Monday, December 28, 2009

i am

I am a thousand blind beggars,
hands reaching out for alms.

I am a thousand passer-byes,
money clenched in fist, scurrying along.

I am the top of the mountain
where time is irrelevant
the wind, a hymn.

My soul free from the burden of investigation
My caustic contempt becomes grief
My hungry eyes close in peace

The sun, moon, deep blue seas,
contain within them,
the fractured energy that was once me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

because . . . because

Because pleasure is involved,
they've become conjoined twins.

Because pain is involved,
they devour the sins of one another.

Bird and flower.
Two lovers
elude sleep
in this
still hour.

Because pain is involved,
the blindness of love will come to an end.

Because pleasure is involved,
their love, becomes a monument to sight restored.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Cow Story

I hesitate in thought. Drink in the deep, sudden silence before it departs. And I begin the lamentations that come with the end of another day. I look at trees northwest of the setting sun and I'm reminded of a country road I walked down somewhere in the middle of Tennessee on the outskirts of the city of Murfressboro. I was all alone and very stoned. My foot steps felt heavy, the sun was setting behind a hill to my right and the sky was oranges and purples. I had smoked a joint in a park not to far from where I was, and was relaxing by the river when a couple of pick ups full of high school kids armed with cigarettes, forties, and Boone's Farm. I wasn't in the mood for company so I cut out and just started walking, figuring to walk for a little while, then go back for my car. Instead I walked, no direction in particular, down these long country roads that roll with the hills. After a while it became chillier and I noticed the sun was sinking fast. I didn't know where I was or which was I needed to go, or even at this point, why.

I stood alone along the side of the road and watched the top of the hill turn the color of painted fire. I heard the shuffle of hooves and the mooing of cows coming down the road from just on the other side of hill I had just come down. I wanted to keep walking, move fast in the opposite direction of the herd of cows that were headed my way, but I had no idea which to direction to move and I felt paralyzed.

Then they were upon me. Two dozen Holstein dairy cows, mooing and shuffling, snorting and sneezing, flies buzzing around their black and white hides. I had never been surrounded by this many cows. They moved slow and stepped around me except for a calf that butted me with it's head while another chewed on the back of my shirt. At the end of the line with a long walking stick that looked like twisted roots, was a thin, sinewy man with white hair tucked under a a straw hat with a long mottled black turkey feather in it. The hand around the walking stick looked as ancient and gnarled as the stick itself, and was a similar dark brown color, making it hard to distinguish his fingers from the stick.

All the cows had passed and I still hadn't moved. The old man stood in front of me and tapped the side of my leg with his walking stick, then looked me in the eye. “You need to go that way,” he said, pointing the stick in the opposite direction from where the cows were heading. “Just go back the way you came and watch out for the shit.” He smiled and laughed, then moved along in the wake of his cows.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

without sound

I pulled you off balance,
dragged you out of your complacency.

The moon high over head.

The city is made up of
fragmented shadows.
The sun, like a clever,
cuts through the secrets
revealing love, lust.

As we walk down cracked sidewalks
of silent avenues,
with fingers entwined
my right, your left,

we recognize the fragility of sovereignty.

The fantasy that is our longing.

Clinging to what fell into the crevice between.

Monday, December 7, 2009

fortune's third hand

They dance with caution,
steady movements,

knowing this seduction
could deteriorate
at any moment.

She's a devastating mystery.
Clues scattered from Venice to East Monroe.

He's so transparent
he's now bulletproof.

On the other side of tomorrow
are haunting memories,
inspiration for a series of dreams.

Friday, December 4, 2009

blues for sonny rollins

How great the isolation
of a man
alone in the night.

A trapezee artist
performing without a net.

Wailing a blues
in hopes of enticing the stars
to sing their own song.

Along. In harmony.
His energy and theirs.

An offering. For all those
who need healing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

wait and pray

There is a language of existence.
An interpretation of what it is to breath,
eat, fuck, die,

then pass through the eye of the universe.

Born again of water.
Cursed again by light.

We learn of fire and sounds.
Rhythms of communication.
Consonants and vowels of earthly delight.

Water passes over our eyes.
Our hearts, open and soft,
become the vault and tomb of what was,
never to be again.

All is lost.

Blind. Only knowing IS.

The eye of the needle is infinity.

Again, forget the never was.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ask again

Ask again, to hear the words
that the prophet said.

Ask again
for some kind of resolution
so this conflict may end.

Ask again,
this time loud enough for all of us.

You have been given the unfortunate task
of speaking for many.

Fail this time,
and you will never be asked again.

Monday, November 23, 2009



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

dream of life blues

These years are real.

The pile of old photos,
with upturned corners,

without lines around the eyes,
are not lies.

These days are invisible.

The moments obscured by overcast skies.
A handful of flowers.

If only my heart could talk,
it would say, “I wish I had you”.

These hours are for laughing in the night.

No longer hell bent, waiting.
Impending doom my mistress.

To the fantasy, I willingly surrender.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

these foolish things

That intoxicating moment
when you feel the sea
'neath you feet.

And you can run, leap,
to a better place.

One no longer under anyone's thumb.

Matters of the heart become more complicated
when the days grow dark earlier.

The spider lures in a prey it couldn't catch.

It's up to you to keep silent,
walk away

or come along for the ride.
We head out as the high tide rises
Chasing a moon, always out of reach.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the dance

She bites my tongue,
then waits for me to speak.

Her intentions roll with a melody
that gives voice to suspicion.

She wants to begin,
what never ended.

Wants to end,
what never began.

Her erotic fixations,
make me want her all the more.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

'round midnight

Faint scent of vanilla
lingers in the darkness.

All those thoughts
I had tried to bury,
come back,
'round midnight.

She left this room hours ago,
but the taste of honey is still on my lips.

She left this room hours ago,
because closure is what she was looking for.

Already, I've draped veils
of sentiment over the memories.

Already, I've made excuses
for why I'll need to be with her again.

Faint scent of vanilla
still lingers in the darkness.

All those thoughts
I had tried to bury,
come back ,
'round midnight.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fear Is In The Eye Of The Beholder pt 2

“You got another one of those?” I ask Gil. He pulls another cigarette out of the pack handing it and the lighter to me.

“What in the hell are we waiting for? You forget how to start the car?” I ask him, before laughing hard and heavy in his face.

He gets his piece of shit Corolla going and we get rolling. Gil's driving erratically and it's making me fucking tense. I hate it when Gil's stoned, the dope turns him into an old man with a severe head injury.

“Okay, I've had enough of this ride,” I shout at Gil. I had it together until we hit the highway, six lanes moving north to south, it broke me.

“Let me out of the car. I want to walk.” I yell in Gil's ear but he's trying to ignore me. “Let me the fuck out now!” I demand.

“Shut up. I'm trying to drive. ” Asshole snarls at me.

“I have to get out of this car we're being followed by a priest in a Lincoln Town Car, an off-duty cop in a Ford Taurus, and Dolores' first husband Daniel, in an Oldsmobile Cutless. This evil three are going to take us down.”

“Shit. Can you please just calm down. I don't think any of those people are behind us. Even if they are, they're not going to do anything now, this street is too busy.” Gil begs me, but he doesn't realize the trouble we're in.

They think I haven't figured out who they are, but by God, I'm on to them. I'm on to them like stink on shit. They're gonna catch up to us if you don't speed up, I can already taste the blood in my throat. I bet Dolores sent them, she's out to punish me.

“Stop being a pussy and speed up or we're doomed. The priest is gaining on us, I can see him in the mirror. He's gonna go around us and cut us off down the road.”

“Alright, I'll speed up a little.”

“You know, when I was a kid, my dad was a drunk, loved betting on dogs. Mom, well, she was sweet lady, but she died when I was thirteen. That really messed me up. Dad didn't know what the fuck to do with me, so he just left me alone. You know what I did? You know what the fuck I did? I ran away, just took off. I wanted to join the circus. When I was a kid, I read a book about a kid who ran away and joined the circus. I'd always liked the idea. Well . . . I traveled around until I found a circus . . . A guy named Lester gave me a job selling tickets and cleaning the animal cages. Then I met a girl, a contortionist named Sandy. Was she somethin' else. What a body. Not much up top, but an ass that could bring tears to your eyes. I traveled with them for awhile. Sandy and I became an item, which pissed off her parents and some of the other performers. Most of these people were circus folks for life, had been for generations, and they didn't care much for me. They thought I'd get tired of it and want to leave, taking Sandy with me. After a few months, we ended up in Texas. Man, Texas . . . God awful place. You know I have this fear that I'll either die in Texas or that when I die my soul will be trapped in Texas for all of eternity. It was in Texas that Sandy broke it off. That fucked me up. I left and went back to Missouri. When I got there I found out my father had taken off. I had nothing. But fuck it, I'm here now, drunk as hell. The big king or some shit.”

“That is a hell of a story. How come you've never told me that one before?”

“Gil, my man, it's too painful to think about for too long. You never get over your first love.”

“I hear ya . . . I think about mine more than I should.”

“I think we need to prepare ourselves.”

“For what?” Gil asks.

“We're about to go down. A cop and Dan Mankowski are right behind us, and the priest is somewhere lurking around and I'm pretty sure the guy next to us in the silver car is a narc.”

“What the fuck is a matter with you?”

“This is a perfectly reasonable freak out I'm having.”

“Shut up. There are no cops or priests around and you told me Dan is dead.”

“I never told you that, and I'm being very fucking serious about this situation.”

“Just calm the fuck down until I get you home. Close your eyes, pretend none of it is happening.”

“If you would drive like a man and not a drivers ed reject, we would have lost these guys already.”

“We're fine. There's no one following us.”

“You're not hearing me. We're far from fine, in fact everything is falling apart.”

“We're near your house. Just cool out for me. I'm too stoned for your shit right now.”

“You need to lay off the dope, you've gone stupid on me. They're going to nail us at my house. It's the perfect place for this kind of thing. They'll kill me and blame you. We'll both be fucked.”

“Jesus Christ Chet, are you out of your mind? What you're saying doesn't even make sense.”

“Listen to me, I know what the hell I'm talking about, bad shit is about to happen to us.”

“We're two fuckin' blocks from your house, shut the hell up you drunk bastard.”

“Don't say I didn't warn you. When we get to my place and they're waiting for us. Not a fuckin' word outta ya. Got me.”

Chet and I arrive at the house unscathed, but I'm now gripped by fear. Chet says goodbye as he lunges, propels himself out of the car, and unto the driveway, where he scans the area around us thoroughly. Panic stricken, I watch him walk from the driveway and into the house. At some point, probably within sight of my house, they will pounce. I take out a cigarette and light it, then turn off the car, recline my seat, and pull my t-shirt over my face. If I can't see them, then they don't exist. When I was a kid, I would pull my blankets over my head when something terrifying was lurking in my room. It was a move that worked for me then, no reason it can't work for me now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fear Is In The Eye Of The Beholder pt 1

“He can have all the Cuban sandwiches, pork and beans, and other crap he wants! I'm doing a holy thing! I don't give a damn! I'm from Missouri! I'm staying right here! 6'5” of me's still drinking; if the Sheriff comes, I don't care, you know damn well I don't. Fuck off! I'm staying! I elected the Sheriff. Not a fucking thing he can do about cold turkey and shit. Jesus Christ almighty, I don't care who he is. Fuck him for interrupting me! Where the hell are all the Cuban sandwiches? That good Samaritan fucker took'em didn't he. Fuck him and the Sheriff!

The night is crashing down fast. Chet, the man ranting, stands swaying on the lanai of my friend Mara's apartment. I haven't known Chet very long. I brought him to this party and now there are only four of us left, including Chet, and the rest of us can't figure out what to do with him.

Chet and I had become drinking buddies solely because we were two of a handful of regulars at the Nite Owl Lounge, and the others were assholes. He and I have been spending more time together since his wife, Gorgeous Dolores, had left him. Dolores wasn't much to look at now, but in her youth she was stunning, as the photos Chet carries with him in his wallet attest. Chet likes to tell the story of how the two of them met. They were in their early twenties, Chet had just started working for an insurance agency, and Dolores was a newly wed secretary in the office. After much cajoling he got Dolores to agree to have a drink with him after work. The moon was full, the perfect first kiss was had and her husband Daniel Mankowski was soon to be a thing of the past. Chet had become a successful and respected insurance salesman, well off financially. He and Dolores were happy in their marriage. The years rolled on and Chet was no longer the man she had married. Chet found himself in his fifties and planning for a long happy retirement in a few years. That is until the company he worked for went under due to criminal acts of insurance fraud. Unemployed, embittered by the fact he'd spent his youth working for a company that was stealing from people like himself, and unable to find another insurance sales position, Chet hit the bottle hard. His dear Dolores rolled with it for a few years but when the money was gone and Chet had no plans to make more, Gorgeous Dolores left.

Tony, Mara, and myself are sitting on the couch trying to figure out what to do with Chet. He's too drunk to confront, and the three of us are too stoned to do any confronting anyway.

“I'm wishing he would go away. He's killing my buzz.” Mara says.

“Somebody's going to call the cops if he keeps this up. We need to at least get him inside.” Tony adds.

“I don't need this shit. The neighbors already don't like me. Fuck Gilbert, you need to get your friend out of here or at least shut him up.” Mara isn't messing around now. She's off the couch, pissed off, and demanding in a tone of voice that would scare anyone, that we get the fuck out.

Cajoling, arguing, and damn near a punch in the face is what it takes for me to get Chet in the car. I'm in no state to be dealing with this. Had Chet not started his drunken argument with the night, I would be upstairs on the couch, waiting until I was not so stoned to be driving us home. The the situation being what it is, and Mara and Tony wanting us out, I don't have much of a choice. I strap Chet into his seat and hope he will chill out and that I will be able to focus on driving and not babysitting the drunk bastard.

Monday, October 26, 2009

when we . . .

I once called you lovely,
when another woman inquired.

Romance came at 3 am
bodies still entwined
eyes, gazing

your curtainless

Sometimes peacefully,
other times with remorse


the moon above.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

sideshow rose

Traveling carnival sideshow hiding amongst the ancient lunacies. Freaks peddling themselves for spare change the way poets do the way the avant-garde used to.

Amongst the tragedy comedic scenes is where she and I have chosen to hide from the kind that thrive on cruelty.

It's in this antique America that we make love. Our hearts beating against each others chests as we drift into what feels like sleep.

Friday, October 23, 2009

image. icon.

I believe the myth.


eyes, trying



I believe
that you


through fucking.

It's more deliberate


the road of when all else fails.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We circled,
played the game of words.

I liked the sound of her vowels,
but it was her consonants that turned me on.

She sent me a piece of college ruled notebook paper.
With her own hand, holding a black, fine point pen
she erotically described her body, toe to head.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Neither wanted to be
the first to break

the silence

that had become the third entity
in our holy trinity.

We tried speaking through touch.

Fingers and lips,
tools of composition.

But your alphabet was different from mine.

Again, paths cross
Opposite sides, but eye to eye

I'm wearing the grin
from when you loved me still.

Your eyes, without surprise
say never again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

in anticipation of a cartwheel

the mood changed

a prophet came
bird by name

an tic i pa tion

in no va tion
the game

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love Is A Ghost Thing

Just wanted to get all you good people to check out a very nice write up Belinda Subraman has posted her on blog for my book Love Is A Ghost Thing. Just click on and take a look at the posting, the accompanying poem, and all the other great stuff to be found on her blog.



how high the moon

She's turned on
by violence and fire.

Control and devotion.

He liked the way her voice sounded
when it delivered consonants.

Sex under the Christmas lights.

The ones in the bedroom.
The ones that are on year around.

His left hand was on her breast.
His right, her hip.

She came,
as he stared at the moon,

yet, again

trying to find . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

easy to remember

leaves are red and gold, ready to depart.

i'll hang photos


you at the beach


the branches

once they're bare.

Monday, October 12, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 7


The city is quiet now, the riots have ended. The National Guard has taken control of the streets. Ron, pockets now fat with cash is on his way home, hoping that home is still there. Phoenix set sail for China after learning that the ship Ron had pointed out to him, was headed there. After collecting his money, Ron stopped by the ship that Louise had climbed aboard and was told it was headed to Liverpool, England. When he found out that Sam the Donkey was Captain of this vessel, he laughed to himself and asked to come aboard. Sam had put Louise in a nice cabin and vowed to take good care of her, which made Ron laugh. He gave Louise some of the money he'd been given by Phoenix to help her out once she got to England.

“You're not going to tell Phoenix, where I am are you?”

“No. He thinks you're headed to China. I'm going to see what's left of my apartment, then I think I'm going to pack up my belongings and hit the road. I'm thinking I'll see what Peru is like.”

“That sounds nice.”

“Well best of luck to you.”

Ron reached home and found his apartment building still standing. Most of the cars parked along the street had been broken into and torched and the convenient store next door had been looted. Up the steps he went, everything in the building was oddly quiet. Once inside his apartment, he took a box of Saltines out of the pantry and ate a few. They are stale but he's so hungry it doesn't matter. He drank the last beer he had in the fridge, then began to look around his apartment. He decided to leave everything just as it was, he would only take one suitcase worth of clothes, and a few essential items. He swore to himself that he'd never return to this God forsaken town again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 6


Two hours later the three were still watching Archie's dramatic, Peabody worthy, coverage, when Ron got a text message on his phone from Naked Pablo, letting him know he saw Louise with two men and a rooster down at the Beauty Parlor. He sent Ron a quick thanks in reply then told Phoenix the news. Without hesitation, Phoenix was off the couch, out the door, running down the hall.

Ron followed Phoenix's trailing voice down the street, to the docks on the east side of the port. Ron stopped twenty feet from their destination to catch his breath while Phoenix rushed with full force until he reached the door of a bar called The Beauty Parlor, which is where all the sailors and pirates came to drink. The place is famous for having the strongest drinks and the most violent brawls in the state. And out back is the wildest whore house on face of the earth. It makes the biker bars in town look like tea parties.

Phoenix opened the front door and stepped inside with Ron following a few moments later. All along the bar was a group of Portuguese sailors while the tables were filled with merchant sailors and pirates.

Phoenix searched the bar while Ron kept his eyes on the sailors at the bar because they appeared agitated. Sitting at a table tucked away in the back corner of the bar were Louise, Arnie, Luke the Astronaut and Teddy King.

Everyone in the place new Luke was a famous astronaut and the Teddy used to be king of his own island nation until several ships of sailors and missionaries ran him and his people off the island and into the sea. Teddy was the only survivor.

Ron knew this was not a good place for them to be, and just as Phoenix and he took a few steps towards the back of the bar where the group was sitting, a beer glass flew just over the heads, smashing into hundreds of pieces after it collided with the wall. Phoenix drew his sword and charged while Ron followed close behind with his eyes closed, convinced it would be an instant slaughter.

Somehow they make it through the bedlam, to the back of the bar, to Louise and her companions. Phoenix approached and Louise clutched Arnie tighter to her breast and began to shake. Seeing the reaction Louise had to Phoenix's presence made Luke angry and got up and stepped between the approaching Phoenix, and Louise.

“We don't want any trouble with you, the lady just wants you to leave her alone,” Luke said to Phoenix in a calm and controlled voice, which struck both Ron and Phoenix as odd, given the extreme violence that was going on in this bar and throughout the city at this moment. When Phoenix didn't step back or give any kind of sign that he was going to leave the bar peacefully, Teddy got out of his chair and stood next to Luke sniffing the air. He seemed to be getting excited by the smell of blood and liquor that filled the air. Before Phoenix is aware of what is about to happen, Teddy lunged at him.

Instinctively, Johnny pulled his sword and plunged it into Teddy's gut, withdrew, then pushed the groaning and bleeding Teddy into the table which turns over causing beer glasses to go flying and Louise to scream. When she jumped up from her chair, she dropped Arnie who was now running wildly around. In the chaos, Luke attacked Johnny but before he could reach him he slipped on a puddle of beer and crashed to the floor, landing on top of Arnie, who shouted out before dying, “Existence is sorrow!”

Phoenix quickly put is blade into the back of Luke's neck, Ron saw Louise get up and run out of the bar but decided not to say anything to Phoenix. Ron had always been found of Louise and knew she would be better off without Phoenix, and right now, it was more likely Phoenix would kill her instead of trying to reconcile. While Phoenix was busy vanquishing his foe, Ron saw his opportunity to escape the bar unscathed. He picked up one of the chairs and tossed in through the window and climbed out. Phoenix on the other hand elected to fight to his way out.

Once outside, Ron saw Louise run aboard a ship that was docked at the end of one of the piers. For a flickering moment, he thought about going after her, hiding aboard the ship, and starting a new life just like she was, perhaps even they could do it together. Before he knew it, he found himself walking swiftly down the dock, towards the pier. Then the voice of Phoenix shouted out, “Ron, have you seen Louise.”

Ron thought about not turning around, pretending to ignore Phoenix and just keep going, to another ship, or somewhere else, anywhere but where he was at. But he couldn't, Phoenix would follow, so he turned and said back to Phoenix. “I saw her, she's aboard that ship!” Phoenix extended his arm towards the horizon to a ship that was sailing away, and not the docked ship that Louise was actually hiding on.

Phoenix ran towards Ron, who had stopped walking, having given up on his own dream to escape.

“My ship isn't far from here, we must hurry,” Phoenix said.

“You know I hate the sea, I think this is where you and I party ways.”

“Alright then friend, but come with me to my ship so that I might compensate you for your help.”

“Yeah, sure.”

Saturday, October 10, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 5


Throughout the city there were clashes between between the police, National Guard, who had been called in a few hours after the protests began, and groups of pirates, literature professors, juvenile delinquents, Jehovah's Witnesses, motorcycle gangs, the ACLU, and the Crypts and Bloods. All of these groups had united against what they perceived to be a fascist regime that ruled the city and controlled the military and police force. There was also a fare share of peaceful protests and sit-ins but the media didn't pay any attention to this because blood lust equaled ratings.

Phoenix and Ron wandered the streets stopping everyone they knew hoping for some kind of news on the whereabouts of Louise but everyone ignored Phoenix's questions because there was something going on that far outweighed the location of a woman and a talking Rooster.

The duo crossed through John Ellis (Jeb) Bush Park and found themselves in the midst of a large mass of people moving towards City Hall which was on two blocks north of the park. Ron, tired of all the people and the chaos moved to the edge of the moving bodies and stepped into a doorway where he found his friend Red.

Red, a physicist, had been in a car accident a couple of years ago and had lost his legs. When he had his legs he stood 7 ' 2” and was all muscle. He friends gave him the nickname Red after a redwood tree. After his accident he designed and built himself a cart that has the plush interior of a Cadillac and is powered by an electric motor that is capable of going fifty miles an hour.

“What the hell is going on? Where are all these people headed?” Ron asked Red.

“A mass execution.”


“The Mayor had the cops start arresting and hanging people.”

“How in the hell can he do that?”

“Declared Marshall Law, then got the bodies swinging.”

After the crowd thinned out, Red and Ron, headed down to the execution site. Ron figured that Phoenix followed the crowd, hoping to see Louise, and that he'd probably run into him there.

When they arrived they found people carrying signs and signing songs at the back of the crowd. Ron left Red with a group singing “We Shall Overcome” and moved through the pacifists to where the more aggro-protesters had stacked their claim. Ron sees that these people are armed and are ready for a bloodletting revolution.

Ron was near enough now to see the ropes still tied to the trees that lined City Hall. The bodies had been taken down, and due to the inefficiency of hanging, Guardsman began shooting men and women of all races and sizes as they were brought before them. A barricade of barbed wire and armored vehicles separated the protesters from the action.

Fifteen rifles shots rang out and a four Molotov cocktails sailed over the lines and exploded setting the green lawn ablaze. Before anyone could react six more went sailing from about fifty feet to the left of where the first had come from. Without even taking the time to find what the reaction would be, Ron turned to run but could get very far because others had the same idea. He only made it three rows back before his forward progress is halted and he felt the surge of bodies pushing from behind.

Shots were fired into the crowd and Ron's ears fill with the screams, his nose the smell of smoke. Explosions start going off behind him, from the city hall area and Ron knows that the Revolutionaries have brought out the big weapons. He found a crease in the people and pushed his way through them and out, when he reached the edge of the crowd, some still fleeing but others pushing forward, towards City Hall, he turned to bare witness but can't make sense of the chaos through the smoke, so he started running again, toward Pistol Pete's apartment.

Ron found Phoenix and Pistol Pete stoned, sitting in front of the TV watching the city wide riots via Channel 10's Eye In The Sky brought to you by reporter Archie Sunflower and his fearless pilot Max Braun.

“Were you out in this chaos?” Pete asked Ron after he sat down in a chair next to Phoenix.

“Yeah, I was down at City Hall for the executions and then the crowed started attacking the cops and National Guard and I got the hell out of there.”

“That's smart. City Hall's on fire. The fire department can't get through.” Phoenix added.

“Any news about Louise?” Ron asked Phoenix.

“Nothing.” He responded glumly.

The three men watched most of the city burn and be destroyed. Ron wandered if his apart was still there, Phoenix wandered where Louise might be, Pete tired not to cry when he saw images of dead bodies lying in the park where he played as a child, and Archie Sunflower knew that his coverage would certainly get him a Peabody. Max Braun just kept thinking, why are people so damn stupid.

Friday, October 9, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 4


Six blocks and some cramping on Ron's part, they reached a Spanish style beige and navy blue rectangular building that was divided into three apartments. The building looked like it had been abandon and for at least a year, there was a layer of grime and mold over everything left on the porch.

“They told me they were at party with her in one these apartments last night.” Phoenix informed Ron, unable to see what right in front of his eyes.

“Seriously? I think they're messing with you. Doesn't look like any body's been here for a long time.”

“But there was a party . . .” There was confusion and desperation in his voice, so much it drowned out the words and they just trailed off.

Ron felt sorry for Phoenix so he invited him out for drinks with he and his friend, Pistol Pete. The three drank long into the night and by closing there were so drunk that the bartender/owner, who lived in a small apartment attached the back of the bar, let them sleep it off in his place.

Pistol Pete woke up first, vomited, then made coffee for the other three. John Donne, the bartender, who's place they were at, flipped on the TV and every local station was carrying footage of the protests that had sprung that morning all over the city after yesterdays parade turned into violent carnage.

“Shit. I don't even know if I should open the bar. On one hand these protesters will be thirsty but on the other if it turns violent, well them I'd be responsible for selling the fuel for the fire.” John Donne said, while the other three quietly sipped there coffee.

“We need to hurry up and finish our coffee, head out, and try to track down Louise,” Phoenix said to Ron, who weakly smiled, hoping this nonsense was over.

“I'm going to my place and getting some more sleep. Hopefully, when I wake up this crap will be over.” Pistol Pete said before taking a gulp of coffee.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 3


Left and right ways along the street a crowd has gathered for the beginning of a parade in celebration of Columbus bringing STDs to the New World. Ron and Phoenix walked through the crowds. Some were waving flags, some booed, others threw rotten cantaloupes at the floats as they passed. When they reached the corner they came across Naked Pablo. As always he was bare naked and carrying a basket of oranges.

“Oranges for sale. Get your oranges. Fruit is nature's candy and prevents scurvy.” Naked Pablo shouted.

“Pablo, I haven't seen you in months. How have you been?” Ron asked, steeping up to him.

“Business has been good with all these parades and sailors in town.”

“Pablo, you were once my best lookout, please tell me if you have seen my Louise.” Phoenix requested.

“Phoenix, my old friend, you look like you could use an orange. Your color is all wrong.”

“Enough about my color. Have you seen her?” Phoenix snapped at poor Pablo, whose eyes fell to the ground.

“I really think you could use an orange,” Pablo quipped back, raising his his eyes to Phoenix.

Ron handed Naked Pablo five dollars for a couple of oranges and turned his attention to the parade. The crowd was growing hostile, people were running into the street, attacking the floats.

“I haven't seen Louise since yesterday. She came walking by here with a rooster tucked under her arm.

“Did you speak to her?” Phoenix inquires.

“No but I think . . .”

The screams were deafening. Then what sounded like a tidal wave was all around. Fire hoses were turned on the rioters. Phoenix, Naked Pablo, and Ron ducked into the doorway of a nearby building and watched the people run by. Then the most evil thing any of them had ever witnessed occurred. Men dressed as Conquistadors, swords drawn, began running towards the people who were trying to escape the blasts of water, cutting them down in their tracks.

Naked Pablo screamed something about Aztec flashbacks and too off down the street, cutting down an alley to freedom. Before the slaughtering army could reach them, Phoenix and Ron fled, taking the same path as Pablo, but he was too far ahead to even be seen.

After a half mile of hard running, the two stopped to catch their breath and figure out where to head next.

“What's this about Louise carrying a rooster around?” Ron asked through deep gasps for air.

“I gave it to her. A present. It's a talking rooster. His name is Arnie.” Phoenix responded.

“You gave her a talking rooster?”

“I feared she was getting lonely in my absence.”

“So this talking rooster was to help with this?”


“You think this rooster has anything to do with her leaving?”

“No. Arnie is loyal. Louise is loyal. That bastard Sam is responsible.”

Ron and Phoenix walked for a few blocks until they came upon a bar known as Abstract. It's a dive bar where refugees, burned out stars, and loathsome characters hung out. Ron knew the place well because he used to bartend there.

One whole wall in the bar is a giant mural painted by Jackson Pollack. He used to be a regular, so Marty, the bartender at the time, kept paints behind the bar. Pollack would have a few, then work on the mural. One night he got so completely wasted that he covered his bare ass with green paint and pressed it against the wall. To this day, Jackson's ass print is still there.

Phoenix and Ron walked into the half-empty bar. Standing behind the counter was always was Ron's replacement, Franklin.

“Hey Franklin, how goes it?” Ron asked, not expecting much of an answer because Franklin is a man of few words. All he got was a shrug as Franklin continued wiping down the bar.

“Franklin, my good man, I could use a rum and pineapple juice and some information,” Phoenix said with a smile.

Ron knows this will be useless because Franklin doesn't say much when it's just small talk, he freezes up when pressed for information.

Franklin gave Phoenix his drink and poured Ron a shot of JTS Brown without a word. Ron downed the shot then scanned the room. He noticed Queen Jane sitting at a table with two harlequins and Gordon. Jane is an ex-girlfriend of Phoenix's, the harlequins Ron doesn't know that well, and Gordon and Ron went to high school together. Unfortunately in the years that followed, Gordon became a severe acid casualty. He'd spent several weeks so gone he was convinced that he was an intergalactic hero and star quarterback. One night in this very bar, Gordon was sitting next to a young writer. A few drinks into the night, Gordon divulged the entire story to the writer. A few years later Gordon discovered that the man had made a load of money off this conversation. Gordon wasn't upset about the money, but he forgot that he'd told the man the story, and having remembered meeting him and having a drink, Gordon was convinced the writer had found a way to tap into his brain and steal every thought he had. He was lucky now to go a whole day without having some kind of psychotic freak out. What Jane was doing hanging out with him was unclear to Ron.

Ron looked away, hoping Jane hadn't noticed them, but then again he figured she probably saw them when they walked in. Phoenix drank his second shot and slid the glass over to Franklin who refilled it with a smile but was quick to walk away before either Ron or Phoenix said anything to him. Ron brought the glass to his lips, then heard the familiar click-clack of designer heels on the floor. Jane had decided to say hello.

“Well look here, if it isn't Phoenix Sixfinger and his little friend.”

“Jane, my dear, haven't seen you in a long time.” Phoenix responded all fake smiles and air kisses.

“Not since you left me for that little tart. What was here name again?”


“Louise, that's right. How is that slut these days?”

The split between Phoenix and Jane wasn't a mutual decision or anywhere near civil. Phoenix came back from sea and informed Jane that he was now going to be spending his shore leave with Louise.

“Well, Jane, she's missing. You haven't seen her have you?”

“What a pity. No, I haven't seen her. I'm sure she's found someone to lay beneath until you find her.”

“Damn it Jane. I have no time for your vulgarity. I think Sam the Donkey has kidnapped her.”

“That's terrible. He's probably hypnotized her and she's lost all sense. I think the harlequins said something about being out with Sam last night, maybe you should ask them.”

“Dear God, why didn't you say something earlier.”

Phoenix was off his bar stool and interrogating the harlequins in seconds.

“It's been a long time since I've seen you,” Jane says coolly to Phoenix. “Not since Naked Pablo's party. We spent a wonderful and nasty little night together and then I never heard from you again.”

“Hey Queeny, I told you when you were willing to drop those clowns and all the other losers you surround yourself with, then you should come see me. It seems the clowns are still around and your still holding court in this bar . . .”

“What gives you the right? . . . Why do you have to be an asshole?”

Before Ron could answer, Phoenix hurried to the bar, grabbed Ron by the arm, pulling him off the stool and out of the door.“We have no time to lose!” Phoenix shouted as they rushed down the street.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 2


The spring air was easing its way through Ron's open window, rustling the cheap plastic blinds. He was lying in bed, enjoying his tea and saltines, when without warning, Phoenix Sixfinger came crashing through his bedroom window. Ron waited until Phoenix has brushed the glass from his body and his own shock to subside before he asked, “What the hell is a matter with you?” Phoenix's expression was grim. He stood frozen in the middle of the room.

“I'm sorry to intrude like this. Louise and all her things are gone. I fear she may have been lured away by my first mate Sam the Donkey.”

“Why do you think it was Sam?” Ron asks.

“I think it was him because he once stole a picture of Louise that I kept in my cabin.”

Ron and Sam go way back. Ron once worked as Sam's campaign manager when he ran for governor of West Virginia as a democrat. Sam lost in a landslide and blamed it on the fact that his parties mascot is a stupid jackass. Due to their close relationship Ron doesn't think for a moment that Sam is capable of kidnapping.

“My friend,” Phoenix began, “I am sorry about your window. I need help in finding my beloved Louise. I will pay for the window and reward you greatly if you help me find her and kill Sam.”

“Okay, I will help you. It might be nice to have Saltines that aren't stale.” Ron responded.

The first stop Phoenix and Ron made in their quest was a place called The Laundromat. It was and actual laundromat and dry cleaners run by Vladimir and his wife Ninotchka. Vladimir had once been arrested in France for robbing people of millions and having twenty-two paternity suits filed against him by pretending to be Serge Gainsbourge and then again in England for selling cocaine to an unspecified member of the royal family. This was many years ago and he's been on the straight and narrow since.

Phoenix and Ron walked in through the front door and found the place empty except for Ninotchka. After a quick, friendly greeting, Phoenix asked her if she's seen Louise recently.

“I haven't seen Louise. Vlad's is jail again. I'm left to run this god-forsaken place all on my own.”

“Why's Vlad in jail?” Ron asked, trying to sound as sympathetic as possible.

“He's in jail because he supposedly ruined the mayor's shirt. The mayor's an evil prick. His people came by, picked up the shirt, and left. An hour later four men in suits carrying pistols came in. They tore the place apart and informed us the starch we use could be used to make chemical weapons, then they arrested Vladimir. I haven't seen or heard from him since. Bastard's probably killed him. It's like being back in Soviet Russia. You know Stalin killed my grandfather.

“Dear God woman. What do you intend on doing about all of this?” Ron asked stupefied.

“Nothing. I am powerless.”

“Well ma'am, I'm sorry to hear about Vladamir, but you say you haven't seen Louise anywhere.”

“No.” Ninotchka responded coldly to Phoenix.

Phoenix turned and made his way towards the door. Ron lingered for a moment. “Keep the faith,” he said to to Ninotchka before he handed her a ten dollar gift certificate to the Pioneer Chicken Stand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

World Gone Wrong Pt 1


Convinced there is no evidence to prove her existence, Louise used the time it took her to walk from her house to a local coffee shop attempting to solve this problem. Louise stopped strangers on the street and asked them if they could prove that she, and all the world around them existed. The unsuspecting people found themselves ambushed, then questioned. Some stood before Louise awkward and bewildered, while some were amused, thinking this is a hidden camera moment. Others were intrigued.

Louise sat anxiously, sipping her coffee, three creams, two sugars, reeling under the crushing anxiety of her non-existence. At the table next to her sat a gentleman with a hardened, yet robustly tanned face. He was reading a book that he was convinced contained within it all the answers to the mysteries of the universe.

He was studying all the begetting while Louise was staring at him, wondering if the shepherd with a gym teacher's haircut could prove existence. Louise didn't even realize that the man had looked up and had taken to watching her, watch him. The two locked eyes and smiled at one another like a small town hello. A bond was formed easy and instantly, and the overwhelming warmth that filled Louise's insides lead her to believe that her existence might indeed be something tangible.

Their friendship blossomed to the point where neither thought life would be possible without the other. In a few short weeks Luke the Astronaut and sweet Louise found themselves deeply in love. It was something Luke hadn't felt in thirty-sevens years, not since he met his first wife, the mother of his children. He's had three others since her, all attempts to capture that sense of stability, but his vanity always interfered, and he ended up with arm candy half his age. But in Louise he's certain he's met the girl that satisfies both needs. And in Luke, Louise has found someone she's certain understands her. All was well, butterflies in the stomach and all, between Louise and Luke until her boyfriend, the famous pirate Phoenix, returned from sea.

Phoenix Sixfinger, named so because he has six fingers on each hand, adored Louise. But his adoration contained within it a possessiveness. In the time Louise had been with Phoenix, she had thought nothing of it until Luke points it out to her, then explained that because of it, she and Luke may not be able to see each other anymore.

Just as Phoenix had always done when he returned from sea, he presented Louise with a strange gift. After this last voyage he gave her a talking rooster named Arnie. Phoenix felt Arnie would be a perfect gift and that he would keep her company while he was at sea. Phoenix knew nothing of the new relationship that had blossomed between Luke and Louise.

Arnie was a wise rooster and a world traveler, who once had been the mayor of a ghost town turned tourist destination in Arizona. When Louise was able to get away and meet up with Luke she brought Arnie along who kept the two of them enraptured with his stories. Louise had never seemed happier and this in turn made Phoenix happy. This period of joy soon ended one afternoon after Arnie finished telling Louise and Luke a story.

“I think what he's trying to tell you is that you should leave Phoenix and run away with me.” Luke informs Louise.

“Are you sure? That's not at all what I thought the story meant.” Louise's voice trembled with uncertainty and confusion. She isn't sure what to think. Why would Luke lie to me?I don't know a lot about roosters or their stories . . . maybe he's right.

Anna looked into the eyes of the man who'd convinced her of reality and existence and said, “Yes, maybe you're right. We should pack up our things and leave tonight.”

Monday, October 5, 2009

World Gone Wrong

On Tuesday 10/06/09 I will be posting Part 1 of a 7 part comedy entitled World Gone Wrong. It's the saga of a man, a woman, a pirate, an astronaut, and a talking rooster.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

my window's wide open

In technicolor. She moves
through the lens, the eye,
into me.

Revealing herself



Drawing me in again.

They're blue,
her eyes.

deeper than I imagined.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Unknown

"So for Alonzo there was an end to Hate called Death . . . . and for Nanon, an end to Hate . . . . called Love."

The quote above is the last title card of the silent masterpiece The Unknown. The film, released on June 4, 1927, starred Lon Chaney Sr. as Alonzo, Joan Crawford as Nanon, Norman Kerry as Malabar the Mighty, and John George as Cojo, was directed by Tod Browning, and based on a script written by Waldemar Young.

The Unknown is considered by most critics to be the best of the Tod Browning/ Lon Chaney collaborations, which also included Wicked Darling (1919), The Unholy Three (1925), and West of Zanzibar (1928). Lon Chaney plays Alonzo, an armless knife thrower in the Zanzi circus. Joan Crawford is Nanon Zanzi, the beautiful daughter of Antonio Zanzi (Nick De Ruiz), owner of the circus, and she is also Alonzo's assistant, and his greatest desire. Malabar the Mighty, the circus strongman, played by Norman Kerry is also wooing Nanon. Based on this premise the film sounds like the plot was stolen from a grocery store check out stand romance novel. But in the hands of Browning it becomes a brilliant macabre mystery story.

"The thing you have to most careful of in a mystery story, is not to let it verge on the comic. If something is too gruesome and too horrible, it goes beyond the limits of the average imagination and the audience just laughs." Tod Browning once said this about the essence of writing a mystery but with this story the viewer finds themselves walking on the edge of the straight razor, laughing until they see the blood. There is a sequence in this film that captures the genius of Browning the director and Chaney the actor. It becomes simple enough, with Alonzo and Nanon alone in Alonzo's wagon. They flirt with one another, Nanon with certain innocence, Alonzo like a man in love. Everything is going quite well for Alonzo until Zanzi finds them together and forces Nanon to leave and then gets into a fight with Alonzo. This is the moment in the movie that struck a chord with me. We had learned a earlier that Nanon is afraid of being touched by men, their hands hold nothing but terror for her, which is why she likes Alonzo. It's quite possible that Nanon's frigidity and fear of men's hands is a result of her father sexually abusing her. When Nanon's father finds she and Alonzo together his over reaction is one more of jealously than paternal concern, particularly when the two begin to fight after she leaves. Malabar the Mighty hears the commotion and comes to Alonzo's aid. After pulling Zanzi off of Alonzo and throwing him out, the two men converse until the object of both of their desires passes by. Malabar revels his deep love for Nanon which unsettles Alonzo and his darker side is revealed when he advises to go to Nanon and embrace her. As expected, when Malabar does this, he his hostile rejected by Nanon, much to the delight of Alonzo.

Just when you think it's safe, the premise has been revealed, and this movie isn't going to get any stranger, it is revealed that Alonzo is not really armless after all, and not only that, he has two thumbs on his left hand, an abnormality that ties him to a murder. The dramatic way the arms of Alonzo are revealed in this pivotal scene, is only surpassed by the single close up Browning uses of Alonzo's double thumbs on his left hand. The sudden and spectacular twists that Browning uses in the film are techniques of shocking an audience that he picked up in his days with the circus. With these new physical revelations about Alonzo, the door has been opened for his sinister dark side to reveal itself. In the next scene Alonzo and Cojo are returning to Alonzo's wagon when they are confronted by an angry Zanzi. When Zanzi confronts Alonzo about there earlier fight, he finds out that Alonzo has arms, in a panic Alonzo attacks and strangers Zanzi, the act being witnessed by Nanon, who only saw that the killer had two thumbs.

Alonzo has done away with one of the men keeping him from his beloved Nanon and with the circus moving on while he and Nanon stay behind, he believes that he finally has her all to himself. It is then that his companion Cojo informs him that Alonzo can never have Nanon because she will find out about his arms, and more importantly, she will see his double thumbs. Chaney and Browning really come alive in this scene. Alonzo, sitting in a chair, deep in thought, extends his arms out to the sides of his body as if subconsciously amputating them. Still pondering what to do, Alonzo picks up a cigarette with his toes, puts it in his mouth and lights it, forgetting that he even has hands. This scene was shot with a stunt double named Peter Dismuski, who was and armless man, Browning brought in to be the legs and feet in the scenes Chaney. The genius behind this scene is that there are no existing photos or notes indicating how the scene was actually shot, and everyone involved took the secret to the grave, making it a great moment of movie magic.

Alonzo has decided that the only way he can be with Nanon is to actually have his arms removed, so he and Cojo take off to find a surgeon to perform the gruesome act. After the surgery and period of recovery, Alonzo returns to Nanon only to find that Malabar returned during his absence and that he and Nanon have fallen in love. When Nanon and Malabar reveal their love and intention to marry to Alonzo, what Chaney is able to do with just his face and torso, is quit possibly one of the most compelling and exhausting performances by any actor in the history of film. Alonzo's eyes flash, flicker, roll back into his head. Rage consumes him, then a cry of anguish escapes, triggering the memory of trauma that resides in all of us. And despite the fact that Alonzo is a sinister figure, at this moment becomes sympathetic.

The story telling brilliance of Browning and Young is revealed with another twist. At the same time Alonzo becomes a sympathetic character, he suffers a full on psychotic split. When he learns of that Malabar the Mighty's new act involves him having a horse tied to each of his arms that are pulling in two different directions. The trick is that the horses are on tread mills and the feet of strength and endurance is just an act. The terrifying moment is when Alonzo realizes that if the tread mills are stopped the horses will run and will tear Malabar's arms off. Alonzo's final sinister act is set in motion but when Nanon steps in front of one of the horses in attempt to get it to stop, she is almost trampled, but is saved by Alonzo who is trampled to death in the process.

Despite the dark themes of The Unknown this is a must see for any film lover and one of the great films of the silent era. Browning and Chaney are one of the great actor/ director teams in cinematic history, comparable today to Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"A poem is a naked person . . ."

-Bob Dylan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Great Guitar Song.

In reality, it's impossible to name the greatest guitar song. It would be just as unlikely to come up with a top five for anything that is so completely dependent upon personal taste. That being said, I think there is a song that would be on everyone's top ten list after they heard it. The song is 'Machine Gun' by Jimi Hendrix.

There are two major recordings of this song available. Both are live, the first being from a New Years show at the Fillmore East 1969/1970. For this show Jimi was backed by the Band of Gypsys, which featured Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. The second recording is an epic version, clocking in at twenty- two minutes. The intro alone is three and a half minutes. This recording is from the Isle of Wight Fesitival, Isle of Wight, England, September 1970. For this show he was backed by Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums.

Hendrix's two version of this song contain certain similar elements, but it's when we examine the stylistic differences that the true glory of the song comes to light.
One of the major differences between the two songs, is in the style of the drummers. At the Fillmore East show, Hendrix was backed by Buddy Miles, who's loose, deeply funky, driving style guides Jimi's guitar playing into a more sad, soulful direction. Hendrix sounds as if he's trying to comes to terms with the notion that there is no end to the tragedy of war in sight and in response he uses his guitar to try rip the universe in half.

Later in the year, Jimi would play the song with the newly reformed Experience, featuring Billy Cox on bass and the return of Mitch Mitchell on drums. Mitch's stylistic contribution to the song is to play in a more controlled, tighter, almost military style.

Even though Billy Cox plays bass on both versions his playing style varies as well. At the Fillmore East show, there are moments when Buddy Miles locks into a heavy funky rhythm and Jimi goes off on a riff, that Billy Cox is then able to find a serious groove that you can feel bouncing off the walls of The Fillmore. Where as in the Isle Wight recordings his bass playing is slightly more understated and less funky.

Another interesting difference between the two recordings is that during the Isle of Wight show, security announcements were made over the PA system during the song. This intrusion into Jimi's set adds an eerie military presence to the song that grounds the song and in a sense Jimi in the real world. He becomes a man frantically fighting for survival in the jungles of Vietnam.

Of course, most importantly, there is Jimi's guitar playing to consider. Many regard Hendrix as the greatest guitar player to ever live. 'Machine Gun' is the song in the Hendrix oeuvre that might make the strongest case for this argument. Jimi pulls out all the stops, unleashing all the apocalyptic fury that any human being can with a guitar. He makes the sounds of war, of life and death come screaming out of his Stratocaster until both he and the audience were emotionally drained, battered survivors.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

bitter earth initiates chaos at a laundromat

This is the 3rd video from The March of The Tongue Brigade by Casey Mensing with JUBANO! The video is a montage of the city of Honolulu and Casey's book signing last year. Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The March of The Tongue Brigade

Listening to The March of The Tongue Brigade is like watching a Chimpanzee on a motorcycle jump twelve buses before passing through a ring of fire. So get your copy today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

the last

the night is still
memories, long and flooding
glowing with a heavenly flame

she is of the here and now
the smiling face
that tries to comfort me
in this nameless place

the secret has become too hard to bare
because of these emotions I can never share
nor even escape in sleep

I wonder if it could be any other way

I'm fighting with an illusion
whose love is for another
but she takes me to her bed once,
before I disappear

dawn is a new moment
the discovery of who I am today
I play the hand that's dealt
hold the future close
as for the past, I shed not a tear
as the wind whispers in my ear
driving her name from my head

Sunday, July 26, 2009

yesterday's dream

yesterday's dream
stretches and bends
making its way through the trees
heading towards
the beautiful face
it saw in the moon

Sunday, July 19, 2009

an approximation of roses

an approximation of roses
fifty cent plastic bubble ring
the repetition of love affairs
beginning and ending
because the conclusions always had to be drastic

a blessing by a bum
has become a quest for a home
but no roads lead off this rock
and tomorrow is a long time away

guilt is an undertakers sigh
right and wrong are words with small letters
and have no place in a love that has
no regrets, no apologies

another summer moves through
my hat is hung on the day after tomorrow
and what's behind a locked gate that has no key

Saturday, July 18, 2009


the waters draw you in
until you're deeper than you can stand

submerge yourself

frantically flip until disoriented

propel yourself to what you hope is the surface

emerge towards the stars
and the night air that is cooler that you remembered

Monday, July 6, 2009


Below is a poem from my book Love Is A Ghost Thing. If you enjoy this one check out the book. Just follow the link provided.


Lick the eye with love
Follow with a long silence
Step into the void
Dream it all again
We're composed of white noise
Midnight is without dimensions
The center is breath
Flesh, a mere memory
Bones, now dust
Spirit becomes unchained and all seeing
Infinity for a few precious seconds

Monday, June 29, 2009





Saturday, June 27, 2009

The March of The Tongue Brigade

Casey Mensing with JUBANO!

March of The Tongue Brigade

Available now at


Monday, June 22, 2009

Casey Mensing with JUBANO!

"The greatest psychedelic pop album since Sgt Peppers . . ."

"This album changed my life . . ."

"The March of The Tongue Brigade has taught me how to love."

"This redefines the spoken word album . . ."

These are the things that no one has been saying about the brand new release The March of The Tongue Brigade by Casey Mensing with JUBANO!

Buy your copy today and hear what everyone hasn't been talking about.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Special Offer

For those of you out there who read this blog, as you may or may not know, I have a spoken word CD coming out entitled The March of The Tongue Brigade. To celebrate the release, I am offering a free copy to anyone who purchases a copy of my book Love Is A Ghost Thing from CJ's Books via The book itself is a signed first printing and by simply purchasing a copy you will receive a copy of Casey Mensing with JUBANO presents The March of The Tongue Brigade.



Friday, June 12, 2009

Casey Mensing with JUBANO!

Here is a link to the video Adventures In The False Mirror from the album The March of The Tongue Brigade by Casey Mensing with JUBANO!

The album The March of The Tongue Brigade can be previewed on the JUBANO! myspace page.

Check back, I will be posting details of the albums official release very soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What I Write When The Poetry No Longer Flows

Here are some articles I have recently written for

Hopefully I will be contributing more to both them and this blog in the near future.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Han Shan Is Sleeping

The man sleeping on the bus stop bench is the poet Han Shan. He is dressed as a modern
bum. Layers of shirts, tattered sweatpants. His worn out, busted shoes, neatly side by side
underneath the bench. The last five mornings I've passed him as he slept. Today, I stopped and
watched him.

No one that passes us realizes that it's him. If they could only see him, they would. Right
now, he doesn't care that he's Han Shan. He is too busy searching of the pure kingdom. I know he
has found it because he is the epitome of stillness. He has transcended the body and left it to lie
on the bus stop bench like one would a parked car.

Keeamouku Street is virtually empty at dawn. The sky is a blend of purples and oranges.
The condo towers and office buildings are lit up but without the bustle of life they seem cold,
lonely. A short, pudgy man with a vente Starbucks cup in his left hand and his cell phone in his
right passes within inches of the sleeping Han Shan. His voice is loud, disturbing the morning.
Grates the nerves like an ambulance with sirens wailing. He has no respect for 5:47 am. His
sentences are punctuated with short laughs, exaggerated dagger like exclamation points. Han
Shan's balled hands, that had been resting motionless upon his chest for the last twenty-two
minutes, twitch then relax. They are small gnarled knots like the above ground roots of ancient

Han Shan begins to stir. His left eye twitches 1, 2, 3. Spirit has returned to the body. He
senses that outside of himself, the sky has become gently illuminated, suns splendor impending
and can't be stopped. More bodies pass him. North to South. South to North.

Han Shan wiggles his toes. His white socks are surprisingly clean. I fear his eyes opening.
I don't want him to see me standing two feet from him, leaning up against a sign that indicates a
bus will stop here. But no buses will stop here for at least another hour. Han Shan will know I
was watching him. Studying him in this vulnerable reincarnation. If he catches me here, we will
both feel awkward and lonely. Before either wise eye opens, I walk off, west to east.

romance in the 939

blue-gray smoke from the cigarette you've lit snakes up the legs and around the waist of the lonesome nude that is entertaining the masked bandits. the nights here are an exchange of cash, and religious fervor. you're convinced the short one in blue heels wants to tear you apart. but she's someone's sister and daughter and you remember that you've been mistaken before. the voices in your head tell you that you must leave before the soul comes undone, your nerves become dust. so it's a pair of fives for the girl who plays by the rules but breaks your heart.

black and white . . . gangster film

what once sounded like an opera of prophecy,
is now the drivel of the past.

redemption is what's left when the interrogation has gone wrong,
and the mind has evicted everything but the nightmares.

even amongst his own, he is lost ,
watching imagined fires raging on the horizon,

thinking about Christ in the temple,
a fury of youth and righteousness not sparing the rod.

prayer is his conversation
even though the words stick in his throat,

because now there is light
where no sun shone before.

salvation, which felt so out of reach
comes with two silver dollars over his eyes.

Seduction, Obsession

She strolled the night, calling you Pablo, her love illuminating the moon. She's forever remembered in black and white. Fallen and forgotten. B-movie queen.

Oh Pablo, can you recall, the way she spread open your groin, your ribs, searching for your heart.

This is why I defy you Pablo! To this day I will not open your books!

It was I who loved and suffered. It was I who touched her. But with you, she performed literary necrophilia. Your tear-stained fading picture warming from her eyes-gaze love.

This is why Pablo I turn eye from your sun, moon, and fleshy woman fruit.

(published in 2005 in American Dissident)

Taurus In the Arena

Your blue-eyes surprise keeps me dreaming. The battered self, waits for the hallucination.

Too high to notice the iron fists, the ants carrying piecemeal
the smoke and ash that trail my fingers, as baby blue hangs silently like a sinner. In each bed you find a void beside,
as the words hang like thick summer air. The bodies you've declared are constant and forever, like the smiles you see on Van Gogh's crows. The gray day shadows embrace these ghosts
Mercy reveals its afflicted face. My words, now, must compete with your bare-breasted presence, as the sun warms your skin
that has escaped the protection of my blanket.

(published in 2006 by Black Book Press

Televised Revelation

Multitudes survive on brittle independence. Scars accumulate. The king of this paradise, is the darkness that shifts the landscapes. Mountains of fire. Presence of grief. His majesty devours pastures, drinks seas, pissing stagnation for others to drink. Given the world, but it isn't enough. Plagues, holocausts, darkness at noon . The wrath is not his but ours. Games are played with inexhaustible fears. Churches entice humanity to worship. Their own reflection becomes God. Faith, comfort through the unknown. Down from the dawn they come. Guitars with precise skeletal fingered players serenading the crimson eyed horses, of the ten thousand riders that follow. Together they lay waste to the garden of light. (published in 2006 in Nohmad's Ch0ir)


Enter smooth. Phantom. Sweet jazz in skull . Foot taps beat.Time to burn. Supernatural fire. Wait for no one. Stop for nothing. Immortality on the line.

(published in 1998 in Galleria)

Long Sensation Delivered

The wombs of my eyes menstruate the salt of the years. The room unties from ear to ear. The wake of sailing arrows is made up of Easter time colors.I've saved all the keys,wrote melancholy anthems for each. In the room is a dying man dethroned by a burning candle. Blinded by the triumphant return of the birds of spring. Space and time are illiterate. Remembering the conversations I had as a child, with a coffin built for a young boy. Realizing I could fit in that box but couldn't figure out how the soul escapes.

Time rocks back around again . The long corridor of night is nowhere to be seen. I walk through morning cities, afternoon pubs, assassins and American oracles on my mind. A stiletto blonde cuts through the wind-whipped melting room. Dying man with multiple million cataracts says she's got an empire in her eyes. I sneer at the conspiracy of her presence. Made more to miss the lamb's benevolence.

(published in 2006 in Poet's Art)

Idler's Dream

Indian's shot down the stars under which the eunuchs used to dance. Silver moon over dark water, reminds me of nights spent with you in empty asylums, waiting for ghosts of you attic children to appear.

In my mind , fingers tracing, cheek , jaw line,lips, throat.
Feel the rising thump of your heart as the French girl with full moon eyes, holds your attention, bringing peace to your live-wired mind.

Conjuring ghosts with dust for mouths, feeding their lips wine. Waiting for the sun to set in our hands. Waiting to come down.

(published in 2006 in Poet's Art)

Endless Wilderness

From the rain and cocaine misery, I find myself five cards short. Some son of a bitch had my salvation back pocketed. Revenge comes in a million bad dreams and folded fake Lincoln.

Sleep walking through mirrors. Symbols reveal the past receding and rising. The truth lies at a perimeter, unreachable. And I find you wrapped in a blanket by the stairs. Rendered emotionally formless. There's no reason to leave here because the wind still makes promises. Time's next revolution brings with it rain. Destiny, is sunflower romances in rose gardens. I whisper a woman's name into my pillow, awake illuminated, because fortune's foretold hand, writes phrases upon my bedroom wall.
Outside my window, the streets have been shimmering for days.
Fingertips run along an old wound from a bull's horn or cupid's arrow. I swim in thunder and the smoke of burning coals, longing for your miracles. The languid eroticism of nights in your bed. Madness of the moon driving me on.

(published in 2007 in Freefall)

bound by the weight of all

Lost hours of walls and faces. A sleeping prostitute clutches a rabbit's foot. I am broke, red eyed, vile and depraved.

Street. Spider cracks in sidewalks. The last car on the train passes, magnifying my solitude. Five times again to fall and rise. Sins cast into a sacred rebel river.

Dreaming of Mae West with Parisian night eyes. Together she and I lie, in a bed made of sphinx's riddles and eternal kisses. Beyond the window, the street abyss, that I must return back to.

published in Northern Stars.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Greatest of Liars

Travis was the greatest of liars and a genius. A grease monkey, thief. Stoned, drunk, two
pack a day habit. He knew where the limit was and after flirting with it, getting burned, he would
always be on the move, angry at his misfortune, like a child who curses the tree he's just fallen
out of.

He'd bought a junked 1971 Chevy Camaro and turned it into a super mutant drag machine
that could cause hell to rise up in its wake. Late one hot summer night Travis and his friend
Doug took it to an abandoned strip of pavement out by the airport for a test run. What happened
after that is up for debate. When Travis showed up at a party later, he seemed to have a
different version of the story for everyone. “The whole car was engulfed in flames, I thought I
was in hell or something. I think an angel saved me.” He told me.

Travis' concepts of heaven and hell were an amalgamation of images and ideas he
collected from years of listening to metal, reading Dante's Inferno, and Hollywood. As much as I
disagreed with his romantic, Old Testament style vision, I was impressed by the poetic genius of

The story Travis had told me was total bullshit. I knew it then because his eyebrows were
still intact. Twenty hours after the party I was at the hospital talking to Doug. He and I were two
of eleven people waiting for some news about Travis' condition.

“So which version did he tell you?” Doug asked me.
“The one where he's surrounded by hell fire and one of his angels comes down and saves
“I haven't heard that one yet.”
“It's good. . . So what really happened?”
“He drove it up and down the street a few times, then took off at full speed, really opened
it up. The engine seized and there was a hell of a lotta smoke. He must've been stoned or
something, 'cause he jumped out of the car and started flipping the fuck out.”

We laughed. Stared down at the floor, then at the faces of the others. Time moving slow.
“Can you believe this shit?” asked Doug.
“What? This?” I responded.
“I figured at some point we might all be at the hospital waiting to find out if he would
live or die. C'mon he was a crazy guy. Pretty whacked out. But this too fucked up.”
“I don't know . . . Somehow it seems fitting.”
“How so?” Doug asked.
“Travis walking down the street, minding his own business then suddenly being struck by
lightening. I don't know . . . it . . . it's just . . . as crazy as he was, somehow it's not surprising.
“I guess that's true. But lightening? What are the odds?"

As we huddled together in the waiting room for the second hour of our vigil, I thought
about Travis' explanation of the afterlife. “Everyone goes to hell. You go, you do a penance to
cleanse your soul, and then you're sent to heaven.”
“Sounds like prison.” I said to him.
“Everything is.” Travis responded solemnly.

Somewhere near the fourth hour of waiting, the doctors came out and told his family that
he had passed. They'd done everything they could. For some the tears came immediately, others
looked relieved, they had begun grieving hours ago.I thought to myself, I hope God has a sense of humor.

Singular Thoughts

“Don't be surprised if your life comes to a bad ending,” his father told him. “There's no
escaping it. Look at your grandfather and me. Your great grandfather didn't have it any better. It's just the way it goes. We're all losers.”

He's in a West Texas motel, sitting in a chair beside the window, staring out through the
blinds. It's high noon, the sun is white hot. The pavement sparkles like the sea. There aren't any
cars in the parking lot. Luther drove away in theirs and he isn't coming back. Across the road, a
half mile out, are two large hills covered in wild grass. On the other side, at the foot of the hills,
is a ravine that is the local dump. He knows this because this isn't his first time in this town. He
dated a woman from here. Her name was Judy, she used to wait tables at a diner down the road
from the motel.

He pulls his fingers out from between the blinds and lets them snap closed. He looks over
at the snub nosed .38 Luther left on the table. He studies the cylinder, thinks about the four
rounds left in it.

Every time he thinks about running, he reaches down and rubs the stump that he has left
for a leg. He lost it just outside of this very town. He and Judy were driving back to her place
after seeing a movie and were hit head on by a driver who'd fallen asleep at the wheel. Judy was
killed instantly. He'd been in a coma for a week, woke up to find his leg gone and his girl dead.
The other driver had also been killed. That was five years ago.

He ran into Luther in a bar two towns from here. They hadn't seen each other in 9 years.
Luther looked like he'd been up for days. He was in need of cash and asked for a loan. He gave
Luther $300. He would have given him more but the rest had gone to paying for a top of the line
prosthetic he'd been saving up for. They were supposed to be going out for breakfast after
drinking the night away. Luther stopped at a 7-11 for cigarettes and decided to rob the place.
Five robberies later, Luther was gone with the car, the cash, and the crutches, which had been in
the back of the car.

He knew the cops were on their way. There had been plenty of witnesses and the desk
clerk hadn't left the back office since they'd checked in. With four bullets and no bravery, a shoot
out with the cops was out of the question. He could shoot himself but that also required bravery.
Because in his mind he was guilty, it never occurred to him to try and explain the situation. What
he needed now was a plan or a miracle.

Just as two Sheriff's department cars pulled up to the office he reacted. First he slammed
his face into the table a few times, then punched himself in the nose. Dazed, he flung himself
onto the bed pulled off the comforter and top sheet. Quickly, he tied himself to the headboard
with the top sheet and waited.

There was a pounding on the door. “Help!” He shouted. A couple of kicks, the door flung
open. The cops rushed in with guns drawn. “Thank God you're here!”

free for the taking

i climb out of what was once a window, but is now the crown,
of someone that was lost, before they could be found.

on the other side, the voice of authority is a sob and a cry.
the weary have been called for 'cause they live without choice,
yet are the first to die.

three words have been spoken and now there's no mistaken,
that those years have been misinterpreted, forsaken.
so come down and see the broken doll.
when you pick him up, you drag him down
but he only complains when you're deaf to the sound

Why I Haven't Posted Anything in Awhile . . .

Besides working a mixed bag of shifts that has made it impossible to keep any kind of writing schedule and my current obsession with HBO's The Wire, I just finished season 4, I'm at work on a pair of novels. Yes, I'm writing two at the same time. Why? I never really intended to, I'm just having an incredibly difficult time focusing on any one project right now. I'm going to be posting some new work in the next few days. Mostly poetry and fiction with the occasional ramblings about baseball thrown in. Here is a poem to start off.


hunger bows the head to be forgiven
but is crticized for being unconvincing

"we need more suffering. something beside your trembling lips, sunken malnourished eyes. could you hide your distended stomach? it's unsightly, a bit too realistic."

piercing truth
over and over again
until you get it right
piercing truth
until all contradictions living inside of you die

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

America Moving On

Economics 101 brought to you by Jack Hackhorn.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dock, LSD, and the No Hitter

Opening day of the Major League baseball season is approaching fast and I for one am very excited because this is by far one of my favorite times of year. I've decided to do something different to celebrate the 2009 season. From now until the end of the World Series I'm going to periodically post some of my favorite moments in baseball both of the past and things that may happen during this current season. My first posting is a tribute to the most interesting no hitter thrown in Major League history, I hope you enjoy.

Dock Phillip Ellis Jr. passed away on December 19, 2008 from a liver ailment brought on by cirrhosis. He had spent the last decades of his as a drug counselor. For twelve seasons, Dock was a Major League pitcher with five different teams, most notably the Pittsburgh Pirates, posting a career 138-119 record.

The myth of Dock Ellis now outweighs the life, as happens with anyone who commits a legendary act. On June 12, 1970, Dock pitched a no hitter against the San Diego Padres. What sets this no hitter apart from all others in Major League history, is that Dock was under the influence of LSD when he stepped upon the mound of Jack Murphy Stadium. Ellis would later recount the game fourteen years later.

“I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the catcher's glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. . .”

I didn't hear this story until I was nineteen or twenty, and by then I had already consumed a solid amount of LSD and other hallucinogens. I had also spent my entire childhood playing baseball, so to hear a man had actually played the game, let alone thrown a no hitter while under the influence was quite a revelation. Dock, in my mind, became a surreal icon, like Hendrix at Monterey playing his set on a head full of acid and then lighting his guitar on fire. What also makes this moment interesting is that it's a statement about a time in America. The grim reality of the Nixon years was seeping into the consciousness of most Americans and those that had bought into the rhetoric of the “love generation”were starting to get off the boat. But not Dock, he was letting his freak flag fly during one glorious night under a San Diego sky.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Films of Jack Hackhorn

Check out this page dedicated to the films of Jack Hackhorn, including a recent find called Co-ed discipline: An instructional film, which Jack assembled for his friend Alvaro Colon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

join now

fetishes tied together by stockings,
reduced to simplistic longings

big money glamor fantasies
replaced by the couple next door

no worries sweetheart, my heart
still belongs to you

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Future, The Future

Another strange assemblage from the vaults of Jack Hackhorn. Jack had nothing but utter contempt for hypnosis and what he referred to as "mental trickeries". Jack's original version had no sound so I have inserted the audio track back in and added samples from two works by Carl Polgar.

Flaccid Palace of Pleasure

Check out my contribution to Carl Polgar's blog, Flaccid Palace of Pleasure. Thanks.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fever Induced Memory

Sometime after 11:00 pm and before the sun came up I was lying in bed, wrapped in blankets trying to sweat out a 102 degree fever. I had taken some NyQuil maybe an hour or two before hoping that it would knock me out completely because I'd had a high fever all day and every time I'd fallen asleep I was jolted awake by a horrible dream/hallucination. I was unable to fall back to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time and I was trying to be quiet because my girlfriend was asleep in the other room. I started to think about the other times I've had a raging fever like this.

Around this time last year was the most recent, then there was a Christmas/New Years seven or so years ago, but the most interesting was twelve years ago, when I was a sophomore in college. I was living in
Murfressboro, TN, going to Middle Tennessee State University, studying music production. It was the end of the fall semester and I had taken my last exam, European History, with a temperature 101 degrees and snot dripping out of my nose. I don't recall even answering any of the questions. I went back to my dorm room after the exam and slept. Upon waking covered in sweat and crazed, I got dressed and went for a walk. It was around 10:00 pm and probably 35 degrees out so the campus was deserted.

I was strolling around delirious until I reached the west side of campus in a park like area near the dorms that make up the Lyon Complex and Peck Hall. I took a seat at a picnic table and started to drift off. I'm not sure if I'd fallen asleep or not or how long I'd been sitting there, but I didn't move until I felt someone shaking me. I turned and looked up and saw my friend Charmane staring down at me. "Are you okay?" She asked me. "No. I'm very sick." I responded.

Charmane was nice enough to walk me back to my dorm. On the way she asked me if I'd ever seen the five nuns. "What?" I responded. She smiled, then told me the story.

In the warmer months, the area where Charmane had found me is home to a large population of fat, eastern gray squirrels. During the months that the squirrels were not hibernating, five nuns would sneak onto campus just after dawn as the squirrels were coming out of the trees. The nuns would sit in the grass and feed them while whispering to them in hushed voices.

Over time they trained the squirrels to steal small items, like food or maybe a pen from people while they sat at the benches or in the grass. Eventually, it got to the point where the nuns had trained the squirrels to break into buildings. For months the squirrels would run around in the buildings collecting whatever shiny items they could find, the nuns would then sell anything of value. After awhile, the nuns got brave and began using the squirrels to get into the buildings. The five sisters in black and gray habits would stealthily clean out the buildings of anything they could carry.

Campus security and the local cops were baffled. By the time they did anything about the rash of thefts, the nuns had taken everything they needed and had left town. The squirrels though, were still living on campus, still stealing whatever small, shiny items they could.

Years after I left Murfressboro, one of the trees in the park area began to die so they decided to cut it down and plant a couple of new ones in its place. When the tree crew came and cut it down, they found that most of the tree had been hollowed out and that it was full of shiny objects. There was much debate afterward about what to do with the squirrels. Some wanted to poison them, others wanted to leave them alone. Those that felt that the squirrels should not be harmed began to protest in the park on a daily basis. Soon a compromise was reached and a signs were posted in the park warning people not to leave their bags open or unattended and to watch out for the squirrels if they come to near.

That story makes miss squirrels all the more. They are a nonexistent animal on Oahu. I also wonder whatever happened to Charmane, I never saw her again after that night. Anyway, I definitely think it's time for me to get some rest.