13 October 2016

sometimes we do
       sometimes we don’t

it’s all very well and good
there’s tall and then there’s tall
it doesn’t happen to us all

but it does
it’s hard
            it’s tough
you see
        the time slipped by
and the odd coincidences
                        seem to multiply

it makes me think
of the things done ‘wrong’
as if there’s any stock in that
       as if it makes any sense at all
to wear a hat
        when the weather’s nice
when the weather’s warm
           when you need the time
  but you can’t get born
you can’t get blood
     from beneath that stone
it’s better for you
                         to be alone

and wiser
lovelier too
more of them
than there are of you
      try to recall how to get in
      how to make it stir
make it stick

the ugly’s as easy to see
as any beauty will ever be
              it’s right at the top
it hangs down to the knees
       never says ‘thank you’
               only says ‘please’
only makes use
of the things you can see
it hasn’t a moment for make believe

there’s a long, dark hallway
and a fisheye lens
       once again
that everything

on where you’re looking from
and what can be seen
that the blues are certainly
the greens

that the blacks are certainly 

         so close to the whites
that you’d mistake the two
               if it was late in the night
or early on such an important day

that time took time 




12 August 2014

I am

It’s too late to tell you everything

In fact
it is too late


              to  tell you


It is

of course

my fault

I am sorry

                  I am

21 May 2014

six parts per million

the pillow comfort of
unlimited tomorrows

the police siren wails
the ambulance chases
they’re at it again

the time is
two sixteen
it’s pm
that means
post meridiem
that means
he shouldn’t be drinking
that means
they’re at it again

the road narrows
by the junipers
by the school crossing
where town gives way
to country
when the asphalt black
turns asphalt grey
and it’s the sad, sorry end
to the three lane

that are really more like
and a half
enough room for how it used to be
but not enough for how it is
and who knows if it’s enough
for how it will become


it is there
where they are at it again
where the blue lights flash
and the red lights flash
and we all know what will
end up
we all know that she’ll leave
but the question is ‘how’ as much
at it is ‘when’





there’s singing
and more sirens
a call
to an alliance
once struck
in the back seat

coming heavy are the
happy feet
the time passed
and passed again
before we were told
by three men
in shirts
and hats

enough alike
to be ‘of the past’
enough insight
to make it last
and the flashing lights went the other way
still flashing
they still had plenty to say

and the day before that
and the day before


he was tall
and slim
red hair and a beard
clinging to his wiry face
his hands
were unsure when he shook
there was no pressure
he had a nervous look
he didn’t quite know what to make
or how to make it

there was nothing
but an apology
for social ineptitude
for the lack of the truth
which was how
he was raised
 and happened only on weekdays
because that’s when
things tighten
that’s when
the male psyche
the life
gets squeezed
out of me


she kept saying
you are more than what they think you are
you are more than what they said
and i’m gonna keep thanking you
until i run outta breath
it’s the way
it’s the only way
i don’t so much ‘know’
as i do ‘wonder’ these days
about you
about everything
why the sun rises
and if that much is a lie
where the sun goes
and why it’s always at night





springtime’ll kill you
         if i don’t kill you first


it was a wedding ring moon
i sang that one before
 in spartanburg

he had a trumpet

hand-made by eldon benge
from way out in los angeles
where his brother lived
it sounded sweet

the low notes
better than any goddamned saxophone

that much i know

is it time to go home?


20 May 2014


we have already lost

have you talked to any of these young ones?

they love their jesus
they believe in the cross

they carry it with ‘em

and think that everyone should
you know

in addition to
buying stuff

that is something
to become
something not to be questioned
like doing things for kids
 supporting the troops while they’re overseas
and thanking ‘em when they get home
at least

i know that this is not a day to talk about such things

about the inevitability of having a war machine
and what that means

what it means is             that you’re gonna wanna use it

and these days
it seems
that sooner rather than later suits some folks      

but                      not                      me

i hear people say all kiiiiiiiinds of things

they say it’s a fact of life
the say it alllllways has been

and      that it always will be


i say (in my very best clay davis)
sheeeeeeeeeeee it


lots of things have alllllways been
right up and until

we (yes, we) decide
that we don’t need them

i mean
we decide it is something
we     no     longer         need

you could argue
and some did

the very same thing
that bit about history     about tradition

about ‘it’s allllllways been’



yes              you see

it had alllllways been
right up to and until
we came to realize

(some sooner than others)  (some wayyyyy sooner than others)

         that it’s not something we need
even then

some held onto the idea out of


(that’s the big one)

ownnnnning somebody has
(for the most part)
almost faded into history

why can’t we climb that same hill

with war

or poverty