French Quarry

In suffocating white comes
tremendous light.
In a world lost at night,
the mind is mesmerized
by dreams of color.
So vivid.
Blatant images from our past
lume throughout
where the eye sight glares
in a pale moon made
from fluid strokes.

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Happy Birthday To the One Who Keeps Me from Madness

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” I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me…or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I’ll quote Ibsen, “The strongest men are the most alone.” I’ve never thought, “Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I’ll feel good.” No, that won’t help. You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn’t want to hide in factories. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have. Let’s drink more wine!”

My Strength

I converse with God
but I can only hear my typer
bleeding out on to
the white concrete.
Left to die
but no one is home.
There’s only me in
a room for two.
With a view,
I imagine
my life–
What it could have been
And what it was.

I keep my enemies close
and my words closer.
Eating the keys that spill
out from my broken soul.
Filling my stomach
with the struggle I have inside.

My words are fighting words.
Always underrated,
I use my machine gun as a fist,
and the blood from my knuckles
to my finger tips,
as fuel for a fire set ablaze
by heartbreak.

Where i’ve fallen more than I can count
and my sweat and my tears
drip after each bout,
my pigment has turned black and blue.
Yet, my words keep me rising
with the strength and conviction
of a seldom few.
All I can do is pick myself up,
brush off and say
Fuck you.

Bukowski Mondays on a Tuesday: Be Kind

we are always asked
to understand the other person’s
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

Bukowski Mondays on a Wednesday: The Strongest of the Strange

You won’t see them often
for wherever the crowd is
they
are not.

These odd ones, not
many,
but from them
come
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books
and other
works.

And from the
best of the
strange ones,
perhaps
nothing.

They are
their own
paintings
their own
books
their own
music
their own
work.

Sometimes I think
I see
them—say
a certain old
man
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain
way

or
a quick face
going the other
way
in a passing
automobile

or there’s a certain motion
of the hands
of a bag-boy or a bag-
girl
while packing
supermarket
groceries.

Sometimes
it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
time—
you will notice
a
lightning quick
glance
never seen
from them
before.

Sometimes
you will only note
their
existence
suddenly
in
vivid
recall
some months
some years
after they are
gone.

I remember
such a
one—
he was about
20 years old
drunk at
10 am.
staring into
a cracked
New Orleans
mirror

face dreaming
against the
walls of
the world

where
did I
go?

Ode to Hank

The one side of his tongue was rough,
downright ugly in its intentions,
yet his other side was less so–
more melancholy.

His words are hard,
rough and raw like his life.
They called him the “Poet Laureate of Skid Row.”
Pimps, whores and penny-pushers were his muse,
the best friend a low life could have.

Most wanted the rawness
every day, all day. I too I must admit.
Yet the tenderness and truth
deep in his alcoholic soul,
I could see a cracked rearview inside
his crustiness.

Such beauty that which comes out
from his rustic hands and deep crevassed face.
His words, like his face, tell of lasting sorrow
that scarred till death.

What beauty.

Bellowing up from the soul of heartache
I see myself in him.
The desire for a loneliness that
lasts a lifetime.
With only my typer,
alcohol and music,
in a room on fire where only the words are left bare.

I read him and I feel whole again.
Knowing that I’m not alone;
that through his own pain
my own seems almost as tolerable.

Bluebirds never left him but
in understanding his madness,
I am able to join him and hopefully
I to wont have to try.

Appears in my collection, Scribbling’s From a Beer-Stained Napkin: Moonlighting Between Heaven & Hell

Bukowski Mondays: A Poem Is A City

a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
it’s barbershops filled with cynical drunks,
a poem is a city where God rides naked
through the streets like Lady Godiva,
where dogs bark at night, and chase away
the flag; a poem is a city of poets,
most of them quite similar
and envious and bitter …
a poem is this city now,
50 miles from nowhere,
9:09 in the morning,
the taste of liquor and cigarettes,
no police, no lovers, walking the streets,
this poem, this city, closing its doors,
barricaded, almost empty,
mournful without tears, aging without pity,
the hardrock mountains,
the ocean like a lavender flame,
a moon destitute of greatness,
a small music from broken windows …

a poem is a city, a poem is a nation
a poem is the world …

and now I stick this under glass
for the mad editor’s scrutiny,
and night is elsewhere
and faint gray ladies stand in line,
dog follows dog to estuary,
the trumpets bring on gallows
as small men rant at things
they cannot do.