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May 2019 · 74
Without you
Alex McQuate May 2019
Without you it seems so much murkier,
So much harder to tell what is real.

It is like a curtain that you lift up,
Allowing me to see the audience beyond,
But truths of people,
Instead of the people themselves.

Without you the curtain is lowered,
I can hear the murmurs of the awaiting gathering,
But without you it remains only that,

Without you everything is amplified,
So much harder to keep a handle,
But so much better in a different kind of way.

What an entire life would look like without you I wonder,
And better yet,
I wonder why it fills me with a cautious kind of glee?
Feb 2019 · 148
Grenade disguised as a text
Alex McQuate Feb 2019
Leon Russell is tickling the ivories tonight,
Playing in his liquid and impossibly smooth way,
As I pull another Lucky Strike from a half empty pack,
As I contemplate the feeling in my gut.

As if an invisible hand is tugging at my guts,
Gentle but firm,
As I contemplate the words you just sent me,
Sending me into a spiral with effortless ease.

Making me pour over every punctuation mark like it might be the Rosetta Stone that'll decipher the text you dropped into my lap before you headed to bed.

Leon croons and I ponder,
Tap tapping ash into a growing pile upon the ashtray,
How could such a slip of a woman make me so nervous I wonder,
Like I'm rock climbing without a belay.

Keeping me on my heels,
Giving me whiplash in the worst kinda way,
Loving the way it feels,
But hating how the matter won't just stop bothing me and leave me to lay.

As Leon wraps up and exit the stage,
Good ol' Taylor saunders up and after taking a seat at the stool,
And begins to expertly play.

Realization I think begins to dawn,
And frankly scares me shitless,
To find that the text is actually a wonderful and terrifying grenade in disguise.
Leon Russel & James Taylor
Jan 2019 · 191
1 A.M. Mountain
Alex McQuate Jan 2019
As I sit here in a late night stupor,
Throat burning from cigarette smoke and hot ash,
I bear witness as Shaw cries out to DeYoung,
Trying so hard to give him a lift and a light,
To shore up the talented man's morale and instill a will to fight.

As he starts in on this,
I take a sip of coffee,
Burning lips and tongue upon the bitter brew,
With a muttered curse and a wince,
Eyes begin to relax just a bit,
As accolades are rained upon DeYoung.

But like that first distant rumble of faraway thunder,
That is the harpinger of a massive storm to come,
Tones beginning to change,
As if the more he speaks the more his patience wears until-


- an accusation is thrown out like a slap to the face,
That there's more that he can do,
If only he stopped getting in his own way.

Tap-tap upon the ashtray as ash falls into a heap of itself,
Lids growong heavier still,
The song like an anthem of conciousness,
And knowing that it would soon run out of steam.

Sweet sleep avoided,
Each nights dreams becoming vivid to a disturbing degree,
Like some kinda ****** up inversion as to how I want it to be,
Like how it use to be,
Before the hooks of this monotony sunk so deep as to embed into the bone.

The mountain seems so high as it towers overhead,
And makes me want to knock the **** out of me from so many months ago,
But erecting myself straight as tighten once again,
Clear and sharp once more.
Fooling Yourself- Styx w/ CYO orchestra
Dec 2018 · 215
Reality Beach
Alex McQuate Dec 2018
Why does one write?

What fickle emotion caused an individual to pour their thoughts into this fickle little beach we call reality?

Is it joy?
Such a blooming emotion that sends gentle waves that lap upon the shore,
Changing the way it looks over time,
Until one day it is unrecognizable lest you squint your eyes really hard,
and turn your head just-so.

Is it love?
That soaring thing that can bring new perspective to a shore that you have seemingly memorized through years of meandering along it's lengths,
Making everything bright and new again.

Is it anger?
A maelstrom that drives into the shore with an almost unatural fervor,
Furrowing and scarring the shoreline in a single night,
But it's effect lingers for many years to come.

Is it nostalgia?
That message in a bottle that you always seem to stumble into while exploring the shore's short length,
Only to realize that the messages have arrived always just a bit too late,
Not enough to cause a noticable impact upon the beach to an outsider,
But brings new meaning to the person who finds it.
Nov 2018 · 329
Thanksgiving In-Law Blues
Alex McQuate Nov 2018
Revelling in the sounds of rock,
Burning Turkish cigarettes down to the quick,
Enjoying oakey bouron and bud lite,
Floating through the stress of in-laws on a cloud of nostalgia at 120 mph.

Steppenwolf, Zeppelin, Rush, and Jethro Tull,
Performing a private concert,
Whilst I sit outside in a cardigan and trapper hat,
Counting down the hours till I can get back up on the Mountain again.

No signal within the warm ***** of the hollar,
Unless you want to go to the top of the mountain,
But you'd to busy hunting to care,
Chuck shoots on occasion,
But no great hunter would Chuck be,
Probably be queasy at dressing a buck,
I'd wager Chuck would upchuck.

Another dart down, about time to head back in,
Anderson exiting out with Locomotive Breath,
In to converse with the inherited family,
With a practiced smile in place,
Day dreaming of being in the woods.
Oct 2018 · 176
Fever dream
Alex McQuate Oct 2018
Townes crooning to my fevered head,
As I'm cast through a mindscape of love and hatred,
Shame and pride,
Sailing one great hallucination,
As if on a new rollercoast track,
Smoother than a ball bearing rolling across oiled glass.

Hooked by the hopeless story as it is told,
Of a curse laid upon those who have sight,
To see what lied in the fog and impenetrable,
Those vile machinations that they had laid.

Throat going dry as the mind burns and fills the burnt remains with cotton,
Time stretches out ahead,
A weight settling in behind the eyes.

The addict's words have such a painful splash across the airwaves,
it taking my fuzzy self a few moments that it isn't just Zandt's voice in the fray with a whirlwind of guitar strokes,
but a lonely harmonica,
That is his words droning through such a fabled instruments.

The walls warble with the tune,
The flag flutters into sight line as lungs are filled deep and shudder.

A controversial documentary plays as Zevon hammers upon the piano,
A crescendo of a warriors tale,
The old days of Rhodesia as it sung out like a beacon of the colonial world,
Right or wrong isn't my right to determine,
For I wasn't there,
Which brought back the last old guns of an even older world,
An age of adventures and thrills,
Unknown danger and reward.

As I think I settle back into the normal,
I look out and see only a half hour has passed,
And the fever is still burning strong.
Oct 2018 · 624
Sick Day thoughts
Alex McQuate Oct 2018
Jimmy Page and Towns Van Zant sit here,
Strumming out tunes in my living room,
Zant with his unique brand of country,
Page with his acoustic style that's so unique and blue.

Sounds drilling gently into the skulls of the unsuspecting,
Driving deep into the mind,
Defences cast aside at the overwhelming force of the medicine's effect,
Sending one into a journey of the mind,
Unknown depths and introspections dredged up in an unexpected discovery.

Gaining momentum,
Greater and greater,
Only to realize that this shall reach greater heights,
Heights that you will never have enough time to reach it, even if you had an extra 10,000 days.
Sep 2018 · 103
Cove Nocturnus
Alex McQuate Sep 2018
Sitting out on the dock,
So late even the bugs are mostly asleep,
Puffing on the last cigarette I brought down with me,
Taking in the brilliance of lake stars,
And the shimmering mirage-like reflections of the resort across the cove.

Two owls conversing somewhere up the lake,
Their soft calls echoing endlessly across the flooded valley's waters,
Forever a part of the lakes empty nocternal orchestra.

Soft laps of water as the denizens of the deep come out to eat,
As the fall breezes begin in earnest,
Bringing a slight chill like an indicator of the winter to come.

The crickets chirping a tune to the spiders as they weave their webs,
As a blinking green light of a lone boat chugs gently north,
A witness to this early-morning delight like me.

Stars so much more visible,
But not quite like what they are in the wilds of the north,
Twinkling becons of long dead planets and age old messages,
Ones that tell us how small we really are.
Sep 2018 · 79
Crown Vic Revelations
Alex McQuate Sep 2018
Why is it I always find myself writing on here,
When there's only 15% battery power left?
Almost like a creative procrastination,
Perhaps even delinquency.

Is it because the absolute hatred for endings?
Of being scared of the future,
Whilst being excited for it at the same time.

Sitting there smoking that last cigarette in the car,
Preparing for bed early for once,
In order to get a jump on the day.

Applications sent and the feeling of a long haul starting,
But with a bared grin of anticipation for the challenges ahead,
Revelling the struggle to come.
An end of an era
Aug 2018 · 153
Autumn's Birth
Alex McQuate Aug 2018
Eyes closed,
Fillings a'quivering,
As the dull background roar of the wind tearing by.

Eddie Vedder belting out the works of Etwistle, Townsend, Daltrey, Jones, and Moon.
Smoke exiting the windows as both my Father and I smoke.

Both laughing at the schadenfreude,
Seeing a traffic jam forming the other way,
Stretching out for 8 miles ahead,
With miles of more traffic to soon add on.

It's a shared humor at old jokes,
Shared a thousand times,
Like when we went hunting all those years ago.

I suppose it is nearing the time,
When my own path veers me so far away,
From the once small town I had grown,
Before I am to travel west,
In search of fufilling my purpose,
In service of the community as a whole.

The sun slowly setting,
As we reach the outskirts of Cincinnati,
The sky blue to flaring orange,
Lone clouds like embers being flung off the sun.
Aug 2018 · 335
The Ether
Alex McQuate Aug 2018
My mind roams up and out,
As my body heads east,
Bearing witness to both great and terrible accounts,
Riding on the banks of a river of fog,
Greying out of the physical world near complete.

Islands of treetops,
I pass by,
As tales of grandeur are told,
Great adventures and terrible fates whispered in my ear,
As fear begins to take hold.

As sullen worlds of lone clouds are surpassed,
Moving ever closer to the goal,
Satellites of radio towers hover below,
Broadcasting radiowaves to those who travel the ether,
Guiding them through the fog and the sorrow.
Jul 2018 · 165
Lake Morning
Alex McQuate Jul 2018
John Denver is my guest on the porch,
Gently playing off to my right,
As we take in the morning before us.

Sky a spectrum of pastel blues and gentle oranges,
Clouds upon the horizon a regal purple,
Water rippling gently forward,
To lap upon the pebbled shore.

Bald eagle perched up in his nest,
Surveying this beautiful land,
An avian king of the lake,
His stance is one of grace and imperious slendor.

Drive hard through the night we did,
To arrive at our perfect morning scene,
To leave behind the abject horror of the concrete and rebar forests,
To this place where God would go to fish.

Gently swaying on this bench,
Listening to Denver's crowning tune,
Everything feels just right,
In the land of lakes so blue.
Country Roads- John Denver
Jun 2018 · 139
Puzzle Piece
Alex McQuate Jun 2018
Someone seen before,
Your dark hair entrancing in the pleasant summer breeze,
In this place that seems both old and new.

Come a thousand miles,
To end up spellbound by your natural grace,
A look about you that invited natural curiosity,
With gentle eyes and kind words,
Quite literally causing me to stop in mytracks.

Kind words in a playful tone,
Heart a flutter,
Scaring the **** out of me in the process,
Not because you're trying to be hard to get,
But simply because you so very hard to forget.

In my late night musings I'll imagine chasing after,
But that is after my painful trip back to the Midwest,
Leaving behind the town of tunnels and tea parties.

Thoughts turn inward,
As space between me and that haunting place is increased,
As a gentle rain begins to decend upon Seneca land.

Perhaps whatever messages I might have glimpsed of are all imaginary,
Or mayhaps you feel the same?
A corner to the great puzzle I didn't even know I missed.

At that great imaginary horizon of mine I can just the tip of the obelisk to the east,
Silhouetted by the rising sun,
Standing as a marker for where I wish to be.
CSNY- Helplessly Hoping
May 2018 · 155
New York Girl
Alex McQuate May 2018
Sitting here alone,
Atop a pile of ash and burnt paper encased filters,
As Plant tells me of a girlong past,
Causing me to reminise.

Met by chance,
And instantly captured by your pure differentness,
The tint given to you by the city seemed to almost glow off of you in amber waves,
So different to what I was use to growing up in the Midwest.

Your starkness in the way you went about things,
Your personality drawing me deeper still.

Guilt I felt upon realizing what I felt,
For you were the sister to a man I could easily call a brother,
And tales told seemed somewhat tainted,
I knew some of your story without you knowing,
Like an invasion of privacy without doing anything wrong.

I'd come to visit you and the family,
My first trip to a place so large,
Everything so tall,
Nothing but in person did it injustice,
But alas I was only passing through.

I'd end up nestled into the mountains and lakes of the deep north,
And sometimes when flying I'd imagine I could just see the tips of the scycrapers on the horizon,
Like fingers on a hand waving a hello.

Plant has already left,
Waters, Gilmore, and Wright take his place,
Telling a most mournful tale,
The mound is growing quicker by the minute,
Teeth being unconsciously being ground.

When returning sometime later,
You could instantly see through the ruse,
Of the damage being hidden,
That the smile wasn't quite reaching my eyes,
But you said not a word,
For you knew I wasn't ready to talk.

I look away ashamed at our last meeting,
Hurting and lashing out,
Acting in a way quite opposite of the way I was raised.

I sit here now alone,
The guys long gone,
Leaving me with a parched throat.

Stepping out to the porch,
I look to the east,
To where the woods lay,
And imagine the glow of the city lights on the horizon,
So that New York Girl doesn't seem so far away.
May 2018 · 33.7k
Alex McQuate May 2018
Great tragedy suffered,
Impossible circumstances conquered,
The warrior walks upon the field flanked path.

The wanderer's armor tells a tale,
Battle scarred and partially rent asunder,
A face of stoicism that hides the haggardness underneath,
Peeking out beneath the mask of a hardened soldier.

The clouds clap ahead, preceded by flashes of light brightly illuminating the world,
Accompanied shortly after by the rainfall.

A trickle becomes a downpour,
The battered individual trudging along as the road becomes a bog of mud and slop,
The message firmly planted within their mind.

Coming upon the dark outline of the castle ahead the warrior picks up pace,
Reflecting upon what would happen to those that the Warrior helped.

The pace is now fueled by a different kind of urgency.

The rain is cold upon the faces of those that it falls on,
The torn edges of metal digging in at places,
Some already wounded and tender,
As the final hilltop between them is crested.

The gates are closed,
And this loyal soldier is for the moment shut out,
A fist is raised,
The declaration of allegience given,
An angry detailing of the warriors achievements and adventures shouted,
And a challenge of one's path,
Building in anger and fury as the dam finally breaks and gushes forth,
Threatening to shatter the gate and doors to splinters and twisted metal.

A long ago promised gift to be rewarded,
For all the things endured,
Things that could be considered so cruel,
The storm picks up in force until it's akin to that of a hurricane,
As if brought forth by the warrior's grief and pain finally being released,
For the first and only time.

These things ringing out dispite the storms roaring wind,
Gathering force,
Perhaps in affirmation of the warriors words.

After a pause the gate begins to lift,
It's metal screeching,
The doors groaning as they begin to swing outward, and the embattered soldier is bathed in light,
Taking the weight from the warrior's shoulders,
As the threshold is finally crossed.
May 2018 · 93
The Traveler
Alex McQuate May 2018
Years have passed,
Time an enemy that cannot be conquered,
Leaving heros to be quietly forgotten.

The Prince is older now then when he started this self imposed exile,
Golden hair grown out,
Lines showing signs of setting deep on a once youthful face,
Adorned in a cloak to better conceal himself from recognition.

The Queen,
Old now,
Sitting stooped upon the Cursed throne,
The only one left with claim over it,
Heedless of the consequences of her own pride and greed.

As the distance greatens,
The Prince sheds his cloak,
His slip into anonymity complete,
He stops to look behind him,
To gaze upon the watchers,
Their careful gaze taking in all.

Always silent before,
Never to judge,
Just to bear witness to the acts of all,
And now the watchers call out.

The Travelers heart aches,
Upon such a sorrowful sound,
A last gift given to the man in ancient tongue,
A key to success in the Travels future,
And then the traveler walks on.

The Old Queen receives word from the Traveler,
Sharing his knowledge imparted to him by the Watchers,
But only for him to not realize it is knowledge delivered too late,
The Curse would not be lifted in time

The Traveler pauses at the beginning of the Mountain path,
Seeing the beautiful range starting  just a mile off,
A welcomed change,
To give away the Watchers gift to others as well.

The days grow long,
But many sights are beholden to the Traveler,
So many things to see,
Beauty of the journey not lost on him as he still silently mourns his home

Ages pass,
Great deeds are accomplished,
Friends made,
Loves lost,
Wisdom gained,
Muscles lost,
Eyes dulled a bit,
As adventures slowed down,
And the travelers name is lost to time.

Roots are formed,
Set atop the tallest mountain,
Not far from a kingdom,
Set in the valley below,
Not too different from his home,
The one left behind too long ago.

The Hermit takes the Travelers place.
Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin
Part 2
May 2018 · 157
Alex McQuate May 2018
Skimming down the road,
Fingers embraced by the passing wind,
Trying to race to the western promises.

Passing into lands previously untravelled,
Towards the glow emenating from those golden opportunities,
Almost as if taking flight towards the stark blue horizon.

Not long to go,
Just a push and a plunge,
A great fall to the left on the map.

In search of a better future,
As great plains are traversed,
The beacon of answers to great questions lay ahead.

Skimming down the road,
Fingers embraced by the passing wind,
Trying to outrace the eastern storm.

Lessons in the trunk,
A case of tenacity in the passenger seat,
Goals hogging the back seat.

The wind tussling hair as it passes,
A gentle greeting as the countryside opens up,
The air clearer with every mile.

Everything seeming sharper,
Like a previously unknown haze being pulled from the eyes,
Colors vibrant and new.

Skimming down the road,
Fingers embraced by the passing wind,
Chasing the setting sun and running from the night.
May 2018 · 95
Alex McQuate May 2018
A sweet saga sung,
A cigarette crackles as it ignites,
A tale tragic for my lungs,
But chemicals rush through the brain setting it alight.

Sweet accents to the tune as the tale unfolds,
As our hero's story unfolds,
A bittersweet departure,
Kept apart,
Held at bay by ideology and circumstance.

But a darkness approaches,
A dark fate comes closer,
To destroy them all,
And she orders her opposite to take her bow,
Standing shoulder to shoulder to bear the brunt of the storm.

The dark haze creep in the Valley,
Eyes peeled to the east for their only chance to survive to hold out,
Already morning the orchards that would soon be lost.

The rot begins to spread,
Grotesquely twisting the trees as they shrivel and waste away,
The scion of the ****** angered at the pyrrhic victory.

The long night bringing a great battle,
The feral calls are cried,
They meet in a great clash of steel and magic,
In a secret war away from private eyes,
How can just one battle last so long?

Armor is rent asunder as weapons are damaged and woundss attained,
The Scion steps forward with a sword set ablaze,
And the woman lies bloodied off to the side,
The warrior lays set with her bow pulled and arrow drawned back,
Her aiding him even after she was taken off the board.

The Scion draws closer still,
His face finally shown to him,
As the symbols of the before set aglow along the bow,
The arrow is loosed,
Sending it along it's trajectory as the sun finally climbs from the east, washing everything in light.
Battle of Evermore- Led Zeppelin
Part 1
May 2018 · 143
Alex McQuate May 2018
The Wanderer meanders west,
Atop his horse,
Topping the dusty mountain crest,
Pulling his steed to a gentle stop,
To give him the moments necessary to process what he sees.

A great forest aflame,
A creature most glorious and terrifying,
Charging up mountains and sending up great pillars of flame.

Tidal waves of orange and red dash themselves upon these ridges,
Sending a mist of super-heated embers down the other side,
Beginning the process anew.

Great billowing towers of black smoke that roils and is in a constant state of flux,
Losing form as it ascends miles high.
Such beautiful and glorious destruction that could ever be seen,
An apex predator that could not be tamed.

The Wander turns his horse around and meanders back,
Changed from this experience,
The likes of which would never be seen again.
Act 5- Storm King
Scene 1-Inferno
May 2018 · 69
Sky Lake
Alex McQuate May 2018
Soaring high above the tops of the clouds,
Towards a destination few dates to go,
A return if sorts to a life that would be both old and new.

The moon reflects across the ice crystals below,
Giving it an etherial glow,
Their tops shorn flat by the wind,
Giving the appearance of a calm lake in the summer,
Like glass from another realm.

A decision was made,
A war still raging inside the heart,
As new obstacles are thrown up.

Willingly leaving family behind to throw one's self into danger,
To put service before self once again.

That great apex has been reached,
And one can feel the descent,
To skip upon that lake top,
Gradually sinking through like the proverbial stone,
To arrive at the next leg of the trip.
May 2018 · 62
Moonlit Mirage
Alex McQuate May 2018
Riding alone along that famous desert road,
Heading west for a new page,
To reap what could be sowed,
A opportunity rare in this day and age.

Eyes growing weary,
And like a mirage it does appear,
A place to make the head unbleary,
Where one can cast aside one's doubts and fears.

So alone in the journey it makes knees nearly buckle,
A sirens call is heeded,
Tempting with sultry eyes and unspoken promises.

In a haze stumbling forward,
Not aware of the dangers present,
That the boat was being lead shoreward,
To be dashed upon a jagged outcropping's crescent.

It is here one gets ******,
Like a fish when it realized it's been hooked,
That the risks are everywhere,
Like stumbling into a minefield,
Not recognizing the risks until halfway across.

It's enough to bring the brakes to a screeching halt,
The sudden sound warbling through the empty desert air,
Kicking up clouds of sandand salt,
Seeing to one's horror that there is nothing really there.

It's enough to ***** off even the most steady,
To be tricked by the wraiths of the land,
One had to speed across these parts ever at the ready,
Otherwise they invite disaster and ruin,
As they oft walk hand-in-hand.

So tear through these deadlands,
Never look back,
And don't need the sirens call,
None of it is real.

So tear through these deadlands,
Never try to get to the shack,
It doesn't contain what you think you lack,
Just the fires and poisons of your enemies,
Those enemies of your past.
The Eagles
Alex McQuate Apr 2018
The beat lulling one into trance,
Plant hypnotizing all who hear,
Building steam,
Sailing across the sky as stars come out,
Glimmer behind like them like some wake.

How far does one travel in a year,
So many steps,
So many blinks,
So many breaths.


The desire hitting like a blow to the solar plexus,
Driving breath from the lungs,
Making that next breath literally taste sweet.

It makes you look off to the far-reaching off horizon,
At those hard to reach goals seems so far away in the desert like a mirage,
But teeth are bared in a grin at the challenges.

Like floating now,
But gently being glided down,
Laid finally to rest upon mattress and sheet,
A pillow soft and cool.

Eyelids growing heavy,
Not long to go,
A balance has finally been achieved,
At long last balanced upon the fulcrum.

The body stronger,
The mind sharper,
The eyes clearer.

It is here the Insomniac finally drifts off to sleep.
Taken up once again to sleep amongst the millions of stars.
A finale of sorts to the "Musings of an Insomniac" collection. I am never am up late enough to be in that frame of mind anymore. Thanks for reading!
Apr 2018 · 231
The Old Gunny
Alex McQuate Apr 2018
Marching forward,
The Old Gunney marched to the golden throne,
Halting and coming to the position of attention,
Ready for his final Inspection.

He tried to live as a good man,
Dispute some burrs in the corners,
He was kind to his family,
Full of humility and humor.

Without a doubt his inspection would be up to *****
R. Lee Ermey 1944-2018
Apr 2018 · 312
The Choice
Alex McQuate Apr 2018
Being pulled into crossroads,
Like chains wrapped around arms,
Pulling in opposite directions.

Looking to their left one can see a return to the past,
A past that one would miss and love so,
They can see themselves strong and fast,
But dancing on a knife edge,
In which the slightest tumble would bring misery and woe.

But with such dangers come great rewards,
And one of these gives quite possibly the greatest gift of all,
The opportunity to live to the absolute extreme,
Something that is hard to come by these days.

Looking to the right one would see an exploration of the new,
Something that's stirs in them,
Like how it was to discover that love for a spouse all over again,
One could see the transformation into something different and better,
But this would require wrestling with disaster,
Risking everything going up in flames.

But facing off against this threat would guarantee the future,
A chance a peace of sorts,
The feeling of completion they didn't know they even yearned for.

The strain begins to grow,
A decision needs to be made,
What is one to do?
Either way opens them up the possibility of real and absolute destruction,
But giving at the same time unprecedented gifts that some never even get the chance to see.

Either way it goes,
They shall forever be freed.
Apr 2018 · 107
Valley of Revelation
Alex McQuate Apr 2018
Sitting here on this mountaintop porch,
Staring out into the valley lit by moon and stars,
Johnny Cash can be heard riding a locomotive of Nashville acoustics.

The Valley looks like it belongs on an alien world,
Bathed in blues, greys, and blacks,
Unique to these southern nights,
Upon vast forests that are both awake and alive.

Cash sings of retribution and redemption,
Upon the coming of the end,
A tune too sad for such a beautiful scene,
The song is changed
Apr 2018 · 216
Drive to Destiny
Alex McQuate Apr 2018
Cronin and Richrath accompany me on this trip,
Driving down this stretch of 75,
Driving amongst the clouds and mountains of the Blue Ridge,
Giving off a soft yet intense tune.

The sun has just set,
Giving the sky a odd dark hue,
The rumbling of the jeep is a constant,
Sounds from the old engine almost giving the song certain cues.

The wind ripping through the open cabin,
Tearing at clothes and hair,
The howling it gives off,
Fails to drown out Cronin's cries,
Of his personal philosophy he sings.

Better the brutal truth than a shocking revelation of betrayal,
Hands gripping the steering wheel tighter,
Driving to destiny,
A better future awaits.

Driving to destiny
Being Kind- REO Speedwagon
Mar 2018 · 152
What could be's
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Looking at the fully filled in page,
A good poem,
Sure to trend within minutes.
It just feels right.

A pause,
A half smile,
As the small X on the upper right hand of the window is clicked,
And the profile page is brought back up once again.
Mar 2018 · 183
Horizon-bound Train
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Creed Bratton strumming along,
Singing the oral history of his hometown,
The place from which he departed to embark on his great adventure.

I sit here in the dining room,
Looking contempitave at near empty pack,
A lone cigarette lays a little worn,
The last defender in it's paperboard Alamo,
I ponder at it for a moment before lighting up.

The guitar resembling the chugging of a train,
Rumbling down Californian rails.

Even the time changed resembles the screeching of brakes upon those rails,
Upon those iron horses,
Before chuggin' along once again,
Tempo and mood increasing once again,
Before passing by and roars to the horizon,
Chasing the setting sun,
It's sounds disappearing eventually into the passing wind.
Mar 2018 · 129
Bring Sally Up
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Pain ignites,
Your shoulders and biceps set ablaze to to the beat,
To this resurrected tune from the plantations of long ago,
A specter that hangs over the shoulder  when heard.

Hold that ****,
And you start to think this Sally chick might just be a real cold *****.

Rinse and repeat the pain.

It's just 30 reps,
Why is it so infernally difficult?
The pressure builds in your muscles and your brain,
Pratcher & the Gardeners heedless of your pain.

The last chorus,
Just a little bit more,
Is it just you or is the music slowing?

The women are weeping,
At the poor departure of poor ol' Luxe.

The song cuts,
You sigh in relief,
As your body crumples on its own accord,
Sick of your efforts and insanity.
Mar 2018 · 99
1:25 A.M.
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
I see you all,
You night owls,
Perched up high in your trees,
Wide awake in the darkest of hours,
Hunting for the words that hasten the dawn and sleep,
For the words that will set you free.
Mar 2018 · 166
False Front
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Townsend and Daltry are the ones putting me in a trance tonight,
Sending me to a time of excess and glory,
To reflect on a personal fight,
A battle against one's own mind,
One that will undoubtely be gory.

The first two minutes are void of voice,
The mixture of keyboard, synth and guitar too pure,
To me it seems like the perfect choice,
To express the feelings of one's own self-destruction,
As something without a cure.

False fronts are raised,
A gilded shell to all those to see,
To cover the corrupted and depraved,
To hide away guilt and shame,
Buried deep down,
Then Townsend lets it rip.

Its all just a great misdirection,
The perfect lie to distract and deceive,
Smoke and mirrors to lead you away from the lows achieved,
All in the name of dark recreation.

The unfiltered cigarette' s tip glows bright,
Adrenaline is released and insulin is suppressed,
Yet the words continue yet.

A certain brand of funk pours from the speakers,
Setting the air alight with 80's vibe.

They call to you now,
The addiction and excess,
For you've tasted from the apple,
And now the hooks have sunk in.

But rip through the straps you must,
Put on a smile for all to see,
You mustn't show weakness now,
For all the others must see you as free.

The guitar is haunting,
The drumming sublime,
The bass setting an ominous tone for this tune,
Like Damocles's sword set above your head,
The slightest slip will cause everything to be hewn.
Mar 2018 · 190
Another Round
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Elton John is charging forward,
At the rate of 152 bmp,
Like a boat racing shoreward,
A boat who's crew is due for some leave.

Chargin like an angry rhino,
John is jumping about,
Tearing through the room with abandon,
Just begging for a scrap.

Feeling invincible in the moment,
Where everything is going JUST right,
Where your spoiling for a rumble,
To tumble for tumblin' sake.

To break free from the usual,
For a breath for fresh air,
For a breath of something REAL!

Chain smoking like a man on death row,
Cold beer in one's hand,
Getting well and truly ripped,
Pleased at where the night is going.

All tasks accomplished,
All challengers laid low,
Sporting a bruised and bloodied brow,
But a victorious smile showing all the same.

Wind blowing through hair,
Legs churning asphalt like it's no one's  business,
Feet barely touching the ground,
Onto the next scrap,
The next in a long and wonderful night.
Saturday Nights Alright- Elton john
Mar 2018 · 164
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Standing vigil,
As winter gets in one last blow,
It's like falling,
Landing deep in some cold ocean below.

It's impossible to breath,
Struggling to the surface,
The arctic currents ripping all heat away,
Like it was the wind itself.

Breaking the surface,
Battered by waves,
The ocean spray stinging face and arm,
Dark tidal currents swirling below.

Grey clouds circling overhead,
Like the sharks most assuredly circling down below,
Both curious yet extremely dangerous,
A covergency by either would spell ruin and woe.
Mar 2018 · 103
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Draper's voice is lulling me to sleep on this night,
Singing an old gospel that brings water to my eyes,
Bringing forth memories that are warm and bright,
Along with the realization of just how fast time flies.
Will the circle be unbroken- Courtnee Draper & Troy Baker
Mar 2018 · 145
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Du Chene and La Plante preach through the wires,
As I light up a smoke,
Watching the candle gently sway ever so,
As these two bear witness to the making of legends.

Personal courage,
To tell one's personal tale,
To cast off the societal thirlage,
And wander to where the predators wail.

They sing in perfect synchronisation,
The country twang of Du Chene a contrast to La Plante's,
Her vocals heartbrakingly beautiful,
As if the entire swath of water that is the Mississippi were as smooth as glass,
With the ability to turn as haunting as the memory of a lost love.

The skill to keep your wits about you,
Are needed in lands such as these,
And if you survive your legends will grow,
Gaining momentum to match the distance you travel and the tasks you complete,
Traveling with you,
Like the sensation of stain in a long healed wound,
That occasionally ghosts along the area.

That after your gone and long faded, Your travels will live on,
A wraith along those old and now overgrown trails,
To morph into something almost alive,
With each retelling of your tale.

Winding down their tune,
The music takes a calm tone once again,
Like how you imagined the eye of a hurricane as a kid,
Slowly winding up again a tad as if to hint at the struggles ahead,
They sing of where they wish to be,
And their willingness to bear the brunt of their tasks to reach their promised haven.
Heavy Hands- Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Mar 2018 · 104
Coastline Comet
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
How do you describe a songs meaning,
If it's something that to each individual it means something different?

To one it's a song to play at a wedding,
Another another it is to be played at their funeral,
To some it's something drunkenly blundered through with your buddies at the bar when your hammered,
To others it's something that's best played quietly on the radio at night.

To me it's a song about a perfect Florida night,
Standing on the beach with my toes buried in the sand,
Staring up at a star sparkled sky,
Creating a dichotomy of images that leap out at me in full color,
When the vertigo finally breaks,
Rocketing my body into space and the constellations beyond,
Beautiful sights never to be seen or studied again,
Each an individual beauty to be marveled at for but a second,
Before being forever lost,
Then being slammed back down to earth again,
Gaining momentum more and more,
Wind that shouldn't be in space forcing me to shut my eyes against it's sting.

Finally reaching earth and breaking through the atmosphere,
A fire from the friction trailing behind me a mile long,
Streaking across the Pacific and the Western US in a blink,
Hurtling at Florida with speeds that induce a pucker factor of 10.

Faster still,
And the beach is soon in sight,
Breaching the horizon that was made by the gulf.

Tearing in many times past the speed of sound,
My impact into the sand leaves a grader that forever changes the coastline,
Driving me deep into the earth crust.


I open my eyes,
As I look up from where I lay on that Florida beach,
Feeling in one piece and whole again.
Freebird- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Mar 2018 · 99
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
A fantastical opening,
But I cant tell whether it's tone is genuinely happy or bittersweet,
For a pinnacle that would soon begin to descend,
Waters and the whole troop carry on,
Singing of a beautiful and terrible place,
A place where one's own failure can be due to one's own success,
Whether that's good or bad I leave to you to decide.
Eclipse- Pink Floyd
Mar 2018 · 213
Death Sauce
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Jimmy Page rips into his guitar as I rip into some nachos,
Covered with some real toxic-spicy **** I accidentally created in the kitchen,
And suddenly Black Dog becomes an anthem to my agony.

The habanero peppers dig hooks in as the serannos and the jalapenos begin going to work,
Hitting me with staccato body blows,
Pausing but for a moment before laying in again.

It's as if the very air itself is aflame,
The sriracha's heat sears my throat and lungs,
With the cayenne peppers charring my stomach.

My eyes water,
I want to wail like Plant at the moment,
As sweat begins to gather on my brow,
The sickly sweet stink of the apple cider vinegar used laces the air and stings the nose,
****** hair practically gets singed as it passes.

Page let's loose a riff with his instrument that imitates my heartbeat,
As the heat finally grows too high.

I reach for my only lifeline,
Something almost as terrible as the devil's ketchup itself.

I take the mason jar and take a swig,
And another fire snuffs out the one currently raging in my esophagus and brain.

My breath fast,
Blinking hard and quick,
As the song fades along with a bit of my happiness at creating something so wicked,
As I grab another chip...
Mar 2018 · 136
Ms. Minnesota
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
John Denver serenades me tonight,
As I **** down nicotine and ash,
My senses are alight,
My joy drawing from some infinite cache,
As I think back to Her,
To my run-in with Ms. Minnesota.

A jarring bump in of coincidence,
But not entirely unwelcome,
Your voice carried your smile,
The real thing was like telecom,
Broadcasting far and wide.

A resident of the once-glacial ridden plains,
But a Call girl at heart,
I wonder if the waves call to your heart?

You're concerned that I have to drive home so late in the night,
And I secretly wonder if your trying to disguise that your sad to see me go,
But now that it's so late,
This bump-in unfortunately needed to end.

You wish me a goodnight,
And to you I do the same,
Probably with a goofy smile on my face,
I walk out of the front door,
And head on home.

I think of Ms. Minnesota,
And the goofy smile is back,
I certainly hope we meet again.
Mar 2018 · 164
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Cruising through The Great Plains,
In a well traveled and well loved hatchback,
The calm rhythm of folk acoustics follow the gentle sloping motions the land takes as they travel
Clusters of trees off in the distance,
Looking like tidal waves in the evening sky,
Looking almost dark blue under a cloud filled sky,
Forming an ocean all their own.
Mar 2018 · 989
Spring Roadtrip
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Tearing up I-75 like bats outta Hell
The radio jacked up to MAX
to be heard to the roaring of the wind,
Seeing as the top is off of the jeep

Zeppelin and The Who
Van Fleet and The White Stipes
Generations of rock
Shared by the elder and the young
Different problems faced
Yet shared circumstances

The pace is rapidly set
Like invaders they ride
Or gunslinger of the old west
Buying into the legends of their own immortality
Like a final ride  before closing that part of the past for good

Even some of that Seattle sound trickles in
A much younger and angrier Pearl Jam
Sometimes even the garage rock get a turn in the spotlight
Their pace exponentionally increases like a runaway train
It's end destined to be in a glorious and terrible wreck

The road trip is on
These rockers of all ages are on the warpath to a good time

God help us all
Mar 2018 · 381
Sad Smiles of Autumn
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
What strange creatures are we,
Capable of finding something that is by all means ordinary suddenly beautiful and new.

One-sided feeling,
Perpetual curiosity,
Argumentative to a fault,
Falsehoods for no good reason.

Waking up at peace with the world,
And suddenly become flooded with the awful rememberence that someone you loved was forever gone.

What odd creatures are we.

Never allowing us to truly rest on our laurels when we lose someone
Smiling upon those times with them where everything was good,
A sad smile of times lone gone,
Gone with the autumn leaves.
Mar 2018 · 170
THE argument
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Spiraling mindsets,
Shattered perceptions,
Twisted and mangled plans for the future lie all around.

Dying dreams scattered in the churned-up mud,
As a light but steady rainfall of dread cascades upon the carnage.

The accusations are steaming from where the rain hits it,
Both sides fired shots at each other so rapidly the barrels warped beyond recognition.

Rusted fields of barbed comments lie between,
Where even a knick could spell infection and disaster.

New dreams arrive to replace the old,
But are torn asunder just as quickly,
Hard truths rake their lines as they cross,
Torn asunder by those terrible things.

This place was once nice,
Full of hope,
A place of peace and happiness,
But now is lost,
To fire and steel,
As the guns finally fall silent.
Mar 2018 · 107
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Alone a tired man writes,
The scratches of pencil on paper his only companion in the room,
Writing down his experiences,
Hoping someone will read them one day.

His shoulders are slightly slumped,
As if weighted down by all he has seen and done,
A physical presence that never leaves him,
A great yet terrible burden he beard.

His once -sharp eyes are slightly dulled,
As if to filter the things he now sees,
Through the tint that is the past.

His hair is grey,
The dark hair he once had long since changed,
A new grey hair with every lesson learned,
Lessons he writes down.

Scars can be easily seen on his tan skin,
Traversing from his gnarled fingers,
Up across the backs of his hands and disappearing up past his elbows,
Hidden by his rolled up sleeves,
A roadmap of past knicks, cuts, and mistakes.

The scratching continues in the room,
With pauses only for him to put a filled piece of paper into the growing stack,
Drawing a blank one and continue writing once again.
Mar 2018 · 88
Labyrinth of chances
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
How much of a difference,
Does a few hours make?

In the grand scheme that is time,
A few hours can be both nothing and everything,
Windows of opportunity,
Constantly opining and closing,
With just a few ticks of the clock,
Some never to return.

When our lives are a summation of these things,
They seem to take on a new importance, no?

One door closes,
Another opens,
A labyrinth of opportunities and pitfalls,
With no guide to possibly be found.

So take a moment,
Collect yourselves,
There are a million opportunities more,
And fear not the unknown,
My friend,
It is the recognizable that should be feared.
Mar 2018 · 86
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
How tired were you,
In '92,
When Chicago flooded,
And Andrew hit South Florida?

Los Angeles missed an earthquake sized bullet,
But got shaken still,
After Rodney King and the subsequent riots.

TWA declares bankruptcy,
Clinton is elected,
Apartheid ended,
A shopping mall is opened,
A no fly zone is placed over Iraq,
Troops in Mogadishu.

How tired were you,
In '92,
Seems like a year that was cholk-full of events,
During New Year's Eve,
I wonder,
Did you tiredly sit counting down,
Just hoping that the upcoming year would be a **** sight better?
Mar 2018 · 73
Journey's Pause
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Cresting the peak of the mountain,
The Wanderers stopped their wagon for a moment,
To take in the glory before their eyes,
Great mountains all around,
The bases of these monoliths of time shrouded by clouds and mist,
Hiding their true size,
When the clouds were shot through by the wind,
It completed their effect,
It was as if the mountain peaks were islands,
Protrutions from an ocean of soft white.

They had traveled for days,
Their horses sore,
Treacherous was their way,
But the reward could not be ignored,
A prize of knowledge and lore,
Pieces of puzzles that they needed,
For solving it had evaded both of them for so long.

Their reasons for answers were different,
Brought together by chance,
But it was as if their fates intertwined,
Curling around one another like creeping vines until they would not, could not be separated.

One was an individual formed from facts and an urge to adventure,
Away from family for the first real time,
She was the summation of the terrerial,
Things as solid as the wooden boards beneath her feet,
The other was formed by instinct and an urge for purpose,
Experienced in the world and it showed,
He was the summation of the ethereal,
The abstract, like the legends and folk tales of old.

The fought for different reasons, yet the end goals were the same,
Two individuals bound down a path of hardships and toil,
Trials and tribulations that neither could imagine was in store.

But it was something both knew could be conquered,
For touched by fate were they,
As they got their horses going again,
They descended down the path,
Into the mists,
Into the horror and unknown.
Mar 2018 · 73
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
A singular spark
Igniting a small amount of kindling,
From there it feeds,
The worst and most terrible flames can be caused by the smallest of embers.
Mar 2018 · 73
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
It hits you like a semitruck,
One that is loaded with lead weights and ******* bees,
It's like a switched is flipped and your mind is transported to an earlier time,
To when you were younger and more brash,
When the calm flame that resides within you rages into a towering inferno that threatens to burn anything that stands in its way.

Past goals that you once thought impossible to reach now seem trivial,
And that you can now blow through them like their made of wet tissue paper.

Your hands start to shake like nothing else,
Not from fear,
But excitement,
It's like all your senses crank up to 11 and beyond,
Everything is crisp and vivid.

You're ******,
Your not sure at what,
But you know you're ******,
And it's not a spatula anger,
It's the kind of rage that people are wary of,
For it's one that is tempered by calculated thoughts and an even rationale.

The real dangerous kind.

You need to get up,
To do something,

But sometimes the inferno will burn everything up,
Leaving only smoldering ruins and devestation.
Mar 2018 · 88
Quiet Contemplation
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Ice clinking,
Cool liquid touching lips,
The familiar of ethanol biting the back of my throat where some remains.

A soft strum of a ukulele  breaks that pattern,
Accompanying the beautiful wails that I know will haunt my dreams,
As assuredly as the person who she wails over will haunt hers,
If she can sleep at all that is.

It's staccato rhythm is almost primal,
Like an erratic heartbeat,
Driving the song with time signature changes,
It's unpredictablilty works well,
Xylophone notes giving it an etherial-like quality,
As if to give me a feel that I'm in a dream,
In the sleep that evades me so.

Their voices sound forgiving,
Almost begging,
But their words relay a bitterness,
Who was it that scorned them so?

As the song draws to a close,
It fades off as if the band has finally drifted off into the sleep they craved so.
Insomniacs Club- Lamshades
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