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May 2018 · 881
Golgotha
Busbar Dancer May 2018
She has never built sandcastles.
She has never toed the surf along the Gulf of Mexico.
She's only ever known these mountains;
these cold, granite monuments to impassibility
that reduce the sky to slits,
somehow managing to make the heavens smaller.

Half closed eyelids with their own trap-door gravity.

Short lives last eternities too
and there is beauty to be had
- even here -
It's just that everyone should get to build sandcastles sometimes.
Busbar Dancer May 2018
People only ever want to ask me about
the poetry -
those verses about
busted up noses in outer space;
about the pros working
way down passed
the corner of Broad and Main;
about fistfights and hard, hard drinking.
But I built a flowerbed this weekend...
Twenty two tastefully irregular stone blocks
in a crescent moon shape,
filled with the blackest of soils.
The sweat of toil.
The digging.
The planting.
Exotic grasses. Asian maybe?
Purple and yellow flowers.
Zinnias or some **** thing.
All covered in a thick blanket of brown mulch.
It's a fine thing to have dirt on your hands
instead of blood.
No one ever asks me about flowerbeds.
Busbar Dancer May 2018
Friday
as reminder
of how cruel the time.
(Invariability)
Of how intractable the wind and weather.
(Inevitability)

I cry the cry of the reformed mean spirited;
the once-unholy-then-unholy-again;
the backslid.
It's been so long since I've sinned,
come short of the glory,
come at all (costs)
It would feel good to make a fist again.

Please render me in subtle shades
when you paint me into your masterpiece;
barely discernable from the canvas.
A ghost in achromatic acrylics.
Apr 2018 · 823
The Acolyte
Busbar Dancer Apr 2018
I'm terrified of not having at least one secret that only I know.
Saturn moves into capricorn
as  conqueror
rather than lover.

I keep drawing the tower card.

Space has no boundary.
Down is relative.
We know, then,
that it is entirely possible to
just
keep
falling.
Indefinitely.
Devils roam free in the sixth house.

I've been drawing the tower card.
I keep drawing the tower card.

The snake I am is not the snake I was.

Tower card. Tower card.

"Mama, some pieces are missing from this puzzle."
"Only the piece with the eyes printed on it, baby."

Drawing from memory, now.

Come on and touch
this broken husk
before it crumbles
away to dust, and
something different
is left sitting
at the foot of your bed.

Inevitability.

Might be
that there is no Heaven,
but
there are certainly heavens.
Apr 2018 · 863
The Myth or the Maelstrom
Busbar Dancer Apr 2018
I only ever wanted
to sleep
for a thousand years tonight -
To awaken bathed
in the cool, blue light of the future
with its promised obsolescence.
I will embrace this since
the warm, yellow light of the past
has done nothing
but tell me lies.

Tell me lies.
Mar 2018 · 1.1k
Gluetrap Stigmata
Busbar Dancer Mar 2018
The setting of traps
has always seemed
like a tacit endorsement
of the mice.

Acknowledgement.
Validation.
Admission of failings as a homeowner –
(cracked baseboards or an unsealed gap in the door.)

We are usually responsible
for our own infestations, after all.

The relationship with the mice is codified
“you are vermin,
I am not.
I will ****.
You will die.”

Thus the mice are transfigured,
Christ-like.
Frozen in fear,
frozen in time,
laid bare
on a sticky, chemical
altar of sacrifice.

Saviors
giving their lives
so that we may preserve
those unwanted crumbs
in the vacant space
between the couch and loveseat
where the vacuum won’t reach.
Jan 2018 · 492
Proof of Concept
Busbar Dancer Jan 2018
We rise
not like smoke from the flame
to demonstrate
the Law of Conservation of Energy
-matter shifting forms-
Violent change followed by
heavenward ascension.

We rise
not like the phoenix from the ashes.
No glorious re-emergence from
the ruined form
of what came before.
No rebirth as
the middle stage
of an endless cycle.

Instead
we rise
like an orchid, blooming,
up from the shitheap.
We reach for the sun
even while
our roots sink deep into the filth.

This chain was my home.
This chain is my home.
This chain
will not
always be my home.

I’ve seen a hundred things stranger than
a ship that steers itself.

Not all slaves
have a master
after all.
Jan 2018 · 1.1k
Quiet Times
Busbar Dancer Jan 2018
We can grind our teeth
down to weathered tombstones

together.


Bound by love and sadness,
here we are
the rearguard of the desperate and the anxious -
holding hands
before an ocean
made of all the brakelights in the world.

There's no one I'd rather ignore warnings with
than you.
Busbar Dancer Feb 2017
Pleiades,
hot blue and extremely luminous.
From across the blackest ocean
seven sisters call, but
just three are putting out and
only one loves me.
That's okay...
She's been my favorite
since she said,
"It takes a mighty rocket
to pierce the night sky and
****** into space."
******* right.
I write my atheist gospels
using only the letters of her name.
I collect the relics
of long dead nova clusters
to construct The Grand Heart Emoji.
And if I never make it back to space
maybe one day
we can hold hands
in San Diego.
Feb 2017 · 735
Amicitia Infernalis
Busbar Dancer Feb 2017
I want to be friends with Glenn Danzig.
We can conjure up some evil.
No lesser imps
or minor demons though.
Only a meeting with
the capital “D” Devil
because Glenn and I would command such an audience.

I want to be friends with Glenn Danzig.
We can giggle like schoolgirls
when Chuck Biscuits sits on that whoopie cushion we left out for him or
finds a fake, plastic eyeball floating in his coffee mug.

I want to be friends with Glenn Danzig.
We can go on the “Punch America’s Face Again” tour.
We wouldn't be singing in our slimy baritones on this road trip.
Just passing out black eyes
like Halloween candy.
Leaving a trail of busted noses and
broken hearts
in our wake.

There would be sleepovers.
Glenn and me
with Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten and
the ghost of Peter Steele in attendance.
Ouija Boards and light-as-a-feather.
Peter Steele would always win.
He is a ******* ghost after all.

We could give each other nicknames:
Goodboy Glenn and The Big Dill.
maybe a secret handshake…
Nothing too elaborate.
Just cool, y’know?

We would text one another
after the season finale of The Walking Dead:

Darryl needs to die he’s not even in the comic but it’ll probably be Michonne there’s no justice on T.V. for cool black girls this show has just been a study in emotionally manipulating its audience since the beginning anyway why are we the only ones who see that

Why are we the only ones who see that?

Are you listening Glenn?
Feb 2017 · 1.3k
But That If I Could
Busbar Dancer Feb 2017
Right now
in your kitchen
on the bottom rack of the dishwasher
resides a secret;
a dark spot on your soul –
a malignant little horror
that threatens to destroy
your sense of self worth.

Maybe it’s a butter knife
with an in-congruent rust spot
on one side of the blade…
Maybe it’s a random salad fork,
the final piece remaining
from a long forgotten flatware set,
with a fossilized chunk of radicchio
lodged between the third and fourth tines.

Probably it’s the fork.

There it has sat
without being moved;
without being touched;
just existing as the metaphor that it is
for 8 straight wash cycles.
The result has never varied.
The dirt remains.

Soon will come a ninth wash cycle.
You hope that things will change.
You know that they will not.
Despite this unwavering conviction
that the fork will always be *****,
the next time you run the cycle,
open the dishwasher door,
peer through the gauzy veil
of lemon scented fog
and see the small bit of filth
you will still feel disappointed.
You will grow a little bitterer.
You will be a little more contemptuous.
The world will be a deeper shade of gray.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can go
right now
into the kitchen
to the bottom rack of the dishwasher and
reach down
with a trembling hand
to grasp destiny.

You are bigger than this fork.
You are bigger than this fork.

You
are bigger
than this fork.

With a sense of control firmly clasped between your fingers
take that 15 uncomfortable seconds
to scrape away the debris with your thumbnail
and then be free.

BE FREE

Deep and resounding will be
the sigh of relief;
the utter completion;
the contentment absolute
that you experience
when you place that clean salad fork
back in the drawer.

It will never match
the new silver
that your In-Laws gave you last Christmas, but
at least it will be clean and
in its home
safely ensconced
in that wire organizer.

Right now
in your kitchen
on the bottom rack of the dishwasher
is a chance for redemption.
If you hung in all the way to the end, you have my gratitude.
I hope it was worth it.
Feb 2017 · 1.4k
Prologue To An Epitaph
Busbar Dancer Feb 2017
I've never read The Torah, but
I'm reasonably sure
it is a travel guide
for a desert getaway.

I've never dreamed of
red headed priestesses
who can move their hips
like cement mixers.
They probably have sharp teeth and
slender fingers.

I always thought that
the cosmos would bend down
to give me a dap.
It still may.

I'm full of dark and weird judgement.
All for you.
Sometimes the darkness wanes
while the weirdness lingers.
Atomic quatrain explosion. Kaboom. **** it English!
Busbar Dancer Jan 2017
Sun come up but
not for me.
My name is not whispered by the wind
when it blows through that tall stand of pines.
What now passes for a winter night,
with its tepid atmosphere and
lack of magic,
does not call.
If it did I wouldn't answer.
Standing sentry
are the haints and phantoms -
the faded pains
felt as echoes are heard,
left forgotten but waiting.
All of this time spent idly watching the world feels wasted, but
we've been secretly reinventing nuance.
I dont recognize it anymore.
Too bad, really, since
I've always loved subtle difference.
Jan 2017 · 6.3k
Mind The Bathos
Busbar Dancer Jan 2017
There’s a menacing chill
on the air
this evening.
“Had I the wherewithal
I’d leave this place,”
I think to myself
as the first warning is issued
by that unfriendly cloud
hanging low and dark
over the mountain.
While once I thought that
the rain would fall with purpose,
I’ve come to understand
that floodwater has no manifesto
except to place the scumline as high as it can.
We can stack these sandbags tall
around our hearts
without regard for what’s on either side of the dam.
They’re only transient monuments to ineffectiveness anyway.


An assassin stands at the corner
wondering if I’ll ever leave my house
and its warmth.
I have news for him, though…
There’s nowhere to go, and
the weatherman thinks we’ll have a storm.
Hoping your gutters are clean.
Busbar Dancer Jul 2016
The ghosts of old raindrops
mock and scold.
Their scorn writ large
on these dusty roads and in these dusty throats.
To tote the barge but not lift the bail
ain't no kind of protest.
Spit in the well and
hope the master draws up that bucket-full.
Wishes.
Still, the giver of life
serpentines through this valley
like the Euphrates did
in that one book, but
it does not matter
since the scythe swings
in such wide circles
this time of year.
We can bring in sheaves until dusk
then fish for men in the morning but
our souls are still corrupted.
Our hearts are rotten like old pears.
I'm so thirsty.
Apr 2016 · 912
Number Two
Busbar Dancer Apr 2016
Even the rich
have cement boxes
full of ****
buried in their back yards.

We are all of us
but one errant ****** flush away
from being up to our ankles
in yesterday's horrors.

Remember this when shopping for shoes.
Missed y'all
Apr 2016 · 803
Crisis At 6th and Pine
Busbar Dancer Apr 2016
A block from the office
the city is tearing down an overpass.
Today they're beating the **** out of it
with a pneumatic hammer
the size of a freight train.
Its pounding
in time with my heartbeat
like the worlds largest metronome
suspended from the end of a crane.

Bang – Bang – Bang – Bang

I keep wondering
what’s going to happen
to all those buskers and hookers
who peddle their wares under that bridge.
I'm not seeing it though and
no observation means no poetry.
No poetry means no catharsis, and
my guts are full of hornets.

Bang – Bang – Bang – Bang

It’s the great whisky **** of the spirit,
the all-encompassing lack of passion;
the longing for old friends;
the desire to lean on old habits
the chinks in something resembling old armor.
the crease, the seam, the fold.

Bang – Bang – Bang – Bang

Misfire on eight.
Misfire on eight.
Misfire on eight.
There’s this pain in my head;
behind the left eye
where the secrets live.
driving and grief stricken.
(misfire on eight.)
The headache has no name, but
it sings a song.

Bang – Bang – Bang – Bang
Apr 2016 · 872
Wide Berth
Busbar Dancer Apr 2016
It's not necessary
To walk through a cemetery
We'll still get graveyard dirt on our boots.
There are billions of bodies
Innocence buried everywhere.
Just take a step.
They are the foundation of things
This hopeless empire built on corpses


Wine-drunk time well spent
in cheap shirts
with ring around the collar.
Sweating. Sobbing.
Furthering the stains and their hidden agenda.

I have a nice watch though.
It was a gift. From the cosmos.
It’s this inside joke we share and
we're laughing at you because
you don’t get it.
Opening Stanza completely retuned by our brother Torin Galleshaw. Many thanks to him AND his fancy hat.
Busbar Dancer Apr 2016
Neal died on the train tracks somewhere in Mexico.

Jack died at his Mother's house in St. Petersburg, FL.

Remember that.
Apr 2016 · 658
The Part Where We Boogie
Busbar Dancer Apr 2016
What happens when
a 400 year old
hillbilly vampire
from outer space
comes to Gig City
on April Fool's Day
with a guitar and
a bad attitude?

We will soon find out...
Unknown Hinson tonight at Revelry Room!
Me and Gomez will see you sunzabitches there!

Bring liquor and exclamation points!!
Mar 2016 · 1.2k
Hurt Show
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
These are not the times
for poetry…
For lofty prose or
roses budding in
warm sunlight
to gently perfume
the wind with
a delicate reminder
of tenderness.

These are the days of
****** knuckles;
chipped teeth.
The days of beating the truth from strangers,
then strangling that truth
with a piece of garden hose.
The bad days, the **** days
when poets take up fighting and
fighters take to ******.
The goddammitfuckyou days.

Welcome to the clinched fist.
Beautiful things must be whispered.
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
Two thousand odd years ago today
a Hebrew freedom fighter
was brutally and mercilessly tortured
before receiving a
summary execution.

Happy "Good" Friday.
Mar 2016 · 959
Control Burn
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
When the ground jumped up to meet me
it was with the warmth of a former lover
left on good terms
(the timing just wasn't right.)

Surrender generated complicity.
Pound foolish, long face
betrayed something lost;
So with arms spread I fell
and fell…
and fell.

Lessons taught, forgotten...
Something about having big dreams.
A house doesn't need ghosts
to be haunted.

Send in the gods
so I can spit in their faces
one by one.
Just not Shiva.
Not yet.
Mar 2016 · 2.0k
Hedonist Hygiene
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
I didn’t shower this morning.
That’s fine since
I intend
to bathe in sin
come evening.
The above is a true story.

The fine people at New Holland Brewing make a bourbon barrel stout. Dragon's Milk. It comes in 4 packs and bombers. Start with the bomber. Trust me. I'm not shilling, as such, its just that I'm sure there a lot of good poems at the bottoms of those bottles.
Mar 2016 · 945
Like Gilgamesh At Walmart
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
Arachnid fingers
picking at my heart
like the peach pit
torn from its soft, sweet home and
swiftly discarded.
Stuck to the side of a garbage bag,
perhaps one day it will take root
in some far off landfill and
grow into a clumsy metaphor
for beauty
amid heaps of ****.

That girl
with the cotton candy colored hair at
the corner of Fourth and Chestnut
struggles
with four garment bags.
Where the **** is she going
with four garment bags?
I see her every day,
sweating,
shifting her burdens
from arm to shoulder,
then back to arm.
Except when I’m running late;
quarter past whenever.

At least tomorrow is Friday
when we can all gag on our toothbrushes.
The privilege of a clean mouth
should come
with some discomfort.
But **** girl, for real. Find a steamer trunk. The kind with little wheels and a telescoping handle? You don't have to be anyone's Sisyphus.
Mar 2016 · 779
Another Stupid Opus
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
Twixt here and horror
the path is littered with
chapped lips and broke-down transmissions.
Mandatory overtime.
That itty-bitty “but for this” was enough
to cleave my soul in twain, but
not right down the middle, no,
since it would represent a minor mercy
to be blessed with
some sense of congruity
in times like these.
Instead, what remains is
a big half and
a small half and
the big half eats the small half and
is left invariably lonely and sad and
filled with regret for this
lack of impulse control.
That **** is ******* me up, man,
its ******* me up.
Reserve your judgment.
Please.
from the archives
Mar 2016 · 6.4k
Plague of Sadness
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
One need only look to the four winds
to find four frowns;
eight sad eyes
straining to see
through stained glass tears.
The man said "I die daily" but
he didn't have a constant stream of
status updates
to maintain.
I define myself daily.
Being special has
thus far
not protected me from
the unbearable weight
of today.
All of the analog cigarettes and
old fashioned daydreams
in the world
cannot save me now.
If I'm not seen
am I really here?
Heavy hearts and weary heads
reside respectively in the chests and on the necks
of everyone I encounter.
The gas station attendant
feels empty and
is bereft of a sense of irony.
The world ends
not with bang OR whimper,
but
with a deep and baleful sigh...
with a deep and baleful sigh...
with a deep and baleful...
Mar 2016 · 967
Salt
Busbar Dancer Mar 2016
conquered cities 
reduced to dirt, then
sown with salt so nothing grows. ever. 
assaulted senses bring fevered dreams of
caeser's dying breath escaping when I exhale. 

fate breathes as well; 

a single, ragged, pep-o-mint tickle on my neck 
so I know she's there... 
just behind me. 

I'm finding it difficult 
to keep the salt from my wound- 
to keep the sea from my door- 
to keep the plank from my eye- 
to keep off the moors at night 
  when the moon is blind to my indiscretions.
Feb 2016 · 942
Musings or Whatever
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
I see two fire trucks pass each other
going opposite directions.
As I’m trying to think of a clever metaphor
for poor planning
I remind myself that at least one family
is standing in a thigh high pile of fine ash
that was their home
just an hour ago.
Maybe two families.
These thoughts and others haunt me when I’m pulled from my duck footed sidewalk reverie
by a lottery ticket stuck in the riff-raff that separates
Gateway Ave from the parking lot of the Nervous Hospital.
It is laid bare like a mugging victim;
crumpled up and inches from the gutter.
That was someone’s dream
just a day ago.
Think I’ll cross the street-
give that homeless vet a dollar.
It’s my last one.
My house has fleas, but
it ain’t on fire.
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
Charcoal cook fire and a cold beer. *******, winter!
Spring cometh, poets... what's your favorite smell?
Feb 2016 · 652
On Your FM Dial
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
I wish I was the kind of person that liked Bjork.
Alas, I am not.
The Pixies are cool, and
I like every band Glen Danzig has ever been in,
but that isn't fashionable.
I really did turn into a Martian though.

Lately, its been all Vic Chesnutt with his 2 good fingers and
delicate warble.
**** I miss that guy.

Remember delicate warbles? Neither does Bjork.
hashtag light on Friday
hashtag #
#hashtag
# I don't really understand how this feature works
hashtag why cant we just use keyword searches this **** seems lazy
#sorry about that I was just lashing out because I get angry at things I don't understand. I didn't get my first computer until like 5 years ago and by then I was already 32 or 33 and well past the point where learning something new is comfortable
#**** yall anyways I don't owe you a ******* thing least of all an explanation this is a poetry site not a ******* hashtag factory
#sorry again no kidding things I don't understand confuse and enrage me. I full on freaked out at a Mongolian grill the other day because I couldn't figure out how to make Szechuan Shrimp happen
#if there is some secret alchemy to creating your favorite dish then why don't they post a chart or graph or something
#next time Im just going to red ****** bistro where you say "id like the Szechuan shrimp please." and they say "Yes sir, Mr Vince, one minute."
#now Im super sad about my outburst
#giants cry really big tears
#yall don't care. you never loved me
hashtagI know that isn't true. I miss you please come back
# whatevs
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
Neither table nor tide has turned.
The worm sits still.
Perhaps autumn will wane forever.
Fate has an ace up her sleeve, I'm sure,
since she's a cheating *****
who won't show her cards
even on the big blinds.
On these long, cold nights
the breath of the devil
Smells like coal-fired power and retail transactions.
Click here for free expedited shipping
if you're willing to breath the diesel fumes
pouring out of the Wilcox Tunnel
like cordite discharge from a gun barrel.
**** it.
I still love ice cold Coca Cola Classic
with its pretty can as red as
the blood of Christ.
Feb 2016 · 1.2k
Blackberry Winter
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
Soon the Dogwoods will bloom, and
bring one last gasp;
A eulogy for winter-
a final little bit of cold remembrance
for our unwashed faces.

Summer is for a different song. Brand new wrongs,
slick fingers and
a sunnier side of sin. The good kind.
Twixt those sweaty inner thighs
hides a secret worth savoring; a secret worth harboring.
Salvation is warm and...
I digress.

In the interim lies spring,
when we debate the merits of
crucifixion and/or fertility.
Around here, crucifixion wins since
we love a good ******
more than a good ****.
Who am I to argue?

So we wait for
something different.
Breath bated -
anxiously anticipating change
with a hitch in our collective chest.

That change will come but
not before the blackberries have had their say.
Feb 2016 · 822
Elendee
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
Your laugh.
The big one.
The loud one.
The "I'm at home laugh."

Not the quiet, public laugh;
the polite titter for
dinner with aquantances.

I want the big throated, down deep laugh.

I want your breathless whispers against my neck.

I want one of those hugs you give me when you mean it. The desperate embrace.

I want minutes. All of them... to soak up the seconds as the thirsty are nourished by dewdrops.

I will love all of the sadness and uncertainy  and anxiety.
These are minutes too.
I wish I'd been better, sooner.

I've loved you so much for so long it feels like all of the love that ever was
Over the course
Of forever.

I love you so much that I wish I had a unique word.
A language singularity
that was only for you.
A word that I didn't have to share with shampoo commercials and free lunches and other people.

I (_) you with all my heart. Know that. On this, the fakest of all holidays,
Tha one that you hate the most,
Please know that I (
) you.
Some things I want for Valentine's Day
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
Speaking of how
these Ladies of the Night
must hate Daylight Savings Time
since the sun doesn’t set until nine, and
the cloying summer scent of honeysuckle
drowns the smell of their knock-off Gucci Guilty.
Except there’s that one A.M. Pro
who works the whole stretch in front of
The Towing and Recovery Museum
from 7 something till lunch.
She’s tried to keep a low profile, but
is hoping to meet that one lonesome soul
who needs to get blown
at ten o’clock in the ******* morning.
Sometimes I wave at her when I drive by,
wishing her the best,
whatever that may look like...

The fasten seatbelt warning light is flashing on my dashboard but
I’m buckled in, rest assured.
That’s probably important, but
it’s like what Don Q whispered to Sancho through the Spanish gloom:
“I need you.”
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
She smiled
her best hurricane smile
with lightening instead of teeth and
eyes at once anxious and unkind,
whispering first,
“you ain’t near good enough.”
Then,
“I’m probably going to **** you tomorrow.”

The gate has
an intimidating portcullis
secured with
a five dollar padlock
from Ace Hardware.
That’s enough to keep me out.
Over the high south wall I can see
broken glass treetops,
not so much reaching for the sky as
probing it for weaknesses.

I stand and stare
as day turns night.
Some far off moon rises;
a sickly crescent
that reminds me of

a smile
    
    like a hurricane
        
           with thunderheads
                
                  instead of dimples.


Suddenly
I am filled with dread

for tomorrow.
Feb 2016 · 904
Them Ole Bones
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
them ole bones - 
they was made for diggin! 
they was made for diggin, an' 
they's forgot about lovin. 

that **** girl - 
she was on to something! 
she was on to something, but 
she ain't got nothing. 

them ole weirdos - 
kick up an awful racket! 
such an awful racket... 
sounds like something tragic. 

**** ole heartache - 
gone forever! 
said it's gone forever! 
just like magic
Dusting off this little number for a friend. You know who you are... We likes to keep it light on a Frid'y
Feb 2016 · 1.0k
As Long As We Have Cable
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
I have 17 rounds for my thirty aught six, and
a five gallon barrel of kerosene. 
My Papaw would have said,
"you're set son," but
I bet he never counted on
all of our best Uber drivers
sliding off the side of Signal Mountain.
Who knew suede shoes weren't weather proof?
We used to pray for a way to make it through
one more unbearable winter.
Now we pray that the power stays on so that
we don't have to burn coal oil and
experience that unpleasant odor.
Praise be for The Tennessee - American Water company.
That's where water was invented.
For much of the "settled" history of the region, The Tennessee-American Water Company was privately owned. Think about that. One family "owned" the water necessary for the survival of literally hundreds of thousands of people. When the city of Chattanooga finally decided to intervene in 2007, conservative groups from all over the country came to the city to protest. "How dare the government interfere with free market economics," the cries went out... This despite the fact that the entire notion of free market economics is predicated on competition and, to my knowledge, there were no mom-and-pop water companies around to offer consumers a choice.

The protests abruptly stopped when people got their first water bill from the newly reformed company and it was 35% lower than they'd been paying.
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
Less than 10 miles from my house
is an insane asylum
(Granny said "nervous hospital")
(Papaw said "***** hatch.")
It is built on an Indian Burial Ground.
There is an adjacent golf course.

How long, oh lord,
before we get to see
affluent white men
in ****** pants
running for their lives
from a swarm of psychos and
the ghost of
the displaced Noble Savage?
No ****. Check out the Wikipedia entry for Moccasin Bend. There's also a brewery. Happy golfing suckers!
Feb 2016 · 513
Epileptic Dispatch
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
This addiction to cogency
is holding me back.
We can snap our fingers, and
tap our toes
in different time but
the results would be the same.
The Pride of Saint Vitus
has a name, but
there are no parades
because, well, can you imagine?
I have little to give but
you are welcomed to it.
Its been said that cynics are disappointed dreamers but
as a disappointed dreamer
I say cynics are *******.
There are judicious uses of time and there are
beautiful wastes.
Its a shame that
I need to lay down in the evenings
when "good" T.V. is on and
the sirens wail a little bit less down on the boulevard but
there are these echoes, see, and
they keep me from reading that book I started in the winter of '77.
Let me rest a minute.
Feb 2016 · 665
Off-Brand Hate
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
so much wrong 
in these hearts. 
these heads, laid neatly in a row 
on a pillow of stone are 
filled with fevered dreams 
of old kingdoms wasted and gone. 
fitful sleep stretched and stressed until 
tears fall upon this chest 
where you once rested and whispered 
something about home. 
no mercy, ******* – 
no redemption found on the skinny streets remembered from 
a misbegotten youth. 
no escape, *******,
up groaning steps 
made sweaty by air as humid as 
the breath of fate. 
i’m a stranger 
whose tires are unwelcomed on your highways and 
whose dollars are unwanted at your filling stations and 
whose soul is beyond saving. 
blood pooled on the sawmill floor 
when hungry teeth touched tender flesh, and 
left only a phantom.
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
As to this
cobbled together understanding:
The universe despises absolutes, and
cares not for truth seeking.
The grand spiral needs no faith.
It is not with the master's death, then
that we have become spiritual ronin,
beholden to none;
without obligation -
without the comfort of purpose....
Instead, here we are,
the rain dogs of the cosmos;
lost and alone
on a strange world
with no scent to follow.
We are the orphans of sun and moon -
bad parents if ever there were.
Feb 2016 · 857
Post Apocalypse SE
Busbar Dancer Feb 2016
grass grows through the cracks in the asphalt
of what was once glass avenue.
flashes of grayed sunlight reveal blasted facades
offering a peek through the gauzy veil of
years both distant and near.
woe be unto those whose days are spent
looking backward, for the past holds naught but
the pail glimmer of souls lost
to all but thought and memory.
shade and spirit haunt this place.
the river rages unabated over the locks at TVA;
a reminder of the folly of all grand designs;
there is no power here.
gone are your craft beers and artisan pickles and
small plate miracles filled with
foraged mushrooms and
duck confit.
gone are your bike trails and long hikes and
nature walks
down around the ***, the pan and the handle.
appalachia has fallen.
the last stand lasted all of sixty seconds;
a minute too long.

— The End —