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Traveler Jun 2020
Thomas W Case's
Tom Waits Challenge

She doesn’t represent me anymore
She’s agonizingly apathetic to the core
I live by myself out back in her barn
She can no longer do me any harm

Bedbugs and scratching mice
The bare necessities will suffice
I have no need for greed or misery
I have but one ex-wife

The old windmill has frozen gears
I haven’t tilled these grounds in years
I drink and drive my old beat up truck
To the bar to try my luck

Oh those gals
With sweet love swells
All a man can use
Drunken blind
And feeling fine
And I'm not afraid to lose!
Traveler Tim
Thomas W Case Jun 2020
When I think of you,
I hear a marimba in my head.
I'm lost like a stray cat.
Baby, I swear I'll hop a train
and head west, to roll away
from the memory of you.
This mad hatter moon lights
my way, and I'm done
holding on.  I'm getting a
bottle of whiskey, and drinking
it until you become a
blurry memory.
Then I'm jumping that train.
This is another poem I wrote off the cuff for the Tom Waits Challenge
grumpy thumb Jun 2020
Passing by those
owners of sad lost eyes
like Rubin's faceless
slumping on kerb ridges 
body bridges
between pavements and
shuttered shop cages
where the cast of a streetlamp gets swallowed up
by dime bag shadows,
30 to 1 outsiders
and washed up wannabe beatniks
too wild for Kerouac pages.
I'm sure there's a beauty somewhere there
below the crust of the surface
late in the a.m. between
stiletto heels clip and echo
and the strike and flare
of cigaretted fingers
if I only dared
to thread and seek out
where a different twist of choice nearly led.
Thomas W Case Tom Waits vibe challenge.
This was fun
Thomas W Case Jun 2020
I was living in this
flop house above
a **** shop in Amarillo.
I had a one eyed cat
named Walter, I'd bet
a sawbuck that when
I slept,
he drank my whiskey.
I sill love him though.
He stuck around longer
than those old painted up
ladies that strolled through,
and tested my bed springs.
I got two shots of Wild Irish Rose
left, then it's back to these
***** streets of broken dreams
and sick scenes.
Here is my challenge to everyone.......Write a poem inspired by Tom Waits....Everyone welcome.   Here is mine.
Whit Howland Sep 2019
end of summer

mom dad
the background

I do all the talking
what I'm saying
is brief

an off-hand question
so to speak
on its face

the whole scene seems pedestrian
though it carries a bit
of restless magic

me fidgety  hard
nervous eyes
especially golden

when I turn sideways
and crack
a wry
smile for the camera

the videographer
summer camp buddy
a kid named Terry
from Pensacola

he's still around
though he might
not look the same

it's taken a while
and many carousel rides
to get around to saying

I thought I'd never say
to myself

I miss him

that kid
the one who had
yet to put a pet
to sleep

or got the news
about his brother
the merchant marine

© Whit Howland 2019
An artistic fusion of reality and fiction to create a word painting.
Whit Howland Jul 2019
gentle water
lapping the hull

bossa nova
clinking glasses
a tickle
of the piano's ivory keys
and you're lost

in giant strawberries
of a daiquiri
dribbling down your chin
onto your palm frond top
and shorts while you

swing and sway

tomorrow Ocho Rios Jamaica
but today sun and sea

tonight the crown stars
and a ruby juicy
fingernail moon

Whit Howland © 2019
Akira Chinen Mar 2017
She wore her red shoes to Romeos funeral
and misssed the stale smell of his cheap cologne
and that his lips had always tasted of whiskey
she picked up a card and some flowers and a strange ballon
for $29 and some spare change from the drug store
on Kentucky Ave. where someone had stolen
her favorite alligator purse
somewhere in the distance a train pulling box cars
whistled to the magpies with their wings spread up above
just hanging there like kites
and she wore a pretty blue gun strapped to her thigh
right over where he had left his teeth marks on the forth of July
the one he had given her on the Valentine's day
he had spent in jail for attempting to rob the jewelry store
for the necklace she had wanted for Christmas
the December before
the same Christmas all he could give her
was his favorite skull and crossbones ring
tied around the broken piano string
he had once tried to wear as a tie  
they had meet the night he stole her record player
and she had happened to be on the wrong side of the road
as he made his way from the scene of the crime
completely unaware she would steal his heart
before he would see another sunrise
but that was all before he took a bullet to the chest
after avenging his brother that was left to die
without his knife
they had found his body in the theater
with his shoes full of blood and a smile on his face
and she knew as his body was lowered
into the cold cold ground her new favorite color was going
to be blue come next Valentine's day
It's dangerous when your biggest role models
spent their lives
drinking, smoking and gambling
but maybe it's worth it
if it inspires you to write
that is at least 1 % as great as their works
cause 1 % of their greatness
is ******* amazing
For my four favorite writers: Charles Bukowski, Dorothy Parker, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
We blew the brains out
of midnight
under a root beer sky
and followed the tawny
streetlights like a spindle on a B-side.

Ever effervescent
we tango on piano-key pavements
dancing like febrile bacchants
under a tallow moon.

And we might amble into
crepuscular philosophy
whilst alley dwellers
Do their best to stem
the global water shortage
and graffiti artists
sharpen their spray cans.

Inevitably we perambulate in to lamentations
ruminations on *******
over those we loved from afar
like jackdaws gawking at carrion
we just don’t put it in so many words.

Later we get home and ****
because once you’ve murdered midnight
and the doves come up
and dawn is born
it’s the only thing left
Edward Coles Jun 2015
I tried to keep my focus on the out-breath,
to the things I can offer
rather than what I keep inside.
I have tried yoga poses
at the crack of dawn
with nothing but my underwear on;
I tried to drink eight pints
of water a day
to ensure that my veins do not rust away,
to fill myself with the basic essence of life-
but I could not handle the broken sleep
each time I woke, desperate for a ****
in the depths of the night.
I tried to blu-tac unfinished songs
to my wall, emulating product-placement
but with nothing left to sell.
I know I cannot keep smoking ****
to emulate a stalwart companion.
These broken streets
look more second-hand to me,
and I have tried to find
that sober sleep,
that wide-eyed wonder
outside of these stale, chemical dreams-
but all I get are cold sweats
and cold shoulders;
people growing all around me
like stalks in a cornfield,
blocking all but a circle of light
that hangs over my head;
the bottom of a well,
the bottom of the world.

I am doing my best to keep on top
of all the things
that threaten to bring me down.
(C) 04/06/2015
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