Fleece The Fools

all the walking that we do all the searching for the gold
been awake all night my love i think i'm getting close

the way out is leap of faith like a city street midnight run
the lungs fill up with motor fumes and the robbers have the guns

private undertakers they know the world will turn to ash
sold the line about a huge success gonna go out in a higher class

their blood is blue, they have no clue, the rulers have aligned
making rules to fleece the fools, don't think i'm inclined

already got their hearts
already got their minds
no no no, can't let you have their souls
they've been claimed by the King and soon they'll be going home.

from the towns in the backwood waters near the alligator swamps
men and women with stories to tell about greasing the right palms

checked into a hotel room saw the lights of boston's night
all i could do was shine my shoes and i went out for a bite    

capo 4


Like McEnroe

     The racquet was a load. Like the hammer of Thor, it was too heavy for mortal man. The 7th mahut of this isner match, as with every isner match, was played vintage. My Jack Kramer was letting me down. Or I was letting it down. Keck, with his French made Sportif model, had won 7 straight games to make it 8-2, which made it 69-31 overall, which put him one game away from winning his 7th straight inser match. I stood on the baseline to begin the next game with, hopefully, a big first serve. I was weary. My legs had failed me this day. Coming directly from work to play our weekly mahut prevented me from stopping by the house to grab a handful of nutrition and, perhaps, an extended kiss from my lovely wife, glorious hugs from my wonderful girls, or a wag from brando, the family deck dog--best dog I ever had. No, I had rushed over from work, changed in the parking lot while wondering about Allen city laws against changing in parking lots, drank a few sips of water, token sips really, and went through a hasty warm-up. The wind was gusty and the courts were busy and noisy. One guy walked onto the adjacent court during our sixth game, threw his bag on the bench and engaged in a heated phone conversation with somebody named Misty. Seemed she had used the wrong credit card. He was really upset and said some awful things. After the horrid discussion he left the court. Apparently oblivious to shame. Keck had won that sixth game easily while I worried about Misty. Wondered if she was crying.

     Now was my chance to get to 32 games. My PCR with Keck had wavered between .45-.52 for the last several matches and adding another game meant the difference between a .44 and .46 PCR. My motivations were still high. The optimism carried into the beginning of the match was gone, to be sure. Keck had destroyed it with his spectacular play, flawless serving, and running flip shots. Laver never did it better. As it was said of Laver applied to Keck...

...he was "technically faultless, from his richly varied serve to his feather-light touch on drop volleys plus a backhand drive carrying destructive topspin when needed or controlling slice when the situation demanded it."

     My play at the net was inconsistent and wild and I had typical vintage serving challenges, but mainly it was Keck winning rather than me losing. I stepped to the line and began my service motion. Usually, after deep breaths and bouncing routines, I will toss the ball fairly high in the air. This to allow time for a full twist of the torso and sufficient bend of the knees before jumping with all my might off my tiptoes as I swing the racquet from behind my head with a chopping motion. Fully extended by the time of impact. At the top of the toss. Feet off the ground, all my power unleashed. I predict I've repeated this basic tennis action 500,000 times. This one was executed well and dropped quickly and left to Keck's forehand side. He swung it into the net, disappointed and aghast. In truth, he let up and fell victim to not bending his knees enough and getting down with the ball. He was thinking about English beer. Realizing this, he lined up up to take my next serve with determination and focus. He too was still motivated and wanted to break out of the PCR ranges we had established. He returned my next serve with a backhand flip that backed me up on the baseline. I managed to get a weak backhand slice over the net but he was coming in and easily put away a volley. 15 all. Wanted to show him some pace so I flattened out my grip and went for the middle ace. Just long as it rang the fence. The second serve got in and Keck lifted it back to my forehand side. Came up a bit and really stepped into it as I went cross court with a fully executed swing. Ball was a clear winner and sent Keck running over to the other court in desperate chase. "Goooorman.", he bellowed.

     The credit card worrier was back, hitting with two others. They had noticed the vintage racquets and were watching the match while warming up. "You guys really smack it with those racquets," he said to Keck. "It's called vintage tennis," Keck replied, "We're playing the 7th mahut of our isner match. 1st and 7th mahout of every inner match is vintage. Really makes you concentrate on the form of the swing and the technique required to serve consistently with a vintage racquet makes me a much better server when I play with my modern racquets." He returned the ball to me and I lined up for a chance to really take control of the game, serving at 30-15. My next serve dropped in as well as I gave a mindful effort to my serving form. Keck blasted it back and I returned the shot and this went on for several rounds. Finally, Keck was drawn to the net and I smashed a backhand winner down the left line as he stumbled in vain to make it 40-15. Always one to take a chance, especially if winning is at stake; I decided to go for the flat middle serve again. Wanted to ring the fence on an ace. This one went in and Keck hit a high lob back as he lunged. Got it fairly deep and I was backed to the baseline. I looped a forehand back and he responded with a huge forehand winner down the line on my backhand side. It was a great shot and I congratulated him on his return of serve. At 40-30, I knew going to deuce had to be avoided. Keck's mental dominance was evident. He had won games by extending them and eventually influencing mistakes and executing isner sharpened play. This had to be done now or never. My legs were tired, my shoulders were sore, but I had to bring a kramerian end to this game now. I decided to rush the net after my first serve. This was it. I was going to serve, volley, and go get a drink at 3-8. I decided. The serve was well struck and fell in as I moved quickly to the net. Keck, by now with nothing to lose, hit a cross court forehand top my backhand side. I stopped and lunged left, my racquet rattled the court. The strings caught the ball and the wood frame held. The ball floated over the net, powerless and victorious. Keck didn't even make a move for the ball. "Gorman at the net. Like McEnroe," he said with admiration and disgust.

     After an extended break, Keck went on to win the next game easily and claimed the mahut 9-3 and the isner match 70-32. My PCR was .46 and I held hope for resurgence during our eighth isner match over the summer. Usually, during the time when an isner match is concluded and one begins, we will look to play other formats using ISM (Isner Scoring Method). The Vita brothers have entered into an isner doubles match with Keck and I, and through the first mahut (played pre-vintage), we are leading 11-4. This match will be documented.



Wizzed By My Head

wonder if the six blade knife was swiss army
stepping out for coffee beans
wild west end where duck was eaten
got a day time job, doing alright

nirvana don't have a gun
no they don't have a gun
no they don't have a gun
grunge was great, but only for two years
then it died
finally, he found a gun

song about numchuks
swingin' wide and loudly
throws a chinese star
blades sharpened
wizzed by my head

cash just watched him die
dreaming about cigars
blondes all around
lotion smells and sweat

all the rapper gun raps
sideways shooters
those bullets really kill.


Mind's In A Knot

ever wanna shake it out
ever wanna get it out
e7                                            d7
thought you and me could work it out
e7                  a7
right here at home.

think it might be our destiny
always be you and me
write down all my philosophies
try to stay unknown.

d7                           a7
ohhh, found her in a rush 
ohhh, told her bout my crush
ohhh, my mind's in a knot 
e7         d7                e7                    a7     
tell me please tell me if you love me or not          

could be a bullet could be a knife
we might live long long lives
you'll pay for all your lies
before your done.

tryin' to stay on a roll
regrets that my heart's been closed
time'll keep on taking it's toll
soon we'll be gone.   


Schützen Tent

them germans, them germans
can surely make some beer
sat around the fire all night
wanting to shed a tear

the little girl in cell block 10
was screaming for her life
told me in the schützen tent
don't look them in the eye

them germans, them germans
can surely make some beer
sat around the fire all night
wanting to shed a tear

i know, i know
deep down in my soul
the devil is commanding
and he must be overthrown

them germans, them germans
can surely make some beer
sat around the fire all night
wanting to shed a tear


Floating In A Fish Tank

the circus barker called up the midgets
they ran around that big tent the whole time
playing tricks on the poor big cats

camel rides for 10 bucks a head. two for one on sundays.
that benitez family got some good flyers
what a life they live

trailers and extended applause
lost a brother, son, and really good tosser last month
cancelled the saturday night show in amarillo

buried him in the graveyard on the north side of town
dedicated the sunday show to his memory
broke it all down on monday and drove to dumas for the next show

on wednesday night, 3 of the midgets got thrown in jail for disorderly conduct
a drunk cowboy made one too many jokes
detectives found his eyeball the next morning, floating in a fish tank


Hot Glue

parking lot queen

never needed anything from a man

'til the money dried up

borrowed shoes

sold out of hot glue

keeping the lines away

curls and combs

overheated females


Galveston Coast

almost drowned down there, on the galveston coast, had to go deeper and deeper to make sure a big one was rode. passed on a few, got oily saltwater in my mouth, sunglasses aflutter. purchased a boogieboard that morning, a day after constructing massive and precise castles and underestimating the sun's capability to turn me bright pink. wore a longsleeve shirt and tight hat from then on. spent the morning getting the hang of it and instructing my daughters as they caught wave after wave. then went out deeper to find a wave of my own. my youngest daughter stuck with me for awhile, but halted with great concern as she saw me heading for the big breakers. wanted to ride one all the way in. had two concealed modelos iced down on the beach. a huge umbrella covered our possessions. finally got out to where the big waves broke, having to jump as the waves passed to prevent a face shot. learned this the hard way. then it came. saw it from way back. had a rythym so my confidence was high. took the final plunge and leaped on, my elbows tucked ridgedly on the board. whipped by my youngest, who looked astonished and proud, and felt the speed. riding an uncontrollable wave, with complete control. came to a complete and exhausted stop at the ankle water. turned over and laid flat in the shallow water. wife, friend, and lover of our soul, saw the whole thing.  perched on the beach with a golden tan and floppy hat. she smilingly motioned approval and reached for the camera. youngest came running over, the most excited of all. oldest missed it, distracted by the loss of her shades, but heard the story, in detail, later that night over fish dinners and shrimp.  those modelos went down in a rush, drank from a hotel cup. think of that wave. it's creation, it's maturing, it's final service. indifferent to the seemingly important tasks of our daily actions and uncaring of my ride. this life ain't hard and this life ain't easy. spend your time finding waves, just the right ones, the uncaring ones. ride them all, take drink breaks, and control the uncontrollable.


Hemingway Said

wash behind your ears son.
and pluck out the hairs.
grooming is a selfless act.
andy rooney was a menace.

lights went out.
when the wind picked up.

cuban beans and corn chips.
sweating dancers.
tired and sleepy women.
very loud in the early hours.


Swaying California Brown

em                            g                
just drove up from kerrville
em                               c
been sunning in the guadalupe river
g            c                d          c
saw the brightest sky ever last night
g        d            em           c
venus shining like a spotlight

c                   g
i'll have another
d                      c
make it two or three
em                         g
keep 'em on ice my honey
c                             g
come and dance with me

tidy cafe in a one light town
near dublin coming home
texas ranches go on forever
buzzards sit atop cliffs and wait it out

i'll have another
make it two or three
keep 'em on ice my honey
come and dance with me

hooked by the swaying california brown
military men all get in line
college degree and beans with chili
the road is open and the sights are hilly

Jungle Vines

into the costa rican waters we waded
on the hunt for natives and bounty
floated on a battered ship for months
for the chance at riches and fame

set your braids just right darlings
make sure your hat is pulled down tight

trapped in a net of jungle vines and leaves
a two-eyed one nosed spiked haired man looking down on me
a spear blade sticking in my side
jibberish is spoken to a few others that arrived

eat a bite of something in the morning
just to get you going girls

a few kicks later i finally screamed out
thought maybe if i acted like a crazed man they would scatter
they talked some more and eventually began giddy laughing
released me from the net and hooked me to a large limb

keep your friendships in perspective
you're in school to learn honeys

two natives picked up either side of the limb
carried me through the jungle with no concern for my groans
approched what looked like a small village or a tidy campsite
set me above the fire and that's when i passed out.

chicks, boys only have one thing on their minds
and when they become men, nothing changes


Colored House

on the other side of time, there is no wisdom
on the other side of time, there is no gray
on the other side of time, there is no coffin
on the other side of time, there is no coughing

on the other side of night, i saw a sun beam
on the other side of night, i saw a colored house
on the other side of night, i saw a windmill
on the other side of night, i saw a bad deal

on the other side of life, we'll be floating around
on the other side of life, we'll be restful souls
on the other side of life, we'll be satisfied
on the other side of life, we'll be sanitized

on the other side of love, i feel a razor blade
on the other side of love, i feel a sunken heart
on the other side of love, i feel a desperate touch
on the other side of love, i feel a merciful touch



built up a bubble of sorts
control the swaying of the thin layer of soapy film
it never breaks
come close a few times

inside the bubble there are only two people
remember, of course, my wife and i are one
the other is Him
He's always around, in my head, in my dreams

left there, in my bubble, by God
I wanted to escape a time or three
always held back, every time
instincts sharpened by His voice

looking backwards from the bubble
the distance and fleeting is understood
avoiding disaster and dodging bullets
this faith life is hard.


Horn Sections

early am air seasoned just slightly with coming heat
two dogs chasing flies around, cornered one and got it

photographers and the clueless in rapid discussion
about new orleans guitar players with horn sections

modern day rum runner on the fayetteville to austin line
cigarette hounds step up to the grill and make selections