Saturday, February 28, 2009

Demo Night At The Whiskey Corral

Blues time with Buck Jimmy
playing the gun
on Travis The Chimp
during the lunchtime sunset
at The Whiskey Corral.
Love to watch the old man 
do his thing.
Every time he puts it down 
it kills.
The master's delivery 
is an urgent package
spray painted on the fuselage 
of the gray whale.
He wants you to get down
in the mouth of the alley
where there's only one thing you can do.
"It's a crazy little thing...
it's called the blues."
Sure thing I'll be there
plugged into the silver face Bassman
playing for scotch eggs, kale and beer.
Jazz on the nod
under the boiler room light bulb.
Buck Jimmy's carrying,
knocking them out them out 
tight, solid, loaded.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Snatch It Back and Hold It

Oh, look at what you did...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Donkey and The Goat

There was this donkey
who learned to read and write
in order to create his founding myth.
The reality of his existence
was just too much.
It was all lashes with ropes soaked in gasoline.
It was all enduring hateful curses,
shrieked in piss soaked alleyways,
and hospital waiting rooms.
So, it was too just too much, really.

There was this old goat
who looked after every kid in the barnyard.
A goat whose best years flowered
pulling carts full of seeds to feed the young.
All day and all night
the goat butted her horns against the sides of her pen.
She bucked and kicked at the donkey's stall.
And why shouldn't she?
Donkeys aren't supposed to write, are they?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Arrival of Superstition

We used to take the old Plymouth Satellite
on the back roads of the Fort Lewis Military Reservation.
The DuPont/Steilacoom road.
In the dark, the douglas fir stood so tall
their branches canopied the road
and blotted out the night sky
down to a thin ribbon of dim.
We used to follow that ribbon at 110 mph
with the headlights shut off
pummeling the suspension down the miles straight stretch.
I remember laughing at our teenage nihilism.
I remember the fascism of youth.
and onanist daydreams of middle class solipsism.
I remember disregard for concern as camp theatrics.
I remember boredom.
We used to lay in the shallow impressions
made by unmarked graves in the Western State Mental Hospital Cemetery.
When the moon was out
you could see the gutted frame of the old hospital
ghost faced white and wreathed in dead groves of walnut
the branches twisting into themselves in agony.
We used to lay in the graves and mock the ghosts.
"come into me, come into me."
What a show we could manifest 
in the face of indefinite abstraction.
It couldn't last.
I remember the accident outside the 1986 World's Fair
in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Dodge Tradesman van careened around the street corner
filled with beery laughter and the oldies radio pounding
In The Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett.
Wicked Pickett.
They got it up on two wheels and then turned it over and over
until it came to a stop against a lampost.
Everything was quiet but the car radio.
"I'm gonna wait 'till the midnight hour
when my love comes tumbling down.."
The driver was covered in diamonds of windshield and blood.
His passenger was still,
an ear pressed firmly against his own chest.
I remember looking at his twisted neck 
and feeling the ebb of puerile arrogance
and the arrival of superstition.

I Woke Up

I woke up.
An explosion of lotus petals
flowered out of my eye sockets.
Harps fountaining 
like wind waves of tide grass.
A woman in profile
stands on a music box stage
her lids lined with khol.
I can't stop staring at her hands.
Hennaed traffic in strands of veins
finger sway shadows on red velvet curtains.
The air is fragrant and heavy.
I am sleepy.
The scenes go missing.
The light is made of sand.
It blows away.
warm dark.
I must remember this place.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Driving to Vancouver

I set off tonight
for the family home
to be there
during those awful hours
where we wait to see
if she comes back
from across the river.
I'll pass through Steilacoom
I'll pass through Kent
I'll pass through Kelso/Longview
and hope that this and time
is all that will pass.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sitting There Standing

Yep, that's the one alright.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Four Track Mind

We put the BabyGirl
on a leaving jet plane
and dug out the Les Paul
and the more Fender
and got down to brass tacks
in the dead basement.
Now we got time.
We got mics 
and we got tape
and we got enough whiskey 
and electricity to get it all down
nice and dirty
quick and greasy.
Get out of my way
I've got a four track mind
and there's no room for you
in my standing room only world.
See you at the end 
of side two.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No Other

Saturday afternoon
lying on the couch in a fog
Gene Clark,
my grandma loved you.
While spinning Mr. Tambourine Man
she called into my teenage room
'that's a Missouri boy singing 
on that doin's.'
Picked you up out of the blue 
she did,
and weren't you blue, Gene.
I don't believe I'll ever hear
the sound of heartache's strings
sing so true
sing so clear
sing so you.
So here we are,
on this couch
on this saturday afternoon
you and I.
Your songs always end in major
after a long drift through minor.
I believe you are my Orpheus 
wandering afraid into the underworld
searching for your only love
searching for your only life.
Gene Clark,
I have never heard a voice so afraid.
Lying on this couch
remembering your last hours
dying in a fog on a couch
because you knew there was no other.
I know you're not dead
because you never lived,
only watched
and said
and left.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Achelous and Hercules
got into it
on the articulated section bench
of the East Greenlake Express.
Achelous squeezed next to Hercules
and hissed at him to move over
'your stinking ass is touching mine
you fat piece of shit.'
Hercules was drunk.
He smelled like stale tobacco and urine.
'I can't move over any further, dyke bitch.'
Achelous struck first,
jamming her transistor radio
into Hercules' side.
But Hercules' frame was built to withstand.
Withstand like he faced Lerna's Hydra
on his first tour of 'Nam.
'Help! Bus Driver! I'm being assaulted!'
Achelous bellowed as her fist broke off
against his oil stained fatigue jacket.
The Nyaids filled her hollow wrist
with fragrant cherry blossoms
and fresh Yakima apples.
'She doesn't like men,'
Hercules slurred as a mortal supplicated his seat
to the steaming Achelous.
Later that evening,
the Minotaur knocked at the door.
'Ahhhhh, the lady of the house,
may I come in?'
The Minotaur said he was going door to door
asking for tribute for inner city kids.
The words flowed like a river of boxcars
klung klunging over spiked railroad ties.
He put his foot over the threshold
and I rose to meet him.
'We don't let unannounced callers
into our foyer,' I said.
The Minotaur waved his dog-eared script
at me and leveled his eyes on the mark,
'I want to talk to Ms. Dana' he growled.
With that I put my hand on his muscled shoulder
and pushed firmly.
'Fuck it pal, I've had enough,
shake them down next door.'
The Minotaur raged and called out in anger,
'I have leukemia, I have full blown AIDS,
and a white motherfucker don't give a shit
about the black man.'
The embers of battle cooling in the freezing rain,
I called after him,
'I don't give a shit about The Gods either.'

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Will You Be Here?

In the dead black
I hear the oarlock rim-shot
of bone white drumsticks 
cutting concentric circles 
in rivers of ash.

A cat stands on a pier
stroking a kopeck through his whiskers.
A cat on his last legs
with his first paws stained caviar blue.

Will you be here?

I feel the dog's compass 
mercury shivering in my pocket
on the coal smoke hills 
of the lee shore.

Will you be here?

It's so hard to play the favorite
when the bishop's pit-boss fixes the odds.
It's so hard to say good bye
when I don't want you to be gone.

Will you be here?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ghostie's Lullaby

I saw the blossom sprout from the heart of the wood.
Without word, without thought.
I saw the blossom sprout from the heart of the wood
and I knew it was right and I knew it was good.

I  saw the crows feast on the eggs from the nest.
Without fingers, without hands.
I saw the crows feast on the eggs from the nest
and I knew it was certain and I knew it was best.

I saw the water sparkle on the edge of the tide.
Without footprints, without want.
I saw the water sparkle on the edge of the tide
and I knew it was true and I knew it was fine.

I saw the earth sowed with the seed made of bones
Without memory, without breath.
I saw the earth sowed with the seed made of bones
and I knew it was final and I knew I was home.