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

Monday, September 03, 2007

the answer to everything

wander loosely, through this topsy, somewhat
turvey and ramblesome day, cause there are
wonderments to be found, left out on the sidewalk
maybe discarded, maybe simply lost

it may not be commonly known, as known as
iberian expletives, kazhak mortal curses, it may not be
simply understood, like dynamic field theory
that a penny found is a penny compounded
by luck

and under the guise of a nose knows, that dystopian
monniker, lie on your fallow path all sort of
combobulations, unclassified, with no schematic
counterpart, lying in perfect isolation and with no
small charm

yet you pass them by, sparkling silver dimes, rare
precious cartouche that may foretell, may capture perfectly
the future that you've sought, in rhapsodic detail
an enigma stone for fame, didactic yet profound

are you a bit beclouded, tired from jumping with the
grasshoppers, sharing mushrooms with your swamis
reluctant to bend for nickels, crouch for quarters
filling your pockets with snarks and jelly bellies

life flops about unhinged, on occasion, says your mother
that rampant maid-of-honor, tending to mauve satin sheaths
brown edged gardenias, tending to slippery satins
under 400 count sheets, clinically dispensed blues

says your pa, retired from his life of semis, from
detecting radar and radio shacks, says your wiccan
therapist encircling you with chalks and candles,
as it flops about unhinged as lucy with her henna

perfect toes, steak tartar, probably unattainable
for a weary hoofer left to fend the streets, flying low
with unshaved legs, just a snap away from the cross-eyed
blears, a few shame less tears, idly wondering why
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