Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Trabajo Mucho

May Day
celebrating the worker
examining the balance sheet
watching things tip further
in the wrong direction
for so many

A Case Against Wakefulness

Lately, sleep won't let me up
An alarm sounds, I curse,
Shut it off and fall instantly
Back into dreams


Monday, April 29, 2013

Soldier's Things

Cut Of His Jib

I can see now
at my present age
that he isn't really a
captain of anything, just
harmlessly crazy, trying to
make us all feel a little safer
and in control which is a pretty
captainly thing to do after all.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Before Lights Out

not toughening
a step in that direction
maybe I need to learn to 
laugh again

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tom Waits. Heartattack and Vine. 1980.

Something Grimmer Than Faith

Those that stand to help

are assailed by evil
rising from that
very same place


combined with the
indifference of god

and the relentlessness
of time

makes for a
poor prognosis


they will do
it again

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Goodbye, Richie Havens.

War No More?

It dawned on me when I heard about a bomb blowing up innocents close to home (unlike so many other bombs and so many other innocents elsewhere) that I have to end war. Not fight it, pit myself against or resist it, but end it entirely. War is in my every thought. It's contained in every cell of my being. This is going to be a job.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Takeaway

"No more hurting people. PEACE."
                                                            RIP, Martin Richard, Age 8.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tom Waits. 1978. Blue Valentine.

If I had to pick a favorite, this is it.


Wake into another situation I can hardly believe
You could laugh or cry or just lie here catatonic
But you'd better steel yourself, face it, and
Take the next step.

Monday, April 15, 2013


All of us
every where
every day

Find it in your self
to inhale what is positive
essential, true

Find in your self
all that is negative
unimportant, false
and exhale fully.

We are more
than what you have
to use against us.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Criminal and stiff as rigor mortis
with a cartoon frown hanging down
to the ground

Most of what I see doesn't register
until a hawk flying toward me
down Main Street locks eyes

False, sick, diminished
can't shift my point of view
a state of mind paralysis

The day slips by, nausea persists
the tension in my back
makes my chiropractor laugh

Tom Waits. Small Change. 1976.

The third studio album. Better and better.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mi Amigo Borracho

Finding a spot on a bench
in a Spanish speaking red brick city
to eat two hot dogs deep fried in oil

The sun makes it the first summer-like day,
while over me flies a big ragged crow
both of us are looking down into the canal

He's drunk, short, stocky, brown
and through a combination of his
poor English,  my poorer Spanish
and some ridiculous pantomime

I learn that his Mama was from Mexico
and his Papa from Honduras, and that he is here
in Lawrence without money or enough work

No, not the crow,
my friend with the can of malt liquor in his jacket
his work is in concrete and brick, his rough hands
are proof enough.

He learns through inspection
and with what looks like pride
that unlike so many gringos
I don't have any tattoos
or piercings in my face or tongue.

We laugh together and hug for a moment
in this strange gang-painted city
both of us misplaced in time and

Tamikrest - Aratane N'adagh

Man, the treasure of community radio. Thanks, WCUW.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Preaching The Unpracticed

No words of my own tonight
Just drowsy and unknowing

Someone asked me why
I stopped believing

Don't trust the messenger, is all,
But I suppose anything is possible

The sound of the boy's heavy sigh stays in my ears
So disappointed in himself for spilling, tripping, striking out...

Try to teach him to be
gentle with himself

Tom Waits. The Heart of Saturday Night. 1974.

Tom Waits. Closing Time. 1973.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wednesday Evening Blues

Lab Work

Avoided medical professionals for the last five years
now it's something with the back, the hips,
making it tough to walk, sleep, bend or lift a leg

But it makes you realize you lived a long time
mostly free from any real pain except
for the kind you make for your self
in your head

This morning they took a little blood
your skin seemed to try to hold the needle
someone will call if the results are concerning
while outside, the cold wind just continued

Somewhere else, someone I know is locked away
younger, brighter, enthusiastic until now
attacked, too young, by unfathomable forces
and asking me how to get out

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Family Holiday

Another holiday with family
evidence of time passing
wear shows on everyone
there are only a certain number
of these


A Small Stage

I'd have to say
it's good to find
some enthusiasm within
and uncork it for a little while
sing, dance, yell, clap your hands

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