Sideshow Act

fall in line (fall in line)
jitterbug (jitterbug)
kick the cat (kick the cat)
make some love (make some love)

sisterhood (sisterhood)
hand me downs (hand me downs)
replace the carpet (replace the carpet)
stand around (stand around)

d7                                                  em
the flavors of this life will make you sing
d7                                                   am
the stories of this life will make you sing
d7                                                  em
the women in this life will make you sing
d7                                                 d7                                        em
let's all clap our hands (clap, clap), let's all join a band (clap, clap),
d7                                         em
let's all sing hallelluia to the King

cold mornings (cold mornings)
stomping feet (stomping feet)
talking heads (talking heads)
snow and sleet (snow and sleet)

sideshow act (sideshow act)
tin cup change (tin cup change)
Words of God (Words of God)
lovely dames (lovely dames)

the flavors of this life will make you sing
the stories of this life will make you sing
the women in this life will make you sing
let's all clap our hands (clap, clap), let's all join a band (clap, clap),
let's all sing hallelluia to the King


We Are Not Alone

when we finally close these eyes, we'll really see. the unexplained will seem perfectly logical. possibly, we'll breathe easier. absolutely, we'll hear trumpets. we'll slowly live eternal life. provisions obsolete and groans unknown. the bitter taste of life replaced by a rush of enlightenment. fully, completely, and always. oh the wonder! oh the glory! oh the peace!....................so we wait, sorrowful at times, but anxious mostly. burdens are light, but anticipation makes us restless. lost souls walking in the dark, reaching for answers, reaching for anything to guide their ways. they are creatures of the Divine too. listen to them plead, listen to them beg, listen to them moaning!.........take a moment right now, before it's too late, to banish understanding. forget your pride and listen to your gut. we are not alone.


Jackrabbit Dinner

a true mess it is
the ridiculous irony
and suicide bombers
he looked out over the ridge
dust in the distance
could be a thousand things
jackrabbit dinner
a tree falling silently
he imagined a lone predator
stalking the river beds
her baby girls sleeping on the bank
eyes the prey
looks it over for a while
knowing every inch of the destined
she manipulates and moves slow
heart's at half speed
suddenly a burst
noises of the fierce and dying
a final and merciful grip
blood runs cold
another day for the ladies.

Mind Over Soul Endures

thought in succession
rapid and easy
the day awaits
like a mountain a hundred miles away

loose but altered
very selectively
first thought best thought
proposing actual thought as worthy of expression too

these lines and patterns
weaving, skipping,
hiding, brutal and proud
mind over body fades, mind over soul endures


Just Outside Of Recognition

between cowardice and bravery
the decision of every man and woman

just outside of recognition
where mistakes are not considered

flinging rose petals and ropes
to the pirates on the other side

jaw dropping feats of impossibility
and a relatively pleasing peace of soul

throughout history we soldier on
facing gloomy days and winning most

the insignificant create nothing
like a user reading atlas shrugged

lines in the sand drawn for nothing
just a puppet in another game

dust collects on the books and pictures
microscopic shreds of life fully lived

imperfections covered up by the millions
one brush at a time

theories and settings and character traits
all coming to an end and leaving illumination

just outside of recognition
where the sane people dwell

Smiling Desperado

a good man is like God's worn out jeans...
a good man is like a fire's burning embers...
a good man is like a good practical joke...
a good man is like a map of asia...

...and asia never once quit calling me.

a good man is like a starlet's double d's...
a good man is like a second cup of coffee...
a good man is like a raging dinner bell...
a good man is like a smiling desperado...

...and desperados always have a plan.

a good man is like a prince with wings...
a good man is like a sundown on the bayou...
a good man is like a lemon or a lemondrop...
a good man is like a runner in a dream...

...and dreams are heaven's glimpses.


Texico (Draft): Breakfast Talk

     The call he made to the prime minister of Mexico on a calm November day of 2017 was critical in Texico's road to nationhood. L. Dean had just finished a breakfast of 2 eggs and toast and over coffee he contacted Francisco Del Corona and told him what he was proposing.  "Fran, open your mind.” they spoke in english due to L. Dean's solitary language abilities, “A union of our two countries seems the most natural thing in the world t' me."
     "Well amigo, I can see the benefits too, however, we pause due to our historical place at the heel of your boots. Remember the Mexican people haven't always been treated very well by the Texans, go back generations."
     "Damn Fran! Who burned who at the Alamo? And who brought their war to San Antonio and San Angelo. You remember than little 7 year old girl the Mexican druggies kidnapped and tortured on TV. Those bastards are gone now. Long gone." He paused and continued sensing the uneasiness on the other end of the line, "But my point is there's blood on both sides of the path we've walked. We've been fightin' for years. Not anymore. Let's turn our rages and injustices and grudges into the heart of a new neon country, open for business for those wanting to live in peace. Who the hell cares about the past anyway? Fran, we have a neon future together."
     "Ahhh, El Dean", as he was known to all Mexicans, "You are right, of course. But the Mexican leadership is worried about the perceptions of Anglo rule." Del Corona, was getting to the point. The Mexicans knew joining Texas and adopting the Texico Papers would springboard them to the top of the international scene. After years and years of being rightly portrayed as a country in chaos and run by the cartels, the desire to channel the Mexican soul into another movement was shared by all. The Texico Papers, written by L. Dean himself, outlined a complete plan to decide leadership and was designed to ensure local enforcement of laws and maintain national diversity. Political maneuvering was part of any process, but the Texico plan kept it to minimum with its term limits and impeachment process.
     "Well Fran, an Anglo may get in (he was speaking of the Presidency), or somebody over in Baja. But they only get one shot at it. What's an Anglo anyway anymore? You know better. You're talking to me Fran. You're born with some warm blood, like me. You're born with a beating heart, like me. You're born with breathing lungs, like me." L. Dean was almost singing by this point. "It's all in the Texican soup!"
     "El Dean, you should write that down and pick a tune from it. I know your guitar is near." Fran was trying to lighten the discussion, L. Dean was roaring.
     "Oh, I'm sorry Fran; I know you're speaking for the masses. But they should trust what they've never truly trusted before."
     "What's that amigo?"

     The truth was for months there had been talk among the political establishments and corporate leadership of both nations and an agreeement on the Texico Plan seemed assured.  The Mexicans had much to gain with a union.  After breaking from America a few years earlier, Texas had influenced many American companies to relocate to Texas. The business environment was inviting and free of the petty and politically motivated regulations and their over-bearing regulators. Texas was focused on strict enforcement of a few important regulations, but was not in the business of choosing sides on the business field. The people would put them out of business, and where the people were powerless and rules were broke, the government would provide swift banishment from the field of play, the guilty never to conduct business in Texas again. Texas was not the land of 2nd chances in business matters. Win by competing. Monopoly's were fragile due to the people's sway and invested heavily to remain in the public's favor. Large companies gave billions to fuel infrastructure, universities, charities, parks, and other institutions. Fine quality, value, and influence, each feeding the other, was the way to win in the marketplace.  Texas was on their way to economic wonderment the Mexicans wanted in.

     The call continued with various details and agreeements.  Well wishes and reminders of the approaching adoption of the Texico Plan by Texas on July 4th of the following year.  "We'll have people streaming over our border in droves. I just hope we can keep the okies out." L. Dean joked, "Four years to swell our population before we make it official with ya'll in 2022. I figure we could get up to 500 million total. One thing is for sure, a bunch a' Mexicans will be walkin' around with a bunch a' cash. All the building we'll be doing. Talked to some guy the other day about building houses into the ground. I think our land’s to shifty for that, but it would be better in a tornado."
     "Gone to Texico. El Dean, I can't wait to see it." Fran replied.  He truly admired the clear vision of L. Dean.
     L. Dean took a final drink of his coffee before ending the call, "It'll be neon Fran. The brightness of a Texico night. Advise ratification of the Texico Plan and the next four years will be a marvel." Fran hung up knowing a better future for the Mexicans awaited.



Shell-Shocked And Alarmed

.....woke up shell-shocked and alarmed.  starting to feel like i'm being controlled.  every man needs a path to walk, a woman's touch, and a pot of gold.  my path has become worn down to the dirt.  any top soil is gone.  the true earth is walked.  and drove.  over and over.  my path is a circle, it seems.  mentally, however, the circle creates a wonder.  the many lives of uneasiness.  a good and congenial soul.  at peace and rest.  a woman's face of desperation and worry.  alone and shaking at the world's monsters.  grateful she is for the confidence.  understanding the endurance required.  she makes a house and keeps a home.  stands by her truth and keeps the commands.  only herself she guards.  like a wasted garden.  left to restlessness and glances.  a poor man with a bank of cash.  perseverance rewarded.  the circle proved fruitful, and the vows rang true.  our desires and natures hibernate to another season.  our brains conducting it all.  it's windows always open and peering.  the eyes seeing the wanted, the ears hearing the moans, the mouth tasting the sweet and sour, the hands feeling life, the smell of daisies, and a loss of control....


The Trinity Summed Up

God is seperate, and no doubt superior. He is in the heavens, He is walking among us, and He is within us. The Trinity summed up. God in heaven is a cozy feeling, there is a place we will dwell. Among us is harder to grasp, but Jesus is the best known man to ever live on the earth. That Person of the Trinity rose from the dead. There seems a way to get to our dwelling place. Within us is the most misunderstood and unrealized aspect of our God. The true nature of God is to create, give, love. Do not make Him a God of yourself. For He is seperate. But know that He does live within you, guiding your daily actions and decisions. Some call it conscious, some call it my gut, some call it intuition, the women for sure. And remember, at His core, God is a creator. What you create can, and should, be God inspired. Even the dark creations.


Stretch Your Limbs

once, when i was a little younger, and a little dumber, i tried to carry the weight of this damn ole world.  i'll tell you it was an awful feeling.  nights and nights of fret and worry.  days and days of toil and anguish.  for what?  a bag of nothing loaded with chest pains for those caught in the trap.  another day for those who've turned their backs on circumstance.  exsist in the moments, inspire and influence with a plan, stretch your limbs, and sleep a peaceful sleep.     


Painter's Den

consider a small nuisance
an annoying turn of events

visualize a heart beat
it's continuous pumping

drive over to a painter's den
old litter on the floor

wrapers and smocks
a towel hangs from a hook

the painter wipes her brow
and stares out an open window



rivers will find the true path
always and without apology


truth and all it's simplicity
unloads the desperate


but the flesh! the flesh!
mmmmm, sang the choir



Space Girls With Glitter

the light in here is a bit heavy
all along the country lane she sweated
all the cares of the entire world

went the long way, by the gasoline station
peering into store windows on the way
some auction was going down in the round

space girls with glitter and memories
moving in unision to the beat of the band
fear not was said ten thousand ways

and the prophet's words fulfilled
pardon me she moaned
but would you mind taking me to dance

blue, blue those eyes. and alive.
become what you want to be, but hurry
the crow's getting louder and louder

thirty three degrees and the coffee shop closed at 8:30
what kind of joint are you running?
the government's gonna make it fair

karl marx was a well intentioned man
but a seer he was not
motivation is what turns the engine of capitalism

another flawed system in it's pure form
but right in it's harmoniuos relationship with human nature
marxism and it's historical place of failure

patronize the young and spirited
at your peril and without an invitation for tea
sinatra, he played cards and drained whiskey bottles

until 3am

the actresses never once missed a que
right on the mark with comedy lines and expressions
the way out is through others

the calm and broken southwesterners
the settled and robust midwesterners
the preoccupied northeasterners

the innocent and proud southerners
and the californians
and the others

...and the north plains people
the true heroes of the world
blaming no one and demanding an appearance


Forest Highway

c                          g             
we talked in that northern town
f                         c
on the forest highway
f                                 g
where the sisters and mothers
f                     c
gathered to pray.

sang songs of knowing grace
and thought of texico
where the rightous get buried
with sins that we know.

em                                            f               c
her many many heartbreaks her dreams of paradise
em                                             c                 g
her father came to love her and brought this holy night 

alabama preacher man
his pride'll do him in
left his texas folk behind
and will not make amends.

heard choirs and angels
remind us of his birth
took comfort from the trumpet
saved all the earth.

her many many heartbreaks her dreams of paradise
her father came to love her and brought this holy night


Backwards They Live

we will understand love
at the end, clarity and ah ha's
certainly it's not what we thought

or why

but it is wonderful
the cares of this world melt
thursdays and fridays
relections on a pond
each ripple with a story
introduced and loved
unknown to those
trying to get the most out of life

backwards they live

it's you that life wants
to exhaust and use
drowzy and old
satisfied, understanding love


Clawing The Walls

seeking the truth
in the midst of lies

finding the way
through watering eyes

helping the poor
overcome the end

ignoring the fight
of the heartless men

training the young
to have self control

giving the lost
a glimmer of hope

singing the tunes
all through the night

playing the games
losing the fight

clawing the walls
just hanging on

carving the turkey
up until dawn


Buzzards Await

this life of wavering passions
seeking meaning, drowning rightousness
bitter pills and eventual humbling
buzzards await the end
this we know
yet still we plead for acceptance
take me as I am
as if there is another alternative
calculations and odds
mercy only for those who submit
live like a poor man
needs confused with wants again
economies and politics
one feeding off the other
until the days of reckoning
generations pass
each providing identity
the human instinct to associate
comfort somehow found
within the misery of others
tragic irony
of the brotherhoods
and sisterhoods
only the lonely are free
free from expectations and conformity


Cigarette Ash

woke up somewhere between tim buck two and the mission fields
ahh, the worried and the broke
near the wishing well sat a old woman with a inch long cigarette ash
singing church songs and praying
she must have seen the destruction caused by greed and selfishness
the young never really understood
their lives usually not soaked with loss and disappointment and vices
no such thing as young at heart


Hard To Lead America (Ballad of Herman Cain)

herman cain, herman cain
are you ready for this pain
the vultures are ready to end your game.

herman cain, herman cain
they all trashed your name
what a shame what a shame, poor herman cain.

herman cain, herman cain
been kicked and defamed
truth must be buried and a good man blamed.

herman cain, herman cain
come in here from the rain
hard to lead america with your dignity maintained.

herman cain, herman cain
heard the songs that you sang
what a shame what a shame, poor herman cain.



Helicopter Rose

empathy to rhyme
we're all inclined
to stray from the vine
for 2 cents worth of a commoner's utterings.

helicopter rose
born next to the willows
lived her life on the road
going from flop house to flop house on the dock.

started as a one man band
played his tunes all across the land
kept on saying he understands
'til one day when he claimed his pants caught on fire.

simply written, simply said
hard to bust through a thick head
in times we're tested, in times we're led
close your eyes and have a little quiet time with us.

amemgf (3)


Mexican Disco

when streets were icy
ranch in the valley
cussing rattling windows
winter parks
to the top of the mountain
up in eldorado
mission churches
near laredo's downtown
trail walkers
where the lily pads swam
ruins in tulum
afternoon rum runner
mexican disco
mirrors on the ceiling
pot belly girl
ready for a miracle
tell us about the times
when you held her hand.


it's all in the eyes
and the mind's alibi
hold it together
locked in a rolling stone
daily routines
give the years colors
a masterpiece
hung above the mantel
accents of roses
two little girls with bonnets
starting to wander
peering from the gazeebo
a restless man
keeping watch over the women
every hour
a time capsule moment
every day
one of thirty thousand.


North End Of Erwin Park

take a two by four
as you head out the door
gonna go march

the north end of erwin park
something we want to say
people we really want to blame

couldn't keep his last job
something about screwing off
better take a winter hat

it'll be cold during the late night rap
hope that guitar player is there
the one with the funny hair

singing ghost songs and blues
'bout the time he lost his shoes
ten minute solos, finger picking style

coat was made from some baby cow
dude last night got put in the slammer
took a swing at the event planner

be really really scary to go to jail
like something out of dante's hell
protest, protest whatever it is

write it all down and make a list
send it on up to the white house door
demand to be heard, demand the floor

until you quit pissing in the parks
or living it up after dark
sounds like the sounds of an idiot wind

mad at themselves for their constant sins
occupying their minds with chanting songs
burning that candle all night long



Two Step

c                                                 f
who knows if you get a buick or a bentley.
c                                                 g
who needs to know your point of view.
who cries to the moonlight,
who turns the lights out at night.
g                            f                           c
look around and find your dancing boots.

give me answers to all my psyco questions.
give me an expert in shakedown tecniques.
give me hearts and starlets,
give me art and flavored sparks.
heater nights walking cobbeled streets.

whatcha think they doing in playa del carmen.
shouldn't we just sleep in this hammock all day.
breeze blows from the windows,
she knows he will never go.
haggling for a chess set with a mexican sage.

tell me the truth of the happily ever afters.
tell me of the blame and the broken faith.
bet the under, hear the thunder,
ever wonder when our love will come.
two step like we did in the early days.


Shy In St. Louis

stepped on the st augustine
cool it was on my bare feet
planned a humdinger of a party
stayed up late swaying to the rythyms
haunted houses all shut down
get a permit or walk around the lake
like a cake without frosting
don't want to see you cook my food
scrubs and spas and leather chairs
scents and sheens and darkened lamps
two pitches shy in saint louis
all the women make us smile again


Texico (Draft): The Second Louisiana Purchase

     A provision to provide a needed balance in the initial population of Texico was evident from the start.  The solution led to the 'Gone To Texico' campaign.  As part of the agreement to combine the legal nation of Texas with the nation of Mexico, a four year timeline was laid out stipulating the manuevers, needed negotiations, compromises, and agreements to officially create the nation of Texico.  The Texico Papers, written by L. Dean Fitzgerald and published several years before, had clearly indicated that private land ownership was extremely important to the development of a truly great nation.  'Gone to Texico' was the marketing effort to influence americans, canadiens, africans, europeans, egyptians, indians, japanese, australians, vikings, chinese, cubans, or eskimos to buy land and move to Texas during the four year timeline, beginning in 2018.  Despite Washington's continuous legal interventions and delay tactics, the courts had spoken and Texas was legally a country.  Due to the very low taxes on income and goods, the economy thrived and the Texas and Mexico business bonds grew strong in the pre-Texico days.  
     The greatest suburb builders in the history of the world, the mexicans, were building homes, businesses, and cities from Athens to Archer City.  In a sign of the times, the United States sold Lousiana to Texas in 2020 so it could actually keep the american government open.  Louisiana, long neglected and ridiculed, was too expensive to keep in the Union.  Texas paid $1 Trillion dollers and in return got New Orleans and courtroom peace from the Americans.  The revolution was over.  The cajuns gladly went along, our frenchmen and mudwomen of the swamps.  The gator hunters and juke joint jazz queens.  Down to 48 states and half the gulf of Mexico.  Andrew Jackson was turning in the dirt.  The Second Louisiana Purchase was sure to be a part of Texico lore.  By 2022, when the nation of Texico came to be, the Mexican population was 200 million, swelled by central and south american immigration, and Texas had grown to 215 million.  The encouraged combination of all cultures led to an acceptance of diversity, starlets of all shapes and sizes, and electric-neon-lighted Texico nights.  No bordertowns existed, although the Red River had to be reinforced at times due to frequent Okie annexation uprisings and everything possible was done in Baja to prevent the Californian from unknowingly entering Tijuana.                


No White Lights

it's a big
ole world.
time lapses
with hues.

just a color

blondes do
more fun.

outright definance
can't believe
the words.

thirty seconds
of no
white lights.

gasping for life
it's life.

true courageousness


Letterhead Designs

the heartless bastard.
straining for his fix.
letterhead designs.

diamonds in plastic folders.
looking into the headlights.
dove of serenity.

partly out of desire.
also out of curiosity.
spreading across the plains.

come to roost in the women.
as they protect their lands.
i'm going if you're going.


It's Only Sleep

only when politics were considered did it all go south
expectations and stands
living with only the mad became irrational

people littered the floors
dreams unrealized, like they always are. and should be.
dissappointment follows followed by a forgetting

the forgetting was the best part. expectations gone.
back to the source of life
understanding and learning

not everyone has to be a teacher all the time
as if it were even possible
appreciation does have it's charms

and people deserve the opportunity to be appreciative
gratfulness in such short supply
but expectations return and it begins again

worry when there are no expectations
never to be remembered
choose your sleepless nights wisely

they indicate some needed action
the noises this time of morning!
it's only sleep


Long Johns

admiring the screaming, yelling, and tight-fisted resolve. will be even more entertaining when the winter storms come. maybe we could set up a paint ball war on the plains of nebraska (about the middle of the country, seems like) between the tp and ows folks. i can see it now, everyone checking their smart phones for official surrender, hoping to hell it comes quick cause most have to get back to work (or be fired) cause they used up their sick days and vacation. a common complaint likely heard from both sides on the field of battle. "Ouch!, that paintball really stings. hey man, can't you see i've already been shot. i'm on base." maybe we could call in the Oxygen Channel to sponsor it and pick up the bill for production costs. a reality show.

i love the singers, especially the guitar pickers, and the repeat speeches are cool. however, one piece of advice for the ows crowd, you should avoid making comparisons to the late 60's...just avoid it. in hindsight, the baby boomer's self defining era, produced a bunch of bull shit>>>

**70's...death of rock and roll. disco gets blamed, but it was more of a response to death. a grieving. high point of the divorce rate. no self respecting lady will put up with free love for long. oil lines and the beginnings of arab/american conflict and business ventures. jimmy carter (billy beer being a delightful suprise).

**80's...can we go ahead and settle this right now? prince is better than michael jackson. and was. big malls. economy dependent on Christmas sales. Jesus would really dig that, hmm. hollywood invades the white house. and why not? air traffic controllers everywhere..all together now.."reagan was a punk!"

**90's...the lamest president ever sullied the cigar industry. and the white house. grunge died too soon. bush sr. wimped out at the kuwait border. and raised our taxes. we should have voted in perot. he woulda told the saudis off long ago and bin laden would have died before y2k. the internet is cool.

**00's...idea. gwb and algore could lead the forces in the beforementioned paintball war between tp and ows. kinda like a reunion of the 2000 election battle. they could use smart phones, of course, from their own homes. both known for inspiring words. figureheads, really, to fire up the troops. 9/11 was a damned shame. however, we rose from the ashes and everybody, everywhere got a mortgage. job or no job. nashville really choked. public radio (91.7 in dallas) the only real place to hear music. no thumbs up or down desired, or needed.

other than that our boomer generation, the generation after the greatest generation, had a spontaneous plea for 'peace' in the late sixties and disappointed themselves, and others, ever since. the old folks need to move along now and let the Xers clean up the mess. we know we're not getting no Social Security until we get to be 80. so keep on screaming, yelling, and standing strong owsers. you tp folks too. money will dictate the beginning and end of everything to come on this planet as long as it's around. like earth's constant truth from the beginning. i'd rather have some than not, but we'll all be tested in prosperity and poverty at some point. suffer, persevere, build character, then hope.

owsers, get yer long johns out!



caught a clearance sale and bought two pair
one with checks, one that flared
made sure her sunglasses stayed on tight
cleaned out her closet in the middle of the night

he's a howlie, he don't know it
a howlie, the locals know it
she's a howlie, she's in heat
tanning oil not far from her reach

back bowl blake just got off the lift
nose shining white and warm fingertips
north face leanna with hair in a bun
her miserable eyes protected from the sun

he's a howlie, he don't know it
a howlie, the locals know it
she's a howlie, she's in heat
started to howl at eleven thousand feet

thirteen pockets for his walk in the woods
rainproof boots help him walk like he should
she's over there just a slapping at the bugs
got no king size beds or persian rugs

he's a howlie, he don't know it
a howlie, the locals know it
she's a howlie, she's in heat
she screamed out loud down by the creek




the clawing and burning make-believe world of our imaginations.
drawing the boundries of everything we decide to hold close and dear.
the ending finds us prepared to say 'so long' complete and happy.
questions all answered with only history to determine worthiness.

all the giants and monsters curling in corners and hiding their eyes.
knowing full well the damage caused and the hearts ripped in two.
for them comes judgement and the electrocutions and hangings.
guilty as a beggarman with a rolex and two pairs of nunchucks.

the righteous wail and moan for the lost souls of charming ignorance.
amusement hounds and infinity seekers clamour and flee the law.
cool winds calm the cabin and smells of pine and roasted porkchops rise.
a particularly flavorful piece cut from the rack above the coals and ash.


Call The Number on Tuesdays

plenty of times we drank until 2
always waiting for the next gag
slowing down to back over the damage
next time that dude'll think twice

carry a crowbar under the driver's seat
pull it out if you need to back 'em up
be ready for a bloody nose and knuckle wounds
be ready to let the adrenaline loose

flung women around and went for gold
realizing the tradgedy that was inevitable
racing over rocks and rivers and pavement
scabs are shed and ligaments jarred

don't get the shakedown over in new mexico
those border bums paid by the speeders
felt like the fix was in in texline
sorry 'bout the cancer, call the number on tuesdays


Lived My Blues

no one has ever walked in my shoes
felt the vast deperation of the void
no one has ever lived my blues
been provoked and annoyed
no one has ever seen the visions i have
paradise awaits the perseverers
no one has ever heard my real laugh
until i convince them to look in the mirror


Losses Not Yet Lost

behind our faces we shutter
so lonely those nights
knowing the road of glass shards awaits
cuts and blood and slices and bone

behind our smiles we groan
for the losses not yet lost
the end will find every one of us
sickness and death and toasts and prayers

behind these bars we think
the mind constantly directing
the senses still alive and craving
tasting and hearing and seeing and smelling and touching and balancing



So Many Souls

at the end of the road a liar awaits,
trembling because he knows the deception.
the ease of the believing generation,
ready to have the road paved.
torches atop lion's heads on both sides,
damp surface and hazy air.
no one to plead to but other pleaders,
desperate they look in rags and bare feet.
chains locked around their necks and blood seeping,
every few feet another reaches out.
no doors to be seen as the vastness overwhelms,
so many souls.


Maniacs And Friends

last night i dreamed i forgave everybody for anything ever done anytime before.
there were fathers, brothers, sisters, and mothers, not to mention extended family.
then the people all around -- toilers, drivers, watchers, lovers, maniacs, and friends.
things they did, said, implied, yelled, things they ignored, they insisted, they resisted.

i was talking with each of them individually, taking my time, and we were committed.
nods and shakes, aknowledgments accepted and replaced with a debt of some sort.
a responsibility to forgive others in the same manner, slate picked clean and put up.
minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and generations will pass either way.


Combed And Combed

yesterday she asked my how my day was
told her the same thing as the day before
'things are good'
the other morning her silky hair, combed and combed,
seemed to wave at me as she passed
'things are good'
perfectly shaped eyebrows above gushing blue
the oval shaped face full of beaming smiles
'things are good'
she'll stomp by tomorrow, some injustice endured
and every few times she'll lean over and glance
'things are good'
we keep the same time, we let it smolder
smoke, smoke, smoke 'til it catches again
'things are good'



bam! bam!..it was fast
just like that
gone, but not quite forgotten
the stillness of the memories
faces hiding from each other
showing us our own fleeting lives
a blizzard hit last night
everything is white and calm now
like a cover
between what used to be and what will be
the full range of heartbreak
and joy


No More Than A Trinity

communication by words or facial expressions
using inflexion in your presentation

eye contact takes turns, following a reasonable flow
important points accented by hand gestures

a heading, tell them what you are about to tell them, or ask them
delivery is the case for needing or wanting this communication

a summary, tell them what you told them, or asked of them
talking points the same throughout and no more than a trinity

followed by the written expansion, a better audience is curious
let the content be the offer, audience be the judge

if followup is needed, failure is validated
action items restated, with deadlines and expectations.


Various Noisemakers

saw maw at the hootnhanny,
fired up and mean
said twenty of her chickens went missing
and 'someone was gonna git it'.
the room stood still,
except for the curtins near an open window
waving white like a surrender
instruments stopped and dancers unimbraced.
'who d' hell you think you are?', wanting no response
'comin' up in here takin' my chickins,
you need some food, i'll cook you up some livers,
but my babies eat the chickins'.
a rush of ease hit the room,
maw seemed more relaxed, more forgiving than when she entered
suddenly, a man stepped forward and confessed.
'i's sorry miss dessie, i reck'n it was me who took them chickins'
maw came over to the man, the room quieted again,
she stood there, nose to nose with the short and ragged looking man.
rage and empathy filled her eyes with tears,
the man stood weakly and awkwardly
wondering if he was going to eat fried livers tonight.
'you a damned sorry excuse for a man, you fool.
had t' go and steal my chickins.
right now i have mind t' punch you out,
oh, i could do it, you know i could do it,
you little man, you burgla', stealin' man,
too layzyy to go git a job.'
she stood there unblinking as his face contorted
and his eyes twithched uncontrollably.
'i's sorry miss dessie, you forgive me?'
she was considering this and the answer was not evident to her.
'i guess i can say i forgives you honey, but you a sorry man.
take those twenty chickins and fry 'em up good'.
looking at me she ordered potatoes to be boiled and loaves of bread.
canned green beans would have to do and iced tea and beer were already abundant.
the music started up, fast and in tune.
a man with a summer suit and straw hat played bluegrass,
sweat pouring off as he beat the stage with both feet,
playing his guitar box with cyclonic precision,
crying blue stories above the noise of the room
children dancing in the front with various noisemakers,
adults sitting close in the dark back, having adult thoughts and laughing.


Abandoned Your Birds

c                  f
living on words
set fire to your house
abandoned your birds
forgot to let your dog out

f                                                         c
and it's a damned good thing to write about
all the smoke, all the flames, all the char
and it's a shame we never seem to read about
g                           f                             c
the way these damned old people really are

living on words
set fire to your house
abandoned your birds
forgot to let your dog out

and it's a damned good thing to talk about
they all seemed to get wrecked at woodstock
then blew the banks and the earth to smitherens
the way these damned old people really are

living on words
set fire to your house
abandoned your birds
forgot to let your dog out


Seven Full Minutes

wish of dreams like that
the kind that make you write
the kind that make you sweat
the kind that make you hurt

wish of quakes like that
the kind that rumble
the kind that shake
the kind that lasts for seven full minutes

wish of sounds like that
the kind that breath with you
the kind that live in you
the kind that comes from you

wish of skin like that
the kind that is smooth
the kind that is wet
the kind with nerves

wish of love like that
the kind that gives
the kind that saves
the kind that last for seven full minutes

Halter Tops

perked up by halter tops and tight jeans
the ridiculous cost of it all
holy smokes those girls are beautiful
the long considered placement of curls.


his aim was unaffected by the heavy breathing

he lay on his stomach arms propping a gun

butt imbeded in his shoulder firmly

peering through the scope a monster arises

the moment of justice and responsibility

through training he learned the best methods

squeezing the trigger with constant pressure

the scope revealed the removal of another


Mosquito Vulgarities

well, the time i went over to the bar near the strand,
the one by the halo sign, i encountered a mosquito.
standing outside, looking for drink specials.
he was a huge mother! bigger than a dragonfly!
he sat on my arm a minute, seemed like, and buzzed.
a sound i've heard before, and would after. loud it was.
louder, i mean, than normal. with a healthy looking tail,
full of blood i suspected.
thought it was too hot for mosquitos, but it had rained.
i didn't trust this mosquito and knew he, or she, would strike.

the blood suckin' led me to decide it was female.
to my misfortune, i failed to act in my defense,
probably due to misguided empathy.
after a sharp pain, the vulgarity, and a late slap,
immediately a rising, iching, wound appeared.
knowing the days of discomfort to come,
another vulgarity was released,
and then a rush to the indoors, into the bar.
the bartender provided a cube of ice,
and a drop of tequila soothed before and after the shot.


High Tides

millions, billions, and trillions of waves
raging through the ocean.

each one very distinct
each one deadly and beautiful.

he took on the ones coming towards him
punching them wildly and triumphantly.

salt water in his mouth and nostrils flared
gasping for breath before the next one arrives.

high tides.


Dogs Barked In The Distance

she felt his wisdom was manufactured
a calculated response to her misunderstandings
little did she know, he was a wanderer
walking the hills above the city in a desperate search
for he knew everything was bullshit
that it would all change and never be the same
regardless of his wishes and dreams
of a frozen world, a frozen moment
happy couples were miserable
relaxation was fleeting and forced
prayers were offered by habit
and dogs barked in the distance


Brave, Brave Sinner

brave, brave sinner
gets the fixes despite the pains
stays out late in hopes of stranger love
washes her feet in the muddy rain

brave, brave sinner
holds my heart in her trembling hands
shimmering tension of ungiven love
the cravings we both understand

brave, brave sinner
sleeping in your eyes of blue
glossy lips and walks of dignity
cold shoulder and nothing i can do

brave, brave sinner
soft music and bright, breezy scenes
you and me and no clocks around
our love together goes unseen



Suburban Ghetto

a slow burner
white linen shirt soaked
pounding on the stage
each foot just keeping the beat
one, boom boom
one, boom boom
waltzes and 4/4 time
brown felt hat, sharp rim
yells from the cooks
to the cooks!
shoulda turned the radio to 91.7
that nashville sound sucks
a suburban ghetto
catering vans lined the back rows
breaking news and day counters
on a 96 magnavox
the music rises at 6
no breaks til after 8
welcome the friday night meat eaters
make the kiddos dance
tell stories of west texas girls
and late night lake drives
hoboken jail songs and harps
another year for lorrine
might as well keep on writin'
merle and willie
pancho and lefty
visions of johanna
paid in the stomach
tips to spend
lights to cut
a final nod


Mason Jar Company

later in the afternoon
between lulls and second winds
a toast was made
to the mason jar company
the toils and sweats
the constant orderings
regrets and sorrows offered
acknowledged forever


Before The Final Howl

in an instant
out of the bounds.
over the ridge
under the kept grass.
through a stain glass
around the other side.
after the rain comes
before the final howl.
in between, we suffer
but suffering, if endured,
produces perseverance.
then the character, then the hope.
the constant hope
as we speed through space,
sleeping and in worry,
our significance hangs,
teetering on a balance beam.
awkward and unsure, it hangs.
harlot's eyes, wanting
another day in her life.


Reformation Complainers

alterations pending,
the something from nothing
began in another universe
decided to create
experiements are critical
souls were given
and enhanced
an initial burst of love
then the fighting
arguing as profession
even the church
reformation complainers
the souls must be fed
from the earth
mothers mostly
always a woman
during the last steps

perseverance will produce
constant hope
hope for glimpses of peace
like it will be like
some days you take for yourself
because you have to
edit, seperate thoughts
to wander or release
you wonder these things
depending on the lighting
give your nose a shot
head in your hands
slumped over and pleading
smell of mexican winds
just lit morning
some peace, some peace
refine, celebrate the steps

Scared Of Gettin' Wet

been a drought on for weeks and weeks
grass is brown, lakes are dwindling
suddenly, a steady rainstorm
the rain dances worked!
dust on the wipers made mud on the front glass
in the parking lot they ran for cover
like each raindrop was a stray bullet
people scared of gettin' wet


A Gathering Of Fools

a gathering of fools
been beaten, they been used
the joker wears a rip torn frown

the king flips and flops
junior blows his top
and the smoke keeps coming around

the queen snubs her nose
goes on afternoon strolls
in her slippers and silky red gown

the battle lines drawn
all the warriors sing songs
and the smoke keeps coming around


Rodeo Night In Texas

free hats for the kids, if that traffic jam would clear up. always late out the door, even for her first rodeo. one road in. ticket window was jammed, the cashier explaining the policy on corral seating. free hats indeed, larger sizes for the bigger kids. right then and there we asked a man about our tickets. he pointed all the way down to the far end of the arena and told us where we could sit. we found a good spot eventually and settled in. me and my chicks. the atmosphere was electrified and chicken fried. smell of a rodeo.  red, soft, dirt covered the arena, seats and fences framing the dusty stage. cowboys came and did their rodeoing. bucking, roping, tieing, chasing, lassoing, limping, and hurting. cowgirls too. riding fast. 15.42 seconds took first place. that girl from oklahoma was ticked. the little bulls bucked the girl riders quick. they even got interviews and introductions. must be something--and rare--to see a cowgirl on a bull. the men got the big bulls. bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles all tested severly and misguidedly.  that dude from stephensville rode to the end, chatty and victorious. not sure of the overall winner, looked like there were several, but those cowboys and cowgirl earned thier money if they won any. and the losers don't get a dime.  we rooted for the locals.  all were athletes, especially the animals, and they let the buckers run free at the end to constant applause and spotlights.  another guy in red, white, and blue rode two horses at once. the clowns sure have changed from when i remember. the clown was a clown and that is not a compliment. the announcer was good. as they always are at the rodeo. at 10, the lights were cut and a rush to the trucks. rodeo night in texas.


Liars On A Dirt Road

walked right up to the property line
peered into the woods, over the fence line
not supposed to walk on the other side
went through and crossed over
felt heavy, like the world was watching
dead leaves breaking beneath my feet
steps were taken slowly and arms cleared the brush
shaded from the seering heat of the day, but no wind
head cloth soaked with sweat, cotten shirt drenched
looked up and saw a pond of water
surrounded by mesquite trees and hoof prints
muddy water tasted like liars on a dirt road


Freedom, The Broken Dream

freedom, holiday weekends
freedom, pantry full
freedom, late sleepin'
freedom, plush carpet

freedom, back 5 acres
freedom, hula dancers
freedom, farmer's market
freedom, matching dresses

freedom, greased up cutters
freedom, polished belt buckles
freedom, hand made gift bags
freedom, homemade ice cream

freedom, slow mondays
freedom, poetry readings
freedom, telecaster slide
freedom, free verse

freedom, hand on your heart
freedom, hopeless lover
freedom, house maid glances
freedom, silent family


Old Mandolin

thinking of rain boots in the snow
thirsty dogs around, licking up the puddles on the inside
was told the slide was off, but it sounded good to me.

brought the piano up on the final draft
that nashville song really turned into something
the hands smashed in the crash.

cutting up that bird at five a.m. had to be written down
boyish crushes and the scraps in the yard
sing this one for the cooks...to the cooks!

already praying for help, the blues again
jefferson would likely answer with a question
civil war stories, when being a winner was tough.

been everywhere in the world with a gun or a machete
pure revenge and eye for eye, the tooth takes it's flesh
a horn, like a tuba or a trombone, is missing.

nonfiction is dominate, but not absolute
slide player plays mandolin too, an old mandolin
the tag on the end, from the leprechaun's mind.

guy clark talking songs, preacherman by the end
serving strategies down the middle, painting the line
view from the moon, the helium view.

between good ole days and the end of the world
say old men who lived their lives and have regret
it's their end of the world and they were good ole days for them.

this is our time.




Rock Flowers

g                    em                g
did you see the beak on that bird?
d                         c
the once cherished fondness
so distant now.

have you heard a sound so sweet?
the lone harmony of sisters
backseat bands.

what time does the fireworks start?
can they shoot 'em off right now
celebrate freedom.

when does the sun go down here?
dominicans all around
island hearts.

how could i ever know you cared?
five ten woman in heels
snaps her fingers.

where will we be ten years from now?
grey beard and beat up hands
praying for others.

fight the good fight of the faith.
first timothy six twelve
rock flowers.


'Til Lungs Go Still

i was tired. sleep never seemed as scarce, however, despite the morning confusion, i was ready to begin the day as usual, early and clean. outside, the wind had picked up and white clouds framed blue were moving quickly. it was late june, but cool and blustery. the sun had gloriously called the day. oh, to die at this moment. in an instant. painless and content. a fainting sleep. a final sleep. the trash left behind. and the beautiful things too. the method is not important, but i think too many worry about the way it will go down. eventually, the devil get's his due. i think of the eternal and constant mostly. it will be violent probably, He didn't save us from this world. until then, i'll go to war too. battle 'til lungs go still. i hope to get hit by an asteroid one day.

Beg You To Play

get a tuner
make music easy
learn 12 chords
c, g, f, e, d, em, am, d7, a7, g7, a, e7
practice strumming without a pick
practice changing finger placements
keep strumming
most importanly
by far, most importantly
keep your guitar out in the open
put it in a case only when it travels
it will beg you to play
oh, and um, get a tuner


No Suburbs

those maps,
i could look at them forever.
dots and lines,
lakes and rivers.
latitudes and longitudes,
a spider web covering the earth.
the world spins,
always facinated by the iced zones.
old maps,
naked people all around.
angles waving,
persuasive and floating
cities of the land,
islands of the oceans.
half a pinkie,
the same as a hundred miles.
australia in the south,
japan in the north.
salt lakes,
only blue on the maps.
in real life,
the red river flows red.
on a map,
there are no suburbs.


Bandana Brow

humid like airless jungles
the zzzzzz of exotic bugs
life sucking stingers
rolled up sleeves
bandana brow
snakes on the dock
hissing to themselves
a tap on my shoulder
cold mexican beer
bottled and limed
a long draw
and a cooling down my spine


Brightness Of A Texico Night

listen all you brothers and sisters,
all you amigos and senoritas.

we all have times like these,
these are our times.

problem with getting what you want,
is the satisfying.

only lasts about a minute or two, don't it,
always thought we would feel better.

our sorry lot just asks for more,
begging like beggars for acceptance.

never understanding who they are,
or why they were able to live this life.

a box of bones await that man,
dust kicking up as he walks the road.

for me, i'm a grateful sort,
grateful for starlets and neon lights and
the brightness of a texico night. 


Hollowed Out And Sick

the sweats take over and your stomach turns
the heat takes the street and the fires burn
talk about the score, knock 'em on the floor
blonde hair flying and calling out for more

hollowed out and sick
hollowed out and sick
my body let me down
hollowed out and sick

i knew i hurt the woman of my dreams
when i left her stranded in the desert heat
she always knew i had one thing on my mind
my honey started praying and kept her hopes up high

hollowed out and sick
hollowed out and sick
my body let me down
hollowed out and sick





Gutter World

c                                       g         c
don't waste your time wishing for peace
f                                      c
cause peace ain't gonna come
c                                       g         c
people are cranky and selfish and mean
g                        f        c
there's not a peaceful one

amber vision eyes and waves of grain
our greatness is make believe
the rotten mullahs and men of God
should be hanging from a tree

g                                           f           c
thought i'd find peace if i closed my eyes
g                                   c
and prayed to the Holy Spirit
g                                          f            c
He talked back to me and said listen son
g                                     c
death is peace so don't fear it

since that time i've lived free and clear
holding on to the truth
gotta live through this gutter world
before we can eat the fruit

nothing is really the end of the world
crashes or wars or sex
we worry and fret and loose our sleep
we become emotional wrecks

what you need is a healthy apathy
to the troubles of this life
help people along this dirty path
peace on earth is such a lie


Breathless And Beat

between the book dividers

all the stories are told

humidity all around

cause you've confessed

it's craters and ridges

to the promise that's a lie

giver of the mirage

always looking up at the sky

black ribbons and smoke

blamer of others

breathless and beat


Scattered And Starved

the walkers, the deciders
the flimsy and the flooded
claiming repeatedly
always sayin'

through the tunnels and flows
near paradise and ebbs
slurring words and stumbling
always sayin'

the junkies and the beaten
the heartless, the wailers
counting days and nights and seasons
always sayin'

the screamers, the lush
the noiseless space
scattered and starved
always sayin'


Flags Unfurled

had a dream about losing a girl
my girl, independent and wise

saw a scene where flags unfurled
salute the folks who had to die

you are the princes
you are the queens
dancing in the clouds
i can hear you sing 

walked the plank of blackbeard's ship
anchored just off the shore

kissed her lips and whispered prayers
she'll get her mercy from the Lord

you are the princes
you are the queens
dancing in the clouds
i can hear you sing

days of floating 'round a dug up hole
watching tribes gather 'round the band

my girl came back and she wouldn't let go
love never goes according to plan

i can hear you sing
i can hear you sing
i can hear you sing
i can hear you sing


Looks Like T' Me

naw man, i'm gonna stay right here.
you guy's go on and have yer fun.
i'm gonna sit here and feel the sitting.
"aw man, that's jus crazy talk."
naw it ain't.
"you jus a fool ol man."
a fool to you.
if you a fool to a fool that makes you not a fool.
you'll figure it out one day boy.
like i says, go on and have yer fun.
but before you scoot.
let me give you another bit of advise.
if ye ain't too dumb to listen.
now now, shut up, I'm talking.
if yer gonna be all into sin.
sin bravely will ya please.
"what's this crazy cat talkin' 'bout sinning bravely."
crazy's right.
crazy for love, crazy for peace, crazy for joy.
i almost can't take it no mo'.
your jive talkin' struttin' fool self don't have love, peace, or joy.
looks like t' me.
now run on, i'm tryin' to feel myself sit.
"aw, you jus a fool ol man."

Martin Luther in 1521...
“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”


Punk Rocks

a lion in a japanese shop,
you've heard the term,
whistling so everyone hears,
big noggin and flowing hair,
always want to inflict knee damage,
a quick hit to the patella,
aim for the acl or mcl,
bring that loudmouth down,
make him shake in pain,
humbled and repentant.

cross the i's and dot the t's,
you've heard the term,
nothing left to chance,
meticulous and planned,
from where no time exists,
grave markers are frauds,
giving an end to the unending,
mark me with a memory,
and a quick song,
punk rocks.


Out Of 91 Faces

three were applying makeup,
masterfully and precise.

about eight of ten wore frowns,
like permanent mourning.

one guy looked catatonic,
literally with one eye asleep.

at least ten or twelve were laughing,
alone, but laughing, probably the radio.

most wore shades and pulled shades,
all kinds of eye protection and cool.

some looked paniced at the late hour,
those the world somehow really needs.

only two of them looked back at me,
and i nodded, the observers of faces.

thumbwork and audio communication didn't stop,
the social circle pulse continues.

don't like to idle,
like to move,
so i can get settled.


E The Moaner

blues are real stories set to music.
and if missing real stories and music,
real stories must be made to music.

first, get a guitar.
it's the easiest travel instrument,
and travel is what it'll take to get good stories.

kiss somebody goodbye, pack lightly, and start walking.
some of them stories would haunt the listener,
sending them into your blue moments.

temporary relocations are available to anywhere.
national geographic scenes, underwater, in space,
spiney deserts, erased forests, natives clad in rags.

from there, find a good chord combination and tap out a melody.
don't forget about minor chords and seven chords,
e the moaner, a the yeller, d the weeper.

sing what you wrote, aloud to brothers and sisters you've never met.
many will nod, some will hand you cash, most will ignore,
but it won't matter, cause you'll have the blues.


Spare Tires

incredible voice, a masterpiece of sound
the presence you possess, impressive

you are on your way, your destiny awaits
our arrows mean we love you, you're welcome

diversity is what seperates you, just impressive
moved, inspired, lifted, the range of emotions

the journey of the road ahead, spotlight moments
glitter and glamour, multiple personal assistants

show tunes and dances, bass players and drummers
respect is scarce, the known reality of the production

morning shows and late shows, magazine interviews
freedom of expression clouding the judgments

chase the camera, then the camera chases you
you pretend to be annoyed, but you're hooked

hits and plays and cuts and tracks and drinks
performance art and creative art confused again


Texican Meat Soup (Chili)

to make a good chili, you gotta start with the meat selection. shoulder roast is best, for sure, but more importantly the way you get it ground up is critical. ask the butcher for the chili meat cut and get about 3 pounds. it will be lean so that will make quite a bit. enough for six to eight. mainly with chili, it's about the spices you don't use. many will dazzle you with concoctions of ridiculous proportions. spices of unknown orgin. strangely, always leaving out the pepper. here's the deal, all you need is a bunch of chili power and cumin, perhaps combining whole seeds and cumin powder, in a 2/1 ratio. you then have the basis of chili. salt and pepper at the very end. i've eaten horrible chili before. chili with kahlua, chili with chocolate, white chili. i've left many full bowls of chili on the table due to taste issues. the creativity comes next. tomato sauce and diced tomatoes are a given, but here's where you should take note. rotel. yes, the mexican and queso staple. it will add the proper spice to finish off the pot of texican meat soup. a quick chopped whole onion should be cooked along with the meat intitially, fresh garlic added in the latter stages. cook it long, cook it low. honestly, it should be cooled and refridgerated overnight to really taste it's true potential and experience its perfectly tender texture. serve with corn chips, raw onions, sharp chedder, and sliced avacodos. light english beer goes good. ice water too.  beans should be eaten at a seperate meal.


Still Mother

your big beautiful eyes, still beautiful
your shining light of hope, still shining
your loving servant heart, still serving
your glorious smile, still glorious
your peaceful sleeping, still peaceful
your mother soul, still mothering
your scents of flowers, still scenting
your love of God, still absolute
your family is together, still
your family loves you, still
your family adores you, still
and always.


The Coolness Of Dawn

what he said he could never take back
the careful reluctance of his words
understanding the fate ahead
with anticipation and restlessness
a confused state of affairs to be sure
but at times completely exhilarating
this world with its distractions and taboos
tip-toeing the border of repentance and grace
oh, and it becomes more important than anything else
this wayward albatross
sleep is taken like candy beat out of a pineada
rash colors prevail and a slow-cooked peace hovers
what he wrote will be forgotten
forgotten, absolutely, by most who looked and read
but one will remember, remember a phrase, a glance
keep on the light, let the night linger, write at the coolness of dawn


Girls Gonna Get Me To The Promised Land

failing love, is there any other kind
failing love, like a nursury ryhme
g                                                   f
failing love, with your heart in your hand
            c            g                  f               c  
put that bum that you loved in the garbage can

funny love, tries hard every time
funny love, clears hearts and minds
funny love, when love is at it's most
hit the hills in the summer, in the winter hit the coast

stubborn love, heart breaks every day
stubborn love, keeps the devil away
stubborn love, watches visions come true
despite crying all night cause you got the blues

heartache love, when prayers are lifted heighest
heartache love, when you scream out for the Christ
heartache love, you'll know it's near the end
these girls gonna get me to the promised land


Slip Camping

e) grab a flashlight
f) spot the fish
g) stand watch all night
h) 'til the bugs go to sleep
i) summer night sweats
j) sticky skin
k) hooked fingertip
l) crusted blood
m) feet off the pier
n) army green water
o) orange life jackets
p) never worn
q) closed compartment
r) mosquito lands
s) slaps
t) car light motions
u) cricket sounds
v) rocky roads
w) uphill and heavy air
x) fish gut air
y) woke on a deck
z) with an unknown dog licking my face



c       g          f           c             g 
what kind of sacrifice could we give
c                               g
what do we have to offer
f    c     f      c
our world's saints

could hardly think of a time i've seen
a bird help another one
fretting and sweet
the lovers

ingore the binding mind capturers
iching all the right places
caverns revealed

sweated then bled then He died
hung in the morning sun
hour before dusk


Fires, And Storms, And Rocketships

stranded in the middle of a wildfire
flames a hunnard feet high
wish that thundercloud would roll by
tornado or not
plows in the fields left to burn
cats and dogs already ran off
ain't no one to fight it
the bright, melting, smoke maker
a disaster area, huh
hell yes
black, ash covered valleys
charred trees, still rooted
trashman came and nothing was left
a raw, but cleaner, land remained
dirt, fortified with fossils
labor awaits
winds are gushing
like herds of rocketships
the late spring storms, violent and teasing
damn fires.

Hoeing Potatoes Blues

g                                                           c
air moving quick about forty mile an hour
g                                                              c
along the fence line goes maria on the rider
f                  c                  g                      c
woke up, had breakfast, know what i gotta do
f                g                    f                       c           
so i grabbed my hoe and put on my work boots

last night i slept with a with a town on my mind
mountains all around down on the mexican line
thought we saw a vision as we drank in the saloon
left my gloves in the barn, hoeing potatoes blues

tennessee son, been playing slide and lead
the lake's gotta be connected to the creek
electric wires and soundproof rooms
already walked down here i'll dig up a few

they cut a road for this place, it's about to get paved
the leprechaun man just working at his trade
been everywhere he could go now he's through
blisters on his fingers, hoeing potatoes blues


Add Some Tabasco

shoulder plateau
time moves slow
a short intro
begins the show

heart in traction
love being rationed
all the while smashing
recorded in captions

midnight lovers
exchanging troubles
sly and undercover
pity the mothers

chemical imbalance
send them to france
complete their rants
continue the dance

add some tabasco
makes your back bow
heat sneaks up slow
shoulder plateau



imagination: seed of history
imagination: lonesome irony
imagination: godess perfection
imagination: source of discontent
imagination: territorial notions
imagination: dream trash
imagination: founding fathers
imagination: art worthy
imagination: halo owner
imagination: streetlamp gazer
imagination: dark stars
imagination: reality check
imagination: eyes closed tightly
imagination: across the street blues
imagination: holy rollers
imagination: out of style
imagination: tombstone whistler
imagination: anxiety monsters
imagination: fantasy prisoner
imagination: truth through gauze
imagination: literal meanings
imagination: laughing pirate
imagination: color explosions
imagination: possible scenarios
imagination: wrecked balance
imagination: air brushed maidens
imagination: self love
imagination: self hate
imagination: independent flyers
imagination: mind tune-up
imagination: wisdom apologizer
imagination: inventions
imagination: divine taster
imagination: phantom madness
imagination: mirage maker
imagination: deep deep blue



Masters Of Man

take you apart moment by moment
explore the pixeled brain
colors too numerous to name
colors without names yet
pluck out the eyes
cameras to the passing scenes
don't look at everything
at least don't look twice
those lips creating all the words
air from the lungs gentle and silent
dry lips
wet tongue

shoulders shouldering
arms arming
butts butting
knees kneeing

heart and soul polar opposites
one spastic, the other smooth
a masterpiece of technology
a mysterious and supernatural wonder
the woman certainly the superior
better hearts, better souls
the ache they produce
masters of man


Sad Souls Of Islands

that jazz bops man like a stereo spider
i'll tell you man, like a three tone jail bird
silent parts exploding the songs into liquid
then getting cold, the ice shattering teeth
rock's more primal, screaming and thirsty honey
hardly ever breaks the noise, elevation defined
withered and rough, the skin of dirty peasants
clear, squinting eyes hollowing out the blind lights
folk makes me want to walk, walk until my feet hurt man
resting by the state park signs and tuning guitars by ear
writing history on bar napkins, moist on the edges
wadded and pocketed, melody the reluctant foe
or click a clock by the dreaded and raggaed sounds
going on all night, after all day, never before noon
crying for mothers and children and the lost of this world
tragic, the daily encounter, sad souls of islands


Laughing Loudly

crackling juicemaker
cringing clouds
crumbling, clearly in desperation

thrashing heartbreaker
touching treetops
thriving, tearily and sad

lonely car racer
laughing loudly
leaping, luciously and kind

sleeping parader
struggling stories
sharing, suffocating dreams


Speaking Of Gangsters

speaking of gangsters
the sorry lot
selfishness to it's odd conslusion
intimidation and nods
trust nowhere to be found
stuffing themselves into suits
walking from right to left
leaning all the time
hair products
vocabulary of a dozen
steam room dwellers
afraid of solitude
phony cash
trash cash
minutemen at the ready
gang up boys
the english are dumb
but they fight like desperados


Layers Of Wombs

naturalism takes over
like a momentumed slide,
gaining pace always.

perhaps an aged flesh,
weary and wise due to wounds
of days, provides a balance.

the mind is fully alive and gnawing,
it's own heartbeat, it's unvisited
cubbyholes, unfound jewels.

resisting becomes denying becomes
habit becomes freedom,
layers of wombs.



worn broom sits in the corner
the dead hair it's seen
blue water of unknown
supposed to be cleaner
talk is mindless and endless
as cracked seats spin
reflections everywhere
and razors
cutting eyes
look at every angle
checkerboard floor
of black and white
seventy years old
aged men arrive
calling everyone by name
and just bitchin'
loud and long
'bout weather
taxes and baggy pants
toothpicks always hanging
sighs and hums
two fingers
and powdered necks
windows for walls
no credit cards
layered cuts extra
came in the through the back
doors locked and belled
half eaten tuna fish
orange soda pop
number 8 on top
7 round the sides and back
don't block it off
eyebrows need a trim too
damn congress
girls ok?
thrift store
just had a big truck leave
maybe some used records
drum container
perfect for cords


Believe In Madness

no orders, no rules
no commands, no mandates
just suggestions of obedience
a plan for living, a plan for dying
heaven is not a place of marketing
convincing is not needed, but desired
the rainbow, casting it's shadow of deceit
visions of wonderment and attainable illusions
allowing all to avoid the truth, if only for a few years
the burden of wanting and needing and getting your due
forcing the issue, making the stage yours, the world seems tiny
huge boxes of bones lying underneath the roots and walking hopers
souls of meekness and service all the while living in the midst of divine ages
drop the self reflection, lose the superior mind games, pull up the lost, be constant
believe in madness


Bonfire Brew

off to the west, near the nuclear tests
sits a pile of sand and a hornets nest

huge rocks and french white wines
aching for family and having good times

looks of knowing and hands of grease
saltless maragritas and two kinds of meat

bonfire brew near an amphitheater
blues get light from the noise of a heater

from gear to rides to room and board
made that way so we could afford

hospitality holds a lofty place
next to angels and the One of grace

knee high powder and catching breaths
in a state of mind and a state of unrest

sweetie wakes early and starts to howl
never heard her beg, never heard her growl

junior looks strong and he seems real smart
flaunts a huge smile and a tender heart

up near the divide in a valley of hope
lives a family who will always live near the slopes

a canyon was forged by the eagle river
if my life wasn't waitin' i'd try to live here

smartest man i ever knew got some good tests
it'll take more that that to put him to rest



St. Augustine Envy

ain't that white down here no more. just green bermuda seeping through the dead and worn beige. dallas is mostly concrete, gotta get out to the fabulous suburbs to find the nuevo soul of texas. neon, everywhere. new neon. like new jeans torn and frayed. what would the reckless guitar player think of that? no bordellos around here. no cockroaches. the rats eat them and the snakes eat the rats. of course, we cut the heads off of the damn snakes. poisonous or not.

i envy st.augustine.


Under The Rainbow

talking of pulsing paragraphs
hawking the latest cultural fad
mistaking the gifts they once had
for a theory or hidden meaning

the wind carried the words to finger tips
the thoughts that came from their lips
they threw their tantrums and their fits
so others would find them beaming

in the end, we'll all be dust and ash
the poems will fade, the songs get trashed
under the rainbow, our hopes are dashed
don't you know we're all just dreaming


Good Tweezers

good tweezers are hard to find
ones that won't nick when you pull a splinter
eyeballs have very little feeling
and can bleed
blood, contrasted with the whites of the eyes
create a spectacular painting
if paintings could see,
what tales of indecision!

the muse in the corner
fragile and still
her curves and shapes
my eyes followed
anchored until released
trapped in the coffin of life
suffocating on our own greed
afraid of the world's opinions

shocked by the madness
shocked by the heartless




Fresh Oregano

     Much of what I was taught about competing in tennis was adopted from one family. The Vitas of McKinney, Texas were wild, rough, and full of go. Both of 'em. Joe cut a figure, VITA with blue lettering on the back of his gold helmet in the summer of 84 two-a-days. First time I ever saw the word Vita. Standing in line with the receivers, new in town and waiting to run my first 10 yard button hook. My hands were among the best to ever cradle a football, but my speed was never near enough. Had quick feet, just couldn't run fast. Soon they moved my 160 pound body to guard, hoping I'd follow my older brother's growth patterns and become something. Church on Sunday days. Billy, William Vita Jr., was younger, wilder, and more rebellious. Won some brother battles, I'm sure. Saw a couple. Seemed to always have a rip in some part of his shirt. From tugging, pulling, rustling, something. Italians, of course, but very distinctly Philly and very distinctly, for me at least, McKinney. Both played tennis tenaciously and followed exotic tennis players. Lendl, Wilander, and the argentine Guillermo Vilas. I was a disciple of McEnroe, Conners, and Borg. They had stacks of tennis magazines. Imagine, 14/15 year old boys staring at tennis magazines for hours. Thinking back, what were we doing? We thought we lived on a higher plane. Just as well, we did play a lot of tennis and won and lost many games, sets, and matches.

     Joe held an unbeatable aura that has held to this very day in the 41st year of my life. I've never beaten the man in singles. Taken some sets, won some pong, plenty of doubles victories, but never a singles match. He may not even be aware. We've played consistently, and competitively, through the years. Through various stages of shape and the normal maladies and struggles that hinder men living their lives. Joe is a man with a strong family, because he is a man from a strong family. Same with BV. The Vitas are people that live. Because they grew up with a cross above the doorways and on the shelves and on the necks of their father and mother. Bill Sr. and Mary Anne. Food in the fridge. Fresh food all the time. Always something on the stove. Huge pots cooking. Bill Sr. stirring and talking. Talking about the squid. "See boys, we cook it slow, simmering, all damn day. The octopus is a tough fish. The meat is tough unless you break it down. Add a little salt." He shook the salt vigorously over the just boiling soup. "Mary Anne!” he cried above all the noises, "We got the good oregano from the market, or do we got only the bottled kind?" Of course the fresh oregano was available and used once Mary Anne quietly and with a huge smile presented it to him :15 seconds later. "Can't hear ourselves think in here sometimes. These damn birds." She laughed and talked. She knew her boys and she knew her husband. A loud family, in love. Prayers ascend, now especially, for the loud, and in love, Vita family.

     Joe Vita seemed melancholy and preoccupied during the first doubles mahut ever played. Along with Keck, we had arrived, after scurrying around Allen for an available court, onto the middle court of the Allen Freshman Center expecting to drill and perhaps play some Australian or California version of regular scoring. The singles player gets the doubles lines; the doubles players only get the singles lines. It's a good method to create some match like conditions. In fact, ISM (Isner Scoring Method) could be leveraged through 2 on 1 matches, especially if there is reliability and commitment from the players. At this point, I don't think it's ever been tried.

     The court lights were decent. The early January night came quick. Cool and breezy, but no bite from real cold. We commented on long time lapses, business deals, family deals, traffic deals, insufficient court deals, music deals, and other deals. Joe, perfectly outfitted, and Keck, in a green Fila leisure style suit, started on one side and we began to warm up. With my planter fascia tendon well enough to be forgotten and my legs and shoulders fairly well stretched, we started blasting forehands and backhands. Joe had powerful swings that produced violent spins and made consistent solid contact. Keck was the machine, tuned by ISM scoring methodology and in the midst of a prison workout process. No weights or machines he previously informed me, just what you can do with your body. Maybe a crossbar. Mainly, it was back to the basics, in an extreme manner. The hope is to get an authentic ex convict to be on the DVD. Or he could just stream the video on the internet. Let customers burn their own DVD if they wanted. Really, this could be up and running quickly through a blog site. From there it's marketing. And sit-ups, pushups, pull ups (the crossbar), running, no sugars, lose the bread (and chips); take vitamins, every dang day. Keck could make it work. He flicked his forehands, he sawed his backhands, he returned everything. Joe, not as much, but I was having trouble handling the increased pace of his shots because I generally play with the slower paced Keck. Joe moved his feet very well, no dragging or giving up on wide shots. He knew those were the shots that won matches. Perhaps a desperate running forehand down the line to make it deuce and fend off game point in the 9th game in the 5th mahut of an Isner match. Perhaps you came back and won the game to make it 3/6, a chance at a 4/6 mahut, relieved that you avoided a 2/8 mahut, and highly motivated to avoid a 3/7 mahut. Perhaps 4/6 would bring the Isner tally to 17-33, above the important 0.5 (0.515) Isner player comparison ratio. Fall below the 0.5 mark and your partner should really find someone better to play, his 1.94 player comparison ratio with you is still in a productive range, worthy of his time, but unless you sustain your efforts the ratios can move quickly. Either way. Every point matters. Every game matters. Every mahut matters. Every Isner match matters. Joe could be the greatest of all Isner players, but he hadn't embraced ISM fully. Yet. To his credit, he had played the 2nd Isner match with Keck the previous summer/fall and his ratios were significantly better than mine and above the 0.5 mark. I had a 0.44 player comparison ratio with Keck, from a 31-70 finish in the 1st ever Isner, completed a month prior to the completion of the Keck/Vita match (70-35). My second Isner match with Keck was coming to a close and the ratios were very similar. Considering two consecutive 1/9 mahuts in mahut #1 and mahut #2, my improved ratios of late were encouraging and a 6/4 win in mahut #7 was my first ever mahut win. I currently stood at 1-17-1 in mahuts with Keck. Humbled, but aware of what it takes to improve, fight, and win. I should be grateful with a ratio in the forties, especially considering the planter fascia injury. As we continued to warm up, a man with 120 tennis balls all over the side court was hitting shot after shot furiously. He was drenched. Eventually, he approached us about playing doubles. We all seemed fine with it and, after introductions and handshakes we moved to his court (the better court due to being near a fence) and teams were formed. Keck and I were on the same side and standing next to each other so we nodded and teamed up. Joe and the Floridian Jim did the same. As we continued warming up and I began thinking about the note-worthiness of the moment. This was to be the first Isner doubles mahut.

     Keck and I performed as we expected, our play sharpened by the previous month's ISM matches and mahuts. The Floridian seemed a bit flustered at first, but settled in and tortured us late in the match with swirling, spinning serves. The kind of serves cooked up on the clay courts of Florida. No clay courts in Texas. Outdoors at least. The Texas sun, hotter and longer than the Florida sun, would burn them and the cracks would grow wide and deep. Only hard, concrete courts outside in Texas. Fast, but still not as fast as the Wimbledon grass Isner and Mahut occupied in the summer of 2010. Despite the Floridian’s service tricks, Keck and I were too much and too constant. The Isner match was played under the cover of a regular match (no time to explain ISM to the Floridian) and at 6-0, 2-2, I looked at Keck after he put away a forehand volley to win the game and said, "8-2 in the first ever doubles mahut." For a moment, he hesitated, then finally offered a knowing look and gave the accomplishment its propers. Keck and I would go on to win 6-4 in the final antique set to win the antique match, our focus and sharpness somehow diminished after the quiet mahut celebration. Joe found his tennis game during the match and nearly broke my wrist as I attempted to volley one of his screaming down the line attempts, but was handicapped by the Floridian. Despite his late serving success, the rest of the man's game was in shambles. The electric ball machine he was using before we arrived needed more court time. On reflection, maybe it needed more storage time. Only constant human play can sustain success. Like fresh oregano, authenticity cannot be replicated.