Thursday, September 30, 2010

Slidin’ Delta

It ain’t like we stopped tryin’ -
them bottlenecks still slide.
The delta just been dryin’ up
since Willie Dixon died.

R.L. Burnside - dead and gone,
him and Mississippi John.
Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim,
porkpies on magnolia limbs.

They’re sweepin’ up the barrelhouse
but Honeyboy’s still pickin’-
hangin’ notes up in the air
like Sunday’s fryin’ chicken.

The blues’ll find a stringer
with a story yet to tell
long as dust can find a crossroad
and a soul is left to sell.

Bo Diddley took the midnight train,
Memphis Minnie, Elmore James,
Blind Lemon too, and Magic Sam
fish and spoonbread, greens and jam.

They’re lockin’ up the juke joint
Pinetop Perkins still inside,
still bangin’ boogie woogie
jumpy as a blushin’ bride.

So I guess we keep on tryin’ -
it’s rainin’ hard outside.
Things just never been the same
since John Lee Hooker died.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost & Found

Autumn strips the branches bare
old men losing all their hair
exposing what we lost up there
things that flew too far, too high.

A rubber ball, a broken kite
snared by forking limbs and height
fading slowly, ashen white
bones of days that passed us by.

Winter keeps us looking down -
whipping rain and muddy brown -
that we might not look up and frown
at things that flew too far, too high.

We’re certain there’s too much to do
too many days that will ensue
to pine for silly things that flew -
flew like sparrows through the sky.

Spring begins, with every leaf
to shroud the spoils of the thief
and hide the objects of our grief
until we can’t imagine why

we used to miss the things we lost,
things we or the wind had tossed,
up to where the boughs are crossed
caught like dreams that went awry

Summer in its fullness comes
bearing peaches, figs and plums
to call us out with cricket hums
and maybe, someday in July

we’ll laugh beneath a canopy
the dappled shade of some great tree
forgetting, playing happily
things can fly too far, too high

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stolen Ambulance

this week’s poem has been stolen.

ok, not really stolen. i sent it to The Smoking Poet and they published it. which is actually pretty cool. thanks, smoking poet.

sorry for the extra click, but bounce on over to read stolen ambulance - and, if you have time, you can peruse the whole fall issue – i think it’ll be worth your while.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


What does not move
is always moving,
proven past
our ways of proving -

spokes and supernovas
stars exploding,
stars beginning;

we pass in
and out of this,
wispy as
a rain-washed kiss,

breaching walls
we did not make,
held by every
breath we take.

[a discard from this prompt - seemed like a good excuse to give a shout-out to aniket and his flash fiction site, though – check it out if you haven’t, and if you have, jump in and join the party already!]

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labor Day

is a block party,
a football game,
one last trip
to the beach.

overextension, then:
a panic.

politicians and podiums,
highways crawling
with Airstreams and boats.

Fading companies,
failing banks.
Union wheels rusting
in a locked-out railway yard.

hot coals and
cold beer,
fireworks glittering
over the lake.

boycotts, troops,
Smashed-out windows
and a torch-lit mob.

is the sun going down
on summer,
a national tribute
to the American worker.

is the glow of a burned-out
Pullman car,
a riot quelled
by American bullets.