Call of the Balls

photo of a group of friends lying on a pool table
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

I enjoy the smell of blue Play-Doh
it reminds me of childhood wounds
so give me a piano bar
and let me sigh eternally
amongst the dark, doldrums beat
where man is nothing but an enclave,
a water dish for God’s mighty piss
it’s time machine day
watch all the lovers fall forward
into another happy moment
of ashes on carrots
and whimpering in designer hallways
tape these bleeders closed
I’m leaking to much embryonic fluid
I will never forgive the doctors
for letting me live
they should have stabbed me
when they had the chance
rhythm isn’t all that
and why is my cigarette all wet
she must have sucked on it too long
like a crimson call of the balls
a jungle gym for her hands and mouth
and what is it all about
when the pressure rises
and the beat rises
and the teeth chatter
and the hands shake
and all you want to do is
pound! pound! pound!
every senseless array of light
pound it into the ground
and play blind man on the street corner
with a couple of dimes
and a couple of cobs of corn
to boil in a pot of your own soul

Forget history
forget the curds and whey
forget the memories of your lullabies
let me rephrase that —
there is never any hope in love
when you’re banging the drums on Skyline Drive
shooting asphalt high in her eyes
it’s a rhythm that means nothing
except to her unfaithful hips
her hungry lips
the javelin rodent prays to Mary
the metal plate in his skull
sends messages to his doldrums
let me feel your hair,
come sit on my lap
come swallow shotgun shells at sunset
and watch cowgirls on Texas junk

Do the mice really care
how intricate the tapestries in Babylon are?
Does anyone care
that Teddy bears aren’t real?
What is the basis of all our motives
what grips the brass ring in your belly?
The tug of a lover
the tug of a memory
the tug of a prophecy
dialing up in your brain
making you spit down the drain
where is my lumber?
where is my sword?
step aside whilst I stricken you with damage
who will care for the bloody mouth
who will stare at the red wine running south
who will submit to my need
and not be forsaken because of it???


Applesauce Cat

Warning: Mature Content

I was sitting in the din of another rum-soaked afternoon on High Street in some far away town. I was alone as usual. The clock was ticking behind my head like a reader counting down the days to my ultimate demise.

I looked out the balcony fortress at the world all messed up and angry with itself, and I saw a cat eating applesauce down on the sidewalk around the perimeters of chalk art and lonely hearts.

I was cut like dynamite all up in my guts… my face so fucking worn away from the droop of negative gladness that I felt like gravity sucking at a skull through a circus straw, clowns all mad and boisterous running around with shaving clippers to cut away the dirt of dope all muddied in my blood.

It’s the countdown to broken neck as end of summer lawns hiss as the sprinklers spit at the grass like riots, I am hungry and in pain deep down in the belly welly of life on bourbon street sans street, the plastic puppets of a childhood tossed in a bin scream redemption but the oily candles only bleed sin and throat blessings designed to curb the swearing are merely molestations of the skin.

So God, do you have a dick in which to fuck the universe and all its celestial holes?

Alcoholism and roughed up love meet in a bar down on Bleeker Street. It’s puke and madness and a dying heart just trying to reach out to another Rings of Saturn soul, blowholes and arrows, hard drinks and drugs and tattoo flu shots trembling at river’s edge, in upper north Wisconsin, where I want them to spread my ashes, like tumbler cheese on a cracker, and GODmother is dead because money is more important than any sensibility of love and honor… fuck you Chicago and all the piss you dump and pray for… my ass hurts, like a tiger biting into the bone, and I tremble Atlanta, my home, my five-fingered mannequin bone, restless and destructive like a coffee-scented angel on the 285, running circles round the metro like a honey-bee hive, all full of stings and poison and air machines for the lungs, my head, my life, so heavy and strung out like Christmas candles in a circus, a mall walker carrying a tombstone and a blowtorch, attacking the restless kiss as if in a never-ending dream.


The Anatomical Tragedy of a Rubber Witch

This is all a divine anatomical tragedy I thought
as I leaned on the cold wet rail of green
looking out at the sea,
the chilled air billowing forth from my mouth,
the oddities of life spilling from an aluminum pail at my side

The black rain poured down
I hunkered beneath a canopy of rubber
and went to the smoky joint
on 7th and Riverside
to hear Quinn the Brown play jazz in the bar by the bay

The mannequins gestured lightly
smooth wax skin reflected orbital rainbows
and motions of sickness,
caramel paint with light red
oozed down the walls, into the light,
into the fear framed within my own eyes

It was getting late,
but I didn’t care
I was here to bleed
and wonder why,
I shifted my position
stick dangling from my burdened lip
and moved to play her
as she leaned on
a dirty brick colonnade
sipping a drink
thinking about
getting stuck by a stranger
on the wrong side of town

Quinn the Brown was picking up the tempo
the deadline was near
the flies and I were laughing
under the smoky plaster sky
and some cheetah rubbed her knuckles in anticipation
of a naked night savagely calculated
from the room where her heart ticks
and all is red wine and white roses
and blood tracks across the back

It was a muted journey home
through rain curtains and bees
the sidewalks were wet,
the cafes were dripping,
children were riding magic carpets
over sooty smokestacks
and terror-filled voices were
belching angst from the rooftops

I turned the key
she came on home
to the drone of electric lights
and cinnamon spells cast by kitchen witches
I poured her a drink,
she fell on the floor
and I walked out
onto a sidewalk mirror of parting clouds

I fell down some dirty stairs
my vision all nonsense now, like gravity in a spaceship
and into a den of brightly lit thieves
listening to the howls of the night stalker
They invited me in for tea, a smoke, a cabbage white rail
there was a damaged angel there
all burnt and crisp
staring at the ceiling
from a point on the wall where she was tacked
black and sparkling,
eyes gaping wide,
a crystal cathedral dead and gone

It was a night of walking gone bad,
a wrong turn on the messy runway
and someone else paid the price for being born,
for living once,
breathing once
but now no more


Celsius 150

The pit burns, hurts, the thinking of no reason, no need, no purpose, no peace, no rest, never rest, just a raw nerve constantly exposed to the other infatuation, the memory lust crawled upon far back in the head, the knowing, the pink deception, being merely a mule set to drop in a sweltering field alone, twisting neck heavenward and wondering, enough of this hell already, the seeping saw, the running kroovy, the spotted tile rung rosary red in a constant panic dropout, perimeter crash, dawn’s elastic reprisal snapping back and taking out a blind eye like oblivion and we stare into screams and whimper, heart finally flipping out again in the essence of damage no one sees or knows or wonders or cares, like silently surfing on cold waves toward a fog, forward to fall, forward to vanish, scrubbed away like tarnish, soul snuffed in a quick lullaby snip.


Mutual poet rant upon a muzzled moon

The mutual poet and I wrapped our scars around rainbows like barbed wire cuts of rust wrenching the tears from the colored spine like lemon juice or the salty water from a baby’s crushed ice face. The mutual poet and I stayed up all night, for three nights, maybe a week, we couldn’t sleep, but a bit at twilight and the sun shook us from our slumbers and we blotted it out with a big patch of dark cloth the color of blood running from a split-open heart on some cold boulevard by a bar after a bruising breakup over loud music, cigarettes, and rum.

We ate nothing at breakfast and sauteed bullets for dinner; he wandered around in a daze mumbling things to himself, forgetting where he left his lit cigarette and I followed in his footsteps, perfect synchronicity as he did one thing and then another, rapidly changing gears and always mumbling like a freight train feather with a bad valve and he had a poor sense of concentration, his brain like a steam-whistle screaming away at 5 o’clock but five o’clock comes every 17 seconds or so; was this the end of it all? the great melting mind (and Joejack if you hear this, you’ve been there before but now safe in the bosom of the valley far north) — you will all hate this, say I am a tantric rip-off of some dead so and so … so … no love in this poem? love in every poem, even the most seething verse and the darkest string of words was once spawned from love and it is our gift to stitch them together in the ocean quilt with sawdust and bone.

But back to the mutual poet — he once put something in the oven, fell asleep and then woke to the stench of burning food and a choking cloud of smoke, he once put a gun to his head not really knowing if it was loaded or not — pulled the trigger — wasn’t that time.

Just trying to get back from wherever I came, haven’t had a home in centuries, no place to dwell with any decency, no place to settle in for the long haul; different doorways trap memories behind them, too many doors and different floors, and some places are filled with love and others filled within silence and fingernail scratches on the wall from just trying to remain standing and well the boo-hoo girl went back to white dinosaur in a green car and she should be happy there, then again she’s happy everywhere.

The moon, mutual poet, was muzzled pink tonight, hanging there like a faded ruby with bruises and the clouds all around it were like melting blue butter and black-eyed whipped cream, the brutal stars and stripes puffing away on another hand-rolled cigarette and the monkeys were swinging madly from limb to limb as the warm river rolled by beneath another freeway to another kingdom of fractured lives slaving away, day after day, to barely get by as strangers manipulate the development of their children’s minds and fights roar out of control and another head is buried in a wall.

They buried the mutual poet on Good Friday 1913, yet he remains with me here today; his motions are my motions, his forgetfulness and inability to speak coherently are traits we both share, but if he was here and I was there, would it make any difference at all?

Well goodnight Joejack. I picture you laughing at a sad movie or crying while watching a comedy; do you know a guy died in your house? — the one with the long hallway — it always creeped me out, but if you think about it, we are all walking over someone else’s bones. Goodnight Joejack.


A Reversal of Reverence

When one is inside a living hell
one begins to wonder if life is really hell
and that we are living as damned souls
rather than breathing, beating flesh
is it a reversal of reverence?
or a carving into a dirty brick wall
running along an avenue
in some dirty brick town hall
where everyone lives and dies at the mall
because shopping soothes the grated spirit
and machine guns make us heavenly patriotic
we all share the same hell,
but it’s personalized just for us
a little agony here,
a little sadness there,
a few suicidal tendencies sprinkled in between
like tooth-cracking rock candy on a wedding cake
spelling out disaster
and the peace sign
all muddled together
painted in a gleaming red of blood
and all the crystal tears dry up
and blow away in the breath of broken angels slouched at the bar
my world is spiral notebooks full of spilled and infinite ink
and dreams filling these white, chalky veins
dreams of innocence twisted inside out
like guts in a blender
and the torturous high-speed button is stuck,
lashes of a wicked wind like a bunch of reckless bros
tossing back Fat Tires at a pub in Nob Hill
and smoking black cigarettes with a scent of pine
and when will it be time
to throw the switch
and juice it up real bright and glossy
fizzing orange firebombs
licking at tender wounds
while wearing this metal hat
and laboring in the pain
of beachside memories
of little boys tossing sticks at the water
and maternal maids bracing themselves
against a chill California wind
and then what of him
as he shakes bone-chilled against the cement
of some dead-end den
watching the whispers of a life gone by
float to the endless sky,
but he never wants to say goodbye


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Radio-free Lamp Ray

This frustration of motion
this inept spinning of my tangled web
all the deceptions we weave
all the arrows we sling
at ourselves
when there is no reason
and I am empty without her
as lovers fill the home
and I still spark the sunset
bewildered and alone

I come from a place not known
a high hill tucked far away
behind the sugar plants
and the factories
belching out babies
in bleached Red Radio Flyers
bleached by the sun
bleached by the burn of innocence aged
and I am an astronaut floating untethered
a radio-free lamp ray
looking for a light bulb to suck and swirl

I came upon a disillusion
a fair lady needing to escape
and I have the power at my foot
but I am empty and frayed
for love is a magic trick
something splayed secretly in the shadows
and I have knife points in my heart
slowly choking on the trickle
a scissor slice
an orange wave
salting the wound
and when I am brought down by Paris
will I ever be enough?

Where has my patience gone
where has the image in the mirror dissolved to
and the bottle keeps me warm
as I pace restlessly in a chill
and maybe when I meet God
I’ll just come out and ask her
when is love ever real?

So nothing ever works out as planned you see
winds up being just Gallo and me
my empty need
raining through the moon
sparks dripping off the razor’s edge
and me bleeding helplessly
until she comes to me
but my fate is drowning
so stop being so pained and jealous
but I can’t help the shiver inside
that nervous twitch of wonder
left adopted by the night sweats
so why don’t I just give in
and count all my blessings in disguise?

I am not an iron cross
I am not a thermostat
so what am I?
the unexplainable
the paintable tab in a ghost story
the sexed up frolic
on a smooth hardwood floor
come on
give me a moment
to explain my reckless stance
and I know I feel too much baby
broken clouds weep my name

I don’t understand
maybe I don’t need to understand
this ritual of disturbances
I just want to care

I could tell when I walked in the door
that I was motionless moving
some parade of wrecked divinity
caught off guard
by the sizzle frying my heart
an empty line
an empty space
a tent stake
forced through my handicapped resistance
I don’t want to feel the shock again
of another love left abandoned
just whisper to yourself
it’s all right
it’s just life
it will all end someday soon

So fuck this feeling game
it will never be the same
I’ll always be capsized
my soul is a hurricane
aimed directly at myself
and I am not some Wizard of Oz
with a magic touch and spit
my road isn’t yellow brick
I’m getting sick
in a Denver trash can
you can see how my madness wanes
then comes back again in waves
I’m just crazy about her
sticky needles in the haze
I’m just a camel with no Baghdad
a radio-free lamp ray
electrifying the endless sea.