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.