Crow Springs

.all at a moderate pace.
.thirsty boat people with squinting eyes.
.families all around, camped for days.
.the island is back.

.dodge the tops of cottonwood trees.
.the cliff houses are grand and full of activity.
.docks are floating everywhere.
.the water always arrives, eventually.

.dust will turn to mud.
.an oasis known as crow springs.
.humans have gathered there for millennia.
.keep out of the dugout.
.it is merely a replica of the original.
.two hundred yards south from here.
.only ruins now.

.glide across the glassy water.
.on a quiet friday afternoon.

.wouldn't be doing this at home.

.bodies are older and tireder.
.spirits are strong.
.politicians are not trusted.

.even preparations won't matter.
.returning to before is impossible.

.forward is the only way.


Liquor Store Jesus


.outside of Haskell, near the Knox county line.
.tank was getting empty, had a worried mind.
.neon sign in the distance, my faith was restored.
.thank you lord Jesus, for that liquor store.

.pump was old and rusty, all the levers were shot.
.had to pay up inside before you could pump a drop.
.got some jerky and some seeds, helps me drive through the night.
.as I walked out the door, I saw a beautiful sight.


liquor store Jesus.
taped on the door.
liquor store Jesus.
saved me once more.

.getting my gas after I paid, a woman stood near the other pump.
.had long tan legs, and curves, and a perfect, heart shaped rump.
.made contact with her baby blues, blue as the ocean waves.
.oh Jesus help me once again, you know exactly what I crave.

.forgot to get a lighter forgot the case of Mexican beer..
.locked up my el camino, get it while I'm here.
.in line behind a man with his nightly u light.
.been plowing earth all day long, drinks with Jesus at night.

.then appeared through the door the woman from before.
.came back to buy some cigarettes and cool off in the store.
.she asked me for a light, I eagerly complied.
.took out my new purchased lighter and lit her up just right.

.she offered me a smile, she took me by the hand a squeezed it tight.
.'thank you mister' is what she said, 'I'm all alone tonight.'
.didn't believe what I was hearing, didn't know what to do.
.saw liquor store Jesus, then I knew.


Midnight In West Texas

in all seriousness, a new perspective.
these shadows in the air.
uninvolved with possible outcomes.
obsessed with the routine.
obsessed with the truth.
obsessed with light.
a moment of nothing at all.
the rarest state of being.
we are not thought about by others.
only fleeting remembrances.
fondness or disgust.
spend all you got.
then line up at the nearest national bank.
money is madness.
these stories are all over.
a means to this life's end.
legacy folks and names of buildings.
the lake is full is the word.
predicted calmly and quietly all along.
midnight in west texas.


The Thrills Are Too Short

..all kindsa things found on the shelves..
..twenty dollars and a transfixed mind..
..bland comments and quotes of others..
..all over this land crazy folks are breaking out..
..helping others with accusations and calls..
..the heat was baking the grounds and lawns..
..dull blades and late afternoon petrol emergencies..
..depleted and worn from pouring sweat and blood..
..the cake place with offers of decorations..
..glorified Hollywood bakers with a good thing going..
..west nile festering in the lower wet lands..
..chemicals in the air and spraying mists of poison..
..the dizzies and the woozy equilibriums of haze..
..perfect landing from the old jumping bridge..
..harp player thinking the thrills are too short..
..muscle stretching throughout the evening..
..fear the achillies tendon and don't break the back..


The Earl Of Nantucket

those days are remembered well.
praying the rain would stop.
school was out of the question.

paper plate super server award.
brown collegiate brick walls.
then the magic rug was pulled out.

inside the loop with wild characters.
dust storm finals and windburned lips.
continued throughout time in the west.

the good life of club sandwiches and lights.
backboard on the back court, no one around.
any degree was fine, with the pool cool down.

the days of lions and letters.
temper tantrums and destroyed equipment.
triumphant and humbled every week.

the latest and the greatest things of now.
whatever it took to play to midnight.
junebugs and mosquitos continue the fight.

the ladies arrived with eyes and legs.
respectable newspaper clippings and notes.
glory limited by limitations and priorities.

decorated to a reasonable degree.
understood a future on the links.
intermittent matches with aging bores.

the babies and the jobs and the dead flowers.
no time for rallies and volleys.
the classics, Hemingway and Kerouac.

the evening nights by the Goodyear.
fence clanks and commitments.
terminology and pong.

literary documentation and kaizen.
superior methods of thought and execution.
macho burger, the prison workout, and lights out.

the epic war lasted for days.
at 70 it finally ended, both wrecked.
inspiration of the ages.

baseline dirt and cleanly mowed grass.
dignitaries all around and fidgeting.
the traditional white of the men and women.

this place is full of green grace.
jackets and hats of the highest quality.
the Earl of Nantucket is arriving.


Thirsty For The Throne

     Considering the KOtC5 draw, I immediately plotted my path to royalty.  The Earl, the common royal, seemed my only potential place.  Only 2 years ago, during the first KOtC, I was firmly in the thick of things for the Prince title.  Then the famous Leo Escario, the marathon runner, proud son of The Philippines, and owner of a permanent smile, outlasted me for the first KOtC Prince title in what I thought was going to be my last mahut on earth.  It was hot.  Death was at my doorstep.  My family was watching and the air was dizzy.  Heat exhaustion, hell, heat stroke, seemed inevitable.  Really, it would’ve been a good way to go, but our good God kept me around.  That was my chance and Leo slammed the gate, pulled up the bridge from the mote, and lifted the Prince prize.  Since then, its’ been a series of defeats, disappointments, a Frank Friday destruction of the KOtC establishment, and a back spasm roddick in KOtC3.  Only an 8-2 mahut win over Keck in KOtC4 serves as a highlight.  King James has gone royal, King The Todd of course, Keck and Joe have tasted the Duke title.  With Huffman, a tireless tennis warrior, Prince Coronado, a trendy pick for King, and Dayton Hancock, an Eagle returning to his tennis nest after college tuning, my morning draw is loaded and clearly the Earl is my most likely path to royal.   

     The quality of the overall KOtC field has continued to improve tournament after tournament.  Even now, even with the absence of King The Todd and the internationally famous J.D. Miles, we begin with the finest KOtC field ever.  There is King James, the dignified 2-time King who is always thirsty for the throne.  The possible return of JET to the Mavericks has him especially motivated.  His acceptance of Dirk’s new role as 6th man ushers in a new hope.  Hope for things to come.  The hopeful King.  He’ll have to play well early and avoid his notorious loose starts to put himself in position for the afternoon.  His morning draw is loaded with dangerous players.  Joe Vita is no joke.  He is back from Hawaii.  He is tan and rested.  He is the face of KOtC and always a threat.  This Jonathan Wraith person is a huge South African.  Tall and lanky, uncoiled rockets for serves.  Like fellow South African Kevin Anderson almost, who just took Novak to the 5 set brink at Wimbledon.  Nice fellow, that Anderson.   Along with King The Todd, Keck and I hung out with him a bit in Houston at the U.S. Clay Court Championships, eventually won by American Jack Sock.  He’s almost too nice to break into the world top 5, or Top 10 even, but he is talented.  Talks with a lisp.  Wraith kinda looks like him.  Rounding out King James’ early draw is Berco Neiman, a first time unknown to Isner tennis culture.  A true X factor.  Despite these obstacles, King James is likely to advance to the King division in the afternoon.  He will have plenty of nutrients and water, his KOtC experience will give him the edge over the newcomers and he just has too much game for Joe. 

    Despite King James’ accomplishments and preparations, first timer Jeremy Stone comes into the tournament as the favorite.  His reputation precedes him.  Machine-like and smart, tireless and deadly, unforgiving and quick, experienced and indestructible.  He should cruise into the afternoon King division.  Word has it that Eli Yaremenko is highly competitive, but probably a better bet for Prince this time around, like Prince Coronado this past Fall.  Frank Friday could derail Stone if some physical altercation breaks out over disputed line calls.  This is unlikely.  Frank’s intimidation tactics are deliberate and he is in control at all times, but perhaps he can bait Stone and pull off a miracle.  We haven’t discussed a fighting policy, but we are big advocates for peace—just for the record.  Flash flooding, tropical storms, and hurricanes will not keep Frank away after over-reacting to weather conditions in KOtC4.  He heard the whispers regarding his roddick and carries a chip.  Too much Delkus, too much USTA.  He’s never attended a KOtC where he did not go royal, claiming Prince in KOtC2 and Earl in KOtC3.  I want no part of Frank Friday.  Current Earl Vito could make a run for Duke or meet me in the afternoon.  He will be tough, but perhaps 6 months of living royal has made him vulnerable.  Maybe there is an opportunity.  Maybe he has rested on his royal butt a little more than normal.  Vito has what I want.  This could get ugly.

     The most intrigue and mystery is reserved for the final morning group.  Nick Pena, another collegiate player and returning Eagle, on his most familiar courts.  If it’s the dude I remember, he was slightly better than Dayton.  But that was years ago.  I remember the Saturday morning doubles match, where Keck and I took them to the edge before eventually losing our mahut 4-6 to the Allen Eagles #1 doubles team.  Coach Quest had sent them down to play Keck and I after their normal workout.  If memory serves, which it doesn’t always these days, Keck had some late serving issues and performed weakly at the net.  It was all his fault.  I believe that’s how it went down.  He smashed an electrical box with his racquet and screamed the loudest F-bomb ever heard.  A few parents of young children came by and voiced their displeasure with his profanity, but he cussed them off the court too, fire in his German eyes.  Like Boris Becker or Stephie Graf or something.  I’ve been leery of him since, but still maintain good relations off the court.  He took it tough, but Dayton and Nick are now college players, almost validating our loss and making it seem more acceptable.  Joining Nick is Chris Fess, of which nothing is known, Duke Keck, and Bill Vita.  Keck’s story is well documented and his royal credentials established in KOtC4.  Billy Vita, bonafide and certified by the Philadelphia School of Italian Tennis Professionals, is the wildcard.  Just recently, he tied his brother, and lifelong superior player, Joe 10-10 in a 20 game mahut.  His game is on the rise, enhanced by Karate-like maneuvers, a new stringer,  and his tremendous knowledge of the game.  In all honesty, I hope he makes it into the Duke division.  If he claimed the Earl, my depression would be complete and prolonged.

     Survival is only temporary.  One day we will all succumb.  For now, we play tennis.  Mahut!!!    



Chillin On My Shoe (Draft)


chillin on my shoe, got nothing better to do.
all afternoon, just chillin on my shoe.
all the grass is fast and blue, string picking gals and dudes.
Rocky Mountain views, just chilling on my shoe.


song bout looking up to the stars, after a night of hopping through the bars.
with a girl I just happened to meet, smiled at me when I blessed her sneeze.


song bout...


song bout...


song bout...

*collaboration with hunter hezmall.


Dauphin Island Afternoon

...bud smith is the only person I want painting my house...from bayou la batre, where all the gulf fish gets processed...oysters, piles and piles of shells dumped back to build the reef...shrimp, iron boats out for weeks and months...those louisiana boys got it easy...texas and its massive coastline...after katrina, boats were littered everywhere...the water was up to the transformers...even dominic was devastated, and he's one of the big dogs...tugboats are made here too...pulling flat barges on the mississippi...his old woman's boyfriend put a bullet in his spine...he knew of the end...older brother peanut was a rowdy dude...fell over one day when his ticker stopped...younger brother held up a 7-11 with a BB gun...picked up on a warrant a few months later...probably in jail to this day, bud didn't remember....the good times in mobile...zz top and wine and weed...real name was george...but, the cigarettes do the real killing...old smokers always warn the young...now he lives with a rockette...she danced before she had a family...and a woman who sees God...on the other side of the lake are the nice beaches...dauphin island afternoon...