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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?
Alex McQuate Jan 25
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
Alex McQuate May 2017
The bugs have overwhelmed my deet defence,
So I've retreated behind the screen door,
Smoking by the doorway, leaning back in a chair,
Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie are haunting me with their words,
To never break the chain...
My eyes feel like there's grit in them,
I drink a glass of water to rehydrate a bit,
To counteract the cigarette's sting,
Of 2 packs smoked when I should have only smoked one.
I feel like a record player, and my table belt is just slightly off kilter,
Making me so my rounds just a little too fast,
Just fast enough to be noticeable and an annoyance.
13% battery left,
How many more can I do?
The Chain-Fleetwood Mac
Alex McQuate May 2017
6 poems today,
Wanted to see what I could come up with,
Are they rough...yes,
Are some of them short and to the point... Also yes,
But the emotion still rings true.
3% battery...
2% left...
Alex McQuate Oct 2017
Stan Roger's is calling out to the start sky on this moonlit night,
His baritone cadence stretching through the pleasantly tempered air.

I take another smoke out,
Lighting it quickly and taking a drag,
Trying  to figure out where all the time went,
It's as though I've blinked and everything has changed.

It's been happening for a long time,
I know,
But then again,
That's how it always is,
Isn't it?
Taking note unconsciously,
But never taking notice,
For it's change is too unwelcome.

But for now all is quiet,
The owls hooting amongst themselves,
As a breeze gently passes by.
Stan Rogers- Northwest Passage
Alex McQuate May 2017
Justin Chancellor is blowing my mind,
His timing as he hammers on his bass,
Setting the tone in the picture Maynard James Keenan paints as he rips through the events,
A great separation between sects of the faith,
The horrid fate of a monolith,
To crumble and burn,
Alone and lost,
Adrift a raft of ashes,
Floating out to sea.

The taste of tobacco, tar, and ash is too much at that moment,
I stub out the smoke,
Taking a swig of cheap beer,
To wash down the rancid taste.

The song changes again,
Keenan belting out about his dark passenger,
Making all his victories taste of ash,
A most dreaded specter indeed.

My mouth is no longer bone dry,
I really need to quit,
Trust me.
Alex McQuate May 2017
I sit here.
Contemplating it all,
Of the difficulties and obstacles that one must encounter,
When in the pursuit of making a concept album.

So many parts must go into it,
To tell a proper narrative,
With lyrics written well enough to not just sound like spoken word.
Rush is a master of this technique,
To be able to make such an easily understood story,
All one has to listen to do is listen to the lyrics,
Acknowledge the musical cues,
Maybe is given a few lines of backstory,
And is at least a little bit smart,
They are told quite a touching tale.

Pink Floyd does it well,
Telling tales of oppression,
Of goodbyes to friends,

The Who do it multiple times,
From a young London man,
Besiged by nostalgia for the bad old days,
To the telling of a deaf, dumb, and blind kid,
And his struggles as he goes through life.

Green Day seems to have done it most recently (in the proper format) with some success,
The struggles of their "Jesus of Suburbia",
A story of anger, love, rejection, and suicide.

It seems like most time the protagonist of concept albums always get the end of the stick,
Why is that?
That the underdog can't ever seem to catch a break?
Death is his end destination,
No ifs, ands, or buts about it,
That or they are placed in a situation where death is preferable,
Because all hope is lost?
Or if they're caught on the cusp of the unknown,
Which can be quite as bad.

So here's to you, you lunatics,
You rebels of causes untold,
You'll live in these story's forever,
Your vinyl Valhalla victorious and verbose.
In case you haven't listened to one before, a concept album tells a story that traditionally spaced over the length of the album, or at least a couple songs.
Wrote whilst listening to 2112.
Albums referenced are as follows:
The Wall-Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here- Pink Floyd
Quadrophenia- The Who
Tommy-The Who
American Idiot- Green Day
Alex McQuate May 2017
Bill Wyman and **** Jagger are sitting down by the fire with me,
Preaching out from the tiny speaker in the small radio I brought with me,

The crackle of the fire and the upward avalanche of cherry embers into the air distract me for a second,
A dance of heat and light that has entranced me since I've been a child.

I light a smoke using a stick I've been using to stir the bonfire,
Fortuitous for me because I forgot my lighter inside when I last went to get more beer.

Drums lull me back into the song,
Jagger laying out the words like an expert mason,
His words are the bricks that the song is built on, sturdy and precise,
The message they lay out is strong.

That every man has a darkness in him,
It's been there since the very first sin,
A little devil on our shoulder,
Whispering sweet nothings in our ear.

The bonfire a perfect example,
The higher the flame,
The denser the darkness seems to pool,
Just outside the light.

At times you will be weak,
This is the pain of being human.

The song changes to one of a plea,
One of asylum,
From the chaos of the world at large,
A world that we had in 1969,
Desperate voices screaming for a stay of execution.
Would you be one of the people I wonder,
Who would stand against the night,
To save the hopeless and downtrodden.
A hero of the people,
And a bane to those who would do the people harm.

The fire has died down,
Only the bluest of flames are licking up from the wood.
I add another log as another song comes,
In a flash I am transported to England in the times of '66,
The viewpoint of a depressed youth,
Wishing the world wasn't as bright as it was.
The instruments slithering about like a cobra,
Ready to strike at any moment.

I take the large gallon bucket and upend it over the flames,
The water drowns wood and flame.
The fire hissing in pain as steam is given birth to.

The small radio now had Eric Burdon wailing to me Baptist-Style about the dangers of the Big Easy,
As I head back inside.
Poem written to the music that came on (in order):
Sympathy for the Devil- Rolling Stones
Gimme Shelter- Rolling Stones
The House of the Rising Sun- The Animals
Alex McQuate May 2017
I sit here,
Fingers aching,
Smudged in ink,
From when I changed the ribbon,
My right knee decides,
At this very moment,
To make its regular bout of grinding pain known to me,

Heloise Tunstall-Behrens and Luisa Gerstei are making my heart shatter,
From over 3,700 miles away.
These sirens are begging the listener to Sing them to sleep,
Because they've gone and lost the mindset,
To dream seamlessly.

Their club has swelled by one,
I say to myself as I light a smoke,
It's about to be a long night.

My knee starts complaining once more,
The old injury settling down after I massage the ailment.

Now the trickling of a xylophone is tapping out of the wires,
Gentally accompanied by a guitar and the girls,
They're warning the listener of their past transgressions,
It's gentle tone,
Lulling you into hearing,
Before your brain can register the lyrics,
They're whisked away by the xylophone,
What was a steady trickle has swelled into a quick stream,
They're now telling the listener to use them up,
Because that's what they're expecting anyway.
Seems like a tale of escaping from something bad to me.

Is this why I write?
To escape?

Or is it to bring you into my world,
If only for a bit?
Demons and insomniacs club both by Lulu and the Lampshades
Alex McQuate Jun 2017
Sorrowful and soulful sounds come from the radio,
The Red Headed Stranger is plucking away on Trigger,
A whole different kind of cowboy.

Singing of times long past,
Of a woman long gone,
A woman he wish had stayed.

I use the last of my beer to walk down the smoke and ash,
Stubbing out my smoke atop a mountain of finished Winstons.

I look back on it now,
On the regrets that I've had so far.

Of trips not taken,
The could-have-beens that went undone,
And the Ones that had been let slip,
So it is here I find myself,
Drinking alone on this warm summer midnight.
Time of the Preacher- Willie Nelson
Alex McQuate May 2017
If one's body were a book,
What would mine say to the world?
Would it be a tale of injuries and woe?
Or like trophies to admire in the years to come?

Would my tattoos tell the story of why I got each individual one,
The mind frame I was in when I got them?

Would my thrice broken nose,
Crooking just slightly to the right,
tell tales of fist fights and rough housing,
or of the time I spilled face first into the cement, when my bike flipped on me.

What of the scars?
Do they tell of workplace accidents,
Of battle, of burns and tight scrapes?
When I busted my brow on a marble windowsill,
Or when I busted my cheek wide open from being hit with a pipe?

Tattoos a plenty,
Each could be explained like an ancient epic,
They are only put on because they are earned,
Through blood, sweat, and pain
By way of spiritual revelation and as a proclamation of faith?

Maybe it's the imperfections that tell the real story,
Wrinkles caused by a brow that is furrowed far too often,
Or the creaking of my right hand,
From when the fingers have been broken and bruised too much.

Would my eyes,
My windows into my soul,
Would they still be bright and shining, or would they be dull and weak?
Alex McQuate May 2017
Waylon Jennings is twanging over the airwaves,
Asking me if I bore witness to the events unfolding between him and the Apple of his eye.

I can hear it though,
He's got a load of chew in,
And I'm jealous.

Quitting *****,
Doesn't matter if it is good for you or not,
It just *****.

Memories come rushing back in when I smell that minty tobacco.

A "graduation gift" from our Drill Sergeants,
Just offering us some if we wanted it,
Seeing as we were no longer recruits,
But honest to god infantryman,
The jolt of nicotine directly to the mouth after 4 months of nothing,
The head buzz hit me like a sledgehammer,
But thankfully enough I'm not alone.

Another memory,
I'm trying to get the taste of bile out of my mouth, as we're dumping our gear after a long ruck,
The blood seeping through the heels of my boots,
A familiar blue tin is offered to me by my team leader,
I nod to him in thanks,
As I wipe the sweat from my forehead.

A more painful one,
The lingering taste of midrange bourbon,
Mixing in with the harsh bite of  *****,
Toasting to friends lost.

The present time gently brings me back to my chair as the song fades out.

Yes Mr. Jennings, I can see what she's doing to you,
I'm where you're at right now.
Waylon Jennings cover of Can't you see, originally penned by The Marshall Tucker band.
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.
Alex McQuate May 2017
It's dark,
Shaun Morgan is bellowing into my ears that he's reliving the same experiences over and over,
That nothing's forever.

The flick of a bic,
The taste of tobacco and ash,
Filling my lungs and giving my brain a buzz,
And in this sleepless night I'm inclined to agree with him,
Nothing lasts forever,
So what are you waiting for?
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
Strings softly sing out from the speakers,
Drifting through the room like a piece of flotsam,
Gently drifting along some unseen current,
Dipping to-and-fro,
And like all currents tend to do,
It picks up.

Faster and faster,
Swiftly building into a crescendo that resonates in the smokey room,
Faster and faster in tempo,
Peaking as Gabriel sings on.

Torn asunder by an impossible task,
So many of us seem to be,
Sacrifices for a tomorrow that could be just a little bit better,
Impossible choices rising up like towering walls of flame.
Heros- Peter Gabriel
Alex McQuate May 2017
I take a minute to sip some beer,
Miller High Life and Winston's,
Shakey Graves is stomping out through the wires,
Telling the tale of a boy walking to his execution,
His head held high,
Misguided in his actions that evening,
in the waning days of summer.

The song ends, I take out a tin,
Open it up and throw in the last of the dip I had,
After that I'll be done with smokeless tobacco.

Elton John is now waxing poetically about the ideas of roses in Spanish Harlem,
His voice eloquent, nostalgic, and tear-jerkingly honest,
The loss of innocence in an idea,
Ripped asunder by the cruelty of the world at large,
If only there were one Good Samaritan,
If they were to stand up and say enough!

In the album he is but the Master of Ceremonies in the château.
Weaving great tales of happiness and woe.

And isn't that what life is,
Both the ultimate comedy and tragedy?

But what do I know?
I'm just an Average Joe.
Alex McQuate Apr 2017
I sit here in the darkened dining room,
A small light shining in from the kitchen,
Just enough to silhouette the curtain of cigarette smoke that hung about the room,
I've been sitting here,
Smoking all the while,
Listen to Robert Plant croon,
About a woman he loves with all his heart,
But against his wishes,
He has to bid her adieu.

I sit here, smoking, in this warm and comfortable room,
All else is quiet,
Everyone else asleep,
Plant singing my anthem so sad and true.

But eventually the song ends,
And the record must be flipped,
So too the anthem changes,
One more upbeat and slick,
A song of change and travel,
And ever pressing on.
Alex McQuate Jan 2018
Ellekari Larsson is haunting my radio tonight,

My lungs burn once again,
As the smoke enters and leaves my body,
Floating lazilly upward to form a blanket of roiling grey.

I looked at my bookshelf today,
And realized with a start,
That I had a shelf of momentos,
Of those who were long gone.

A folded flag,
A well worn tie,
A photo of a man and boy both laughing,
A teddy bear and a cross made out of a straw,
All snapshots to help me remember.

Times that were better,
Even some that were worst,
But important all the same,
For aren't the most important lessons those that hurt, even if just a little?

A charcoal rubbing of an inscription,
A Tom Clancy novel with a dog-eared page about halfway through,
It hurts to look at these momentos sometimes,
But it feels like a betrayal to look away.

The piano and cello amble slowly along,
Like pall bearers shouldering a weight upon their shoulders,
Both physical and emotional.

A copper disc embossed with hands held together in prayer,
An antique Mr.Goodbar tin,
Containing an ascot and a box of matches.

The song slowly comes to an end and I can finally look away,
Take a drag from the cigarette,
Nearly burnt down to the filter,
As I get lost in my thoughts again.
Closer-The Tiny
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
A farmer comes to love what he grows,
Even if it is just a bit,
So much effort expended,
Something has to be felt,

Warm late summer days,
Soaked in a warmth you imagine a mandolin sound would give off if it could,
Lazy clouds floating across an blue immersive sky,
Sitting underneath a tree surrounded by four fields,
The tickling of healthy grass scrunched beneath one's feet,
A gently breeze on occasion,
Brushing across one's face,
As if to lull you into a peaceful sleep.
Flower power- Greta Van Fleet
Alex McQuate May 2017
As Billy Joel is pouring out to the listener,
Of a tale of patrons in a bar,
I think of what would happen to my works when I die.
Maybe I get a couple collections printed but they never really sell,
And years after my death,
One such book is found in the piles of books in an antique store.

Maybe it's a curious individual,
Amused by the art embossed on the book,
Or maybe he is an actual fan of poetry.
Maybe it's just a kid who is thinking old books are cool.

Either way the individual would read my works, gets a whole lot of hubub about it,
And years after my death I am talked about as an unsung poet of my time.

Novel idea right?
I really need to get some sleep
Alex McQuate Sep 2017
Andrew McKnight is on tonight,
My story teller for this bout of sleeplessness,
Thought I had shaken the insomnia,
But it's jaws had bitten deep.

The story he tells me is a sad tale,
But I think it best to share with you,
So come and sit dear Reader,
Listen for a spell,
For sometimes a sad tale is needed.

They haunt the various valley's of Virginia,
The cornfields of Maryland,
And Pennsylvania hillsides.

Silent specters spectating upon the states,
If only we could hear their thoughts,
But alas the roar of the vacuum is all assuming.

Andy spins his tale,
Weaving one of a Young Greyback,
Cut down in his prime,
His words a portal into the thoughts of these silent Specter's thoughts.

That war turns boys into men,
And men into memories,
That no one ever wins at war,
That the last loser asks for terms.

It's a tale of grave matters,
But a necessary one I believe.
Was listening to "The road to Appomattox" by Andrew McKnight
Alex McQuate May 2017
When I was little,
Behind the backyard of my childhood home,
Separated by a field and a couple of rows of trees,
There was a factory,
Not a big one, just a small one,
That liked to operate at night.
The window of my old bedroom faced out  towards the backyard,
And by extension,
The factory.

I use to lie awake at night,
After I crept over to my window and pushed it as open as it would go,
I'd just listen to the sounds of the factory,
And imagine it were different things,

When I was 6 I'd imagine it was some sort of 100 foot tall beast of mystery,
Maybe walking on 6 legs, each 75 feet long,
Lumbering nearby like a gentle giant,
When I was 10,
It was a spaceship,
Destined to take me to a galaxy far, far away,
When I was 13,
It was a crowd cheering me on as I scored a touchdown.

It was relaxing,
It was southing,
Familiar and safe.

But one day the banging and muffled crashes of steel stopped,
Apparently the city finally cited the factory for noise violations,
And all heavy operations were to be halted by 8 pm.

I suddenly no longer had my monster behind the house,
No spaceship to take me to a galaxy far, far away,
No crowd cheering my name.

From here on out if have to go exploring to find monsters,
I'd have to build a spaceship if I wanted to go far, far away,
I'd have to put in the work so people would cheer out my name.
Alex McQuate Oct 2017
The night is still,
A silent cold hangs crisply in the air,
A quilt of noiselessness encases the world,
Looking up upon the stars,
So dazzling in the pre-dawn air.

The moon hangs over the Eastern Horizon,
Just a sliver alit along it's bottom edge.

As the world slowly begins to stir,
Slowly cracking the sky and setting it aflame,
An all encompassing blaze that kisses upon my brow,
Warm and caring,
Loving and tender,
Like that of a mother to a newborn babe.

It is here that one can be at peace,
Where the current troubles slip away like steam from an exhaled breath in this crisp warm air.
Alex McQuate May 2017
I stare,
The outsider looking in.

******* comment,
Or a practiced defence?

Cigarette slowly shrinking,
Ember glowing bright.

Out of options,
Out of time.

Walls closing in,
Creeping like vines.

Shotglass is full,
unlike the bottle.
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
Alex McQuate May 2017
Anthony Kedis is rolling like a runaway train,
His voice carrying too much momentum to be stopped,
He just keeps rolling down a track of guitar solos.
It's unusually hot here,
As I wipe sweat from my brow.

My bottle of water is sweating on the table,
My eyes are stinging from the heat and perspiration from my forehead.

Flea is laying it out hard,
His slaps on the bass with specific design.
It's almost time to go to bed,
Got to get back into a rhythm.
Imagine having the song "Dark Necessities" by RHCP playing like an anthem in your head as you drive out at night.
Alex McQuate Jun 2017
The anthem ripped out from the Frontman, the Drummer, and the Bassist,
Making a sound larger than should be possible,
Their anthem ripped out through the old amps,
The music revitalizing the old speakers.

The Drummer hammered out powerfully yet precise.
His feet rattling off like machine gun fire,
His bandana tied around his brow.

The Bassist laying down a metronome-like effect to it all,
Notes swaying and dipping to the tune,
Flaring out occasionally to add more gravitas,
Showing he was still his own musician.

The Frontman declaring to the crowd of transgressions committed,
Of battles won and lost,
But also the views from the other side,
That the enemy may be man still.
A story of agony and anger,
Sorrow and Savagery,
With jubilance for the act of violence.
The Frontman's solo soaring high before axe kicking down upon the audience's heads.

The Agent was stunned,
His dropped drink forgotten,
As he reached for the payphone on the wall
The experience in front of him spurring him faster.

The Band continued,
Their sound crescendoing,
Coming to an almighty peak,
Only to begin it's decent to the earth,
Crashing down magnificently,
Down upon a dive bar in the run down part of town.
Act II- Discovery
Scene 4- A dive bar in the run down part of town
Alex McQuate May 2017
Lateralus is slicing through my mind like a hot blade through butter.
My ribs being hammered from the drums,
The bass thumping upon the sides of my head,
The guitar solo piercing my flesh like a spear.

The lone bass beat is what remains in my heart,
The steady thumping of a tough but tired *****,
The incoming vocals is a rush of adrenaline to the muscles,
The amalgamation of the instruments,
The effort to stand once again,
Then a guitar calling out from the distant mists,
The call of the next battle.
Alex McQuate May 2017
The pain dulls over the years,
As the boy becomes a young man,
And the young man decides to follow his dreams,
He runs away,
With only a guitar in his hand,
A backpack of clothes,
And his car,
He rides out West,
Like the pioneers who came before,
A musical gold rush.
Act 1 Youth to Man
Scene 3 Adolescence and Maturity
Alex McQuate May 2017
The desert was hot,
The boys feet ached,
His legs protested,
The sweat stung his eyes.

The young man stumbled,
The heat waves of the road throwing up a curious pattern.

It was then that the young man spotted it,
Just beyond the next hill.

He stood up,
Wiping the sweat from his brow and forged on.

The cedar had become an iron oak.

When he arrived though,
If only in fleeting flashes,
But still it was there,
When the instrument was in the young man's hand,
It calmed the storm that raged behind his eyes.
Act 1 Youth to Man
Scene 3 Adolescence and Maturity
Alex McQuate May 2017
As a youth grows,
Taller and taller,
Like The Cedars of my youth,
But also rougher and rougher.

To those who have known him from before can recognize him,
But to others he is a shadow of his former self.

There is however,
One thing,
That has ever remain the same.
With the instruments in his hands,
his eyes soften,
the creases easy bit,
The weight is lifted from his shoulders, And even a smile can be seen.
As he hears from the Allfathers of the Waves, Summoners of the sound.
Act 1 Youth to Man
Scene 3 Adolescence and Maturity
Alex McQuate May 2017
Fleetwood Mac is on the radio inside as I look up at the morning sky,
In the east,
The sky is a mixtures of light pinks, blues, and gold,
The moon still shining brightly in the morning sky.

I take a drag off my Winston,
It's taste stale lingering on my tongue,
But a small price of smoking them all night.
My eyes are burning and my joints ache,
Getting older *****.
Alex McQuate Jul 2017
It had followed him for most of his life,
Sitting patiently,
Waiting still,
For the Spider knew it would eventually get it's chance,
A cruel judgment bestowed upon him by the fates.

The Spider's legs were long,
It's beady eyes glistening,
Milky venom dripping from a maw of  nasty little teeth,
Shivering with anticipation,
For soon it would be time to strike,
And then it would finally feast.

To our hero's who were celebrating,
To the spider they were completely unaware,
Hiding amongst the guests,
Some of them the Spider had been feeding on for years,
But now it was time for a new dish.

The Bassist had turned in early,
The Drummer in another room,
The Spider closed in on the lone Frontman,
Who defenceless and alone was introduced to his doom.
Act 3- Ascension
Scene 5- Along came a Spider
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!
Alex McQuate May 2017
It was a new day,
As I suited up for battle,
A new campaign,
Something sure to leave the uninitiated rattled.

A polo shirt to defend against the piercing stares of haughty individuals,
A thermos of coffee,
To brain the sandman with when he arrived with reinforcements mid morning,
Neatly combed hair to camouflage myself as just another drone,
Plucking away and invisible to predators.

As I sit down at my desk
I take a look out the window at the rain,
And imagine I was out in it,
For the rain is much more enjoyable.

But fear not,
I still have my secret weapon,
Devastating to the enemies of fun.
A power so great it will ensure that I will never fully succumb to the forces of drudgery.

I raise my pantleg a bit to take a peek at my crazy socks,
Instantly making my day better
Aren't crazy socks the best?
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
Alex McQuate May 2017
Looking out from my summit,
Out below on the mountain of my mind,
The words of Getty Lee and his friends,
Sprouting from nowhere,
Telling me that the human being is like a planet,
And that planet is divided into hemispheres,
But one cannot exist without the other.
Intellect was one such hemisphere,
In another hemisphere was creativity,
Another was experiences,

And the smallest one was one I had been trying to ignore,
It was withered, abandoned, uncomfortable, alone,
It was the hemisphere of the bad ****,
Memories of traumas,
New and old.

But now I knew without those I would be a completely different man than I am now today,
What's a little pain in the long run?
Just a work in progress I guess.
Alex McQuate May 2017
Some say it's thicker than tar,
Others say it tastes like turpentine,
To the first I'd say that rumor is stretched too far,
And to the second I'd say it tastes quite fine.

As long as you do it right.

I'll even give you the recipe:
- A *** of water
- Coffee grounds (1/2 cup-3/4 cups)
-A non-tattered boot sock (it'll take a little while to find a good one)

Step 1: Pour coffee grounds into sock and tie it off.
Step 2: Bring *** of water to a rolling boil
Step 3: Steep sock and leave it in ***.
Step 4: Remove *** from heat source.
Step 5: Wait 5 minutes then serve.

That's it,
That's all there is to it,
The magic behind it all,
Add or subtract time as preferred,
Cheaper then a coffee machine,
Once the right sock is found.

It is an odd thing to learn,
So off the wall and profound.

Are you brave enough to try?
It's very good.
Alex McQuate May 2017
The young man stepped off the bus,
Pack of clothes on his back,
Guitar case in hand.

He decided to forge his own path,
In this place were so many had failed before,
Just another individual in the City of Angels.
His chuck's scraped the pavement as he spun around,
Trying to take it all in.

Quickly he found the city was but gilded, It's thin layer of gold covering the lead core underneath.

It got to the point where the young man had almost given up hope.

But steadfast he marched on, Accumulating like-minded individuals, And soon they stood shoulder-to-shoulder.

Ready to take the World by storm.
Act 1 Youth to Man
Scene 5 Arrival

This wraps up Act 1 for Elegy of the Frontman. Let me know what you think!
Alex McQuate Mar 2018
When I was younger he was stronger than Superman to me,
Wiser than Albert Einstein,
And funnier than a book of knock knock jokes,
A constant in the ever changing experience that it is to be a kid.

As I grew older he gained a couple new facets,
He at times became a source of ire to my teenage mind,
But patience was one of those attributes that never changed,
Although at times I more than likely stretched it to it's very limits.

And as I became an adult it clicked,
And it was like it was before,
Any previous tensions were wiped away,
Connected again after a few years of being gone,
Many a Friday night's spent just drinking beers,
Shooting the **** and listening to vinyls that he bought in high school.
Sometimes just sitting quietly smoking,
The silence a place we could both find solace in.

And now I am slapped with a harsh truth,
That he's not invincible,
That anchor won't be there forever,
That even Superman is mortal.

That a man I've seen endure the impossible with barely a muttered curse and a grimace just for spite,
Could contemplate throwing in the towel.

Talk about a shift of paradigm, right?

All because of something I never planned for, even though it comes to us all.
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.
Alex McQuate May 2017
It's like slow motion,
Much like a train derailing,
You can't bring yourself to look away,
As the fist flies toward your face.

As soon as the foreign limb makes contact  with your cheek,
It seems like someone pressed the fast forward button,
Because you seem to retaliate immediately,
Over and over,
As more blows are returned to your head and sides.

You throw your weight forward,
Catching them off balance as they were on their heels,
Wrapping them up around the midsection in a picture perfect tackle.

You both go flying out the front door and into the street,
Both struggling to your feet,
Both you and your opponent's friends pull each other apart,
And make haste to leave before the cops arrive.
Ever try to explain the sensations you feel during a bar fight?
Alex McQuate Sep 2017
Look at you in your wide brim hat,
Dressed in black,
Fingers dancing across the Strat's neck,
Easy as you please.
Voice of anguish and whiskey,
Telling me a story of one lost long ago.

I sit listening quietly, as the rain falls outside,
And a train can be heard lumbering across the tracks.

Your words take shape,
Odd stranger,
With hair long and black,
The shape is of a man recently sent free,
Deciding to walk through the roughest place in town.

I need a drink,
I take a swig,
The smell of pine like smelling salts for my brain,
The taste of fireworks and Christmas trees reminiscent of candies eaten on Halloween nights.

Then BAM!
You yell out,
Telling me of a poor dice rollers fate,
Like a siren's call,
******* me back into this sad, sad narrative.

And lastly of the visit,
The one dated to seal the protagonist's fate,
Of the freed man once again being put into chains,
A tale of Sisyphus best personified.

You lead off,
Leaving the bar room cold and empty.
I slide in another couple quarters,
And again you begin to play.
SRV- Tin Pan Alley
Alex McQuate May 2017
It's a nice day, as I curse the very concept of a migraine,
Ian Anderson is flittering about,
Telling me of a peculiar elf like character,
That looked after the plants during the winter,
He is a minstrel that expertly weaves a narrative, in which we are played down on a hammock of his words.

Now it's a cautionary tale.
A tale of an old man and a mouse,
And that like the mouse,
The man could see the trappings of his everyday life like shackles,
Unnecessary responsibility a collar.

Ian probably is standing like a crane at this point,
One foot off the ground, steady as a rock.
The hat atop his head quite peculiar,
Giving off an almost manic expression,
As he plays his flute,
Coming off as slightly unhinged.
But what would you give to be able to live life in such a manner?
Without a care in the world,
Able to solve all your problems without having to worry,
As the stakes of failure would be so low as to not even warrant attention.
Alex McQuate May 2017
Sitting out here in the porch,
Listening to Tool,
My phone is fast dying,
Probably best that I allow it,
It's good for it long term,
To every once in a while just let it run
Completely out if juice.

Is that true for humans too?
Listening to 46 and 2 by Tool
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
Alex McQuate May 2017
My brain is suddenly alight like fireworks,
A thousand ideas spawning from thin air,
Things I've forgotten ten times over come back in a flash,
Birthday dates,
Phone numbers of old coworkers,
Names of films.

I need to find paper,
Need to write this down before I forget.
My phone rings,
I answer it,
It's a Telemarketer,

The paper before me lies mostly blank,
The only words written are as follows:
                                   Glass stopper
      Colin Hay                             black garlic

         /l l/
          ^ Above is my best text translation of a doodled elephant head.

I'm about to scream,
Because I can't remember for the life for me as to why I wrote them,
It's all dialogue with no context.
A paper of hieroglyphs and me without a Rosetta Stone.
Statesboro Blues by the Allman Brothers is a good listen
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.
Alex McQuate Jun 2017
The Three had been delivered into the valley of fate,
it was there that they were armed with only their instruments,
seemingly shrunken in comparison to the valley's reaches.

So it was here they marched on,
their Frontman blazing the path,
the bonds between them strengthened,
through their shared success,
reinforced by shared lows,
when the weight was equally heavy upon all their shoulders.

It was there that momentum was gained,
a confident crew that had just hit its stride,
with faces that hadn't entirely lost their boyishness,
their walks and actions, however, told a completely different story,
for these new up-and-comers.

It was time.
They had to create an epic of the histories,
They had to make an album.
Act 3- Ascension
Scene 1- Building steam
Alex McQuate May 2017

The butterfly knife handle is smooth against my palm,
Worn down through years of ownership and use.


Curtis Stirgers is telling me the story of Poor Ol' John,
My mind is at peace,
And my thoughts are clear.


I can see the flashes of steel,
Sending off glints of light out in the darkened room,
I'm mostly zoned out,
A quasi-zen state in this dance of blade and flesh,
A Balisong Ballet.

Found my old blade. Was listening to  Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers-  John The Revelator.
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