To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed. You could line up all the pols in the U.S. in a straight row and examine them head to toe and not find a single man or woman capable of admitting, never mind ending, the corruption of their vocation--Buddy Dooley

Sunday, February 27, 2011


To My Muse Early in the Morning


the touch of
your fingers on
my balls!
drunkard’s wine
the killer’s
not even
they compare
nor give as much pleasure
nor measure up

the touch of
your fingers on
my balls is
an opiate
my love!

it is an
ecstasy finer
than the sheerest dream
finer than reams
of exquisite prose!

my lovely
lovely muse
I have it in for you
as you do
for me

let us dance
together tonight
on an imaginary
in an
imaginary room
in an imaginary
clinging like
insects to
our indomitable lust
us and
and nothing more


I knew that day
and the day before
as you walked the
path along
the river

I was yours
under a sweat-soaked
to do with
to hurt
to laugh
to weep

what’s more
you leaned against
the riverwall
and beckoned me
like a whore

on your lips
the words formed
like molded sweets—
come dumb poet
you pathetic man
into my arms
need me

how could I resist
such a clear song?
what man could
other than the killer
or the dead?


on our first date
you did not hesitate
to tell me
I ruined the years
before that day

your honesty!
your bitchiness
impressed me so
I began to ruminate
while denying
your real ambition—
to touch my
balls was
your solution

with some care
and contrition
I allowed you the
opening move
a tremulous hand
under the table
flitted against
my knee and then
and then
the coffee in
the cup before me
swirled up
like an ocean swell
and drained
out in my lap

a small case
of the nerves
I imagine!

but I wanted
you my lovely
lovely muse
how I ached
for you!


we have been
together now for years
with your fingers
touching my balls
and you have only
gotten better
how can a man
at sixty be so childlike
I wonder?
so full of
love for his
muse that he feels insane?
so confused
yet clear in one thing—
that his muse’s
touch is all
he can claim?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Idiot of the Week/Scott Walker

Any questions?


from Cello Music & Other Poems

The line came to me and I really didn't know what to do with it. So I turned it into something that may or may not resemble a poem.

The Bright Ones Run Alone into the Night

the lights come on at
six-thirty every morning
but you don’t care because
you’re already gone in your mind

you were up at 4 a.m.
gulping the swill coffee

you’ve taken a piss and shaved
and counted your money

you haven’t slept
but getting out of this place
is more important than sleep
and you want fresh air

you knew what it would
be like here
before you arrived
your back stooped
all you own in a shoulder bag
your empty pages
stuffed in a single side-pocket

at check-in you
gave them a name
but you’re uncertain whether
you have spoken
your name or the name
of a dead man

they want to know who
sent you and where you’re from
but they don’t care
how you got here or why

looking around
you realize you’ve fallen
into a trap

the snoring is a coded message
a riddle you must solve
on your own—but your life
has become an unanswerable lie
as you walk out the door

returning to your bed
amid the stench and piles of
cheap crime novels
you will see the bright
ones run alone
into the night


Monday, February 21, 2011

from Cello Music & Other Poems

The title poem from my latest collection.

Cello Music

I imagine pulling a bow
across your strings
and hearing your voice as you
respond to my expert playing

You are softer than you seem
as I bow and pluck you—

Delirious arpeggios
staccato riffs
tremulous sounds cascade down

I imagine playing you slowly
under water with a crush
of current against my chest

My left hand drifts
to your slender neck as
I bow and improvise;
my right hand moves in perfect
union with your perfect pitch

I imagine playing you on
a sleepless night
I sit up in bed and lay you
across my thighs and
play you with such ease you
begin to moan and cry
while the neighbors
listen to cello music.


Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Book

I've put a new collection of poems together. This is some recent work and a few droppings I've been playing with over the past few years. I've spent recent days attempting to polish this and make it work. Here is a sample:

When a Man Grows Old

When a man grows old and his
energy ebbs he turns to writing poetry
When a man grows old women look
beautiful but what can he do
When a man grows old he resents the
machinations of politicians and kids
When a man grows old and his teeth
turn yellow he scorns his friends
When a man grows old his poetry leaves
him empty until he drinks a beer
When a man grows old night becomes
stranger than the days of his past
When a man grows old time flows
backward to a sense of what lasts


Three for the Road

Here is what I'm listening to today. James Low, a recording he made at Mississippi Studios in NoPo, which includes a cover of John Prine's "Pretty Good". I'm a huge Prine fan and Low does it more than justice.

I'm listening to some middle period Dylan, "World Gone Wrong," which certainly seems to be the case at times. It is always swell to ponder Dylan. He's 70 now, imagine that.

And thirdly, I'm revisiting The Dillards. "The Early Recordings--1959." I was eight when this recording was made. And I didn't discover it until years and years later.

If you could pick up all the pieces of the things you have missed and then discovered late in life, reassemble them and tack on the years that you slept through, everything would be that much better.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Revolution?

The Egyptian revolt is an interesting case study, isn't it? What I find remarkable about it is how it drives home how power actually functions in a nation once the rhetoric has diminished and realpolitik takes over.

Naturally, a compromise is being sought among the elites who actually control the nation, as a few of the usual brokers have arrived with made-over resumes. Among them are the killers and thieves who a month ago were right there with Mubarak of course. They're attempting this with the West watching carefully over their shoulders, making sure things are done just right so as to not threaten U.S. and E.U. influence in the region.

It is silly to think that anyone from outside the Egyptian power elites will crack the lineup and change things--though obviously some change will have to occur. How much is the only question. The people have become a terrible distraction all of a sudden; a bone or two will be tossed their way. But the usual suspects will prevail.

In the U.S. we have these ridiculous elections (as opposed to meaningful ones) that make a mockery of freedom by not providing much real leeway in policy, institutional revitalization, or substantive change. One set of power brokers leaves, another fills the void. But look, both sets are usually always made up of the same troupe of puppets and influence peddlers. That's politics. Slimy stuff.

Obama couldn't have gotten there without appeasing the filthy rich "liberal" corporate sect. Before him, GWB had to take his lumps from the "conservative" corporate sect. Not much is different between them, though I actually believe Obama is the smarter and funnier of the two.

In Egypt, as elsewhere, follow the money.


A Spring Project

I've been listening to a lot of jazz lately, and that always make me think of Lee Santa, a huge jazz fan and photographer who lives over in the Idaho panhandle near Sandpoint.

I used one of his photos for the cover of the Round Bend anthology of poems (Cold Eye) that is now up at both Amazon and Lulu, and I think Lee is a special shooter. I particularly like his black and white work of the jazz greats, which are collected here, along with much of his other work.

I'm after Lee to let Round Bend publish a book of his work. He sounds amenable. I'd like to get going on it this spring, after the deep snow leaves Idaho and I conjure the energy I'll need to make the project work.

The photo is of Sonny Rollins, one of my favorite saxophonists.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fastest Player in America is a Duck

I've been neglecting the blog a little while I work on some other things and procrastinate on still others. It is all for the best. At times I feel obliged to post something here when it really isn't necessary. I'm guilty, I guess, of being a bit presumptuous in posting links you no doubt already know about. I'm thinking of my habit of posting links to CommonDreams and Counterpunch. They're great websites, but you already know that.

I hear a revolution of a sort is playing out in Egypt. It'll be interesting to see thermidor transpire from that.

I finished the big three books and okayed them for Amazon. They should be up in a week, I'm informed. Funny, everyone has heard of Amazon, of course. Seems to have more legitimacy than Lulu for some people, as if it were more than an online store.

"Never heard of it," people say regarding Lulu.

Folks, the books are the same, no matter who sells them. Same price. Same content. Seems to be what matters rather than Amazon's success vs. Lulu's.

I don't know, a minor bitch I have I guess.

I watched the college football recruiting drama play out yesterday. Schoolboy legends and all. Kids drawing too much attention to themselves, giving press conferences, etc.

I played against some good high school players who later became stars in big time college ball, even the NFL. Didn't take a press conference to get there.

More like hard work and natural talent. Times have changed.

Another reason to jump off the bandwagon, I guess.