Sunday, August 28, 2016

Where Dead Voices Gather



If songs can never tear down
his cardboard coffin's white walls
or split plastic seams and spill
his gray ashes and bleached grains
into a man's living shape,
then let words brighten the black,
fill the mouth, and stir his tongue.

If I listen to him speak
and again hear his timber
like a new buzzsaw purring
or drill bits sinking in wood,
its sound will drown out echoes
from the absence of his face.

He will answer for his death
and give a complete account
of heavens and hellfires
his spirit cannot enter
because if I keep talking
he will never be silent.

My father's running blindly
across black peony fields,
his hair blowing off his skull
like the thinning, tangled wake
from a tailspinning rocket.
He wants me to let him die,

but if he cannot return
and my words can never join
ashes like jigsaw pieces
and solve this puzzling grief,
I will keep talking and run
where the dead voices gather.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bottles

Those are bodies, not bottles,
Stacked below your window.
Fractured faces stare at you
From the broken sparkle
Of each bloody shard.

That is a pyre, not a pile,
Whose glow bleaches the sun.
Jagged limbs flame from the heap
And lunge like razor blades
Through the soot and smoke.

Ashes are no ink for songs.
No fire from your pen
Can ever perfume these lines
With a scent sweet enough
That cinders will sing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Post Mortem Bar

Bartender, pour me a drink
Free of the ashes and ink
I smoked and spilled for years
With every high spoiled by tears.
I'll wade through the dead for a taste
Of any potion brewed to replace
The gasping thirst in my throat
To devour all I wrote,
But if I can hold it down
I'm ready for the next round,
And if I don't choke on rhyme,
We will toast again in time.

Some knotted and tightened ropes
To blacken their brains or hopes.
Others switched spikes and rails
Plunging when their hammer fails.
I went from bloom to blotto
Preaching more as my motto,
But there's no profit for drunks
To drink where the dead are sunk
And, wet for wear, shed more tears
For their bloody, wasted years.
No poem can call that bluff,
I've chased these voices enough
And what they would have me do
Is drink until I am through.

Bartender, serve the ghouls
Who still crown the bony stools
Strangling shots with shaking fists,
Scars slashing their necks and wrists.
For me, though, the taps are dry,
Soured by the bitter lie
That even the strongest stuff
Is never quite strong enough.
I write these words on barroom glass
Before pushing off at last,
If it's empty, my brother,
Where one bottle came from,
There's always another.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jonah Complex

I am alive inside a monster,
The stomach of a dreaming whale
Whose body of earth and sky
Swallows the world and digests my days.

I can never die here, only dissolve.
Sinking deep into the beast's skin
I bleed from the grave and strean
Through a billion blossoming limbs.

My heels will kick and stomp the skin
Until I hear the beast's bones break.
I will slice at its starry span
And crawl out any open wound.

I will not be consumed like this,
These words ulcer the dirt and air
With light no darkness can submerge
And a mouth forever singing.

Sunday, May 26, 2013






Wishbone Ash
Ludwigsburg, Germany
October 4, 1989

Disc 1
1) Real Guitars Have Wings
2) The King Will Come
3) In The Skin
4) Cosmic Jazz
5) Keeper Of The Light
6) Lost Cause In Paradise
7) Throw Down The Sword
8) Band Intros
9) Why Don't We?

Wishbone Ash Ludwigsburg 1989 Disc 1

Disc 2
1) Hole In My Heart
2) Living Proof
3) Blowin' Free
4) Blind Eye~Medley
5) Guitar Solo~Jail Bait
6) Rollin'

Wishbone Ash Ludwigsburg 1989 Disc 2





Wishbone Ash
Williamsville, NY
November 19, 2006

1) Eyes Wide Open (partial)
2) Healing Ground
3) The King Will Come
4) Sometime World
5) Warrior
6) Why Don't We?
7) Sorrel
8) Capture The Moment
9) Tales Of The Wise
10) Standing In The Rain
11) Living Proof
12) Blowin' Free

Wishbone Ash Williamsville 2006





Wishbone Ash
Offenbach, Germany
October 31, 1974

1) Don't Come Back
2) Silver Shoes
3) Lady Jay
4) The King Will Come
5) Warrior
6) Throw Down The Sword
7) Persephone
8) F.U.B.B.
9) Blowin' Free
10) Time Was

Wishbone Ash Offenbach 1974