Low Mercury

There’s a chill where I walk
So I can’t stop and talk
It’s a pressure cooker winter again
The fruit was bent, seeds took flight
There’s only the crunch under foot
And the blackened dog Mary named Soot
The chimney pipes talk real loud
Train cars crashing together off Central Avenue
Break the icy air like thunder at a feast
It’s heard across a quiet Nordeast

Getting closer
Checkered flag on my GPS mind
Wasted breath dead
Frozen and sprawled over a beard with clout
Gotta get in that door
It’s hot in there like Palm Springs
Chick singer band really sings
Leave the train tracks behind
They’ll be there later to find
Bundle up all your frost bite fears
Step to the bar as cheeks burn warm
Man and best friend escape low mercury

Get a drink made of sweet bright grain
Belt it down and wait for Mary
Everyone looks pure and born again
Coming out of the cold into the sanctuary
With the night in front of us like Route 66
Catching our breath and shifting into high gear
Get ready for a new blistering year

Mary comes in christened by twenty below
I see frost on her lashes
She sees flannel on my arms
Take her in like a blanket
She wears a cross around her neck
Where a scar used to be
Her cold is a moment thieving my heat
We’re happy she’s here
Away from the rail

from Wanna Be a Rock-Star, Can’t Play a Gui-Tar


Maybe Baby

Giving up the dead
Haute and circumstance
Rings of fire circumspect
Light rises buoyed and shed
Push through the contortions
Of the cortex, Cortez sailing
Beyond the flowers and familiar soil

Pick up the scepter and dance
With morning embers of chill
Clarity waits on white foaming horses
Adoring dawn impeccable, replaceable
Breaking from the dank within
Leave death behind
Like cool tiresome bath water
Float to your one
Protected in purple robes
And tomorrow’s mess

Tomorrow will wean itself
From today like a cool coated calf
Fresh and wide eyed
Not knowing what will be
Meted out
Fragile quivering legs
Talking calmly to the ground

Ushering in the future
With red velvet stanchions
White gloves
A flashlight pointing in the direction
Of a coming attraction
Looking for reaction
Walking calmly with the sound

Wanting panhandler change
Chewing on greenbacks
At Hollywood and Vine
Dreams of becoming the butterfly
So transparent
And life so scant

from Fat Poet Dies in Grain Elevator Accident & Other Poems


Sugar Noses

Spring whistles at winter groping it
Via screeching taxi drivers
Wheels feeling the unclad
Pavement up and down
Melting tar and smell scattering
Noses like sugar
Rays of light
Peel off winter and go
Burlesque turning peep shows
Into squint fests
Couch old enough to sip whiskey
All night gets tossed outside
To make small talk with a fickled
Spring breeze
Chocolate shakes
Ice gets creamed
They don’t mind being in season

from Car Sick from Circus Peanuts


Nap Time

Big lake like a sodium free ocean
Skinny boy body bereft of bad
Mud-slinging breaks the surface
Of August morning water we want
To be clean and calm light sifting
Its sharp fingers through us

Making us young and less pink
Skin taught by the sun
Building dirt castles
Where water meets our clocks

Stand still little boy and be taut
Preparing for an altruistic battle
With unknown forces pulling sand
From lazy old beach head
Lake, pool, ocean of the
Primordial snooze
The sleep of the dead

Two hours breaks the sun in half
Spring forth bulbous birth
Keep the body of water and flesh
Playing in the fountain with youth

from Fat Poet Dies in Grain Elevator Accident & Other Poems


The Candidate

Sniffling down a back country road
Heels digging in, gravel scraping
Brown patent leather shoes fresh
From a misguided campaign
Hands shaking

Country smells like a determined spring
Ring through the nose
The pig don’t rut
Shade of the magnolias keep
Blood from boiling beautiful
bad dream turned real

Shot to the gut
Lead and flesh and silent organs
Curtsey and dance uncomfortable
Waltzing and pulling unfriendly
Arm in arm not knowing

What had you done
Slow crawl to a kudzu grave
Sunshine on your forehead
Taste of blood and spring in your mouth
Now you start to know

from Fat Poet Dies in Grain Elevator Accident & Other Poems


Breaking Up with the Living

Death unto my eyes comes from a distance.
Hurry and wait like renewing
Your license to be.
No frail painted endings can be seen from my fire.
No tears for a lucky number.
Winter stumbles in like a drunken trapper
Not knowing to be sad. The day ends
With a fuse bright that doesn’t look back.
Not of my heaven on earth
Shall I go. Dust like those before.

Touched you small.
Time stops
Not for those who ask politely
Then pressing autumn leaves
To a familiar ground. I have come
To think of you on this day
Don’t worry for me
Safe and away my part has been played
Go today and embrace
The sun or the rain. It’s still there
Beside you I rest,
We move on with a nod.
It’s not you, it’s me.
I’ll call you.

from Car Sick from Circus Peanuts


Marry Me

Down by the creek doors always open
I said marry me
You said ferry me
To the other side of this wide life
You’ll be my wife
Little white church
In a green green field

Dancin’ in the aisles when the prayin’s done
Rippin’ an’ shoutin’ like the Lord wanted
Us ta have fun til the morning sun
Sunday’s here, Saturday’s gone
But you and I can’t be wrong
Down by the creek doors always open

Pretty pretty woman
Gonna be my bride
Goin’ down that river side by side
Dressed in white
My heart high like a kite
Pull my strings

Dancin’ in the aisles when the prayin’s done
Rippin’ an’ shoutin’ like the Lord wanted
Us ta have fun til the morning sun
Sunday’s here, Saturday’s gone
But you and I can’t be wrong

Doors always open
Put on those rings
Down by the creek
Find what you seek
Little white church
In a green green field

Stands so quiet for us to arrive
Then makes us dance when the prayin’s done
Floors creakin’ to the beat of our hearts
Just like the good lord wanted done
You and I have become one

Little white church
In a green green field


from Wanna Be a Rock-Star, Can’t Play a Gui-Tar


Goddamn Miller

Please set up the cannon to be shot in the early morning
The Governor is coming to town and we care
Not a bit to drill the new fuse hole
Find the cannon red and blue steel buried under dirt and
Time up on Miller’s homestead.
Why can’t goddamn Miller control his boys
It was probably the middle one – what’s his name –
Tommy – he’s got a four year old son and the mother
Lives down by Manchester near the airport
If Tommy could hold a job that little boy could
Have what the others do
Stealing cannons is all the Millers ever seem to do
Tommy’s grandfather stole it
His father didn’t
He did
Not that I care but I don’t even know if he has
A job
And two out of three millers stole
The cannon
not properly working in over 150
Go by and see the boy
Try not to mention the cannon

from Car Sick from Circus Peanuts


Young Forest

Cowering before the gangly young woods
Enter and be freed by sapling twigs
Biting the side of a frost captured face
Taste the frozen palette of the bright
Colorless world painted by blushing winds

Enter and be claimed by life and death
Co-mingling on a forest floor
The crunch of death is buoyed
By the sparkle and snap of life
Enter and be new by the quiet
Punctuated by the drum roll of a grouse
Welcoming by moving away
Tucking a crisp untamed naïve aire under wings

Enter and be not judged
By the young inhabitants
With only growth and sky on wooden minds
Running rings around us
Dreaming of straight and narrow poplar ideas
Don’t hesitate at the cusp
Age from within and be a part
Play a part in something bigger
Make your way
Into the center of solitude
Enter and be you

from Fat Poet Dies in Grain Elevator Accident and Other Poems


She cut her teeth on diamonds and fire
She was the love of my strife
Held her near as horses trampled
By elegant and emaciated
Veins of red ice frozen still
Estranged from tomorrow
Tethered to yesterday’s gone

She was my kingdom
I was her scene and electricity
Of the human kind
Enough energy to keep sharks away
Not enough to move it forward
Like winter in May
We said nothing and looked away
Secretly crafting a plan
To see spring one day

We remember each other’s guises
Better than the memories
Hoofs beat sawdust of the circus
The three rings
Life love hope
She put on three shows a day
Made me a high wire balance act
We were together like stars and night
She was gone in bad weather
Disappearing like a tangent

from Fat Poet Dies in Grain Elevator Accident and Other Poems

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