Hoe Song

sunrise

delta dawn

crawfish castles

on fire

gumbo adds

ten pounds

to boots

already all

approaches a hundred

 

hard road

shimmers

wet mirages

thick wet

breaths

sheets of sweat

hoe against callus

 

white shirt

white hat

standing on the road

careful clean black shoes

wants my vote

 

hoe sings

a scratchy song

go away rich man

cut weed

not cotton

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I Cannot Ask

Old store one

 

I cannot ask

nor they refuse

its Fathers Day

what do you want?

I cannot ask

daylong ramble

up highway

nowhere

 

shops

open

or closed

food junk

and cows

 

one hundred miles

green boredom

cardom

boredom

bad food

good

 

urine and

cockroaches

hotcases

corncakes

corndogs

 

cannot ask

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A Reduction of Breakfast

I am very curious to know if my removing almost 100 words improves or weakens this poem. You are also welcome to tell me neither one is worth reading, or that neither or one or the other is a poem, or even that you think I am nuts for whatIi choose to eat for breakfast, and nuttier still for sharing it this way. Onions for Breakfast

I made an image with the pieces side by side, but i am not sure if they are big enough for most people to read, so here they are as text:

Onions for Breakfast

 

Chop, chop, chop

But first the slurpy sound of running one’s fingers under the first non-papery layer of five Vidalia onions, knowing you will not get the onion smell off your hands for a day or two, not really caring

Then chop, chop, chop, into the large black skillet, the crunch of fresh ground black pepper, and a very generous shaking of curry,

Jamaican, not Asian, but is good, too.

 

Chop, chop, chop,

Five beautiful red Scottish Bonnets, on these, the quick rinse in cold water and the plop plop plop of pulling the stems out. This time, careful to not handle the chopped pieces or seeds. They will punish me later in the eyes when I wipe my face with my fingers.

 

Actually, this morning, the pepper went in first, with the glorious richness of heat coming out of the pain, promising the sweet pain only someone of puritan extraction can fully appreciate.

Soft popping as the unsalted butter, the compromise I make to keep my doctor happy, though he was amazed at my 118 over 80, last visit, still no matter, enough curry and bonnets and I don’t miss the salt. When I taste it now it feels like cheating, like cream in my coffee

Onions yellow and translucent as the curry colors and the heat and butter cook them.

Just to browning before adding to the large steel pot waiting with beans and hot sausage already cooking.

 

The sausage is Odum’s

I probably should boycott

But I don’t know of s progressive southern sausage maker. Can a pig processor even be progressive? Well, I raised pigs, and look at me, a godhonest commie, well kind-like

The onions and pepper are ready to be baptized with the wicked sausage and sacred beans.

Breakfast in a bit.

 

Onions for Breakfast (reduced by 95 words)

 

Chop, chop,

first the slurp, slurp, running fingers under non-papery layer

five Vidalia onions,

onion smell on your hands a day or two, not caring

 

Chop, chop,

into large black skillet, the crunch of fresh ground black pepper,

a generous shaking of curry,

Jamaican, not Asian, but good.

 

Chop, chop,

Five red Scottish Bonnets, quick rinse tap water, plop-plop, pulling stems.

Careful to not handle chopped pieces or seeds. They punish my eyes when I wipe my face.

 

This morning, pepper first, glorious richness of heat coming out of sweet pain,

someone of puritan extraction appreciates.

Soft popping unsalted butter, compromise I make for my doctor, though he was amazed at my 118 over 80, last visit, no matter, enough curry and bonnets, I don’t miss salt. When I taste it now it’s cheating, like cream in coffee.

Onions, yellow and translucent curry colored to butter browning added to steel pot, beans and hot sausage already cooking.

 

Odum’s, should I boycott?

But I don’t know of progressive southern sausage makers.

Can a pig processor be progressive?

I raised pigs, me, a godhonest commie, well kind-a-like.

Onions and pepper ready to be baptized with wicked sausage and sacred beans.

Breakfast in a bit.

 

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AN ABSENCE OF GOOD NEWS – MAY 2017 

Does this imply

bad news,

as all is,

yin and yang?

 

Where on

that wheel

is the wide

gray zone

running thru

the middle

like a fat

river snake?

 

In my house

there is an

absence of good breakfast

my son wants to know

not, if all breakfasts are bad,

but why we call

people from Indiana

Hoosiers.

 

I ask what

should we call them,

to which he replies,

“Indianaians”

and we laugh

and agree it

sounds like a car

that won’t start.

 

“That is why,”

I pronounce.

 

And we eat

a breakfast that

is not so bad.

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Layers

Four rednecks

wash a 4×4

at 9 pm,

1 block over

a short Guatemalan

flies north

on his bike.

 

A homeless couple

share love

in the liquor

store parking lot,

her street walker

skirt pulls high

as she stretches

for their embrace.

 

The gay prom

is packed

with shiny people

being as lovely-perfect

as society seems to

think they aren’t

 

the hooker

in dirty jeans

raids the free

condoms jar

under the smiling blessing

of the very

gay center director

 

culture is dirt

stacked a certain way,

here it lies

in the street,

on skin,

mostly in generations.

 

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This is Manchester

the arena

Damascus street

Cypriot shore

flags

gored the living and dead

“Wait a minute tell you (ah)
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang”

 

forever ash in mouth,

your baby dead,

another

barrel bombed

in Syria,

pointless political statement

you don’t care about,

your child forever dead

nobody cares, nobody brings her back

you need to die and kill

someone before you do

 

this monster

murdered your baby

the same

you kill and die,

you are him

somebody’s baby

Syria or Yemen

forever snatched.

 

the pile gets taller

politicians keep winning

people keep dying

part of a chain

to break

 

you want to die

to kill a few on the way

yesterday you

a salesman

worried summer vacation

what middle school

for your daughter.

 

now none matters

Manchester today,

Fuck United and a beer!

your mates buy you a pint

you will be excited

for ManU

and cotton

and steel?

  1. no. no.
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The Count

As a boy

I counted years

And soon

Dreamed of

How many novels

I would write

 

I remember

the braided rug

reading comics

grandma read obits

I wondered why

 

Then truck driver father

counts dollars

kids grow up,

who is left?

 

Left to count?

tombstones

empty bedrooms

ever smaller number

of family, of friends

 

dead

dead

they soon

are all dead

no novels, little money,

children gone,

dead

dead

and then

I am gone

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