Even The Dirt

fools, fools, fools.
praying for salvation that has already come.

for peace that is forever.
for themselves.

pretend, at least.

to have hope.
to see past the mirror.
to cling to something.
or anyone.

everything is not bad.
most everything is beautiful.
even the dirt.


Pick Pockets

to dallas!  pack up honey.  call the girls and let em know.  going to a show.  down on greenville.  bob schneider is the man.  rainy and windy and cold, but we'll be in the warm theater.  the granada got the clouds on the ceiling.  early arrivals get the good seats, make my way down for a few songs later in the set.  stand and sway.  the northface hoodie is perfect.  got a pocket on the inside.  dallas is full of pick pockets.  those old thieves.  pocketknife pat has a surprise.  wake her at night and see if i've been lying.  my wife got a pocketknife oh yeahh, yeah, yeah.  the other day she was walking in a parking lot.  a dude came up to her, said give me what you got.  my wife looked him the eyes, said you want my pocketknife?  this guy didn't know what to say.  it was clear to him, he picked the wrong woman today.  hey man, what you gonna do?  mess with me, i'm gonna cut you in two.  that man, he left the scene.  shaken up by what he'd seen.  my wife, she got a pocketknife, oh yeahhhhaaaahhhhyeah...


Immigration Rotation

the laptop life.  full of mobility and words at the ready.  a flood could follow.  pecking on screens is for the brief.  to the point.  which has it's place.  but production of a fully formed idea needs keyboards and speed.  pages per day days.  strictly structured or strictly random.  needs to add up.  either or.  instant reactions and immediate stories.  like the ones about the doctors of the old days.  about the mexican workers of the forties and fifties.  one had to be sent back for every ten.  back on monday morning.  tired from the long bus ride back through the endless south texas brush.  lawman has to do his job.  round up another one the next farm over the next day.  the immigration rotation.  the farmers picked out the laziest for the bus ride.  time to think about their work ethic.  automatic motivational process.  complete with mercy and second chances.  tons and tons of cotton to pick.  fields and fields to hoe.  rows and rows of corn.  this was before the massive machines of modern farming.  before techniques became exponentially more efficient.  hands and earth days.  the good hands camped on the outer edges and smoked weed til late at night.  for days and months they worked for texas farmers.  the black dirt of the trinity region.  the mexican boss man handled the money.  during the fall harvest they planted seeds for the spring return.  on creek banks, in culverts, near the cacti.  something to relax their nights.  beer and whisky led to loud behavior.  raucous and violent.  the drunks got sent back to mexico on a bus.  the smokers looked at the stars and understood peace.  the skies huge and bright.  ahh, the laptop life.  neon green and thin.  makeup already scars the keys.  those girls!  already slept on, despite the rules.  up and running now.  words to follow.


Hang Ten

The great fundraiser.
Really works up the crowd.
Lost in the applause.
Followers follow.
And it never ends.
The convincing.
No time to work.
Busy keeping the job.
The grease keeps it smooth.
And we ooze on.
Whip up the public.
Talk about unfairness.
Boo the blue.
Align with thugs and scammers.
Keep your job.
Speak and speak and speak.
Rest your weary bones.
Off to the islands.
Jet lag is a bummer.
Hang ten.


Jillions Of Miles Away

.this thing about others.
.these weepy eyes.
.known through and through.
.like an automatic rewind.
.machines are supposed to work.
.jillions of miles away.
.between space debris.
.near the eternal state.
.talk of lightning bolts and rain.
.atmosphere gazers.
.time off the clock.
.the believing class.
.winos, sickos, and hobos.
.greasers, sleepers, and keepers.
.brains, pains, and other names.
.brats, rats, and the trapped.
.the community of always.


The Arrival Of Our Future

.wildcatters, leaning in.
.making eye contact and showing out.
.this is their time.
.wavy lashes and lips of color.
.smooth, smooth faces.
.work ethic queens.
.the arrival of our future.
.downtown talk and cash.
.local is always relevant.
.eyes half open and slurs.
.going on about gratitude.
.spitting food and giggling.
.book deals, as always.
.the expression of an artist.
.an unexpected hero.
.old and cranked.


Observations Of Absurdity

      Usually, it starts with the literal.  Reality being important to the structure of anything, tangible objects, real thoughts, observations of absurdity.  Then the tone of the sound.  The minors and sevens adding significant moods.  Letters that go together.  The words fill in parts of the completed work, but  they only compliment the song.  Some is left to the listener to describe, in their terms, in the context of their circumstances.  What is meant by the creator is less important than how it is experienced.  Boundaries are fine, each song has it's place and purpose.  Creating serves the creator, listening serves the listener.  Each uncaring of the other's motivations and inspiration.  Complete separation.  All this is evident, but many are motivated by the creator, not the creation.  The singer, not the song.  Most songs come together quickly, expressions are not lingering things.  More like flashes, wind gusts, or sudden.  Capturing a specific time and place, with what is active in the mind, body, or spirit. The performance is another matter, where articulation, space, understanding, and freedom are continuously refined.



.could only think of one thing to do...
.only had a few issues to figure out...
.regardless of time or circumstance...
.gloria is heard as one unified sound...
.avoiding the light in the shakedown...
.life defined and already determined...
.calm usually exists near distractions...


The Hall Of Fame Games

...this business about this hall of fame.  The one that cannot bring itself to induct Drew Pearson or Cliff Harris.  The one that is a hall of fame only in name, what a shame, what a shame, so lame, so lame.  These two individuals who defined football on offense and defense, especially for dallas cowboy observers.  Harris, an early balder, tough as dirt, gave more than he got, and he got plenty.  No doubt he paid the price for his induction.  Won multiple Super Bowls, played in more, was always in Hawaii for the pro bowl, accolades upon accolades.  Played 10 years for the same team as they reached the heights of success.  Pearson, the dude, the cool operator with the superafro, the slick, the sideline artist, the class and with class, the original 88.  Before Irvin, before the first Bryant, before Dez.  The Hail Mary!  Swann and Stallworth are both in.  It's disgusting.  For both players, the career numbers are entirely sufficient.  Theoretical explanations and hypothetical understandings are futile.  The pure envy involved, the absolute transparency of the situation.  Both first team all decade for the 1970s, as voted on by the hall of political games itself.  But this is not a pitch or debate, this is an expression.  There are others too.  Harvey.  Everson.  Too Tall went 7-0 as a professional heavyweight boxer!  An expression of peace, only once the turmoil is tamed.  But the expression only validates and makes conviction stronger.  There is worry about the safety Darren Woodson, who was always the best player on the field when he played.  Obvious, it was.  Perhaps the best all around special teams player of his era as well.  Was probably the emergency QB, Kicker, Punter, deep Snapper, Tight End, and MLB.  One of those players.  Of course, it is universally known and remembered.  Darren Woodson.  Mainly, the therapeutical benefit of this expression is real.  Life can continue the predictable and unpredictable.  Controllable and uncontrollable should be determined.  All emotions should be indulged in moderately.  Decisions should be decisive, after appropriate consideration.  Finally, exhibit class.  In all it's forms.  These two men, Cliff and Drew, have too much class to point out the obvious.  Other priorities have risen above the slight.  The wrong must be made right by others.  They have moved on.  The 70s was a long time ago.  Ain't that the truth.  Both went on to productive lives, quietly and content with what they, and the team, accomplished on the field.  The accolades, memories, and championships.  Plural.  It was all there.  Another thing, why does one state, Ohio, get the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the a Rock and Roll Hall of a Fame?  Tripping Daisy and the Swinging Ds will probably get screwed too.


Tripped By Mentalities

.a decending of sorts.
.back to the farm.
.bit by reality.
.didn't bite back.

.a pleading of course.
.stacked in the barn.
.hit by finality.
.caught in the act.

.a year maybe more.
.since she was born.
.lit by mortality.
.checked the facts.

.a cleansing endorsed.
.the maps been torn.
.tripped by mentalities.
.got off track.

.a pretending by choice.
.hacked and harmed.
.hid from neutrality.
.refused to take sides.

.a resending of noise.
.sound the alarm.
.content with my melody.
.nothing to hide.



Five Hour Window

     The wreckage of KOtC4 is just being swept off the pavement.  Traffic was jammed for miles.  But no one gets through before the King.  Re-introducing--King The Todd.  In a test of resolve, faith, and understanding, King The Todd slid the best on the wet surface, King The Todd ignored the wind and hit the most perfect shots, King The Todd broke the will of even the finest competitors.  Cushman The Kid, wanted another shot at him from the morning session but had his own battle in the Duke division, where the tournament administrator, and co-founder of the Isner Scoring Method, became a royal.  That's right, Duke Keck.  The Prince was claimed by the mysterious Mir sub, Victor Coronado.  A seemingly proud man, he'll be an honorable Prince, but he clearly has his eye on the throne.  Prince Coronado will get his chance at King The Todd in the summer KOtC5.  Bulldog Bobby saw his game firsthand as he clawed his way into the Prince division.  His demo days are over.   Vito Nyguyn claimed the Earl from Leo Escario after an epic, and historic, 20 game winner take all mahut.  The Royal Escario no more, his familiar cackle and grit, his marathonian conditioning.  Nope, it's Vito The Earl.  This royal court, in perhaps the finest field ever assembled, on perhaps the severest court conditions possible, endured.  They showed.  King The Todd, Prince Victor Coronado, Duke Keck, and Vito The Earl.  They are royal.

     The early morning hour was dreary, Keck ignoring forecasters predicting 100% chance of rain and trusting Delkus, who foresaw a 5 hour window of dry conditions weirdly aligned directly with our tournament time frame.  All the players must have thought Keck mad when he sent out the prearranged, early morning green light.  A pouring rain was covering the whole metroplex at that point. Frank Friday roddicked, which seemed a reasonable thing to do, but surprising from him.  He was the only one.  Player by player they showed, leery to be sure, but inspired by the faith of the tournament administrator.  When King James instructed everyone to ditch the squeegees and get used to the footing, KOtC4 was bonafide.  The overcast skies lit a bit, the wind picked up and partially dried the courts.  The rain had stopped.  There was trepidation, there was doubt, there was suggestions, there was anxiety.  Puddles were still all over, it was slick!  Reports of massive USTA event cancellations and alterations only added to the whispers and mumbling.  Keck understanding the significance of the moment, called the group together, explained the format for the benefit of new players, and officially started the morning session of KOtC4.  Rain came and went a few times, but progressively the weather improved.  The sun even peeked though briefly.  It was almost muggy as the players shed the pullovers and got down to business.

     Because my morning group had an unsubbed roddick, I had a chance to check out the early action.  Usually, idle time is very minimal during the event, but unavoidable in this scenario.  The players were clearly adjusting to the footing.  Deliberate ground strokes and patient footwork overcame the conditions and points were being wildly contested.  King James was playing Sellers, who had his menacing dog chained to the net post.  King James was dominating, but Sellers was scrappy and took a game as I watched.  He got to everything and kept the pressure on with slicing shots of varying distance.  His dog growled and whined.  King James seemed vulnerable, perhaps a foreshadowing of the events to follow in the afternoon King Division.  New player JD Miles took King James down 6-4 in the afternoon before calling it a day at 1-6 in his mahut with King The Todd.  He then sped off in his sports car, cursing at the King and promising revenge.  New player Huffman rounded out the King Division in the finest field ever assembled for the format.  Incredibly, he went off to play more tennis, indoors of course, after KOtC.  He expressed shock at the 5 hour window.  Later, at the post tournament drinking table, Sellers had incorporated Isner terminology with complete understanding, commoner James predicted we burned 5000 calories, and Duke Keck continued to preach and explain the benefits of the format.  Sellers even had suggestions for improvement.  Almost Prince Bobby moved slower after some idle time and my back and plantar fascia needed a hot tub.  King The Todd, on his own, implemented the even game changeover.  A kaizenian spirit.  He'll go to the Southern Hemisphere early next year and learn from Australians and New Zealanders.  He will leave them with well wishes and peace.  A King for the good times.

   Due to the Frank Friday roddick, my morning group only had 3 players.  The flexibility of the format automatically adjusts to this eventuality by not sending anyone to fight for the Earl in the afternoon.  I was grouped with two former college players, Kirsch and Huffman.  Both new to the format, I felt an obligation to explain some of the nuances and benefits.  They looked at me somewhat strangely, but I knew they would know later.  It must be experienced for true understanding.  I went 3-7 against both. The huge German Kirsch hitting backhands from extreme angles and the relentless Huffman hitting nonreturnable serves.  His game was too much for Kirsch too as he destroyed him 8-2.  As they were playing each other I asked the score.  "0-6," bellowed Kirsch as he pointed at Huffman.  They looked at me strangely again as I explained the moulette.  To remind:  moulette is the French word for skunk and is incorporated as ISM terminology in honor of the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, one of the survivors of the incredible 2010 Wimbledon match that went on for days, when the American John Isner finally won the 5th set 70-68.  Overall, I was pleased with my play and understood my place in the tennis galaxy. The Duke was highly contested.  Up 4-1 on Joe Vita, he came back and been me 6-4 in our mahut.  I fell apart after he complimented my play.  Keck, noticeably motivated, took me down 7-3 and Cushman The Kid made me feel my age in front of his mom.  Keck's destruction of Joe and the Kid made it official--Keck was royal.  His early morning leadership and optimism only solidified his worthiness.  As he sat drinking Newcastles at the post tournament gathering he was beaming.  By that time the skies released the promised heavy rain.  It was like God had affirmed our influence on the tennis culture.  First time players were amazed.  And understood.  Mardy Feldman, who roddicked for unavoidable reasons, had clearly succumbed to the pressure of USTA sanctioned play. But 'cancelled play due to the treat of rain' was what he got.  His feeble last minute offer to step in for Frank Friday was too late. 



Styrofoam, styrofoam, all over my home.
All I've ever known, styrofoam, styrofoam.

Parking lot, parking lot, gonna come to a stop.
Might like it or not, parking lot, parking lot.

New York nights, New York nights, think we just might.
Get on the plan and fly, New York nights, New York nights.

Love is true, love is true, what you gonna do.
The cure for my blues, love is true, love is true.

Styrofoam, styrofoam, don't wanna be alone.
You'll find me at my home, styrofoam, styrofoam.


Heavy Air

   Being put in charge of trophies for King Of the Court 4 is a massive responsibility and a massive challenge.  Previously, the standard had been raised and the trophies I devised for KOtC1 seemed inadequate.  Keck told me his expectations were high and that I must deliver.  Like the future of the tournament, and possibly the sport of tennis, was at stake.  I felt the full weight of his trust and finally settled on my plan.  Possibly the most coveted, certainly the most valuable, and absolutely appropriate.  Their unveiling at the check in card table will inspire the field.  The best field to date.  16 players ready and committed.  2 Isner round robin sessions, 6 opponents each, 60 total games each.  For the tournament, 96 total mahuts, 960 total games, a King, a Prince, a Duke, and an Earl.  All in about 5 hours.  The trophies must be nice and significant, and will be.
     Do not envy Keck.  Yes, he is an incredible tennis artist.  Yes, he knows Billie Jean King.  Yes, he is a metal head.  Yes, he no longer has to be a cowboy fan.  But save your envy.  Keck is in charge of assessing weather conditions for KOtC4, and will ultimately decide to postpone or play through the elements.  It is 6:30 am now.  Surely he is up, walking the streets of his neighborhood, kicking the pavement with his backup pair of tennis shoes, listening for the right squeak.  It is a huge burden and the ramifications of his actions will reverberate and reverberate.  The second guessers.  The know it alls.  The Delkus wanna Bes.  He will make the right call, either way, after anguish and woe.  In this he must be trusted, not envied.
     Overcoming the usual dropouts, we will move forward.  An impressive self replacement culture has evolved.  The Todd's brother, Mardy, and Mir both getting subs when unavoidable events required them to roddick.  The kid from last year replaced by a new kid.  Organic ethics are developing.  Keck's communication processes, the familiar "Mahut!" as the server begins each mahut, the determination to continuously adjust the format.  This year we could try the even game changeover.  Or possibly the 5 game changeover.  Talk of a royal doubles finale mahut pitting the King and Earl vs. the Prince and Duke is likely too ambitious.  The crowds would love it, but the players might revolt.  Best to keep the focus on the tennis, not the crowds.
     The mist is covering everything.  It is strangely muggy.  Steady rains and lightening are a 100% certainty if weather professionals are believed.  Clouds and fog of pure vapor are all over as the sun is giving glow to the overcast sky.  Heavy air.  It will be a tough call for Keck, but I wanna slide like Novak, I wanna serve the spitball, I wanna fight like Isner, I wanna be the King!  In truth, I'd be thrilled to be the Duke and proud to be the Earl.  Just wanna be a royal.


Hang On The Vowels

...looking out for some meteorites...in the northeastern sky...early birds still in the nest...feathers wrapped tightly...almost made a mockery of the whole situation...unreportable problems of rationing and calculation errors...add up the numbers, you get what you get...emotional meldowns and claims of insanity...physical wreckage of the painful kind...the tv tube has gone lame...they are all flat and aware of time...its constant beat...the deep bass like your family...the parade of backup singers...the keys put the squeeze on my knees...and the lead like a warrior...keeping rhythm and framing the song...stories of facts and fiction...hang on the vowels...


Combined With Taste

...we don't come up with this...true art us not from us...melody is revealed...in the blank stare humming...in the tapping and the ticking...the whole world moves in 4.4 time for many...for others silence is the preferred noise...moderate indulgences combined with taste...which is from us and easily misapplied...like an instrument...we are to be used...worn out and discarded...but that is for later...now we are being calibrated constantly...inundated with inspiration...tugged at with incredible persistence...made sick for resisting....made alive for allowing...this is for nothing...it is for someone else...but it is not from me...


Be Back Directly

She's gone mad on the live wire.
You are welcome gentlemen.
This one ain't ready.

Only the broken can continue.
The perfect are too frail.
Darts for eyeballs.

Sure enough it worked out.
It always does.
In some way or another.

I'll be back directly.
Gonna drive the south field.
Check on the fence wire.

Need to get the powder out.
Those animals getting eat up.
Damn flies.

Wildcats growling for real.
Devious intentions.
Thirsty and ready.


Big Sun

It's a big sun this morning.
Her heart toubled and burning.
It's alright.  Honey it's alright.
Got dropped in a spot.
World got rocked.
Truth is the only clarity.


The Wilson Hope

    The winds blow wild in Wylie.  Always.  The 4 courts are set on a hill, enclosed by a single fence.  One side has no windscreens and the ones loosely attached along the remaining sides hiss and howl when it gets breezy.  Halfway between Rockwall and McKinney it's proximity was ideal for a Saturday morning Isner Roundrobin.  Joe was already there when Keck and I drove up around 7:45 am.  Bobby arrived a bit later and we got loose.  Because we knew 40 games awaited us, the warm up was brief and we spun racquets quickly.  2 up, 2 down and the pairings were clear.  Keck and I, Joe and Bobby.  The format calls for a 10 game mahut against each player, with #1 and #4 playing #2 and #3 in a 10 game doubles mahut to finish it off.  The first 30 games replicates a morning or afternoon KOtC session.

     Predictably, Keck took first.  Bobby and I battled for #2 and at deuce in the final game of our mahut, our 30th game of the morning,  it was still undecided.  Exhausted, I fought off the swirling winds, kept my toss low, and served it out.  Bulldog Bobby is always tough.  Our 5-5 finish left him #3 after Keck destroyed Joe 9-1.  Despite Joe's 6-4 win over Bobby and a never say die 4-6 loss to me, his final mahut destined him to #4. My Wilson Hope racquet was wobbling at the handle.  It's bent frame was noticeably warping the head.  Factory strings, strung at about 51 it seemed.  I had played great with this racquet and was reluctant to make a change.  Two of my racquets are getting fresh strings for KOtC, but for now, I was playing confident with the white and pink Hope.  They'll cure that cancer one day.  For now, keep on walking across the city.  Keep on being pink.  Joe was blasting forehands, mostly out, Keck was hanging in every point and keeping the pressure on.  His intolerance and disgust of mistakes is a powerful weapon.  Bobby has really gotten to another level.  His results are clear.  My serve was maddening all day but eventually put me at #2.  Double fault mumbling.  The unkind tape.  Bobby and I tied Joe and Keck 5-5 in doubles, with every point contested to the maximum.  Thought about the Lone Survivor movie, the true story of 4 Navy Seals in Afghanistan.  Markey Mark stars in it.  Incredible story of people who always see a way to win. Serving, but down 1-3, 15-40 to Bobby, I thought of them.  We changed over at 2-3.  Only one survived.  Remember them on Veterans Day.  11/11.  God's Will, amen.


Big Moon

.big moon tonight.
.thousands and thousands of human hours.
.idling slowly.
.radio updates on the sound waves.
.tales of fish tails and sirens.
.tracking numbers and lies.



.lets hear the whole story.
.skip that boring part.
.perfect detail.
.refinement can destroy.
.and it can enhance.
.a true art it is.
.speak deliberately.
.mainly not to spit.
.walk with a loose and limber gait.
.keep swimming against the waves.
.the crowd should never be followed.
.almost never.
.my patience is lacking.
.my conclusions are wicked.
.my temper gets riled from time to time.
.usually, I contain.
.absence makes the heart more real.
.even an hour or day.
.something supernatural is happening.
.bread and water and body and blood.
.forgiveness can be asked for.
.and is given.
.the truth lies in what's been done.
.it is the truth for a reason.
.it is true.
.we don't have to save ourselves.
.sweet Jesus!!
.thanks God.


Hog Killing Weather


Pick out about five fat ones.
The air is getting cold.
Hog killing weather.
Offer them a handful of corn.
22 between the eyes.
Slice the throat, bleed em out.
Shave the hairs, down to the tail.
Toss the guts aside.
Skin the skin, leak the lard.
Hanging in the trees.
Get some hams, keep the ribs.
The rest is sausage.
If you got the right recipe.
Red pepper, sage, and garlic.
Give the head to the help.
Keep the toungue and some brains for mawmaw.
She went through the Great Depression, ya know.
Bacon is just too much trouble.
Cracklings are a real treat.
Cover up that meat in salt, cure it up.
Rent some freezer space in town.
It's cold out today.
Getting to be hog killing weather.


Final Volt

.hold on tight.
.assurance guarantee.
.lit up like a video game.
.sputtered in on the final volt.
.haywire and screeches.

.cars parted like the Red Sea.
.traffic lights coordinated.
.some cash in the bank.
.recollections and native stories.
.a bulldog pen.
.it was a very Goodyear.

.waiting room zen.
.timid eyes.
.wired up early and tapping.
.take one...for free.
.the 2014 line up is the best ever.
.driver eight.
.passenger side.
.L.A. woman.
.and on and on.

.time is always the same.
.ficticious minutes and hours mere dividers.
.only for our convenience.
.like verses in the Book.
.added later.


Eternity With A Smile

.all we ever wanted was love.
.acceptance and understanding.
.affection and protection.

.the winds are harsh on the trails.
.faces of the mountains frowning.
.season after season.

.blind eyes and deaf ears.
.the devil can't touch us.
.his horns or his fangs.

.take it on the chin.
.flaunt your victory.
.face eternity with a smile.


Ghost Of The Grievous Angel

.duck out with eyes in the back of your head.they gonna getcha.the ones that slither along.the ones that look away.consumed with self importance, self happiness, and self love.make sure to look out for number one.self survival like the darwinists.achievement and success.stacked on a pile of bones.built on flimsy foundations.ringing that bell, high on that ladder.someone's gotta be on top.lead the charge, ask the tough questions.polished up and perfect reflections.dignified and mannerly.international submarine band.ghost of a grievous angel.crosses and weed.country and rock.hippie and redneck.scholar and bum.gentleman and dog.Emma Lou didn't mind.nothing else to do, nothing else to sing, nothing else to write.self absorbed instincts fading away.


Full Dose

.gather up all the serum makers. .dig up the cacti of the west and shoot it up. .the viruses are all punks. .bodily fluids and air borne bastards. .hazmat suits are no match. .a vial is what we need. .a full dose. .the panic will end. .we'll venture out with confidence. .cactus juice, man. .that's the good serum.


At The Rio Blanco

Long bow, too slow, at the Rio Blanco.
Like I said, lead head, got fed, instead.

Greens upon greens, upon greens.
Loaded plants and vines.
My mind, oh my mind, oh my mind.

What's real, how I feel, how I steal, it's my deal.
What's a clock, why not, match the pot, take a shot.

Watch it rain, came up lame, took the pain, insane.
Up a creek, keep the beat, soak your feet, take the streets.

Get loud, lose the crowd, do it now, do it now.
Long bow, too slow, at the Rio Blanco.



Chicken Wire

     The courts were brand new.  Possibly, we were the first to ever play on them.  We were bringing high level tennis to Spur, Texas.  Now they had the facilities.  Chicken wire was needed between the bottom of the fence and the court to prevent balls from rolling under, windscreens are mandatory in the west texas wind, and locking the side gate serves no purpose.  Also, the lights seemed insufficient for reasonable night play and the absence of a backboard was noted.  Still, despite these needed adjustments, the two electric blue on forest green courts was the nicest, and newest, construction project in town.  Somehow it put Spur in another category.  Keck and I had played on the old courts the previous two years during the annual tx.ou weekend gathering at Rio Blanco canyon.  They were older than old, neglected and sad.  Not played on for a decade, not stepped on for years, we took to them for 10 game mahuts.  That first year, I took Keck down 6-4, mainly due to an unstoppable inside out serve on the backhand side.  The drooping 2 and a half foot net only assured my victory that day.  Chunks of court would fly, we slid like we were on clay, shattered glass was all over, cracks plagued the courts badly.   Keck mauled me 8-2 the following year.  Vindication is one if his defining traits.  We showed up on the new courts excited and prepared after seeing them the day before on the way to the canyon.

    The turnstile was cleaned up and replaced to its original spot, the nets were brand new, the lines were perfect, thick and white.  The ball left incredible marks, the west texas red dirt providing perfect frames.  Like having laser beam technology.  I was obsessed with it, and impressed with a few of the calls that were made and validated by the marks.  Calling lines is like seeing visions.  Integrity and honor are required.  Tennis is a civilized game, dependent on the competitiveness and effort of each player.  After winning a few early games, Keck took control and won 7-3.  His forehand winners were deep and dove sharply inside the baseline, his swift feet were active, he kept the pressure on.  He became quickly disgusted at any error, he cussed missed first serves.  It was good to play fairly well.  4-6 was realistic and I had held out hope for 5-5 til he fought me off from love-30 in the 8th game to prevent a break.  As in years before, a small crowd watched from the porches and car ports that surrounded the area.  We recognized some of them from the years before.  They seemed proud to see us back, to see what they had built.  We hustled for drop shots, we screamed out in frustration, we moved from side to side.  We owed them our best.

     Preparations continue for King Of The Court 4.  A lot has happened.  Keck has met personally with Billie Jean King.  He has told her of the King Of The Court Tournament.  She was very impressed and, predictably, inquired about the girls.  The Queen Of The Court has already been discussed.  The format is the same with a Queen winner, a Princess, A Baroness, and a Countess.  We just lack the woman players, for now.  He also briefly met Andy Roddick.  All this happened in Austin at a convention of some sort.  Of course, keck was there with his wife on an unrelated matter.  The names are bigger than ever--Jeremy Strong, JD Miles, King The Todd, King James.  Mir is back.  Joe Vita, Leo Escario, Mardy Feldman too!  Frank Friday returns.  He and Leo have never missed being in the Royal Court.  Frank, first as Prince, then capturing the Earl in the summer.  Leo, going Prince, Earl, Duke in KOtC 1, 2,3 respectively.  Bobby Peirson is in again and Nielson returns after missing KOtC 3.  Another kid is playing after the previous kid went off to Shriner College to play for their tennis team.  He a student of Justin Quest and Jeremy Strong and the number one player on the Allen high team.  He could win the whole thing!  There are others.  Keck seems to be angling for the Duke, but will likely get in the Prince afternoon round.  My hope is to appear, healthy and loose.  Rugged preparations have given way to swimming routines and light drills.  One 20 game Mahut a week is all.  My roddick in KOtC 3 was humbling.  Watching from the fence line is not for me.  A tennis revival is  taking place.  The tennis channel has arrived.  In Spur and everywhere.


Peace Pie

.the thinking required is unimaginable.the way the stars are scattered.looking up is an opportunity.to open your mind.the other side of the world is there as well.they are as significant as us.don't count me among you.the revolution will continue.but first a shot in the dark.drink some tea and shut up.wonder silently so the noises can be heard.all the peaceful people have come and gone.it is just talked about like a constant state of hope.distractions can only make us weaker.forever is beyond time.that is true.but it starts somewhere.from here on out.not as its always been.hot apple peace pie.just pie.nothing else could break through.provisions are stocked.the whisky bottles are all over.the buckets of food and canned goods.nothing will spoil here.packed in ice and sealed.those refs were on the take.its obvious the baptists paid them off.interference is a two way street buddy.except when the fix is in.



Outspiration.  Victim of this world.
Outspiration.  Set the bar just high enough.
Outspiration.  Think of yourself first.
Outspiration.  Credit where it is not due.
Outspiration.  Undone and unaccomplished.
Outspiration.  Nothing is next.
Outspiration.  Let's get this straight.
Outspiration.  Conformity defined.
Outspiration.  Suburb mentality.
Outspiration.  Live for yesterday.
Outspiration.  Self absorption.
Outspiration.  Dead is dead.
Outspiration.  Dirty windows.
Outspiration.  Words of caution.
Outspiration.  Run out the clock.
Outspiration.  Sulking on the sidelines.
Outspiration.  No salt or pepper.
Outspiration.  105 degrees.
Outspiration.  Memos of declaration.
Outspiration.  Political parties.
Outspiration.  The good ole days.
Outspiration.  Chain of command.
Outspiration.  The inner circle.
Outspiration.  Pitiful faces.
Outspiration.  The speed limit.
Outspiration.  Morality judges.
Outspiration.  Saved by works.


Dastardly Decisions

.not much ironing going on.cook up some rice and eggs.work that list.responsibilities and daily particulars.keep up and shut up.here to be used up.music is cranked up.singing from another place.unable to translate the rationale.the urgency is real.the importance is irrelevant.why only matters to me.attitude alterations.alternate action.contingent on the threat of dastardly decisions.the carefree and the careless.one in the same.


Irrational Irritation

There is no receding. It is only rising. Musicians and dancers entertain the crowds. Staggering, shameless, and suspect. The beards and shades. The maked up women, showing it off. Petting zoos and dog races. Attentiveness is hard to find. Ten seconds of nothing like an impossible dream. Get a sample for only a dollar. The irrational irritation, only we can know.


Blue As The Sea Of Cortez

Blue as the Sea of Cortez.
Her eyes melt in the light.
Do everything she says.
She makes it worth my while.

We fill our lives with gods.
Goddess lovers too.
Taste all the earthy joys.
Wanna do it with you.

The ships they disappeared, on the horizon line.
Her lips they had no fear, as I looked into her eyes, they were...

Blue as the Sea of Cortez.
Her eyes melt in the light.
Do everything she says.
She makes it worth my while.

Through the gates we're led.
Been walking desert miles.
Suffered and hurt and bled.
Once cried all through the night.

Blue as the Sea of Cortez.
Her eyes melt in the light.
Do everything she says.
She makes it worth my while.


Like The Animals

   It is true about happiness.  Infectious it is, wonderful and validating.  Sought after, held up, and widely accepted as a worthy aim.  Be happy.  But in the midst, in the creaks, we suffer.  This burden of glee, this expectation of levity, this lonely dance.  The moments gather, then vanish.  Melodies always, knowledge of the truth, the end of preparation.  Accidental and careless, but not in an
irresponsible manner.  In a manner of speaking.  Can't help myself.  Bringing others into the fray.  Juvenile reasoning, think like children.  Pure and naive.  Like the animals.  Our souls aren't protected here, but they will survive here.


Double Agents

The quiet is the best part.
No music, no voices, no noise.
Those grudges just won't go away.
Successful outcomes and endings.
They are only imaginary.
The masked and hidden manipulate.
Living for now and stashing the cash.
All for your attention.
For your consideration and enjoyment.

The call for the saints. Loud trumpets and tambourines. Sing with the crowd and rise up. Good versus Evil is perpetual. We are double agents in this struggle. Always betraying ourselves. Traitors to our brothers and sisters. Hypocrites to the end.

Every drop of rain can be predicted.
The atmosphere will continue to collapse.
Despite our crying and moaning.

As it was always meant to be.


Tunes On The Porch

...reports began coming in and conclusions have been largely drawn.  Slowly, he spoke.  Carefully, he indicated.  Skillfully, he dodged.  Meticulous and precise.  Structured and pathed.  Fly your flag proudly.  An old soul lives near downtown.  Tunes on the porch and easy living.  Women passing by always.  Some stop to talk, others don't.  Busy, busy lives.  Love is all around them.  Untamed and swirling.  Keep the eyes and ears and nose to the street.  Understand the timelines and devious intent. The joke will pass around.  On them too.  Gonna stay close, gonna stay aware.  Speak those words to me.  Today and every day.  The word matters, and is incredibly important....


Honduran Furniture

.the wishing girls left tonight.
.dreams of leisure and cash.
.from the islands they came.
.looking to the night sky for signs.
.raising hands to get closer to gods.
.follow you around back.
.where the rusted equipment is kept.
.believe in manicured gardens.
.tame the wild vines and weeds.
.moan and groan down the stairs.
.methodical activity is the only way.
.a good son will carry the burden.
.despite the exhaustion and worry.
.gringos all their lives.
.honduran furniture and Persian rugs.
.boxes from Kuwait and high dollar bikes.
.a screw came loose and the gun was around.
.scoundrels bring out the worst.
.learn to keep your cool.
.it is a very important skill.


Push The Water Around

.we have nuclear infused cleaner.
.the good kind, don't just push the water around.
.the boxes and gaggle of wires.
.load up and get moving, we're outta here.
.spines and dog bones.
.got the music in me, got the music in me.
.rousted like a new soldier.
.but we are lighter, and we are tighter.
.hearing things from in between.
.the lowly and the holy, they are the same.


Rear End In Galveston


Just got off the boat.
From a Caribbean float.

Need to get a bite to eat.
Wanna get out of the heat.

Finally we made land.
Was driving near the Strand.

Saw her from behind.
Gonna cost a couple of dimes.


The streets of Galveston are fast and rough.  Wish she woulda stopped in time, it's just my luck.  Rarely do I ever take a look and see, that rear end in Galveston was just what I need.


Days Of Chaos

Kilowatts and turbines.
The noisy creatures in the bush.
Check your watch for the time.
Once again, she made you look.

Checking out your portfolio.
Mobs of people on the border line.
Desperate shouts in the barrio.
Lotta fighting, lotta crying.

Stranded bare on a mountain top.
Above the clouds above the trees.
Do we care or do we not.
Do we see what we wanna see.

These are the days of chaos.  Theses are the days of connection.  Together, complete clarity can be achieved.  Within the confusion lies the answers.  If the confusion can be contained, and understood as confusion by all decision makers, perfect harmony could result.  Sustaining this is another matter, but performance art, or even creative art at times, provides the limits, the frame, the boundaries.

Lining up for another night.
Bust a window, chuck a rock.
Well, we must avoid a fight
Find out why that dude got shot.

Leaving early for the water.
For the cool, for the swim.
They will surely catch me crossing.
Then I'm in, then I'm in.




Wanna find a song
Make everybody sing along
A song that catches your ear.

Need to make em hum
Snappy and fun
A song that last through the years.


My eyes are shut
I've heard enough
Your gonna love
The songs of the jingle hut


Constructive Confusion

.all the faces in the clouds.
.pole cats and roaring tigers.
.lou reed and sweet jane.
.john lennon and hot peppers.
.bob dylan and sad eyed sara.
.blue skies full of cutting eyes.
.no one is here for love.
.the money involved is ludicrous.
.there must be collaboration meetings.
.music is at stake.
.for no good reason.
.obsessive and despondent.
.barbarella cover and sticky fingers.
.this is star wars.
.this is truth told without gravity.
.freedom has limits.
.but within the limits there are no limits.
.constructive confusion.
.static electricity and rains.


Break Your Heart

.refinement.and the other side of hate....reliant.trying to catch a break...dynamo.break your heart break your heart...psyco.trying to get a start...judgement.and the finger pointing man...love me.and i'll sing throughout this land...laugher.its all so trivial...trapper.understand the way I feel...galaxies.they all about the same...love is free.in his name in his name...
I'll see the Milky Way tonight.
Look up with bewildered mind.
See the shadows in your eyes.
And wonder.


Sink The Boats

Can't help but think about, can't help but think about tomorrow.
She whispered in my ear, honey let's get outta here, come follow.
Told her baby I ain't down, as good as it sounds, I'm going home.

Lord I just wanna think about, just wanna think about forever.
Live in love all day long, fill the nights with lover songs, come here come here.
Sink the boats and clip the wings, dogs don't growl birds don't sing, my dear my dear.

Take it down my love.....take it down.
Lay it down my love.....lay it down.

Take the time to talk about, talk until we talk it out, listen here, listen here.
Wanna get your side too, wanna hear what I can do, please make it clear.
Thought I was found but I was lost, made my point at any cost, for no reason.


Mood Rains And Jives

.waking to the rest of your life.
.mood rains and jives.
.break them shackles apart.
.get on with it.
.say the same thing as the day before.
.minor adjustments.
.times are good.
.for now.
.right here.
.the sun will come again.
.burning the earth.
.heating the concrete.
.reflecting in the glass panes.
.melting tar on the county roads.
.those cool august winds of Texas.
.same thing happened here in 1873.
.ambition and worry are useless.
.echo the word.


Moments By Moments

.resilience and the toll of it all..the confliction of the soul..wanted, alive and abundant..neverending and nevertheless..which to indulge..where to turn..it is not an option..the rules too strict, the laws too unfair..justice is not for this world..only moments by moments by moments..


Parking Garages

...the most massive collection of parking garages and parking lots in the world...empty out the weekend runners...back to business...deals are made in the tall buildings of Dallas...oil deals, land deals, side deals, and we had a deals...each one with a bottom line...each one protecting thier own intrests...city hall made it all go in the day...JFK never had a chance...pride and sports will keep it alive...line dancing lessons at gators, the tower ball, kitchen closes in ten minutes...a night on the town...gave up a buck to a hustler...seemed to be telling the truth about that homeless shelter...those downtown cops got it covered...


Seeing Eye Dogs

.we are willing participants and infractors.
.to the smashing of what has gotten old.

.we take stock every day and see the miracles.
.what is known will be revealed to all.

.with bugs and seeing eye dogs keeping track.
.undisclosed determinations and conclusions.

.drawn from electro shocks and transmitters.
.revolutionaries are quarantined and hidden.

.the citizens are pacified and distracted.
.among them are the young and deceived.

.conformity made easy and respectable.
.capitalism responsibilities and national days.

.with repetitive ease we continue the cycle.
.like soldiers of fortune in a routine war.

.the latest is waiting and already in production.
.remembered having nice things and on the go.

.orderly traditions and traveling memories.
.we'll see what we see at the station house.

.a soaked mess coming in from the rain.
.in love with the hard to love.


Stone Throwers

...the calls come in late, the people wanting entry to the show...walls are useless, unless the times are just right...the stone throwers keep track of lawless, finding fault with all...wireless attitudes, connected by the waves...insanity is saying what is thought, without consideration...plastic hearts, mass produced in warehouses on the coast...soul sounds, muffled and faint...leave the bones to others, dust to dust...surrender the pride, make it known...gratitude is for later, after the fall...peace is for after that, and for always...reality is the real truth, clear as day...


Happy Preachers

.children in line for the border game.
.anything to get into the land of the free.
.ethics aside, the moral questions rise.
.the land of opportunity should seize the opportunity.
.this must be done to the benefit of the future.
.first generation Americans are the best kind.
.love of country comes easy and is abundant.
.rally the churches, host a pot luck.
.these kids need a home.
.as texans, this is our time.
.the test is here.
.something bout money and mouths.
.the scared and the timid whine.
.talk of fairness and justice.
.as the tee times fill up on the weekend.
.and the pool water is treated with care.
.ear bud zombies with techno strides.
.happy preachers talk about measures of success.
.butts in seats, this place is holy.
.teachers of god's word, the old and the new.
.the relationships and validations of the word.
.we have room, we have work, we have opportunity.
.lets invite them all, get in line, we will open more.
.the border will disappear, Texico or not.
.benevolence should be sincere.
.service to others should be indiscriminate.
.we will know in 20 years.
.i have hope, but am not optimistic.
.our history is too clear.
.and it will be repeated.
.inevitability is inevitable.
.and so it is, and will be.


Hooke Street Blues

.kings highway up in st Lou.
.cat told stories bout everyone he knew.
.did her wrong and then she flew.
.left him in the city with the Hooke Street Blues.

.did everything he could to make a buck.
.never had much but always had enough.
.tried for years to regain their trust.
.passed the bottle then passed the cup.

.heard on the radio read it in the news.
.brothers are back and they shined their shoes.
.they seen the days they paid the dues.
.left in the city with the Hooke Street Blues.

.smoking allowed in the basement room.
.funkadelic sounds gonna cure the gloom.
.bark at the dogs and howl to the moon.
.ladies start dancing at half past noon.



Ready for the firecrackers tonight.
Now, the birds are still around.
Celebration of the initial critical actions.
Thoughts and ideas of the past refined.
Allowances made for the southern folks.
Go on your way and fight the redcoats.
Their shiny brass buttons, majestic at high noon.
Hide in the trees, cut them down, bleed them back.
Mercenaries don't fight like the desperate.
These are the woods of younger days.
Booby traps and ambushes.
They talk funny and squeal like baby hogs.
Eventually, the cost will be too much.
As long as we stick together.
The king is a lazy man.
Look on his face when he realizes we're serious.
The weight of the crown.
Empire of global scale.
Let's lay on the beaches of our islands.
The Yankees are dug in.
The people will never love us.
Leave the west to them.
To discover the other ocean.
To climb the mountains and cliffs.
Conquistadors travelled those sands.
The Mayans left to wither away.
Up through the gulf they came.
The Catholics not far behind.
Riverside missions and village squares.
We met in the middle and became wild.
Gunslinging cowboys and Native braves.
Then, from the south, greed arrived.
Remember the Alamo!
Tried to burn us out.
Should've had an afternoon hanging in San Jacinto.
Houston's dumbest mistake.


Days Of Laze

.the woe when temptation meets opportunity. .schemes of the devil. .an outright lie to be told. .in the heart the truth is written. .it is an unnatural thing. .this loyalty. .this commitment and vow. .to be hated and despised. .til death I said. .seems closer than ever now. .and it is. .for everyone. .rational thought has no place here. .the pretending has ended. .days and days of laze. .nights of cold. .self control is for the weak. .the evening lion roars. .door abuse. .tomorrow will be repeated. .the day after. .and the day after that. .abundance or endurance. .one is promised. .one is required. .the clever and witty are mocked. .we are sick of you. .and so am I. .always always always. .cry to the sky. .plead to the air.


Sardines And Bread

The executive director was obsessed with sanitary conditions.
Initiation was informative and delivered with confidence.
All the forms were signed by the leaders.
Time for a game of blackjack.
The Vegas queen played them slots and dice.
Dealer rolled low cards on the bottom of the deck.
Sweet tennis Tanya ain't no old maid.
Tootsie will make your day with a full face smile.
But keep your thoughts to yourself.
This is a money game.
We need a caller.
Next time I'll bring a stack of cash.
No mercy for bettors.
Want the glory without the work.
High expectations and annoyances.
Yank on that hair good.
Tie it up in a knot.
Stack the tower up as high as it will go.
Someone will knock it down.
Pass the time.
The young get older.
I'd have dinner with Jesus if I could.
Ask him about feeding everybody with sardines and bread.
Back to the hill for a hose down.
Style basketball and poor shooters.
Exit on the kings highway.
One way streets and four ways.
Take a right on Hooke.
The remaining member of the stepbrothers.
The double breasted tux was legit.
A few weeks in panama would be nice.
It's on at the chase.
All the big names played there.
Some of those old timers still pick.
You could sit in.
Don't let them tell you what to do.
Grab you by your feet and whip you in front of your girl.
Always smoking cigarettes and drinking booze.
My old lady holds a grudge.
That's the truth.
I made my peace.
Got my feet on both sides of the track.
Check this blade.
Look em in the eye and feel them out.
Just nod and you'll be fine.
We're here to work.
In the name of the One.
Inspired by the advocate.
Led by the Word.
Everybody wants the truth.
But all they tell is lies.
Everyone wants to get to heaven.
But no one wants to die.


Nothing To Lose


Hooray for the signs in the sky.
Looking up is the best thing to do.
When we gonna make it right.
Ain't got nothing to prove.

Pull my heart apart and look inside.
Do with it whatever you choose.
This place is full of dirty bribes.
Ain't got nothing to lose.

Don't change the way you are
She got style and popping moves.
Don't wander very far.
Ain't got nothing but truth.

Jumping fast outta the gate.
Running fast and running free.
Still got the future to waste.
Ain't got nothing do.

Ain't got nothing to lose.
Ain't got nothing to lose.
Ain't got nothing to lose.


Pull An Ace


We could think and think for days and days.
Count the stars and whistle a fine melody.
Brave the winds and bring nature down.
Slander the ones that preach love in vain.

We could whine with the hounds and babes.
Jump to a jazz jam and sway left to right.
Learn a new step with a twist in the middle.
Plan a car trip on the west coast highway.

We could scatter all the cards and pull an ace.
Rub the belly of a genie til the smoke rises.
Find a nickel tails up and put it in your pocket.
Eat meat every 7th day and call out for mercy.


King James Again

     After being forced out of KOtC3 due to a back injury suffered in a 30 game prep mahut, it was tough to attend the event.  Play had already started in the morning rounds when I literally crawled out of my car.  I scooted carefully over the where Keck and the young college player, Dayton, were in the middle of a close mahut that would eventually end 6-4 Keck, propelling him to the afternoon king division and sure destruction.  Originally, he was looking forward to getting in the duke division.  The life of a duke is good.  Days and days of leisure and sport, without all the responsibilities of the king or even the prince.  The duke's life.  No such reality for Keck this tournament.  When Mabe roddicked it was evident.  Beating a college player and representing in the king division are both tremendous achievements.  All the while administering the entire event.  Talking with Dayton later, he was impressed with the format, but was still devastated that he was in the prince division.  Good competitive instincts.  That kerrville college is getting a winner.  Dayton's dominated the prince division and vowed to return next time for the king's crown.  Coach Quest was proud of his protege.

     Got a chance to talk to keck on a changeover and he recapped the sign ins and checkins, and preparations.  He had secured Nick Keany as an alternate to take my place.  Everyone showed, play was going on everywhere.  My back was feeling loose, it was good to get around.  All of my internet research reinforced not to baby the back too much, especially at day 2 of the injury.  This was the first chance for mobility after 2 days of ice, heat, rubs, tubs, muscle relaxers, and pain decreasers.  The day before riding in the car from the docs, every turn was agonizing.  My wife has been a calming influence and has encouraged me to reduce the vulgar language.  Pain can bring out the worst in people.   It doesn't have to, but it does.  Only a few can remain stoic in the midst of severe pain.  Walked over and checked in with Bobby through the fence.  He was playing Russ Fires and eventually battled his way to the prince division.  Russ' elbow was holding up fine, but he mentioned his knee going bad.  Acts 4:22, we all need some healing.  The lower back spasms will pull the spine to the side and the upper back muscles will attempt to compensate, causing further woe.  These spasms move around, like joint mice.

     Joe was in the middle of a heated match with Frank Friday and was hitting a few winners.  His best shots were the ones at frank's feet.  He took control by coming in and putting the pressure on.  After the morning rounds, Frank confirmed his dead legs and, after dropping his Mahut to Leo 4-6, was visibly shaken to find himself in the earl division.  He would go on to win the earl division winning 28 of a possible 30 games.  He is a royal again.  Leo would go on to win the Duke title and becomes the only 3time royal, holding the prince title in kotc1, winning, the earl title in kotc2, and now this.

Between rounds most of the players were exhausted.  Not all.  King James ate chopped up fruit with his hands.  Seeing my misery, he gave me one of his gatorades.  He would go on to win the king division and regain his crown, but it was most impressed with his benevolence.  A king for the common man.  The content man.  The absorber of life, the finder of something else.  His tennis skill and execution destroyed keck, defeated kamran Mir, and humiliated even King the Todd, who is king no more.  Hail king James.  He has regained the throne.  The Todd was respectful at the pub and carried himself with class, but he was searching for answers.  Maybe he still had questions.  About the integrity of his rebuilt shoulder, about the lost court time over the previous 6 months, about his place in the tennis culture.  He remains universally respected and known.  That will never change.  He cannot count on winning his throne back, King James is tough, the field will draw more big name players going forward.  He sat on his throne with dignity.  He was a great ambassador for tennis, and still is.  I could never imagine him a prince, he may never be a royal again.  He will likely walk across the country for some good cause.  He will hitchhike and roam, spreading the truth about tennis in our country.
     The medications don't really help.  The back will heal when it heals.  Mostly, selfish disappointment remain.  The roddick, the betrayal of my body, the wasted prep.  It was not meant to be for me.  I had to live through others.  The 3 games big cat cernosek won for the day, Leo's incredible run, Keck's win over a college player, billy vita stopping in between games of pool, joes co worker dropping by, the mute World Cup, and now we rest.


Spasmodic Poet

No concern or care.
The writings continue.
Despite the contractions.
Spasmodic poet.
Pain will move around.
Ignoring the obvious.
Relationships left to dry.
Spasmodic musician.
Hound those same chords.
Fall into the strumming and melody.
Sing about situations.
Spasmodic man.
Peculiar and conflicted.
Acts 4:22 hope.
The back attacks.
Spasmodic mind.
Alternate thoughts.
Pure and sane.
Questioning and validating always.


King Of The Court 3

     To think King of the Court is only a week away.  Took some time between salt baths and various massage therapies to consider the initial draw this morning.  Right off I noticed the competition committee created a Royal Group, consisting of the Royal Court of KOtC2.  King The Todd has been spotted recently in Hawaii, The Four Seasons Resort in Irving, and the Mellow Mushroom in Downtown McKinney.  If his recent shoulder surgery, or life in general, was bothering him, he sure didn’t show it.  He looks confident.  At all times, regardless of task or perceptions of others.  He lives a different life, above all.  It is an honor to hang with him when given the chance.  He had people following him, but they all kept their distance.  I figured they worked for him.  They bring him beers and complement his attire.  He acknowledges, then waives them away.  He does this all without seeming rude.  It is amazing.  Anyway, he will be tested very early with Prince Frank Friday.  King The Todd better eat a breakfast bar.  Frank Friday was the single most destructive player in the field last year.  If given a chance at the King draw last time, he might have won it.  His consistent and intense game will test King The Todd and his vocal joy and frustration could give him a mental edge.  Odds are against it, but maybe.  Duke Joe Vita, who is sponsoring the trophy’s this time around, has been seen in newly purchased attire, made from modern fabrics that make you cold when it’s hot and make you hot when it’s cold.  His plantar fascia injury is still bothering him a bit, but his rocket forehands will test any opponent.  To round out the morning Royal Group, Earl Leo Escario, the only 2 time member of the Royal Court, will bring his inspired game and American flag bandana.  During our mahut last summer, in 105 heat, I believed I was going to die.  I didn’t, but Leo, a marathon runner, took me down 8-2 to win the Prince title.  He always brings game.
     Brent James, former King James, headlines my morning group.  Hell, I think he’s 40 now.  Maybe he starts giving up some points or double faulting.  Any decline in his game would be welcome.  Last summer he mouletted me 10-0 in KOtC1.  Haven’t been kicked like that since Mesquite high school freshman Hernando Ledezma gave me a reality check regarding my college tennis prospects back in 1987.  1-6, 0-6.  I went on to quit tennis for 10 years, emerging to find complicated and nauseating USTA leagues with old guys in short shorts telling you are a 4.5 and can’t play in the 4.0 group even though you figure you’re about as good or bad as everyone else.  The USTA, where tanking, sandbagging, cheating, and elitism thrive.  And you have to pay a fee.  To have this organization leading the tennis effort and infecting the tennis culture in the U.S. has produced predictable results.  No mind weak American player could hang with anyone in the Top 10 right now.  Only Isner has made us proud in the past 10 years.  Of course the Williams sisters are holding up their end, but we have their daddy to thank for that.  The Bolivian player, Sergio Oporto is back, although it’s doubtful he followed through on his promise to purchase a ball machine and really hit the court after the November KOtC.  We’ll see.  The Young Chuck Cernosek is also in my group and out to avenge his loss to Jared Keck, the 5thgrader that took him down last summer.  As a 4th grader.  Chuck was disappointed when I told him Jared was not playing, but he looked strong when we practiced the other day.  His was getting all his dinks in with his Prince Magnesium racquet. 
     Perhaps the most anticipated participant in KOtC3 is the headliner of the 3rd morning group, Kamran Mir.  Reports of exotic training techniques and mental preparation are very intriguing.  He is either Afghan or Peruvian, maybe both.  He will not go quietly and is a trendy pick to surprise King The Todd in the afternoon.  He’ll have to take down Bobby Pierson first.  Using strictly demo racquets, Bobby has refined his game through the rigors of the Isner Scoring Method.  He is a bulldog on the court and will not be intimidated by Mir.  Rueben Decoud is a very steady player with fierce eyes.  He will know what to expect in KOtC3 after his experience last November and his game is well suited to the format.  The huge man with the huge serve from the north woods of Michigan is back as well.  Russ Fires tells me he’s ready every time I’ve asked.  He looks serious.  Although he’s struggled with tennis elbow, dropping out of KOtC was never considered. 
     Just found out from Keck, the tournament administrator, that Mike Mabe from the Rangers, pulled a Roddick.  No shame, and I’m sure there is a legitimate explanation, but disappointing as well.  Anyone know a 1st seed type player (a true 5.0)?   He was coming for King The Todd and Brent James specifically and was heard to call them both ‘spares’ and ‘punks’.  Shocking.  Well he did give us ample notice and it is appreciated.  Al Oliver, Charlie Hough, Julio Franco, or Buddy Bell never Roddicked ( http://isnerscoringmethod.blogspot.com/2012/09/anatomy-of-roddick.html ).  Maybe Billy Vita.  Now, mainly a coach, but a potential sub if he’s not on the road in Chicago or Billings or somewhere.   Even if we get BV, this still leaves Jason Keck, tournament administrator, a clear path to the King afternoon draw.  Keck’s perfect forehand and newly enhanced two handed backhand give him an edge as long as he can hold up in the heat.  Last summer in KOtC1 he had to pull out in the afternoon due to cramps.  He followed that up in KOtC2 with the before mentioned destruction at the hands of Frank Friday and dropped a mahut to me, 2-8.  He sees the opportunity for redemption.  He’s been listening to a lot of early Metallica lately.  Mike Zhaung is back and understands the opportunity and format.  Vito Nquyen is a relative unknown and could be out of his element.  His background is shrouded in mystery and word is he learned the game from a secretive society in either Malaysia or Galveston .  I don’t know about all that, but we will all be ready.  Bring water, bring nutrition, bring a can of balls, bring cigarettes if you want.  KOtC3, June 14, 8am, Eagles Landing.  Mahuut!!!!!

*please consider leaving your pre-tournament thoughts in the Player Testimonial section of the KOtC website ... http://kingofcourt.blogspot.com

Group 1
Brent James
Paul Gorman
Sergio Oporto         
Chuck Cernosek

King The Todd
Prince Frank Friday
Duke Joe Vita
Earl Leo Escario

Group 3
Kamran Mir
Bobby Pierson
Rueben Decoud
Russ Fires

Group 4
Mike Mabe
Jason Keck
Mike Zhuang
Vito Nguyen


Fish Taco

Don't you touch my fish taco!
.glad I asked.
Just leave me alone now.
.alright, alright.


Between Dirt And Dust

The clouds were glowing.  Huge and alive.  High up in the atmosphere the white clouds rose.  The dark ones were only on the edges, the sun reflecting wildly.  Floating on my back I could see the whole sky.  Shades allowed my eyes to probe.  A twisted skeleton, like Richard III.  A massive poodle.  Then a jet streaked through the blue sky and disappeared into a wall of white.  Faces were everywhere, like angels looking down.  Rain is always a threat in Texas when summer wants to heat up and the spring is still dense.  The Gulf of Mexico storms usually exhaust themselves on the other side of Ft. Worth.  The Brazos River provides a natural dividing line between northeast and southwest.  Between fast and slow.  Between dirt and dust.  The whole scene played out in the layered sky.  The cool water was clean. The shrimp and grits were savory again last night.  This morning, that has all changed.  The clouds are low and thin, the sun will burn them off by noon.  Could watch the red clay all day long.  Old players still have a chance.  Slow this thing down.  It was right to save the French.  Our complicated brothers and sisters.  They know revolution and evolution. They understand resistance. They know the underground.  They will never give up their language.  It is too beautiful.  All the flags fly proudly.  Broken windows all around.


Space Folk

.never had a fu man chu.
.upper lip too bare.
.a sunken beard.
.itchy and hot.
.once or twice a week is all.
.it is all you need.
.lotions and tonics are a waste.
.the razors cut smooth enough.
.listen to the space folk music.
.crashing guitars and effects.
.electronic and mellow.
.gravity has disappeared.
.the silent parts stand out.
.like a reverse image.
.aloe vera nights was not a song.
.until it was heard in nantucket.
.lap steel echoes going long.
.heavy metal shocks.
.through the graveyard.
.not thinking about the dead.
.genre creation and barks.
.cookie chefs and beers.
.levee breakdowns and two stepping.


The Word Reminder

Moods, undecided.
It is early.
Songs greet the day.
Those birds can whistle.
Communications and flight.
Setting up for the ladies.
Melodic rhythm and hollow lead.
Getting sounds.
Need some float.
Answered prayers and all.
The book seems complete.
The morning is underway now.
Just before daylight has passed.
Clouds moving fast in the brightness.
Low and glorious.
The colors are forming.
The Word reminder.


Shooting Blades

.the help has arrived. .a break from the wars. .a time for dressing and addressing the wounds. .the action was fierce. .the opppnents were wyly. .throwing stones from the high ridge. .shooting blades from the trees. .took one in the neck. .just a nic. .only bled for a few minutes. .counting my lucky stars. .a toast is raised. .to each other. .exhaustion and chaos will follow. .afternoon will turn to night. .we will move silently. .barefooted and slow. .the ambush will be sudden. .not completely unexpected. .but sudden. .they will wimper and wail. .cursing at the sky. .praying for help. .hooray for the victors. .carry the king around. .stand for the queen.



.the unmistakable scent if clarity.
.lingering in the air like floating smoke.
.fearless blackbirds and lazy dogs.
.this season of madness and realignment.
.desperate chases and fill ups.
.tighten those belts slim waisters.
.people are people people.
.pigment is a figment of your ignorance.
.not all minds are big.
.they want to write rules.
.define the standard and declare law.
.liberty is only a decision away.
.all empires rise and fall.
.all nations have a beginning and end.
.the unthinkable should be thought out.
.move the winds around.
.this island is lonely.
.it must be endured.
.the days of the future await.


Chosen By Love

...the disappointment was authentic...the defining trait...high standards are the beginning of the doldrums...our weakness is real...so many ignored, or worse, embraced...how could she...the uppers don't lift no more...the downers are endured...back flips off the diving board seems a long time ago...now we fill the days with whines and song...love, wherever it is found, is what cures...if we know ourselves, we know selfishness...unable to love on our own...obsessed with our time...the unchanged, the truth, the light chose us...we were chosen by love...


Wires In My Tires

.elusive balance and holes in my shoes.
.rambling stammering and wires in my tires.
.flutter to the cool jazz sounds.
.stop and make a remark.
.borrow the finer things of life.
.each night could be your last.


Two Toned Ride


Need a pair of contact lenses.
Need a robot to bring me soup.
Need a computer without a virus.
Want to find some new recruits.

It's always money, money, money but look around
What we really need ain't from this town.
Need a two toned ride to ride.
Need a business calculator.
Need an automatic coffee grinder.
Want a brand new trailer.

Need a buck for the DVD.
Need an automatic teller.
Need a system to track my miles.
Want to try and make it better.

Need a window with a sleepy view.
Need a photograph maker.
Need another honey to call.
Want to arrive a bit later. 

Need a complex password.
Need an all systems clear.
Need a map to the late show.
Want to make my own beer.


Body Clocks

.muscle memory and body clocks. .rise early and reach. .the ugly glared us down. .we are their enemy. .outside of love. .but love still remains. .patiently waiting. .each day passes. .the anxious and jittery. .time is our reality.



.thank god for novocaine.
.love the way it tricks my brain.
.takes away all the pain.
.thank god for novocaine.

.soldier went down in Gettysburg.
.leg was lost and prayers were heard.
.a shot of whiskey dulled the pain.
.conditions that day were inhumane.

.thank god for novocaine.
.love the way it tricks my brain.
.takes away all the pain.
.thank god for novocaine.

.some days I know I'm dying slow.
.some days I swear I just don't know.
.faith and love is all that remains.
.passed out before going down in flames.

.thank god for novocaine.
.love the way it tricks my brain.
.takes away all the pain.
.thank god for novocaine.




Black Saturday Night

A time when resources were depleted
After all the heartbreaks been had
A time when the lonely were cheated
Living on the other side of mad

Hop in and strap your belt buckle
Pull your hat down tight
Just another lick my boots hustle
On this black saturday night

.my shadow is taller than my soul
.end of awful days seem close
.all the voices of rage from below
.they chatter, they scream, they know
Awww, they know, they know

Talk about reliability
Our salvation at the end
All afternoon He bleeds and bleeds
Suffering for our sins

Walked around hell staring em down
Really wasn’t much of a fight
No reason for all these frowns
On this black Saturday night  


Texico Days: Macho Burger

     In large measure, commerce was the true reason Texico came to be.  The notion that good ideas, executed in a deliberate and intentional manner, will lead to innovation and prosperity was radical to some, especially the corrupted American establishment.  Soaked in unneeded regulations, choked by corporate taxes, and saddled with expensive entitlement programs, the American economy collapsed in the 20's.  The baby boomer transition from saving money to withdrawing money tanked the banks and investment companies.  Texicans were resourceful.  Never did they expect the government to provide for their retirement.  Retirement, in fact, was not something many texicans pursued.  Instead, aging texicans kicked it in as they headed towards the grave.  Business ventures, missional efforts, and other interests became more important later in life.  Rebirth, renewal, and reinvention.  Always.  No other phenomenon illustrated this spirit as clearly as Macho Burger.  This prevalent feature of the towns and cities of Texico began as a simple vision.  The best burger for less.  Opened prior to the beginning of Texico in the great Collin county suburbs north of Dallas, this restaurant has become a conglomeration of 2500 units spread all through Texico.  Created by entrepreneur Mason J. Step, L. Dean Fitzgerald was an early investor and wrote the signature jingle in the early days...

Walking, I found myself hungry and in the Allen area. While I was looking around for something to eat, I bumped into a guy standing on the corner of Bethany and Greenville. I asked him, “Hey man, you know where I can get a good burger?” “You want a good burger, huh?” he answered. “Yeah”, I said. He asked if ever had a Macho Burger. “A Macho Burger?” I inquired. “Yes, a Macho Burger.” “Nope”, I answered. He then pointed across the street to a small colorful hut with smoke coming out of the top and said, “Go on over there and order you a Macho Burger. You’ll be glad you did”. Intrigued at this point I pressed for more information. “What makes a Macho Burger so good?” I asked “What makes a Macho Burger so good? First off, they give you a huge hunk of meat. Secondly, they keep the bread dry”, he answered quickly. He thought for a few more moments and added, “another thing, after you eat a Macho Burger, you know you ate a good burger.” he went on, “you know you got your money’s worth and you can come back and get the same thing next time you want a good burger.” Then he challenged me, “Why don’t you go try for yourself?” With that I thanked him, jaywalked across the street, and ordered a Macho Burger. After carefully unwrapping the burger and seeing it in its full uneaten glory I could understand what he meant by a huge hunk of meat and the integrity of the bread was intact. I couldn’t wait to take a bite and when I did I tasted the best burger I ever had. A Macho Burger. I’ll tell you this, it won’t be the last. Get you a Macho Burger today. You'll be glad you did.

Creative marketing, good burgers, and relentless sanitary execution earned Macho Burger it's place among iconic Texican brands.  The development of the now famous chihuahua burger and the marketing of it, first as a slider appetizer, then as a children's burger, was an example of this continuous nature of texican innovation.  Mr. Stec developed the menu personally and makes adjustments obsessively.  The original Macho burger (meat, sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced onions, zesty dill pickle slices, raw bell peppers, and black olives served on a very toasted bun, best with real mayonnaise) was the only burger on the menu for a couple of years before the need for diversity led to a more versatile menu.


White Pants

.she stepped out last week.
.cold shoulder turns and silence.
.the joy of life can be had.
.but it must be sought.
.you will find it within.
.it has already found you.
.white pants and stone necklaces.
.warm towels and perfect eyebrows.
.until the slumber ends.
.until the change of the season.
.endurance and work.
.routines and habits.
.particular projects of beginnings and ends.
.selling margaritas in the stands now
.just want a smoke.
.nervous mutes and sidewinders.
.get up there closer.
.the yu choo rendition of the rangers.
.no bleacher seats anymore.
.the world has been fooled.
.not entertainment.
.glow world park.
.a sucker's den.


No Generations

.disorientation of the order of things.
.take nothing for granted.
.all rotations are their own.
.this will not last.
.time will end.
.our time.
.anxiety and regrets rolled in the mud.
.schedules and agendas obsolete.
.no generations.
.no eras.
.decades, centuries, millennia.
.pushing work and cash around now.
.pride digestion and moments of joy.
.relationships initiated and maintained.
.plans of goals and actions.
.read respond, read respond.
.give your heart away.
.it is too blue for your own use.
.look through the eyes of others.
.understand them.
.the season came to an end last night.
.the hawks had a good run.
.the loud voice having fun.
.his stage is gone.


Evolution Girls

.and the other side of hate.
.part of the soul now.
.shapes of all kinds.
.colors too.
.the tender hearts.
.the cold ones.
.turn away turn away.
.look to the stars.
.on a clear night.
.away from noise.
.only music and nature.
.evolution girls.
.resting in love.
.home girls.
.resting in love.
.teach your children well.
.they are being kept from trouble.
.avoid the pit.
.and the falls.
.mind games forever.
.until the age of maturity.
.until the age of reason.


Shark Fin Sky

.orange, orange shark fin sky.
.all the colors plunging into the clouds.
.remembered some sort of promise.
.still and completely clear.



.the metal got extremely hot. .it must to become what it must. .intended and planned. .considered the expense of time. .it was worth every hour. .as we count them down carefully.


Where The Leprechauns Howl

     He walked in and the 7 foot guy stared him down.  Started and listened in amazement.  Who was this skinny white boy with Unc?  Smothered his shoulder with his hand after the performance.  "You turned me around son, I didn't know what to think," he boomed.
     "I learned from the three Kings--Albert, Freddie, and Elvis.  Martin Luther And Martin Luther King. Jr and Sr too."  He talked with knowing confidence.  The place smelled of chicken necks and the guitar players coated their fingers with chicken grease.  This was in the backwoods.  The hills of Tennessee.  Where the Cashes come from.  Self sufficient and musical people.  This is not Nashville.  These people made Nashville.  Players all around.  That Gibson box was tuned in.  Learned to play every note.  Studied the theory of music and heard sounds.  Not a follow me man.  "You say you play better than Jimmy Hendrix.  Really?  Let's hear it."  He was older now.  This was years later.  "Now Jimmy wrote the book.  There is no doubt.  Had to go and off himself.  Intentional or not, He was reckless.  Can't be drinking too much prior to a performance.  Can't be sloppy.  We move forward, we don't look back."
     Buzzards was a lake bar.  Near pottsboro and pink.  These texoma boys flash cash around.  Floating the waters while the red river dies.  Beach camping bums and stripper fillets.  Green waters and hundred pound catfish.  Cold and windy on granpappy point.  The Munson place near the cliff.  They never heard a big sound.  They never heard the doctor on the keys.  Three piece county bands with honky tonk covers and straw hats.  It was buzzards.  Big red loved the guitar.  I'm playing one for him.  And the strings were pulled off.  Bended and mangled and shredded.  Burns run come down.  Sleep the next day.
     Playing the glow gig set and this gentlemen walks up to the stage.  He calmly straps on the electric guitar and begins to ensure proper tuning.  I have just completed the opening song, swaying California brown, and the place is full of anticipation.  The opener is a ripper and my sideman was playing nice long slide licks.  The bar was ringing noises of commerce.  I'll have another, make it two or three.  Once he's satisfied with the sound of the telecaster, he proceeds to play the introduction to the second track, north end of Erwin park, the most local of all glowface songs and my favorite to sing.  He seems to know it and the minor chord laced solos and improvisational sounds we're filling the entire room with melted wax.  Incredible, I thought as I signaled the slide for some butter knife whines.  The protest of the protest song went on for an hour.  The gentleman would not stop.  I was pouring sweat and exhausted.  We had played the entire album, finishing with a remarkable rendition of Rankin Blues.  He made up notes, he tore off the paint, he made the chandeliers cry.  All songs were played without pause.  It was like one long song.  The place smelled of mushrooms and beer.  The man finally unstrapped the worn out guitar and placed it back on it's lonely stand. He walked through the stunned crowd, out the back door, and down the ally. We stood there amazed, not knowing what had happened.  The slide player was hypnotized.  The crowed was silent as he left, but glowing brightly.
     He came from the end of the road.  Near the washed out bridge.  Where the leprechauns howl.