Tuesday, April 24, 2012


i'm lashed to the whale
like ahab
his was a fine madness
much like mine
only my whale is the word
and the words often turn on me
and it pisses me off
unless i'm getting it right
this drives my harpoon
but very few notice
this is a world of icons
and texting fingers
mindless video
deluded conversations
of no importance
no one knows anymore
who the fuck is melville?
or sinclair
or bukowski
and on it goes
no sense of history
the deluded masses lashed me
to the word
it is my mission
while ignorance abounds
and i read no more
because it is an act
of desperation
for mindless zombies
clap for mindless reasons
and order another martini
and make guttaral sounds
midst my performance art
shiver me timbers
avast ye mate-ee's
and i sometimes wish
i could drown myself
in a sea of words
and a sea of whiskey
like a duck
for that is what i say
and that is what they hear
but for a few


i once had cogent thoughts
as a young boy
with dirty sneakers
and dirt under fingernails
stepping up to the plate
and whacking the hardball
with my louisville slugger
and rounded the bases
with glory in mind
and all was well
in the neighborhood
of my small mind

i once had cogent thoughts
in academic circles
at university
with my head filled with dreams
of saving the world
and filling myself
with the dope of life
and young women
who shared their dark secrets
i smelled their earth-motherhood
and looked to my future
and i was empowered
with what i thought it would be

i once had cogent thoughts
dashed by the wayside
in hot, smelly trailers
with factory workers
urine soaked, wine soaked bums
smoking cigarettes
and punching our clocks
we drudged to the taverns
to deaden the pain
of american dreams
that somehow still existed
in our addled brains

i once had cogent thoughts
until i read newspapers
and believed in false gods
and profiteers
who engaged in profiteering
so that the world shrunk
like a native head
and my america
lost her identity
and became scizophrenic
then suffered multiple
personality disorder
where all factions were fighting
and nothing got done
because all cogent thought
was gone, gone, gone,

i once had cogent thoughts
in the corner of my basement
with alcohol and cigarettes
listening to bach
painting for no-one but myself
and writing for myself
in my world of dreams
where all was possible
and cogent thoughts
were not important


dad said:
"kick their asses"
'nuff said
on chicago-urban streets
no cowardice
in my hood

i bought into this
my head held high
my chest pushed out
my fists a-flyin'
ready to bully
or be bullied
but proud
of my violence

i discarded this sham
and hid in my room
plotting revenge
'gainst my enemies
i hardened myself

i had the ultimate fall
my head through the windshield
drunk like my old man
angry at the world
sick of watching my back
in schools
on jobs
in marriages
in jails
on the streets
through decades

i had enough
bowed my head
slumped my shoulders
relaxed my stance
found my mind
embraced humanity
and found no terror.

Monday, April 23, 2012


the chapbook came in the mail
it looked innocent enough
in a brown envelope
waiting for me
to open it
my wife thought nothing of it
i feared it
because i knew
what it contained

you see
reading dsnny baker
is like walking through a mine field
then hearing the dreaded explosion
a waking into reality
buzzing in my ears
seeing my mangled feet
framed in gore
ten feet away from me

the shock
the horror
then the ultimate acceptance
of feeling alive
with truth still ringing
in my ears
i never felt more in touch
with what really is

denial is easy for the masses
but i'm an insane poet
and it's comforting to me
knowing danny baker exists
with ideas so much like mine
halfway 'round the world he exists
but now
so much closer to me

Friday, April 20, 2012

IN '95

in '95
i was a chicago roustabout

2 packs of marlboro reds
a go-cup with booze
into my pontiac
i went
wearing leather
dialed into the blues

it was friday night
the job was done
off to wicker park
to the galleries
the taverns
the dancehalls
it was so much fun

'til the wee hours
24 hour restaurants
bacon and eggs
strong coffee
back onto the xpress-way
the ultimate cruise
feeling quite high
no traffic in sight
i had nothing to lose

seeing the sunrise
plopping in bed
sleeping 'til afternoon
fixing my head
with more cocktails prepared
for saturday night
these were my actions
it was quite a delight

'til sunday did come
and it came with a thud
my head was aching
i was a dud
for monday loomed
i had to get well
to start a new week
my personal hell

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


i see you
do you see me?
i'm the old guy
of haggard face
working in the back of the gym
kind of hard of hearing
you won't look at me
i know that

i work here daily
with what is left
i work twice as hard
to try to keep up
with you younger ones
but i work for myself
not for awards
or companionship
or crappy trophies
that vanity is in my past

my muscles don't grow as easily
as yours
my lungs can't process the oxygen
like yours
my skin isn't supple
like yours
but i look at you
i am not afraid to look
please look at me

look at me
and see
what you will be
if you are lucky
to be in a gym
at sixty-three

Monday, April 16, 2012


death comes dressed up
in many ways:
as a card shark in a tuxedo
or as a nice pair of legs in high heels

it isn't prejudiced:
it takes young and old
white or black
yellow or brown
male of female
rich or poor
intelligent or moronic
republican or democrat
muslim or christian

it has a sense of humor:
taking boy scouts
young marines
guys who just got a clean bill of health
grannies on their 100th birthday
anyone at anytime...
in the most ridiculous situations

death is a joker
a savior
a cruel punisher
a lover
an enemy
the end all
and most mis-understood

until we die
we know not...death
the ultimate trip
the big one
the final curtain
the last gasp

so live
don't think about death
leave that to the poet
or the soldier
or the cancer patient
the alcoholic
the drug addict
the emergency room physician
the mortician
the bomber pilot

just know one thing:
none of us make it out alive
have a nice day

Sunday, April 15, 2012

twisted words

are these twisted metaphors
with which i speak
going to undo
my cerebral peak
to elucidate
the things unseen
will eradicate some things
i mean

and the storms of protest
from my words
will often make
me feel absurd
but i press on
though not complete
my twisted words
are mine to keep

onward soldier
use your gun
make your bullets
hit the sun
fire those words
without the woe
make them sting
and hurt and slow
those anal people
who have no mirth

fire them soldier
ignore the hurt
to you and them
it matters not
the war is here
the twisted lot
of people yearning
for the truth
fire them now
don't be aloof

for days end comes
all too soon
and death watch twists
my poet's gloom
so i fire on
with words of fate
my fragile body
but the war is good
and i'll never leave
until my words
have gone from me