripping sense of duty and he made the rifle an extension of himself… the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky”… Dick Dale… surf guitar… there was no time… there was no time…

***

In Gomez’s mind an invisible entity that marked the difference between two pieces of land on the same landmass was freedom and he was leaving the supposed beacon of freedom to be where his freedom was. Everything was nearly over and he knew the nearing loud noises were just a fa├žade that would disappear in the courts.

He didn’t even hear the crack of the gun, he just felt something and then he felt nothing.

***

Head shot.

Something to be proud enough of to never talk about again.

Mason remembered getting in the truck and leaving, there was no way to avoid the trucks and the helicopter probably saw him putting his gun up. He had enough to time to drive ninety while they tried to figure out what had happened.

No fear, no regret.


Friday, June 8, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part XI

Gomez waltzed.

Death halts. It halts before your dying form, it watches and takes in the last moments and those looks on your face when you realize that the end is the end and it’s near. When you’re sick it waits in the far corners of your room, if you die instantaneously it watches, inches and half-inches away from your eyes and it witnesses the pupils contract as unseen light fills them and it sees through your eyelids as they widen and then nothing. And if you’re unlucky enough not to die then it will just hang in the air, with its presence acclimating to where you’re going. Then when you die, you can be just as shocked as death and you’ll both turn white as the margins of your eyes. That’s only if you’re unlucky enough not to die.

For Gomez death would wait until dehydration made his cramping steps falter and walk backwards three feet in front of him. Then Gomez would crawl and death would walk backwards two feet in front of him. Then Gomez would stop moving except out of the need to not resign to his fate, and death would wait a foot from him. And Gomez’s final breath would be sucked in and stolen by death hovering inches from him.

But Gomez was miles from death and death had miles to go and many other promises to keep. And Robert Frost dies every time his poetry is consumed, but death waits not, watches less and never wants to witness that again, but the reason death remains so callous to its job? It has to watch the poets die. Over and over again.

***

Mason labored over shifting gears setting out for the stretch of invisibility that separates us from them. He kept a weather eye out for a haggard stretch looming in infinitesimal sadness that contained his sloth and his other sins. He kept his eyes on every new horizon in 270 degrees and a mirror on the rest.

Every sense was focused on that Mexican. He had fifteen minutes ‘til he hit the border at its closest point to Holden, no doubt a cavalry awaited armed to the teeth. And if he could match that man’s steps and ultimately overtake him. Then a weighted chest would be unburdened.

Could he buy his health at the cost of shells?

But lo, in the distance a growling limp with blood and sweat cursing at itself and all the sand around it was beating a path south.

Now for the hills.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part X

Gomez hobbled in a hollow reverie for survival. He scurried as a rat and made his movements in the face of the sun beating down a world swathed in light. Gomez had five or six miles to go and no highway or river to follow.

There would be no Huck Finn to his escape. He was battle-battered and felt it, the cruel blow of the pistol still christened its likeness in his muscle memory. Gomez’s eyes searched as far as he could see, no sign of anything. The heat waves certainly made distance a game of catch and release, just as Gomez thought he had arrived somewhere another plateau set the bar higher.

He had been coming and going for nearly three hours when a homestead made its presence discernable in the masks of heat. Gomez trickled toward it, alone in the world in this corner with nothing to back against. This home seemed like a freedom that the invisible line at his country and this country couldn’t muster between them.

Gomez hid himself from any prying eyes that might be lurking in the unseen areas of this oasis. He bandied an arc to the watering trough of the livestock and plunged his head in. Immediately the world above disappeared, the sounds, the sights, the weather, his cuts burnt and cleansed in the abyss, the top of his matted head soothed by the coolness of the water, he drank and his stomach filled, his throat blew out the flame, he dipped his rough hands and rubbed his face clear of any dried blood. Then he broke the surface.

Water streamed down his front and back and sides, its cooling grace taking the oppressive heat everywhere but here. He cupped his hands and drank again, he brushed his hair back, he looked around for people, helicopters and the sun. When he cleared the sky of the first two then he made his direction and set off.

***

In a farm home a woman saw a bloodied Mexican dump himself into her horses’ water trough and look around wildly. She watched him and when she saw him walking away she grabbed the phone and dialed three numbers.

***

Gomez felt the water get heavier with each new step. He was two miles from the border and all the freedom that came with it.

He depended on how fast he could keep his feet shuffling ahead of everyone and everything that was after him. He knew that with each step he made they made two. The race was only midway through and already both sides were losing.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part IX

Gomez’s mind wandered to the knives in his boots.

Why hadn’t he remembered them in the basement? God damn it. He pulled his right pants leg as high as he could. Well here it goes.

Gomez grabbed the table under the edge and flipped it short-ways. Every paper flew through the air and the heavy desk landed on the priest’s feet just below the ankle. He threw his head up and Gomez punched him as hard as he could muster in the throat. He ducked and brought up the long knife. He jumped over the desk, as he and the priest fell downward he maneuvered his elbow over the priest’s wrist. When they landed he kept the pressure on the wrist and the knife sailed on the drifts and drafts in the room.

Father Thompson watched the knife coming. His life didn’t flash before his eyes. That never happens. What he was pondering was how could he possibly survive this situation?

***

A puppy wandered around the back of the church looking for some food. His pathetic form making headway despite the heat, despite no puddles to drink from, despite…

Gomez flung open the door and his pupils shrunk faster than the scared puppy who fled the scene. He heard the cuts and forming bruises screaming obscenities at his senses. He took off in a southwesterly direction if the sun was to be trusted at half past noon.

***

The market was always closed on Saturday, there was no patrol tonight. Mason sat in his home watching The Deer Hunter, he had the police scanner on in the kitchen. His wife was making some kind of Italian salad.

“Honey?” She called out.

“Yes?”

“I think they just called an ambulance for Father Thompson. You should come here and listen to this.”

There was something in her voice that kept him from groaning as he left his seat. The movie still playing as he entered the kitchen. The scanner crackled an ominous sentence.

“Calling all officers, murder suspect fled the church. Mexican, no word yet on build or any identifying features. Expected to be bloody and tired. Proceed with caution, suspect considered armed and dangerous.”

Oh my god. Oh my god.

Mason’s wife looked at him, he looked at her but not as reassuringly as he’d hoped.

“I’ll be back. I’m going to go to the church. Get the shotgun, if anyone shows up you make sure you know who it is before you open the door.”

She nodded. Mason walked out the door with a pistol and the truck keys. After he shut the door she ran to it and opened it.

“I love you!”

He looked at her from the truck. “I love you too.”


Friday, June 1, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part VIII

Gomez heard the door open through his teeth. He flicked off the flashlight and held it like a club. In the temporary sunlight he hid behind a crate full of 1 lb. sealed bags of white powder. Two crates of cocaine, another crate of heroin.

Gomez did not dare to look outward at the unwelcome visitor with his purging sunlight. The shadow cast was lifted off the soil of the earthen floor when the form made headway down the steps leaving only the visage on the far wall and legs on the crates. He knew the arms would reach out for the flashlight and tentacles swabbed the columns seeming to hold the church above from coming down. I say seeming because they were wooden with three sprouts at the top and held in place by concrete ‘neath the addled dirt.

***

Father Thompson had no way to go but down and a narrow down it would be. The flashlight was missing, presumably still in the hands of the trespasser.

He began to speak aloud, enunciated to Homeresque proportions.

Our father which art in heaven. he took the first two steps.

Hallowed be thy name. more steps.

Thy Kingdom Come! His cadence rising in a sun-flare.

Thy will be done in earth. And his masked feet clapped the earth.

As it is in heaven. He walked to the heroin.

Give us this day our daily bread. A finger put into the top package with its slight cut, he tipped the finger to his tongue.

***

Gomez waned in bravado at the offering of the lord’s prayer, he crouched in form and demeanor at the proximity of which the robed man stood.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” a sound of melancholy Macbeth in the man’s metronome ticking splashily against the sound of Gomez’s own hammering heart.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” the man’s footsteps had demured against his voice, a most potent voice.

“For thine is the kingdom. . . And the power. . . And the glory. . . For ever. . . Amen. He pronounced it ‘Ay-men’ Gomez considered this for but a moment, as the berobed figure pounced from the side of the crate at the shocked Gomez.

***

A scrap of meat is not so fiercely fought for between savage, hungry dogs.

Father Thompson tried to pistol whip his unknown invader so as to not have to alert anyone with a gunshot, Gomez swung the flashlight and connected with the attacker on his left eyebrow. A grunt but not a whimper.

Father Thompson brought the butt of the gun down on the man’s head but he ducked and the priest tore a hole in the packages of Cocaine and the fine dust floated in the air, the men unwittingly breathed it in.

Gomez slithered out from under the man and slammed his head into what looked like the hardest part of the crate. All that happened was more powder escaping into the air like a fierce asbestos. Gomez furthered this by punching the man’s ear and into the crate for a second blow.

Father Thompson crashed his formidable elbow into the man’s chest and delivered a second blow into his chin and neck. The man gasped and faltered for a second. It was long enough, Father Thompson reached for his gun in the dirt, somehow it had flown from his hands. At an inch from it, he was able to tap it with his finger when the man began punching him ferociously in the back of the head.

Gomez had the man in a headlock and hammered his large knuckles into the soft spot of his victim’s head.

These men were soundless ‘cepting a grunt of pain every four or five seconds.

Father Thompson reached again and he had the gun by the barrel, he was seeing spots, he felt as though he were about to pass out. He leaned his own head forward and then swung the gun backward into the assailant’s face, he heard the nose bone splinter and felt the man’s grip loosen.

A gush of blood escaped from Gomez’s face, he yelped, spewing more blood. The gun came back again and smashed into his forehead. Gomez unwillingly fell forward on the man’s back, spots of cocaine had gathered in the blood that was now bubbling with Gomez’s wheezes out his nose. Gomez put his shoulder into the back of the man’s head and pushed him into the dirt. His head dipped and bobbed aimlessly.

Father Thompson knew he had weakened the man but when your mouth is full of dirt and your face is threatening to make a fossil record, every victory doesn’t seem as fruitful. He was frantically trying to elbow the man’s ribs. When he felt the man’s head dip sideways into the crate he pushed upward with his body and the man slammed into the crate releasing more dust into the air. Father Thompson pushed again and felt the man’s chin digging into his spine. He jumped outward, spun around and tried to knee the man in the stomach, this didn’t do as much as he hoped.

Gomez reached into the dirt and threw it into the priest’s face. The priest tilted backward, then without warning the crate gave and toppled its contents on the floor and on them.

Father Thompson finally broke the sound barrier when a package hit him in the groin. He blindly felt around for his gun under the strewn packages. Instead he found the bloody man and they grew to their most animalistic. They kicked and punched, they bit, pulled hair, threw elbows as readily as knees, all the while rolling and ripping the cocaine bed.

Gomez put his hand down the priest’s throat and the man bit but went backwards. They punched each other trading wildly. Then the priest, in a adrenaline/cocaine fueled fury bit through Gomez‘s hand to the bone. Gomez lolled backward. He howled. After two seconds he was looking through the barrel of the gun. His wild red eyes had given up.

Breathing hard, they looked each other in the eyes.

***

Gomez went first out of the doors, the gun in his back. He checked to make sure no one was back there. When they cracked the door to the church the air-conditioning shocked them to the bone, the two bloodied men looked at every shut door and limped to the priest’s office as quickly and quietly as they could.

Father Thompson shut and lock the door all the while keeping the gun leveled at the bloody man. He sat Gomez down in the chair across from his desk and looked out the window. Then he turned around and picked up the phone. He dialed the sheriff.

“Robert?” He wheezed, then he snapped. “Put Robert on. (A pause). Robert, this is Father Thompson, just listen. I need you to get down to the church, bring a gun. I just caught a Mexican breaking into the church, he tried to kill me. No, no one else is here. Hurry.”

He hung up the phone, then he smiled a bloody, toothy smile.

“Now we wait.”