Monthly Archives: January 2013

Soul Butterfly

She grasps the music in her delicate hand
It doesn’t understand her innocence – so complete
Not tonight – not in this place
The words flutter out of her mouth
Like a crushed velvet soul butterfly
They groove as they move
Through the stale smoky air
Not tonight – not in this place
I want to take her away from here
Like I always want to save the ones I can’t have
She is too young and I am in my cups again
And will never get the chance
To catch even one soul butterfly

The Blood Stays on Your Lips

It’s all about circumventing tangential thinking
and pushing your way past the Jim Beam
and realizing that if you had something to say
If anyone was going to listen it would have happened by now

But you keep talking
You keep trying to say something
And no one is listening and you are not able to stop
You are forced by your spirit to move forward

You dig your teeth into the crumbling flesh
and escape with a mouthful of Fuck you Charlie
so you spit it out but the blood stays on your lips
you wipe your mouth on your sleeve
but nothing is ever the same again

Another Hard Goodnight

A warm body beside me – someone calling to me from the other room
Put away your books and come and love me – make love to me
But I press on with my keyboard and my bourbon and another hard goodnight

Each word becomes an integral piece to a puzzle that I must assemble
There is no warm body for me – not tonight – there is little for an unknown poet
But I press on with my keyboard and my bourbon and another hard goodnight

Bobby Broom’s guitar is my only comfort on this cold mid-winter morning
He plays as if it is only for me while I sip bourbon and reconstruct the magic
But I press on with my keyboard and my bourbon and another hard goodnight

There was a time when I had everything but my pride robbed me of my future
Now there are nothing but reminders of what might have been in a sweeter time
But I press on with my keyboard and my bourbon and another hard goodnight

All of my past crushes are in someone else’s arms tonight however they got there
All of my past dreams are in someone else’s soul tonight however they got there
But I will press on with my keyboard and my bourbon and another hard goodnight
I will press on with my keyboard and my bourbon and another hard goodnight

Another Broken Soldier

I didn’t want to be the one who told him
Nobody wants to face the broken soldier
But someone has to
So there he was belching up beer
and smelling of cheap leather
Another broken soldier who
Upon breaking the ranks – has fallen
He is there waiting for redemption
He is there praying for his soul
He is there kneeling at the altar of his failures
The broken soldier reaches out for comfort
But receives nothing more than a cold drink
This seems – for now – to be enough

I was sad when I confronted him
Nobody wants to confront a broken soldier
But I guess it was my turn
So there we were trading war stories
and drinking long into the night
He was just another man who
Didn’t understand where all the time went
He was there waiting for his next drink
He was there praying for a punch line
He is crawling from the altar that was his life
The broken soldier reaches out for solace
But receives nothing more than a hard slap
This seems – for now – to do him in

Another Barstool Preacher

Another barstool preacher spits out bible verses
Between burps that reek of old stale beer
“Humble yourself, you bad motherfucker!
He shouts these words while he kneads my shoulder
He works my muscles like a punch-drunk corner man
On a low paying undercard at Caesar’s Palace
Only no one across the ring poses any threat to me tonight
This night that he is where I will be soon enough – or too soon
Strangled by the pain of something he can’t even comprehend
“I did three years in the penitentiary and I love the bible!
I learned to understand and love the bible”

Faith is what?
Faith is what you believe in
When you have no reason to believe
Faith is the answer to the question
That robs you of your sleep at night
So the barstool preacher spits His word into my face
He reminds me to be humble
I remind him to keep the faith
He offers me hope
I offer him a prayer
One prayer from one bad motherfucker

At the KC Laundry on Pulaski

I finally saw Satan at the KC Laundry on Pulaski
The gunmetal orbs protruding from his blurry eye sockets
Showed the horrors in my face – a muted reflection
His powerful teeth were perfect – shiny and perfect
The fresh youthful tattoos on his thick furry arms
Were eclipsed by the layers of coarse gray hair
He pulled his stiff, nasty clothes out of a greasy cotton bag
He jammed the shirts and pants into the machine
His haunted eyes never left my basket of clothes – or was it my face
I looked at the dryer – my clothes tumbled in their unknowing orbit
The boxy numbers on the illuminated red dial didn’t change
I sent up a silent prayer for the cycle to tumble to an end
A sweet-faced-white-haired polack came in from Pulaski Road
Satan turned his grim, leathery face down – a cloud over his head
He didn’t look up again – not at me anyway
The tumbling finally stopped at the KC Laundry in Pulaski

Old Men and Birds

Old men and birds
Have the best stories here
No empty rhetoric
Words or songs pour out
Of beaks and trembling mouths
Reliving those moments of glory
Like they could bring it all back home
Whenever they needed it

Old men and birds
Get ignored around here
No honest attraction
They live within us
They who have seen so much
They know all they have is each other
Like the friend to share secrets with
At times when you need them most

Old men and birds
Die terribly here
No evident losses
Flies buzz around them
The rotting carcasses
Reclining on the dirty sidewalk
Where they fell when they got too tired
And simply needed a rest