Wednesday, March 28, 2012


i saw the stars through an opening in the jungle canopy.
and they kept me sane, that night.
the night after the fire fight was fraught with fear
and i clutched my M-16 so tightly, that my shoulder hurt,
and my hand went numb.
i thought of the model B-29 bombers i had assembled as a boy...
the aircraft carriers, my army men, and all the war movies I had seen.
so futile now, it was a dishonest joke to me.
i couldn't scratch my feet, and the jungle rot was killing me.
i couldn't smoke, 'cause it might make me dead.
and every so often i thought of the boy i had killed, that day
a boy/man with yellow skin who missed his mother
and i held him in my arms, as his life drifted away.
then i dispelled that thought by looking up at the stars
the stars kept saving me that night
but the real me was gone forever
and the twenty-two year old boy was lost
in a land half-way 'round the world
inhabited by yellow men, who i did not hate
rather, i feared them
and i counted the days
and became a short-timer
and never expected to see my mother again
but looked at the stars each night
and prayed foxhole prayers
hoping against hope that i was wrong
now forty years have passed
and she is gone
long dead
and i miss her
but i have come back
though i'm somewhat damaged
but i forgive myself and the world
and the stars still comfort me.

Monday, March 26, 2012


it's a war
leaving the womb
entering this hostile world
taking those first steps
enduring diaper rash
finding your aloneness
fighting playground mates
warring with educators
learning adolescent pecking orders
competing in factories
in colleges
in dating
in marriage
getting rejection letters
not getting rejection letters
raising a family
raising teenagers
raising your teenagers, teenagers
fighting with illness
paying bills
the war is on
never ending
making your will
getting things in order
until that last gasp
the war is on

Saturday, March 24, 2012


nobody notices your new suit
or cadillac
'cause they're all too worried
about themselves
how do i look?
what can i get?
who can i screw?
they say

they don't notice your stuff
your achievments
your jaunty walk
your new shoes
your pretty wife
they just think about
stealing your stuff
or screwing your wife

so be a dirty bum
lay in the gutter
drink cheap wine
beg for some change
and i guarantee
nobody will notice you
or pretend not to notice

and behind your back
if they notice
they'll wag their tongues
about what a mess you are
so you can't win
so screw 'em all

Monday, March 19, 2012


Back in 1957, I was a precocious, little blonde boy...eight years old...who idolized his older brother, Jim. He was thirteen years older than me, which put him at the age of twenty-one. I remember he and Bob English, (one of his more degenerate drinking buddies), building a dog house in my mom's basement for my german shepard.

I loved that damn dog. He was six months old, and went by the name of "Duke". I watched as the boys nailed and sawed with my pop's old hand saw. The dog house was a thing of beauty. They put a coat of varnish on it, and real roofing tile. I couldn't wait for them to lug it into our backyard.

Up the stairs they went, grunting and groaning. Lo and behold, it wouldn't fit through our back door. I watched as they dis-assmebled it. They used words I never heard before, and my mom got me out of the basement, because I was giggling and she feared for my life.

Another one of my brother's escapades with Bob, also took place in my mom's basement...My brother rebuilt and old Mercury engine for his boat. He and Bob had the bright idea to bring a 55 gallon drum downstairs, fill it with water, then mount the old mercury engine inside of it.

When they tugged on the cord to fire up the engine, I was amazed to see a water spout come flying out of that old can, hitting the ceiling, and drenching the two idiots standing next to the apparatus. My mom and dad went crazy, yelling at my brother and Bob.

I miss both of them. Bob English died of lung cancer in the 70's. He always had a kind word for me when I was a kid, and I actually shared a few drinks with him when I was in my twenties. My brother has been dead for about four years now, and I miss him every day. I wish he was still around, so I can remind him of these events. We loved to kid each other as brothers often do. I'm glad I have these memories of my big brother, Jim.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


don't call me mitt
just go away
you wake me at nap-time
what more can i say?
the more you call
the angrier i get
i can't even smoke
a damn cigarette
you fuss and you bother
for my friggin' vote
just quit callin'
you ain't got no hope
your waxy hair-do
and cover-boy looks
i've seen 'em before
on political crooks
you call me at night
during my "fave" tv shows
when i'm taking a dump
or counting my toes
it's endless bombardment
not money well spent
on a workin' class guy
who can't pay the rent
so just go away
with your wife's cadillacs
give me a break
pay your fair amount of tax
i know you would fire me
like old donald trump
so quit this bombardment
yah republican chump!

Friday, March 16, 2012


he was as crusty as an iron fence
this old biker
who fought a war in vietnam
had two children
drank griesedieck bros. beer from st. louis
and loved that cardinals ball club
he wrote novels and poetry
managed some big-time record stores
road his harley with some rugged gangs
but had a heart as big as the montana sky
my dear friend, frank
hippie frank
santa claus with a club patch
a trailer
and southern roots
who loved this man
'cause he called me brother
and i went to his memorial service tonight
to send him on his way
to purple mountains
and raging highways
and star clustered skies
and pure, universal love
and that's where he belongs
dear frank wright.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Saint Patricks day looms like a dark cloud, waiting to pour gallons of alcohol on my sober head...and I reminisce about my tavern days when I was part of the party, and everyone was Irish, and we all had such a good old time...I have visions of John Wayne sweeping Maureen O'Hara off her feet in the "Quiet Man"...ahhhhh...he is such a manly man...drinking and fighting and boxing and doing all those man-type things which legitimizes all drunks in America, Ireland and all over the world. As a practicing alcoholic for some 30-odd years, I call this celebration, an amatuer event, much like New Year's Eve...Acne faced college students drink a six pack of beer in the gin mills, and end up puking on their feet, as they carouse outside in Celtic heathens going to celebrate the beheading of some Roman.

I was a real drinking man...good for a fifth a day, and Saint Patrick's day was an everyday event for me. The old saying goes, "A man has to believe in I believe I'll have another drink!"...This was my credo for years. My heroes were W. C. Fields and the doctors on MASH...Now these were swarthy, exiting and sarcastic men who earned their bones, paid their dues, and deserved to sit next to me on a bar stool.

So much has changed for me. I will celebrate by watching the Quiet Man with my sweet wife. My drink for the evening will be a nice cup of tea, and I will enjoy Barry Fitzgerald telling John Wayne, "No pattie fingers now!"....Ah, green Ireland, pubs, drinks, and more drinks! It was a great life, 'til I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


heroin addicts in L.A., shoot up in the morning
then they prepare smoothies with alfalfa sprouts
and other green things...all organic
go out an run five miles
then go to so-called creative jobs
in film and screenwriting
and i catch all the mistakes in the shows
i swear i'm going there to check scripts
'cause i find the mistakes every night.
i wonder why they don't lose their jobs?
must be relatives of big time people
who help them get clean periodically
i don't like their strangeness.

i like the honesty of Chicago junkies
they shoot up in the morning
drink 2-day-old coffee
3 day old bear claws
look out the window at street scenes
then nod off in a closet
playing guitars with five strings
then hit the streets in the late afternoon
for the hustle
they aren't pretenders
unless they need to scam you
they don't want a job
they just want to be left alone
it seems there's more honesty in this
i like their strangeness.


im diggin' the rays, man...
workin' on my tan
pumpin' the iron
thinking of surfer girls
not hospitals
i want to explode
with endorphins, you know
make my summer endless
i know i'm an old cat
and that's where its
not at
but i'm still diggin' the scene
yah know what i mean?
i'm sober and fit
it all feels legit
so cruisin' i go
on with the show!

Monday, March 12, 2012


i live in a silent world
while noise is all around me
it really matters what you say
it's just that i can't hear it
and it bothers me that you can't see me
or rather, that you don't want to...
for i am old
and in your world,
i suppose that i don't matter anymore
but i see you
and what you say is important to me
so please speak up
and annunciate your words
for i am still a participant
thought i don't run the bases anymore
i know more than you think
and possibly can share some knowledge
and though i am in pain
with the various injuries of old age
i want to be the best that i can be
so join me in my world
though it be silent
though it be challenging
i still need you
because sometimes it gets too lonely.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


he was fuckin' right
old f.n. wright
man of words, and jokes and verve
who always left in his wake
love and cheer and made everything jake
he loved his harleys and golden brew
he wrote them poems for me and you
he served these good old united states
he suffered with demons
from war-time aches
but he smiled with humor and joked his way through
we here at my house loved him too
he called my debbie the "scrotum nailer"
we laughed and joked about his trailer
we looked forward to his coming back to his home
the cornfields of the midwest
so he'd be not alone
we both had dreams of days to come
i planned on them
just told his son
but frank went on to his reward
if god's a biker
big frank has scored
i'll miss you buddy
this is true
i hope we meet
when my days are through.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


there is the blessing of the harleys
in the non-descript town of makonda illinois
maybe i misspelled it...but it is a magical place
south of carbondale
with old hippie shops and sasparilla...
and the sweet smells of incense and marijuana
and every spring is the blessing of the harleys
and all is magical as if it were still the 60's
in the spring of the summer of love
and i go back to little egypt
the place of magnetic forces
along a fault line
with ultra-magnetism
and find myself at peace
with mother-god-nature once again
as if i haven't aged
and regain the brightness in my eyes
for i am forever young.