Thursday, May 19, 2016

the party

your friends are at the party, the ones you’ve known for years
they’ve shared your joys and triumphs, laughter and tears
they see you coming, and turn on the charm
and welcome you with open mouths and clutching arms

there’s plenty of potato chips, and plenty of booze
and they can’t wait to tell you the news
who fell out with who, and who fell down the stairs
and who in sad circumstances was caught unawares

the fox is in the henhouse, the train has left the station
life is a chronicle of degradation
and though the shocking chronicle never ends
it’s all right, because we are all friends

outside the wind begins to howl, the rain begins to patter
and everything you hear starts to not matter
there’s nothing left to say, and who wants to think?
you happily accept another drink

you look up and the party’s almost done
everybody has had enough fun
you notice time has left its nasty traces
on all the old familiar faces

who are these people anyway, and who are you?
they are your companions, tried and true
your shoulders sag, your shoes begin to scrape
and all you want is to escape

outside you are welcomed by the wind and rain
it’s over - until duty calls again
safe inside your clothes you are nice and warm
out of the fog appears a shuffling form

she wheels her vehicle along
mumbling a sort of little song
the cart is filled with plastic bags
and adorned with little american flags

how fortunate you are
to have your locked upholstered car
you have your i d, safe and dry
and can look authority in the eye

you have your friends, your registered name
your knowledge of how to play the game
no use to cry, no use to moan
and yet like her - you are alone

Friday, May 13, 2016

pals and booze: a fragment

the original concept of the pal
is lost in the mists of time
but i summon it, o muse
to invigorate my rhyme

let women, priests, and bureaucrats
judges, jailers, and fat cats
look down their long and pointed noses
true pals will always come up roses

the only thing better, i confess
is pure delirious drunkenness
but what are pals, in song or story
but those who share in liquor’s glory?

oceans ebb and flow
empires come and go
some win, some lose, but only booze
will light life’s brightest fuse

and when bright dawn comes pitiless
to sneer at night’s now lost excess
consider that the coming end
may be your best and final friend

Friday, April 22, 2016

not that

morrison happened to be at the f—— — — club when the unfortunate dustup occurred between caldwell and burnaby, and after a few meaningful glances from the other members who were present, he attempted to negotiate a truce between them.

caldwell assumed his usual air of slightly self-satisfied indifference, as if to say, “come now, is this really worth arguing about?” - his habitual pose after deliberately provoking someone in his sly way.

but what, really, could good old morrison do? after listening to both sides, he cleared his throat snd addressed burnaby -

“well, old fellow, i agree that caldwell here could have been a little more tactful - i might even venture to say, a bit more gentlemanly in the way he expressed himself - but after all, we are not children here, to cry about hurt feelings, eh? i suppose one member of the f———— club can express himself in a forthright fashion to another member, can he not? and on any subject he pleases, eh?”

“but not about that!” burnaby cried wrathfully. “not that!”

and despite’s morrison’s effort to restrain him, he rushed out the door, down the stairs and into the street, where a steady rain was falling.

poor jeffsworth had to be despatched after him, to give him his hat and umbrella.

although the incident was never spoken of, the feeling of good fellowship at the f—— — — club had been irretrievably punctured, and the club began its slow decline.

sometimes, on rainy afternoons, i can still hear burnaby crying - “not that! not that!”

Monday, April 18, 2016


call me a carnivore, call me a bum
but everything is yum yum yum
my shoes are scuffed and my suit is not neat
but everybody needs something to eat

as earthly creatures walk through dust
and to survive do what they must
to get the energy to move their feet
some are eaten that others may eat

oh how my senses quicken
at the thought of deep fried chicken
and how my soul doth quake
at the dream of a thick steak

o vegetarians so solemn
i just take’em as i swallow’em
and prelapsarians so stern
please let me take my turn

with philosophers and fools
at the banquet of molecules
some called living, and some not
some ice cold, some piping hot

i shove them down my throat
with a half-remembered quote
from a suave gourmet who stated
that all to be devoured are fated

the universe is one big mouth
draining its glass from north to south
chewing itself from east to west
without rest

so let the hot sauce burn
for some day your own turn
at the celestial barbecue
will come due

Sunday, April 17, 2016

out of the woods

people are bad, they should be good
once they lived in an enchanted wood
and listened to the voices of witches and elves
but now they just want to be themselves

and so they burnt the forest down
and packed their bags and came to town
and sit in rooms and watch television
and never know what they are missing

but what they are missing who can say?
as i was saying just the other day
if only i was a movie star
and had a rolls royce with a built in bar

and everyone in the world was my friend
and the good times would never end
what would i have to look forward to?
i would still be sad and blue

wouldn’t you?
and yet it’s true
i would get no sympathy
just because i was me

and not people who were not myself
how i wish i could be an elf
or a witch in a forest dark
or a dog being walked in a park

by a human who wants to get back
to cut himself some slack and just stare at the ceiling
because the world has lost all feeling

i am sorry if i lost my train of thought
sinking in civilization’s rot
my soul has been sold and bought
and all is what it once was not

Friday, April 8, 2016


humans are strange creatures
with many curious features
they have two sides to their brains
a fact difficult to explain

the two sides are at war
but do not know what for
and why humans do the things they do
no one knows - strange but true

a human could get by
with some water and a patch of sky
a banana to ward off hunger pains
and a tree to sit under when it rains

instead, in many instances
they choose to spend their brief existences
forming empires and nations
and heeding prophets’ stern orations

to rise against the things that are
and listen to voices from afar
the voices of creatures who never die
but live forever beyond the sky

in such ways they fill up the minutes
that flow through the world while they are in it
it may seem curious from afar
but that is just the way they are

o you from galaxies far flung
and universes no longer young
who are you to judgment render
on human life so soft and tender?

their life, like yours, is only smoke
and if they treat it as a joke
or matter for the deepest sorrow
it will all be the same tomorrow

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

dark night of vengeance, part 2: phll and bill

part two of ?

for part one, click here

the streets are merciless
they don't care if you confess
to the most desperate crimes
or stoop to pick up nickels and dimes

phil stumbled through the night
with no coherent plan of flight
but only hoped to make his way
through the darkness into day

he had seen it all before
he had heard the oceans roar
in his drowning desperate brain
and had felt the whole worlds pain

he was the cursed one
the seventeenth son of the seventeenth son
but just as you would expect
he got no respect

in his youth he had struv
to earn the world’s love
but to his eternal shame
he could not learn the rules of the game

when emily brown, who had welcomed his advances
on bill smith cast friendly glances
phil had no veneer of civilized grace
but his passion blazed forth on his red face

emily laughed out loud
and quickly attracted a crowd
which with untrammeled hoots and jeers
derided poor phil’s primal masculine fears

phil seized emily by the throat
the onlookers quickly took note
and rescued the poor damsel
before phil could finish sending her to hell

phil was charged with assault
he hired a lawyer named walt
walt did the best he could
but the results were not good

phil testified so forlorn
but the jury reacted with scorn
to his tale of provoked passion
for such pleas were no longer in fashion

the judge brought down the hammer
phil got five years in the slammer
and as he was led away
he heard his rival bill smith say

as a law-abiding citizen i insist
that five years is a slap on the wrist
and when you get out, old son
your troubles will have only begun

emily brown went away
exactly where, no one could say
bill smith blamed phil for her fleeing
and hatred consumed his whole being

in letters to phil, bill let loose
with an endless stream of abuse
and promised phil, when let out, a harsh fate
because bill would be waiting at the gate

four years went by - and then
phil busted out of the pen!
when two true desperadoes named roger and clyde
obligingly took phil along for the ride

roger and clyde left phil by the side
of a dark road - with nowhere to run or hide
hunted - without a friend!
hunted - though the road never end!

somehow the years went by
always out of the corner of his eye
phil waited for the hand on his shoulder
as he grew slower, weaker, and older

phil somehow found employment
though he never knew what anything meant
and fell into a routine
and almost forgot who and where he had been

of desires he had only one -
to remain in oblivion
was that now to be denied?
to the pitiless sky phil cried

his cry echoed down the dark street
and the flapping of his running feet
and the bubbling in his brain
were only heard by the wind and the rain

(to be continued)