Saturday, May 28, 2005

Foto of Black Glove in Snow


I took this foto of the black glove that I talk about in my poem. Scott was with me and I want to thank him for letting me use his polaroid. Did I tell you about Scott?
He and his son go to all the pow-wows in the summer so that his son can compete in the dance competitions. I hear that he is pretty good.

The Glove Incident

Last Sunday I gave Katy a ride home after mass.
But I told her that I had to make one little stop before I took her home.
You see, before mass I had bought my Sunday newspapers at Midcity News
and when I got in my car I could not find my glove.
Back behind my eyeballs, I had a flash that the glove was on the sidewalk,
by the news store.
So we drove there after mass and it wasn't on the sidewalk.
So I went in the store and asked the clerk(she is a metermaid during the week)
if she had seen the glove.
She had not seen the glove.
After I dropped Katy off, I found the glove on the back seat.

Now today, I go to buy my papers and when I come out of the store,
there is my glove laying on the sidewalk
in the exact position I had seen it back behind my eyeballs, a week earlier.
Now I have got to find out what else is back behind my eyeballs.

There are always these visions you know.
Swirling futures.
Past times at Central High competing with fragments of all the possible futures.
But once in awhile, there is a something that shows up....
that whispers....
"Here can be some little thing that can happen"
Remember this thing.
Maybe act on it.
Can I act on it?
Or can I only see it?
What good is a vision?
Can you sell it?
Can you trade it for vegetables at the supermarket?
I don't know.
But there is something going on back behind my eyeballs.

I lost the glove again.
Maybe at the post office.
Maybe at the gas station.
Maybe in the street.

I found my glove at the gas station.
Now that my glove keeps coming back,
I have some little hope that I will find my heart again.

A Little Surprise

Can you ever really be surprised?
I say yes and I say no.
Take for example those times when someone kills you.
You are in your apartment and feeling the need for human company.
You want to see real people.
People drinking.
People dancing.
People sweating and people stinking.
That place you want to go to
has some feel of danger to it.
That is why you have to go there.
You want to smell your own sweat.
That kind of sweat that comes from dancing.
That kind of sweat that comes from too many people in one place.
That kind of sweat that comes from fear.
But you know that he will be there too.
That one who has been looking for you.
He does not know who you are.
But he can tell that you are you,
because he knows that smell.
To him, he will walk into a room of two hundred
and fourtynine people and only one scent will exist for him.
You will be like a magnet to him.
You can feel him coming to you, too.
You are of course surprised that you did not see him before.
You knew it would end this way.
You could have stayed in your apartment.
I think the reason that you go to these places
and do the things that you do
is because you hope there will be some variety
and some little surprise in it for you this time.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Checking Up on Me

There you were again.
I know it was you.
I could tell by those eyes.
I could tell by those eyes.

I was leaving my place.
I talked to that Marxista.
I told her you were more than a white cat.
I know it was you. More than a white cat.
Checking up on me.
Checking up on me.

Just because I have not answered that last letter.
That two month ago letter.
You dressed up like that.
Black tail on a white cat.

Last time you were that wild white dog.
That stared at me
and walked so slowly across the street.
You had been waiting for me.
Checking up on me.
Checking up on me.

That Marxista, she doesn't believe in this stuff.
In this spirit stuff.
I don't have to believe in this stuff.
In this spirit stuff.
I could tell by those eyes.
I could tell by those eyes.

And I will answer that last letter.
That two month ago letter.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Me, Larry, Duke and Dennis the Clown

I don't know who took this picture. Maybe my mom. But, we were all hanging out in front of the Swanson Apartments. On the back of the foto it says 1958(?) Duke from my poem Northside Dogs is the the third guy from the left.

Northside Dogs

This world, she has a dark side.
She also has a memory.
That dead dog over there has shiny teeth.
Just like diamonds they shine.

Al Capone use to own that house on the corner.
Almost every year someone new buys it.
They say no dog will go down into the basement.
Something is down there.

Charlie's dog, a big airdale, got run over.
It happened right there,
on Jackson Street.

Duke, the Reverend's mutt would try to mate
with all the human legs.
Ladies from the church.
Kids from the neighborhood.
To Duke, any leg would do.
The Reverend did not seem to care.
Just took it in stride.
Duke was just part of God's plan
and a lesson for us all.

Everybody knew Major.
He was a big Saint Bernard
White and brown.
Walked real slow.
Back then all the dogs roamed free.
All the kids knew all the dogs.
Major would let the little kids ride on his back.
Just like a horse.

During that big flood in '54,
Jingles, a white and brown rat terrier,
would chase the rats.
They had been driven by the rising water,
up the hill and out of the sewers.
Kids with rocks and bb guns
and Jingles
chasing the rats.
Now my landlady, has a dog
that looks and acts like
a reincarnated Jingles.
He even answers to Jingles
when I call him.

There was a strange white German Shepherd.
We called him Ghost.
We would only see him after dusk.
One night, I was sleeping in a tent,
in Charlie's backyard.
I woke up and Ghost's hot wet tongue
was licking my face.
On warm summer nights,
Ghost still passes thru my dreams.

I never had a dog of my own.

Tom, who use to live up the street,
died last week while I was out of town.
Heart attack they say.
He was trying to get on disability,
but the government kept turning him down.
Tom and his brothers had lots of dogs.
I don't remember their names.

Angel On The Radio

You never know who you are talking to
or who is asking you for a favor.
That is why you err on the side
of charity and human kindness.
Jesus or Budda would not be wearing name tags
if you met them on the street corner
and they asked you for a dollar.

The corner I am talking about is 4th and Court streets.
The last few winos in town go there
to collect a few bucks from the folks
who come to this little historic district.

Henry always asks and I almost always give.
Sometimes he just asks for a ride
to the driveup liquor store
and then to his crib in the ruins
of an old slaughter house.

One night he told me about Jackson.
Henry said he was laying down to get some sleep
and turned on his portable radio.
One of the little black and grey ones.
No music.
No static.
Just a voice identifying himself as Jackson,
Henry's guardian angel.

Jackson told Henry he did not like the way Henry
was using up his life
but that he would be there for him.
He would protect him.

Since Henry told me this he has sobered up
and then he went back to drinking
and looks like he is in worse shape than before.
But he now has a short little white guy
as his companion.
Henry is a tall thin Lakota Marine Corps veteran.

I keep meaning to ask the little guy's name.
I think I am afraid that he is Jackson.
The angel from the radio.
The little black and grey radio.

Guanajuato's Dreams

See- there was this shortlived Mexican restaurant.
It was owned by my future son-in-law.
It had the name Taqueria Las Comadres and
it had a mediocre location. After Ricardo,
the skinny cook left....this guy
Guanajuato gets hired. They call him
Guanajuato because he is from Guanajuato
state in Mexico but not from the city of
the same name in that state.That city has mummies
underground.If he was from that city they might
have called him Momia in honor of the
underground things. Guanajuato is a big
happy guy but his cooking is not so great.
Guanajuato liked his job because he got to
sleep in the restaurant for free... after the
placed closed. So,when you sleep in a restaurant
what floats thru your dreams?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

That Was Nice of Him

Hole in my screen that a bird flies through.
Hole in my screen that a bird flies through.
My eyes are shut but I can see him.
His big grey shadow wings
break up everything in the room.
All shattered.
All shattered.

I have been waiting for him.
His big grey shadow wings move so fast.
He does not scare me...
but he is so much bigger
than I thought he would be.

My eyes fly open.
He is gone.
And before he left
he fixed up everything in the room.

That was nice of him.
I did not expect, that he would do that.

Foto of the Little Mural


Look, I don't know who painted this. I think it is pretty good. It is on wood and if you drive thru the alley behind the Board of Education you can see it for yourself.

A Small Ball of Holy Wax

I was at mass one night.
A special mass.
A mass to bless the candles.
You bring your candles and the Priest blesses them.
This makes the candles better.
The light is stronger and brings peace to your house.
In the pew next to me was a family with a little girl.
Another little girl was in front of her in the next pew.

You walk up front to get your candle blessed
and then get it lit from the big candle
that the Bishop lit at Easter Vigil.

The girl next to me had a small ball of Holy wax
that had dripped from her candle.
The other girl had a stick of gum.
She wanted to trade for the small ball of Holy wax.
Come on, please trade with me.
You don't want that wax.
Gum is better.
It is so sweet.

The other one said,go away.
I am not going to trade my Holy wax to you.
I am going to keep it in my little treasure box in my room.
It is Holy and your gum is nothing.
It is bad.
It is a bad trade.
Now turn around and ask God's foregiveness.

They did all this without talking.
I never saw their lips move.
I never saw their lips move.
But it happened.
I was there.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I Was In That Bed

I was in that bed
Because it was
That swirling black wrinkled thought time.

I was in that bed
Because it was
That swirling black cracked heart time.

I was in that bed
Because it was
That twisted melting muscle time.

And you were with me
In all those times of dreams.
And you were with me
In all those dreams of times.

And you were with me
When I was sucked into that silence.

And you were with me
Over and over
When that silence
Became a swirling ocean
And our little boat
Was taking water
Through the holes in my heart.

And you were with me
When my oar
Was swollen and aching for you.

And then I woke up
Into this cold morning.
And then I woke up
Into this quiet dawn.
This rightside up time.
This all things put together time.

The Shoe Box

Your eyes were whispering to me...
'Don't you remember me...don't you remember me.
You only have this one chance to remember me'
Yes, I remember you but I choose not to
remember you this time. My soul is all twisted
up with another soul. She has stolen my heart
and keeps it in a shoe box under her bed.
She once sent me a photograph of the box
with the lid off and you could see my heart
in the box. For a long time I kept that photogragh
in an envelope in my pocket so I could show
people my heart or look at it myself when
the need would arise. And it always would arise.
But one day the envelope and the photograph
of my heart in the shoe box went through
the laundry and were ruined. By the way,
the shoebox was gray and my name was carefully
printed on the side.I have asked her for
another photograph but she hasn't sent me one yet.
So you see, it would not be good for me
to remember you with someone holding onto my heart.
I hope you are not too annoyed with me.
Maybe I can remember you some other time.

This Night

This night I saw two Blond Boys
with two light-faced German shepherds.
But before that I drank a mescal
and danced with that mixed blood singer
whose boyfriend is afraid to dance.
But before that I had a beer with
the Sicilian insurance adjuster
from New Orleans, whose butcher father
lost his virginity in a whorehouse
and whose meatlocker held meat that
would never talk again. After I saw
the two Blond Boys, my car who was taking me home
and playing that full moon song about
how I am your he-wolf and you are my she-wolf, I
saw a blackfaced shortlegged maybe German shepherd,
but more wild,walking by my door.
My car and I went around the block one time
and she was crossing the street.
I think she was checking on me.
I miss her so and need her beside me this night.

When Something Starts to Crack

You get around...
You see a lot of people...
Tell me what happened to Angela.
She lived in that house.
That kind of white house.
Down that curvy road.
It is the only house.
What is going on with Brenda?
I saw her at that house.
You know who I mean. Glasses...
She is from Guatemala.
She and her two cousins worked
at that place down by the river.
You know that place that has had a lot of owners.
It was a country western place for a long time.
Then they had a steakhouse there.
Now it is a Mexican bar.
When she worked there the boss told me
he prefers Guatemaltecas. Why?
He said they are better workers.
Except for that old lady over there.
She use to sing Mariachi down in Jalisco in Mexico.
I saw her sing once.
It was her 50th or 60th birthday party.
I don't know which it was.
The first song or two were good.
Then her voice started to crack.
So she stopped.
Smart lady.
When something starts to crack
you got to stop, you know?
There are some other people I want to ask you about.
Look, when you see them, just tell them you saw me
and I was getting by.
Tell them I am OK and was just curious about them.

Two Blocks From Here

Two Blocks From Here

On that October night he waited.
He waited in his car till she and her new lover came home.
He had thought of this moment.
He had been thinking of this moment.
He had been dreaming of this moment.
He knew this moment by heart.
This is the moment that everything had been leading up to.
She was the mother of his baby.
This new guy was not a real man.
This new guy will piss in his pants
when he sees the old boyfriend.
He will run when he sees the knife.
She will know that he is not a man.
She will return to her old boy friend.
This is the dream....the moment he knows by heart.

Now he jumps out of his car and yells at them.
They turn around and look at him.
She yells something.
The man of the dreams runs at the man who will piss in his pants.
She jumps between them.
And the knife of the dreams catches her in her heart.

This is the part of the dream
that maybe he did not dream
or maybe it is that part of the dream
that he would always change
or maybe it is that part of the dream
that went to someone else.
But this is that part of the dream
that happened two blocks from here.

Because I Work Fast Food

That night at the grocery store
working at my second job
selling newspaper subscriptions
asking all who walked by
“Are you a subscriber?”
“Like a free paper?”

“Sure” she said
“May I ask why you don’t subscribe?”I said.
“Because I work fast food”she said as she headed for the apples.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Good thing to eat if you work fast food.
Working less than a full 40 hours gets you no health insurance.
And no newspaper.


Mickey and I walk into the Coffee Works.
It is a bright fall day outside.
Just two friends having a conversation. I am sucking down my espresso and she is having a capuccino. Gail, that tall, short haired lady who works there, comes over to our table and says that she found something interesting. It was on the dumpster when she took out the trash. Gail hands me a small clear envelope. She says that it was taped to the side of the dumpster. I open the envelope and it is full of old religious medals and prayer cards. The sort of relics that you might collect during a lifetime of being a devout Catholic. But saved in an envelope and taped to the side of a dumpster. And found by Gail and delivered into my hands. My hands. I am a Catholic and I go to mass. And I eat the consecrated host. And I drink the holy wine turned into blood. And I sin. And I repent.
And I say the prayers. And I doubt sometimes. And I believe sometimes.
And this little envelope comes into my hands. The oldest looking medal in the envelope is a small grey Saint Anthony medal. It has a small red glass bead on the back that is holding a tiny little piece of cloth. And it says Saint Anthony relic on the medal. When you lose something you are suppose to pray to Saint Anthony and the thing will be found. Mickey tells me you ask Saint Anthony for help in finding a mate. At least they do in Mexico. On a bright fall day , Saint Anthony finds me. He finds me. Me in my envelope with all of my relics. Who asked him to do this?

Foto of Envelope from the Dumpster

This is the envelope containing prayer cards and relics that Gail found taped to the side of a dumpster. The incident inspired my poem "Relics".

Friday, May 13, 2005

Billy the Kid Reflecting on How Pat Garrett Can Not Be Trusted

Pat this is getting old. Everytime I start getting
my life together you have to come along and kill me.
I am beginning to think that you are not my friend.
I don't really trust you anymore ,Pat. See, when you
pull that trigger, the gun flashes, and the bullit
crawls across this space and my body explodes.
I have just enough time to reflect and remember
that you do this to me over and over. But somehow,
when the universe starts all over , and its our turn
again, I always forget that you can not be trusted.

Dead Pinata

Dead pinata in a trash can
Was it a donkey?
Paper scraps in a trash can
Was it a monkey?
Body parts in a trash can

Beaten over and over
until it spilled it's guts on the ground
Blindfolded candy junkies,
beating it over and over
until it spilled it's guts on the ground

Little candies in colored wrappers on the ground

Dead pinata has memories of a warm August afternoon

Previously published on

Thursday, May 12, 2005


This guy wakes up again. Crazy dreams. Troubled sleep.


Almost clean clothes. Orange juice and a multivitamin.


Kisses the foto of his true love. Sign of the cross before the crucifix.


The old car starts. Thank you God. Music. Loud.


This guy waits for the call. He knows its coming.


It has before. It always comes. He ignores it. He runs.


He hides. He knows about these calls.


You take it and they kill you, even if you do it right this time.


You don't take the call and you die a little on the inside.


Good parking spot.


This guy buys a double espresso. Hero

Foto of Yellow Car and Me

Yellow Car and ME

Ron took this foto of Yellow Car and me. I was standing on the hood acting kind of crazy. Mike was sitting down at one of the outside tables in front of Ron's coffee shop. Mike died a few years ago. I miss him. The Yellow Car thru a rod and I sold it to a guy for fifty bucks who put a big old Buick engine in it. He raced it at the stock car races north of town.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Yellow Car

There use to be a little newspaper called the Fourth Street Review. It died. They had this writing contest. The people who ran the paper were my friends. I got 4th place. No money but I got a free pizza at Buffalo Alice. My girlfriend and I ate the pizza. It was a good pizza. This is the poem in a slightly altered version.

Yellow Car

The yellow car was not a taxi. It was only a yellow car. Maybe it use to be a taxi. Maybe it will be a taxi. It is a big car. It is a 1984 Chevrolet Caprice Classic. It has four doors and a white plastic rosary hanging from the rearview mirror. It is not afraid of sport utility vehicles. It is not afraid of pickup trucks. It likes to sing loudly to other cars and trucks. It is a happy car. It likes to go slow when luxery cars are behind it. It likes to eat a lot of gasoline. It likes to fart and belch in the morning. The car is not really yellow, but it is thinking it would like to be.It has the color of champagne.
It is happy with this color. It is only thinking of this change in color. You get a certain age, and maybe you want to change a little bit. This can hurt no one. Inside, it is the same. Very deep inside, it is the same. This change on the outside can hurt no one. But the yellow must be taxicab yellow. You want to know why? This yellow is very strong. It can take a lot of punishment. And in the right light, it is invisible to police cars. The rosary is not all white. It is red and white. These are strong colors, too.