ThusWho am I to people around me?
I'm the receipts from unpaid dreams that were bought with their money.
I'm a caricature of masculinity, chained to a broken body.
I'm someone's reason for getting up today.
I'm a good time on a Saturday afternoon, playing cards and telling jokes.
I'm someone's physical legacy...the bastard child of their decisions and my reactions.
I'm a friendly neighbor.
I'm a member of loved one's prayer lists
I'm a fool.
I'm a relic.
I'm a religious fanatic.
I'm a poet some enjoy.
I'm a brother and a best friend.
Who am I to myself?
I'm a blood-bought believer in Jesus Christ, my Savior and King.
I'm intelligence that lives in a box of old waltzes, swaying to a big band only I can hear.
I'm the laughter of 1980s comedians.
I'm a thorn bush of fear.
I'm a palette of the deepest hues and shades.
I'm a wanderer.
I'm one who ponders things.
I'm the fashion heir of 1970s used car salesmen.
I'm the guy that proudly wears his John Deere cap to Buddy Guy's Blues
When She SmiledIt's a beggars life, said the Queen of Spain
I believed that I was dreaming
Got a feeling I've been here before
On the water down in New Orleans
I'm reading last year's papers
Like a thousand times before
What are the secrets
Of the man that I once knew
Panatela and old black derby hat
It started out good
For you and me we understood
The mechanized hum of another world
It seems like only yesterday
I was out of mind and you
Tell me I'm the only one
The groove that never quits
That's my claim to fame
This life can be very strange
Darling if you only knew
All the signs are right this time
I'm gonna let it roll
America WasAmerica was the home of The Dream...
Which yonder copper Lady stands for
At the gates of a free land.
Beckoning to a world in disrepair
Come to me, ye heavy laden
Come and pursue Life, Liberty and
America was these things
Once the neatly manicured lawns
of this Nation's WWII heroes
stood as a symbol of prosperity
and unity of spirit and purpose
in One Nation Under God.
America was exactly that...
At one time, massive steel mills in Indiana
and Pennsylvania turned out the steel that
won the War...built the iconic '57 Chevy Bel-Air,
and the ubiquitous Maytag washer and dryer.
Nothing Ran Like A Deere in our fields of golden grain,
Redwings carried the feet of millions to work,
and Chrysler was the underdog auto company that
was rescued by the son of Italian immigrants...
only for our government to stand by and let her be
corporately raped and pillaged by Daimler-Benz,
several decades later.
America was an industrial powerhouse...
A Finer WeaponI. A finer sword to wield than the rusty bludgeon I now grasp...
As I crouch in this dustbin, shadows concealing my regrets
Once I stood in the teeth of the wind, welcoming a champion
To contend with.
Seizing the haft of my weapon, I drew it from the scabbard
And held it, mesmerized, seeing sparks of light reflecting off the blade...
II. Faded warriors converse in the hallway.
For them, the western plains are peaceful now;
Setting suns never reaching the horizon,
Paint the canyons in antique red and violet.
III. Celluloid cowboy walks up to me and says,
"Shot, mister?" as he proceeds into the darkened barroom.
Batwing doors creaking as we enter; him striding in, me timidly following.
"What'll it be , boys?" asks the black-vested barkeep.
"Whisky." barks the cowpoke in a low voice. I merely nod assent.
We sit their in silence a moment. The pianist begins to play a Joplin rag,
Sharp notes fluidly ricochet around the room, dream bullets that make you sleep.
"Tell me," he sings, "where th
BluesBlue streetlight ambience
In a river of Detroit steel
Docking on the North Side
I'll slide in under cover
Of those ivory melodies
Tales of striking out
And coming in late...
Somehow seem to fit
Melancholy vibes soothing
Smiling at the winners in life
I want a name when I lose
A Treatise On Classic Ruminationsi. A Treatise on Classic Ruminations
Beckoning the sages to tell us wisdom
Yet they are fixated on their reflections
In rippling pools of water.
Look to the lofty clouds
Victorian mansions drifting by
All the more luxurious for
Their indoor pools.
Can't we see the broken ladders
Precariously leaning on burning flowers
Consumed with the chaff?
No, for we ride on dreams of tweed.
It was the Colonel in the library
With marmalade, biscuits and tea
Twas' nary a danger to the likes of you and me.
Enter we into kingdoms
Founded on perilous sands
Not understanding, we increase our labors
Albeit with bloody hands.
For the fear of the LORD is wisdom
His mercies to partake
There is no other fountain
Our dread thirst to slake.
ii. Portnoy Ascending The High Seas
(Or 'What Happened To Wednesday?')
Lockshire Stephens rode a merry boat
Upon a swelling sea.
I inquired of his voyage
So he invited me.
"The dangers lie in mackerel, dear boy."
Began the imminent prof.,
"We shan't see land for want of them