I wore the vinyl through

bought another for the scratches

as this played on in the night

looping over & over

caught by the sound

the lyric the blues

just another body singing to me

understanding the pain

the loss things ex lovers do

had a cassette for the car

‘til that twisted in knots

the heat of the cd left on play

& I played that over & over

listening so now I know the lyrics

radio ep live extended versions

my incantations in the day the night

try to sing the hurts away

until eventually the groove is burned

there into me scarred deep

looping over & over in the night

crowding out thoughts of you

until I fall


not in local wars

I saw many of my brothers fall easy

not in local wars or ‘nam

that I could surely understand

but slow falling into the ways of flesh

arms of girls soon to be women

wanting to build nests homes

needing carpets curtains

all the white goods

when once all they wanted

was them in the morning

afternoon nights

& they too

needing now newer cars motorcycles

wanting lawn mowers hoses rakes

fresh cut lawns scrubbed parking drives

these once bright eyed forever hungry

demons in the night screaming sonnets

lilting love poems to lust let me live

let me live again soft singing drunk high

I guess they got their wish

but if you hear

they talk all wistful


(oh apple pie beneath the wings)


days walking to

from school

friends houses

singing to myself

more of a muttering really


poorly sung mondegreens

happy as a pig in snow

& now

the same songs

I can read the lyric

understand the words

bouncing on the screen

finally getting the import

ideas the writer

was trying to show

but people being people

I still sing the mondegreens

from long ago

(oh apple pie beneath the wings)


singing to the stars

looking out over the ocean

waiting for lightning to strike

bright up the sky

profound things to say

expounding to silence

no one to hold my hand

wait for me to cry over

genius spilt on the sand

whistling to the wind

knowing everyone must die

& until then


bored again

no one to appreciate

nowhere to go

be received

no majesty

for this jester in the night

hank williams

hank one

was singing out

into the night

& she reached over

to change the station

I said c’mon honey

you know the rules

driver chooses the music

shotgun sits & listens

counts down the miles

she changed it anyway

gave me such a sweet smile

so I switched again

found hank 3 singing

about pills & divorces

which only brought a scowl

we were surely heading

straight to hell


she’s a great looking kid

got a great voice

& she wants to work in the industry

have a career singing to millions

go beyond beyonce or taylor

all said with a sweet smile

covering soft the avarice behind

she has not worked the entertainment mills

the bars cabarets supper clubs

singing late afternoons for two

the bored the drunks the bored drunks

singing for a wage for love for pennies

the experience the heart highs lows

& how do you say to anybody

come back another time

after you’ve been hurt

brought to your knees

found your own voice


depth of soul


burned out

there was a time

my ancestors say to me

late in the day

when the moon is low

the wind is sleeping

the sand ceases to move

of a time

when shut up

was never heard

we would bang our drums

sing until morning

or the singing was done

in this way our hands

reached back all the way

to those gone before

& then came

the time of shut up

we were not to talk

sing of these things

that connected us

to those who no longer

walk the day

& like the fire

before you now

growing colder

this is how they

burned us out

ended our culture