Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chapter 2: The Lieutenant, AKA The Loo

Daniel Naquin, known as Little Dan by his extended family, did indeed grow up in southern Louisiana. Or, more specifically, Eunice - a small city west of New Orleans. His grandparents spoke little English; his parents a mix of Cajun French and Anglais patois. He obtained the affectionate moniker of Little Dan because a first cousin, born 7 months before our hero, had also been named Daniel. By this fortuitous circumstance of birth first born Daniel became Big Dan, though shortened to just Big as he entered middle school.  

Our Little Dan quickly discovered books, especially books with a mystery at their core. By the age of 6 he was reading his father's Hardy Boys collection. At 9 he'd wheedled the first tools of crime scene inspection: magnifying glass, Swiss Army Knife, compass, notebook, sketch book, binoculars and a hand-me-down camera. All of this was kept in a scrupulously maintained knapsack with numerous pockets and sleeves. He gradually added zip-lock bags, chemicals, gloves - until his parents despaired of any plans of medical school. But their despair turned to optimism when he stated at age 12 that law school might be an acceptable career path. One Uncle Gaspard took our lad under his wings at age 14. Uncle G, to Little Dan’s delight, was a sergeant with the Eunice police force. A solid cop, he had too little ambition, and truth be known, too little brains, to ever get any further. 

Our lad was but 5'4" at 15, 5'5" at 17, but an unlooked for spurt pushed him to 5'9" when he began classes at LSU in Baton Rouge. He dove into a pre-law curriculum, mixed with forensic sciences, with much enthusiasm. He was a slim, wiry young man with thick dark hair, large green eyes and a small, upturned nose. The nose was a mystery to his family, who had a long and glorious tradition of proud schnozzes, a la Francais.

Finally able to shrug off the moniker Little Dan, our Daniel did quite well in school. He had none of the family exuberance, however. He was a reserved - ah, we'll call it like it was: he was very, very shy. Shy to the point that he remained a virgin until his junior year. One unexpected birthday party led to a number of unwanted shots, which resulted in a tumble and a roll in the hay. When he woke the next morning in a stranger's bed, he was mildly amused that his first experience had been with a very blond, very athletic man. Said man did his best to capture our reluctant hero's heart, but was never able to move past an arduously held reserve. His attempts to storm the castle walls lasted into their senior year. Alas, the walls held and the dexterous and athletic suitor moved on.

With no family tradition to follow, Daniel graduated from LSU Law in the top 10%. But his interest in criminology held true, and the Lafayette, Louisiana force welcomed him with some enthusiasm. We'll skip the next 3 years - a tale better told at a later time - landing us gently in San Francisco, where we resume a turbulent, but fortuitous, introduction to Sionn.

Chapter 3: Sionn's Assault on the Castle Gates

Lt. Naquin managed to harangue, harass - and attempted to intimidate Sionn - for 3 hours. Sionn just leaned back, with an amused smile playing across some very voluptuous lips, answering tersely, when at all.

"Are you going to keep this up through the dinner hour, Lt. Naquin? If so, I'll need to change our reservation." Leaning forward, clasping his hands, "Your stamina is admirable. I like a man with stamina."

The lieutenant stood abruptly, "I'll have your statement ready for your signature and you can still make your dinner."

"I still have hopes that it'll be our dinner, Lieutenant."

"Is hell freezing over, Mr. Mac Cearnaigh?"

"I do believe it is, sir. And you pronounced my name quite well."

Daniel turned abruptly, leaving the interview room with a vehement slam of the door. His partner stood outside, watching the exchange and openly laughing. "Get to ya, did he?" 

Turning red, "I don't get that man. He acts like it was nothing, those kids. It's all a big joke to him, the whole dinner thing . . . the flirting, the too cool, laid back attitude."

"While you were in there being mortified, I tried to get some intel on the guy."

"What do you mean - tried?"

"Just that, tried. I even called in a favor from a friend with the feds. Whoever he is, it's gonna take someone a whole lot higher in the chain to get it. Classified, classified and then classified some more. My friend said to forget it - he wasn't gonna risk his career. And somebody called the Cap. We are officially to stay away from this guy unless expressly given permission. And he says that ain't gonna happen."

Daniel looked at the man who was now waving, mouthing 'Hi'. "Arrogant bastard."

His partner watched the act unfold, "Why, padnuh, I do believe he's pushing all your buttons. That's a first for the iceman."

Daniel turned sharply to his partner, "Just what do you mean by that? And what's with the iceman thing?"

"Just sayin'. Everybody knows you don't date. And the way these ladies gossip . . . well, ya know."

An hour later Sionn stood outside the station, leaning back against a fire hydrant, arms crossed. He was positioned so that he could see his prey leave through either the front door, or the back, which led to the parking area. 20 minutes passed before a still scowling Lt. Naquin appeared. He watched him pat his pockets, as if searching, or checking that nothing had been forgotten. "Are you good at what you do, Lieutenant?"

Naquin's head jerked up, spotting the casual figure. "Are you stalking me, Mr. Mac Cearnaigh?"

"Stalking? Are you in need of a stalker? Do I fit the bill?" He took a step forward, "You're taking this case very . . . personal. Is it because they're children?"

"Are you really the heartless bastard you're trying so hard . . ."

"Daniel! I’m neither heartless nor a bastard. The dead stay with us . . . always. And these, too, will stay with me.”

“So what's with the dinner thing? Do you actually think I would want to go anywhere with you, under any circumstances? And if you're hoping for a quick lay . . ."

"Oooh. I know there's nothing easy or quick about you, Daniel Naquin. But back up a minute - aren't you even curious as to why your partner's peekyboo into my life was . . . unsuccessful?"

"Huh? What are you talking about."

"Don't try to pull off coy. It'll never work. And you'd make a terrible poker player."

"It's basic procedure, nothing more. Did you really think we wouldn't confirm your identity? You're a material witness . . ."

"Nope - I'm not a material witness. I was not at the crime scene, I saw no crime committed . . . except the possible crime of disturbing the scene, or transporting dead bodies. And you aren't sure that the woman you arrested actually had anything to do with the homicides." Shrugging, "Sure - on the face of it she was the one seen moving the bodies. That, and her obvious . . . disinterest . . . " Spreading his hands, "Actually, this is an interesting case. Could be a career maker for an ambitious copper."

"You're crass. I see enough crass every day - I don't need to add to . . ."

"Oh! You've pierced my heart! I've been called many things - but never crass. But, hey - I can work with that."

Daniel had been staring at this odd man in utter amazement. "I have better things to do than stand on the sidewalk sparring with an idiot stalker."

"Back to the stalker. Oy vey! And just what are those 'better things', Daniel?"

"Anything! Anything is better than spending any more time with you!"

Sionn nodded, "OK. Obviously your indignation is trumping your desire to solve the case. That's a shame . . . but . . ." At this he turned and began walking away.

Daniel stood transfixed as Sionn left. He hadn't expected such an easy, abrupt retreat. "Wait! What did you mean - about solving the case?" 

Sionn stopped, but didn't turn. Daniel muttered under his breath, "Fuck. Oh, fuck." Louder, "What are you holding back? If you know something . . ."

Sionn simply raised an arm and waved him on. "C'mon sport. Dinner waits. That's the price to be paid."

Still muttering, "Oh mother of god." A little too loudly, "If I find out that you've been withholding . . ."

Sionn smiled, "Nag, nag, nag. Is that how we're gonna be?  Drama drama drama?"

"We? There's not going to be any 'we'. I'm an officer of the law and you're a witness. That's it."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's finally here - the first, and very rough, draft of a novel. I'll be adding chapters every few days along with rewrites, changes, etc. But be forewarned, this is a gay adult novel with very explicit scenes. It's also a mystery, twisted with supernatural elements. It is intended for mature readers only.

San Francisco Dreaming, Sex and Death


You are about to enter an urban fantasy. You’ll find death, sex, unexpected love, loss, and perhaps, horror. A fantasy that plays loose with time, with hearts, with the self.


The boy walked below his window every school day, a bag of books slung over a thin shoulder. Today he seemed tired, resigned, a bruise partially concealed by a sleeve grown too short. His hair was choppy, home-cut he thought. The heels of his shoes were worn nearly flat, the once white socks dreary with gray. His eyes followed the pattern of the walk, stepping over cracks, over tree roots that had broken the pavement long ago. The scent of puberty drifted above the night-blooming jasmine, exciting him. Soon.

He drew back the honey striped velvet drapes, but carefully avoided the morning sun. It pooled on the wide-plank cypress boards that ran throughout the house. Dust danced in the rays, creating arcane symbols. Mahogany bookcases lined the south wall, floor to ceiling, leather bound, cloth bound, skins of heretics, of saints . . . knowledge, lore, dissimulation, pride. His fingers twitched in the warming air, raising new symbols in the floating bits of earth.

Sliding back the pocket doors he entered a long wide breezeway, thick with the river damp. Voices from the French Market gave sing-song melodies . . . counting watermelons, selling redfish and pralines. The plaster was uneven over the brick wall, telling stories of long ago trysts, wakes, loss, of birth. The bubbled glass panes had trapped the air of dead men, giving the windows their haunt. 

He'd followed the boy home many times, down Decatur and into the Bywater. His four room shotgun sagged precariously, the front steps warped by one hundred years of summer. An older brother sold drugs uptown, to the college boys. A sister sold her tarnished goods to the tourists, walking up and down Burgundy or Dauphine. His father worked the rigs when rare episodes of sobriety interfered with his drinking. 

He'd tasted the sweetness of the boy just last month, lapping the flat belly dry. Soon. 

Chapter 1: Can Death Lead to Romance?

A cantankerous feral cat edged toward a limping pigeon. One wing tucked close to its molting chest, it seemed unaware of the part it was to play. A 1976 coupe de ville, resplendent in maroon, sliced into a no parking zone, feeding the street some Mexicali rap. 

So it was on a sunny June day in the Mission. The Irishman sat at a sidewalk table, half reading his tablet, half watching men walk, talk, amble along. A dark haired, slender hipster caught his eye - a shadow on his cheeks, tight tank, jeans rolled above bare ankles. Looking, then not looking. Indecisive, but it was mid-day after all. Perhaps it was simple sexual ambiguity. He suddenly waved, spotting someone across Valencia. With a glance and a shrug he walked away.

The man at the table smiled, evidently pleased at the exchange. His chopsticks searched through the remains of a deli mix, picking out dried cranberries and raisins. He pushed the diced carrots to the side. Tilting his chair back against the wall, he turned his face up toward the sun. His black t-shirt captured heat, counteracting the slightly cool breeze. Long, hairy legs ran down to small, arched feet in flip-flops. He wore decade old surfer jams from a summer Down Under . . . nicely faded, smoothed from salt and sand.

When his legs began a nervous beat he knew it was time to walk. 20th and Valencia had turned out to be a good spot, a nexus of sorts. Midway on Hipster Alley, and full of possibilities. But enough, for now. He walked down 20th to Mission and into the Dragon Bakery. The small Chinese woman behind the counter briefly looked up as the bell above the door jangled. Satisfied, she continued boxing a pink, round, 3-layer cake. He often came exclusively for their raisin buns. He chose two from the tall, battered display case, dropped a couple of dollars on the counter and left. He started toward Folsom, walking along the curb to remain in the sun. Passing a small Asian woman, he slowed to consider a strange rectangle of graffiti crowning a second story window.

It took a moment for his eye to recognize the stylized depiction . . . a man, on his knees, blowing another man. It was a daring, peculiar piece. Something about it tugged at the fringe of a memory . . . a similar work from long ago. A stifled scream broke through his small graffiti moment. A pretty Latina covered her mouth and walked, ran, stumbled down the street, not turning back. The small woman he’d passed leaned over a wide stroller, making shushing noises. Curious, he looked down.

Two boys, possibly 2 or 3 years old,  were slumped together. Beautiful children with soft blond hair. Their heads fallen awkwardly to the side, necks broken, blue eyes open. He looked again at the woman as she cooed. She had a slight smile, a jagged scar running from the corner of her mouth to her neck. A very small woman, barely five feet tall. He nodded to her and she shyly said 'hello'. Tucking in the corners of a blanket, she hummed an old Hmong sleeping song. 

She wore the deep indigo hemp clothing of the Black Hmong. Hand stitched, beaded and knotted. A woman from an ancient country, somehow here on 20th Street.  Kneeling beside her, he spoke cautiously in her native tongue, “Your children are very beautiful." She nodded, "They are ghosts." She looked at him carefully, “Are you a ghost? I cannot smell you.”

A crow fell to the sidewalk, fluttering at the last instant to stand just apart. It’s beak clacked, one claw scratched the concrete noisily. Large wings unfolded, tips against the ground.

"These ghosts once lived. Where is their father?"

Ignoring his question, "I go to the yellow priests. They will tell me what to do."

A second crow flew just above their heads, dipping, circling. A large brown rat skittered from an alley to stand next to a broken plastic bag. It raised up on hind legs, nose in the air, sniffing. Roaches began marching out of a street drain, wings beating with a synchronized rustle.

The small woman stood, “No, I cannot smell you.” She again started to push the stroller, watched by the crow, by the rat. 

He followed her to the corner and seemed to come to a decision. Pulling out a phone he made a call. "I'm at 20th Street and South Van Ness. There's a Lao woman pushing a stroller with 2 dead young boys. They seem to have had their necks broken." Listening, "She just turned south on Van Ness - shall I follow her?" She was past mid-block when several police cars pulled up and a number of uniformed officers jumped out and surrounded the woman.

He dispassionately watched the unfolding of an urban drama. Faces shifting with emotions - bare, curious, shocked, angry. Finally they requested his ID, questioning him until a young man in a charcoal gray suit approached. The officers cautioned him to stay where he was and walked with the newcomer to confer quietly. At last, the man in the suit looked his way and came over.

"Lieutenant." He offered his hand. 

"Do I know you?"

"No, not yet." 

"Then how do you . . . ?" 

A scruffy cat arched its back and howled. Blood circled its mouth, a feather caught as it dried. The lieutenant backed away as the animal began crawling forward, claws extended. Tawny yellows and browns carried the detritus of the streets. “What the hell . . . ?”

A large black bird perched on an eave above, following the hunt below. Its head bobbing up and down as dark sounds bubbled through its throat. A uniform leaned against his car, head bobbing in unison with the bird. Suddenly a booted foot hit the cat midsection, kicking it to the curb. The cat raised up, hissed and ran across the street.

“Whoa! Lieutenant - you were about to become cat food.” A tall brunette watched the departing cat warily behind mirrored sunglasses.

“Mother . . . uh, thanks, Sheila. That’s one seriously demented cat.” As he turned back to the Irishman a bloody feather stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

Reading his passport, "Sionn Mac Cearnaigh?" 

"Ach! You've ripped my poor name to shreds." Slowly pronouncing his name, he added, "You're from Louisiana, if that’s a soupçon of accent, n’est-ce pas? Brooks Brothers looks good on you." Grinning, "And your name, sir?"

Blushing down to his shirt collar, "I'm Lieutenant Naquin. Let’s start at the beginning, Mr. Mac Cearnaigh, shall we?”

Looking over the policeman's shoulder, Sionn saw the small woman handcuffed and put into the back of a cruiser. Crime scene techs arrived and started their routine. "There's very little to tell you, actually.” He gave a terse, impersonal recital. “You're quite young to be made loo. Impressive."

The sudden veer caught Naquin off guard. Sionn barely held back from laughing as the man again blushed. 

"If you're trying to flirt with me . . . there are 2 dead children. You're acting as if . . ." Frowning, "I need for you to come with me to give a formal statement."

"OK." Looking the lieutenant over, openly, "Do you have dinner plans? I'm thinking 'The House', about 8? My treat, of course."Naquin stepped up, almost nose to nose, "You're incredible. Absolutely incredible."

Sionn licked his lips, "Yep, I am. But it usually takes a little longer for someone to recognize it."

Naquin grabbed his arm, "The car. Now. The only place I'm going with you is to the station. And if there's any charge I can come up with for your snarky ass . . ."

"Hey! My ass isn't snarky." Looking back over his shoulder, "It's generally considered a very nice ass."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pub crawl! the Seattle way. And posing for your indubitable pleasure is the Seattle artist Isaac Layman.
This iPhone snap is the anti-anti of his work - ergo no artistic thievery will be claimed. But alas, my mission up here in the great beyond is closing to an end. Revel, San Franciscans, for I return.

Monday, September 08, 2008

chasing the trance

old ladies, swaying, clapping
moving to that strange unseemly rhythm
blue hair, silken, unnatural hair
praying in the dimmery of the day
done chasing lost souls, are they

sit down where the old men hunker
polished pews, flickered candles
as they watch their women
chase the trance, watch their
tongues call jesus

holy, holy, what a fine diversion
keeps me satisfied, keeps me warm
ain't no devil knocking, knocking
at this homely, cherished door
listen, won't you, to salvation
may keep you kneeling
on the floor

old ladies, swaying, praying
up to the dawn
selling penance, oh ain't it pretty
i hear forgiveness in the wind
yes, if i had my way, that hot wind
would kiss these lips, and
i'd burn this old place down

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

feeling the call

looking at pictures, watching them fade
as black into gray, white is no clearer
when days are gone long
yes, momma used to jitterbug
in skirts with no pleats, her
shoes gone to goodwill, sunday morn
photos of picnics, iced tea and stained lace
yes, watching them fade

i can rock by the mirror, as after
noon slides, tap my toes in the
summer blown dust, watching them fade
gone autumn, gone cold, wintry silver
takes hold of my hair, but i rock
by the mirror, and see only sun
flying by

may be movies are twirling, and
flickering at night, choppy voices from
places forgot, was i ever so gentle
did i smile when you sang, was i shorter
or taller, as slender as air, or am i
dreaming the long shallow dream

this house calls a reckoning, for
paying the tab, for hours we've borrowed
one, at a time; there's an end to a debt
says a tale i once heard, there's a time
when you'll follow, was i ever enough
but i'm gone in my roaming, as i rock
in this chair

feeling the call

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

davey and me

well, davey and me, we've
been cryin' in our soup
sittin' on our old brown stools
oh, i was laughin' in the twilight
saddin' in the sun
all roun' yesterday

come fiddle with me, sally
music makes a ghost
twangin' strings n poundin' keys
ain't a drummer in the city
got a thing up on this lad
oh, but davey and me, we're
sad to see

jelly beans n brown marshmallows
crispy from the fire, then
take me tootin' to the funeral
long black limos full of doors
or i could crash a weddin'
in my tux, a pretty sight
yes, i'm handsome as the devil
on clean sheets

oh, davey and me, we've been
cryin' in our soup

Monday, June 30, 2008

life, no. 1

sittin' with that old man, causing bout the day
laughin' at the lies we've told
that is a joyous juice he makes,
swirlin' brown and smoky, snakey
with a sting

i got two brown feet, tired from
runnin', good for just the two-step
and a lazy eye for nights gone dark
may be you've seen me, chasin' flies
out in the garden, lightnin' in the

yes, lawdy, i'm out sittin' with the old
man, but we've no hymns down in
our chests, we've no blessin's, no
i dance the blues, up in my window
where the yellow sun has bent some

oh, i'm ghostin' with my momma, as
her rocker keeps its time, hear her
cryin' when the moon's fell by, hear
her stories, little sadness, raisin cookies
make me smile

ain't life dandy, hard as funerals
soft as wakes and irish tunes
lads gone off to find their war
ain't life simple, but hard as kisses
and gettin' old

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

scattered, in the wind

i've gone down from heaven
made some wings of salt
can't you smell the ashes scattered ?
just like honey in the wind

you've been walking for the sundown
old black hymnal singing choir
asking jesus for a favor
momma's child gone worn and frail

you liked your dresses blue in flowers
soft from drying on the line
old hot sun done made you crinkled
ain't that just the way of things

i've gone down from heaven
tired of angels, goodness bare
sure could use some fancy whiskey
paper label from tennessee

i'd trade his throne for barefoot dancing
for pain, sweet jasmine all the night
you'd sit for hours, stare at that mirror
i never knew you, no not at all

memories have lost their hold
lost their bitter taste
soon that man i was
will go a'scattered in the wind

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

the float

he was an immoderate man, choking d-flats into
his steel horn, riffing down ill-tempered a-sharp
sugary crusty donut shaped violations

he throned those iron steps scratched out
from his bedroom window, splayed his toes
shook his arms to free the juice

listening down, waiting out the breathing that
stole a few half-chordal splutters, squint-eyed
o-ing his lips to mimic back a few

maybe he'd coda out some butchy-boy noise
blonde hair glisses, frat-bunny do-wah do-wahs
crossin-the-bridge makin-time atonals

his leg found some dancing, shaking a wrong
old beat stutter stutter what'd-i-ever-do-to-you
and everybody knows boys don't cry

boys don't get sweet inspiration, make sweet
choices, make supper with sushi make-believe
and he splayed his toes cross the edge iron

steps, swimming in the moonlight, gripping
shimmying, chasing dizzies, gutting out
and making kisses on his horn, steel smooches

making him a good boy, an honorable boy
a make-me-proud boy, and he gripped the
iron one last time, then did the float

Monday, May 05, 2008

i have a window

i have a window, made of old stuff, grayed out in the sun, where
i can make my spying, safe and full-up with the warm of day,
and it never shadows my careful eye, never leaves me open

to the hardness lying by, it is a window special to my taste,
obedient to my ways, i am become here precious

i have a savory flavor, and i may cause with you, bring you
arias from the world away, pander you with scotches, rums
and scents, leave you pleasured, should i gift you with

lollipops and whispers

come sit with me, i am rare as those hothouse secrets,
i was an old man yester day, drunk up with churchy
hymning, drunk up with frittery oratory, but i have a window,

where i can tango in the dark, wear some fancy glimmers,
bring my little frivols to the play, i have watched you making
kisses, and i'll favor you my bruises, imagine you with blushes

we'll forget the sun betakes us both unkindly, if only you will
sit with me

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


gentle jimmy
died tonight
8:04 pm is nearly dark
not black in mourning
soft with gray, rich in shades
but i'll go walking
heel to toe
careful where the streets
bend unlit
i'll jump across the alleyways
hiding jimmy's dreams
all full up with fear
i may be but
trust is trust, all wrapped
in care, i think i do
love smoky liquor
brown or gold, caught
by moonlight
then we'll speak bout gentle jimmy
or dance the digger's two-step
on the 19th avenue

dying's got a speak
all of its own
though it comes and goes
now forgot, now remembered
they say all life's got ebbs
got tides and turnings
or is it just my sweet
hot whiskey
that sleeps in this old bed
sweet faithful lover

gentle jimmy
died tonight
done in from chasing angels
if i can merit, can understand
the streetly choir
weren't he but a child, or
am i wandered
am i seeing past the glass
and through the mirror
8:04 pm is not nearly
dark enough
for dying

Saturday, April 12, 2008

the hot house flower

leg crossed over knee, with fine display of
tan socks, loose and overwashed socks, j c penney
season 1974, no doubt recovered, no doubt
discarded, or are they beige

he may be seeking treasures, in his bold
blue pant, belted closely, firmly held, may be
on the chase, pale arms sheltered in a triumph
of the clorox corporation

as he sits, long fingers tap tap tapping
some times paused, in a delicate rhythm
profane with jazz hip spasm, uncrosses to an act
with startled calf, and smiles

and you whisper, bent incautious, breathless toward
my ear, that you desire him, watch and devour
him, he carries baubles, ragged pages, hair flown
furious, this instant man

but i can't see him, though i strain, though i
could reach across and touch his shadow, hear
some sibilance from his lips, and know they
have a fullness made to blush

and you whisper, mouth unforming, watch
his slowly nodding chin, that you desire him
would caress him, he of the j c penney
season 1974

i'm indecisive, there is a haughty and entirely
demanding, conundrum, where does line go sharp
between the tan and the weighty beige, where
does my fashion sense begin

but faced with such fine drama, can i turn away
miss even a mini-episode from your unexpected
gift? here as we sit, and sip our marvels, soy unfatted
doubled, preciously caffeinated

yes, his legs are crossed, eyes star-tossed
or so you say, bent incautious, crassly salivating
and if he wears boxers, paisley manufactures
from the house of sears

will you still want him, hot house flower
he may be

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


i'm gone lost
and i'm gone out of dreams
ain't i

yes, i say i been travelin
far off places, cause
you love your bits
of sweet romance

lovin butterflies, darker
flowers, glowin in the shade
so i kiss you full of mysteries
don't i

breathless, you sit and listen
and for you i'll shape some words
round, fullsome, and cut away
the bitter

but i'm gone out of dreams
been flowed over, lyin in the sun
near drowned, neath the weight
of butterflies

and taste my tears

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

i am

i am the healing man
oh lordy, full of comfort
i am

and you have fallen
out of grace, and lie there
hungry, but

were you ever just an angel
and i am never blinded
in the dark

i am the comfort man
oh lordy, full of healing
i am

sitting in your window
drinking full of scent

do you think to weave
and bind me, sorcel me
with magicks

i am the dancing man
oh lordy, jealous in the hours
i am

so call out, call out
if you have some voice, some

for your healing man
oh lordy, leave me with my dreaming
i am

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


churchy boys, wauling down on 7th street
tappy with some hymnals, and jumping
with their fever, oh lordy, if my old gray
pants, if

but i don't listen to the whispering of the son
no sugah, don't make absolution, shining at
the greyhound stop, smiling to the cadillacs
clicking nickels, in my old gray pants, if

young sammy ran with the hard cap fellas
while his momma rocked, jumped up to a polka
and sang along in black and white, to her
emerson deluxe, crocheted for salvation, yes

if my old gray pants can keep their magic
you know that pennies find their way, but
dimes are silver, last forever, small and tidy
and my pocket's wide, and deep, only

i haven't told you, cause i keep my secrets
they took my place, at the greyhound stop
where the cadillacs they roam, proud and
sleeker than you know, sniffing for my scent

jesus find me, lost away on 33rd, wiping
chevies, and keep me young, just til these
old gray pants, they lose their charms, if

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

bees and honey

honey, i'm sweet as melted butter
see the slippers on my bedroom floor
tossed, crisscrossed, cause i like my toes
all bare

brown from swimming in the old maid pond
rustling with the willows, fancying
summer kisses, or was i howling
to the moon

gone ragged memory tales, jimmy-jagged
made up tales, telling stories like my
daddy, passing through the windows
dark in night

ain't girls that pretty, slinky made of
twists and slopes, razzled in the hallway
mirror, spinning like a top, just to make me

but words, all come and go, whispry
and know that i'm a liar, given to
confabulations, a hunter with my soft
feet, i am a caution

or says the honey to the bee

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

noel, no. 3

eddie done the slips, fell with the slides
rocking with the shiver, all blinded in his winter

gone, check it off, some list grown short
and slashed, wrack it slowly, pencil finally

edge him into goodwill, dodgy wear-washed
cast-me's, as we laugh against the dollar rack

and try to guess the potions, anxious oily lotions
cremes from overstock, warehoused somewhere by

is my eddy, foiled again, skipping breaths once,
twice, cloudy in the afternoon, and he wonders if
he's kissed

alley hopping, hoody thugs slamming hip-hop
miming dead end arias, eying salty eddy under

is our life, was and going to be, our life, over and
again, bouncing on the hedges, tiptoed to the ledges

tie it, down, and tightly tie it, for the run, for the
streetly frolicks, and if we lose, or throw it, blow

i'm wise, glowing in the disco ball, endless wise
me, making dance, shaking to the ghostey years

Monday, December 24, 2007

the long but not drawn noel, no. 2

i'm gone long, drawn out like sheepdog running
just a lopsided and bluesy boy, maybe shouts
when the night gets long, do i

got still some hopscotch, do i, and make scratch
jenny, or she is suzy, surely a bit of laughing
lady, ready for her romp

sling this new day, quilty all of older stuffs
cause when she wears old jasmine oils
blinds me sure enough, do i

if you're thinking, lazy long and old man thoughts
you will be hankered there, sure for hours
grumpy and tapping feet

i got some flying in me, do i, and blow over
all that ocean, leap the slips of water, just to
blink sweet sally's way

prayerful fella, wink there to the sun's down
and we can heist your uncle's dimes, scoop
those heavy nickels to a tune

jabber fella, i'm long here by your aunty's chair
long for that warm and gentle chair, do i, where
it's dark and knows best

i feel the marvel, do i

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

mystery song, no. 3

dark talking fellas, do they make their whisper
corner standing fellas, slying and looking
ready to be a thief, and watch their brown eyes
turn blue

sing-song blues, humping and thumping
foot tapping stuff, just made for fools, for heart
hunting strangers making their time
out of time

jesse, come back from your travel, cause the
clouds are gone hard, thick with some heavy

i find them fearsome, these jabber and stomping
men, snapping and cracking, riff-raffing down my

what is this life i lead, ordered like some sergeant's
bark, but it gives me no sleep, shoving fierce into the

lord, he watches and he listens, counts the quick
little whiskeys, as i brown my toes with the falling

tell me quick, about this life, have i gone astray
have i done wrong, lord, and some times you love

cause i can see the end

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a thief

night, splattering red across my windows, and we're
tired, this night and me, waiting, wearied down
by sour whiskey, twisty and dancing in tosses,
by turns

deceitful lover, is my night, false hour by hour
stealing minutes, and i feel it stalking, lurking
prowling, hoping to creep into my bed, but i
have no room there

i sing some small romances, don't i, while i am
living this life, surprised some times, by your
little nothings, forgotten in my shallow corner
darkly worn

and i don't know you, or did i ever know you,
i have my weakness for the thief who takes
my baubles, then slips away to leave them
every where

i fall bound, wrapped into my old thin bed
ragged pillows, blanketed by my father's
whispers, tied with memories, tied from
losing you

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A few selections from days gone by


susie sells her socks, but only after church, down by
charlie’s gate, and only to the catholic boys, cause they
have dimes and pennies, pockets full, and blushes on

their cheeks, and when the moon has slipped away, the
doors have darked and shut to strangers, she skips across
the pastor’s lawn, makes her prayers, sly with promise

sly with woman twists, sings her happy patter, and hides
her favorite monies, down in the deacon’s garden, scented
with old granny’s lilacs, scented with some magicks that

her daddy tossed aside, and susie weaves some charms
that would leave her momma danced in pride, wickeds
up the night time airs with fabulous concoctions. oh, yes

our susie, our heart’s delight

- - - - - -


he sat behind a mirror, drinking bourbon sweet and sassy
waiting for the sun to rise, waiting for the dawn to warm his
toes, laying riffs up on the window sill, in that same ol’ same ol’

and he dreamed, and he tasted old and salty wounds, and he
sang, chasing katydids, waking up the sugar apple trees, and he
laughed, cause days are short and sleeping’s lost its way

so he rocked, with his daddy’s slow and easy, wrapped in
d.ellington’s aharmony in g, waiting for his lies to lose their
joyful ways, and the sun to rise, and the bourbon turn to scotch

- - - - - - -

lost in queens

i watched his finger tap a samba beat, listening to vivaldi,
but he whispered e.merman jollies from a corner la-z-boy

and still, the sun will set as he darks the air with shades
and little torments, and still, he breathes his minor key
complaints, warbly rodondos, caprices in a sutra style

why am i lost in queens, besotted by some sweet fandango,
causing gently with my old-man and sillied by the sun

why do i fill him up with my 7-penny stories, buy vanilla
frapaccinos for this malted debonair, in his store front
parlor, in his lounge left discarded by a disco dancing swell

he’s drawn with such casual dissidence, a jangly composition
and relishes my lies with a hunger raw and sharpened for a feast

or have we simply been misplaced, and chance would have us
make our waltz, make us giddy with our heady and flamboyant
spins, a doo-wop boy and a barber with a sunday night despair

give me my salty whiskey, if i’m to while away the day, so i can
sing some janis joplin, and listen to vivaldi, and finally go my way

Monday, October 01, 2007

an extended haiku in a-minor, riddle

muscular organs
they move yet
their murmurs give us

you're alone
do you know

i can take

Thursday, September 27, 2007

From the ongoing Songs of Childhood

mystery and hot chocolate

shared rooms, narrow beds and unquiet places
night wise sounds that easily torment
raw breaths, loosely opened windows bring

when alien, exotic noise ratchets on those
uncomforting walls, brickey and dusty
odd uneven row upon row, crumbled

frank walks on stone floors, jimmy on
wood, both on the look, the watch, making
their summons, driving in dreams for
the out

billy's caught in the old song, sharp, or
minored, he can't change the key, escape
the octave of his birth, a casual after

old houses tire easily, afraid of people
watching for despair, keen eye, laughing
with their money, carefully woven

but they have a duty, when children
find them home, want some refuge
have a purpose against idle passers

parents can be fickle, forgetting in their
ways, leave joy outside the garden gates
or follow roads that wind and torment

wally keeps some vigilance, dark-eyed
dances on the roof til dawn, makes small
mumbles to the bees, the wasps, old black

so turn the days, so wait the children
where they lay, where they mark their hours
well within that mystery where you leave
hot chocolate

and forget

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A tidbit from songs of childhood

the boy at the door

an orphan is an orphan, though he smiles
very properly, turning his mouth, twisting
his lips, a mimic of strangers who stare

as he worries of tears, of rips and worn
creases, hiding a spot where his supper
had flown

he has flight in his fancy, sitting by doors
reading of birthdays, of candles, surprise
of gifts everlasting

of waking at Christmas, ice falling through
air, but Santa's for children with parents and

with chimneys that beckon old men without
care, and he knows there are rules, for boys
in the night

lessons to learn, if a lad hopes to leave
to wander, to search for the reason he sits
at the door

Thursday, September 20, 2007


are you sleeping, silly sammy, here by highway 95, lying
on the daisies, warm beneath the august sun, are you dreaming,
little fella, miles from all the city's ash, getting comforts

where you may, but i never took you for a country lad, never
knew you found some pleasures far from boylston by the bay,
or has your daddy sent you roaming, off to chase your troubles

far away, have you finished with your poker, poured your
whiskey in the fields, taken solace where the toughs may
let you hide, but are you sleeping softly, sammy, and i can not

see the rising of your pride, or hear your wildsome mutters,
what are these curious bruises, why do they steal the laughter
from your lips, so perhaps i'll keep you company, here on 95

but just until you wake, and we'll go jolly into town, one more time

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the story

all this story, word by word, breathed out
started in, punctuated in hands gone shaking
commas derelict, periods haphazardly strewn
minor jitterbugs of sics, et als, loopy tries for

illustrated with no. 2's, henna, ungainly pastiche
of upper caps, italicized with fervor, all this story
paragraph by paragraph, set adrift in life raft
fashion, hopes set afloat but not for posterity

what a life, this tale would like to tell, like to
ripen with belief, what a voyage has gone
unnoticed, as you doze amid your pens, holy
oils, tibetan inks, as you bounce your little

what defines the real, a lopsided word, heavy
toward the end, or settles on the shoulder, raucous
as a parrot, sharp beaked, clawed for furious
action, come to steal the mealy tidbits of your

are you sliding, crippled, mesmerized, into
the awful hours, the screaming minutes, into
seconds lost into the night, are you fasting
out of hunger for affection, making pages, making

this life, this story, nothing more than vanilla
than frothy latte, cinnamon sticks standing in
recycled cups, tapped with enya, comforted by
roly buddhas, this tale won't bring you fame

watch my hands and i will sorcel the airs
i will weave the elements, draw on the fire
dowse for waters where we sit, for this is our
mystery, and we're at the edge, whistling into
the abyss

Monday, September 17, 2007

no. 3, from songs for women who would be wayward


blues fisted, old steel guitar, so he stomps his feet
and calls, hello honey, buckle up cause you will be my baby

he makes a wicked laugh, strumming, humming
and southern caterwauling gives him thirsty plans

but he likes his hair red, watches girls grow older
shake their skirts, tip toe by him slowly, and give him

gin is for the spirituals, whiskey for the funerals
churchy hymns go best with black rum, coca-cola

and he knows that life ain't straight, like lines up on
the wall, takes his opportunities deep with a shuffle

ladies from the city, husky voice and full of secrets
like his feet brown, with country sun, honey raw but

no, he takes life twisty, peppery with magicks
rides your window like a cowboy, sly where you make

any one can count the days, and he knows that there
is no moral to this tale, no leaky rainbow, melting on the

he smiles, rich with his lazy tongue, crafty gambler
gives you dice to make a play, spin 'em, roll 'em

Friday, September 14, 2007


there are rules for an orphan, written by machine
taped or tacked, hammered and nailed, here there
by windows and doors, gentle reminders
strong aversions, principles for living with some use
some purpose, to clear the doubt that might be

for an orphan may have an expectation, as he
waits up in the window, watching cars, counting
passers by, searching faces for some kindness
for some willingness to share their beds
perhaps a name, he searches in the eyes of

he may be wracked by jealousies, as golden
folk give nod and smile but leave him smit
choosing lads far younger, leaner in their needs
choosing lads with bluer eyes, a keener nose
who smile without his anger or his tear
his regret

an orphan is an orphan, though he finally makes
the man, carried by his little torments, unsure
of roads that lead into the world, stumbled
by perplexity, bowed by wonder and out to
seek the rules far from his door, holding his
heart's small murmur
the book

a book can lay confusion, across the bed, as you
wait for trees to blossom, watching wally walk away
that prince of roamers, sensing summer's wariness
ready to search for duty, for use and purpose
where he'll soon forget

but you've lost yourself, bits and shambles
weakened as the days come forced upon you
it's a bitter thing, to know spring as you do
thrown upon the breaking grasses, greener
than you remember

a book will carry portents, shade the morning
with foreign clouds, let the snows of winter linger
far beyond their days, might offer grace when
the airs are heavy, give you a song for your
vigilance, stony in the window as he slides
through evening fog

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the word

she won't say the word, and reads that tattered book
turns the pages, yellowed-brown, worn by other
fingers, worried by other eyes, a strange and curious
tale of children, somewhere far and wondrous, besieged
by danger, that she knows full well

or does she know the word, unheard here where
she hides, unformed by gentler mouths, unfierce
mouths, as pages turn, where oaths are made
she knows untold that children slaying dragons
have gone into the west

and she'll always be alone
from the songs of childhood, #7

the orphan

an orphan is an orphan, even while
the trees go bare, even while
the curious peek, they peer
quizzing and probing, seeking
problems to be cured

his window is for keeping
hard at bay, prowlers making rounds
hauling wonder on the back, pockets
full of temptations rare, bedeviled
beads and trinkets

an orphan never sees the ocean, or
ponders with the crows, never plays
at karaoke, but learns the small lessons
tricky and twisty lessons, that may lie
unbidden at his door

an orphan may excel at haiku, perhaps
dante, read the caterwauls of sartre
if kind strangers toss them overworn
up and over, sliding through, the cautious
gates of orphandom

he may cross a field of bending corn
making ramble, glide into the ins and outs
of weary, if the walls are high and know
their duty, if the sun is giving, this
furtive ward, properly tagged

an orphan is an orphan, after papers
have been signed, stamped and folded
filed away from memory, in a room
where lives are ordered, sealed
with wax, and hope

he may sing, when gulls go far astray
when dreams seek sun, he may sing
he may

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the long forget

blues, and when we want to dance, we dance
lost that small, that little bragging love somewhere
behind, a few steps back, a 2-step to the side
i wave my hand, make music while i'm hanging
next to you, think about the day slipped slow
think about my silly promises

i can quick steal words out of the air, even
from the sky, from dangly tunes, lopsided lyrics
leave my inspiration ragged, and from the inside
i know, catch me failing you, plunk my wood
guitar, loose some murmurs, the time to be
knocking on the end

i start the long forget
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