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Time to meet the family
At least, that's what I heard
But, she asked me when the game was on
So, I didn't catch a word

We'd be heading out a week from now
Back where it all began
To meet the wife's whole family
every woman, every man

When she said she was from the hills
I didn't ask her where
But, once he started on our way
I was always looking out for bear

They lived way up in the wooded parts
Off the road, you couldn't see
I didn't see just where they were
But, I felt them watching me

We pulled on up and there they were
They made the Clampett clan look good
Eighteen folks all standing there
and two were chewing wood

The one's I thought to be her folks
Were her sister and a dog
The one that cozied up to me
Had a leash walking a hog

There was hugging and some kissing
Lots of tangled beards and hair
Then they stood and looked at me
With that mountain kind of stare

you know the one, deliverance like
where you wonder flee or flight
It was just then that I wondered
If I'd make it through the night

Her ma came up and spun me round
slapped my ***, and said "he'll do"
I wasn't sure if that was good
And I would end up in a stew

A bearded one came over,
shook my hand, and said his name was Clem
He said that mama liked me
Now, I was one of them

they was fixing to go hunting
Which was something new to me
The last time I went hunting
I shot a canoe and a tree

They said that they were hunting
The most elusive mountain prey
I was gonna hunt for ginseng
And if we found some it would pay

First, though, time to have some drinks
Eat some greasy, stinky meal
I think it was a possum
But, it might have been an eel

They said we'd get a good night's sleep
And they started howling at the moon
Time to hit the sack they said
Hunting time is coming soon

My Appalachian in-laws
Made my sphincter close up tight
They had 14 teeth between them
And I don't think one of them could write

We hit the trail next morning
It felt like miles up that hill
I thought that I was dieing
And I hadn't left a will

A sound was heard, a gentle coo
And we was running, in our boots
Clem was out in front of us
And he'd discovered ginseng roots

I picked them up, all scraggly
Like a parsnip,  dried and dead
When a holler came from brother Boo
A monster known as Red

His beard was black as coal could be
His eyes looked at each other
They called him Red not for his hair
Just 'cause he liked the color

They filled the bags with what they found
And back down the hill they went
I thought that this was insanely mad
And then Clem got a scent

Someone else was on this hill
Out hunting Appalachian gold
That's not what I would call it
But, I just call things as I'm told

We found the truck and sped away
To get paid for the days find
We had to make sure all were there
And that we left no one behind

The gun shop and the bar and grill
Was where we would get paid
Thirteen hundred bucks a pound
Almost three grand had we made

We went back with the cash in hand
Howling at whatever we saw
I guess that I'm now one of them
An Appalachian outlaw in-law
Kendall Mallon Jul 2013
Book One


Prelude:

As Romans before them, they built the city upward—
layer ‘pon layer as the polar caps receded
layer by layer—preserving what they could, if someday
the waters may recede back into the former polar
ice caps; restoring the long inundated coastlines.


Home:

A man sat upon a tall pub stool stroking
his ginger beard while grasping a pint loosely
in his other hand. An elderly gent stood
next to him. The older gentleman noticed
that the ginger bearded man’s pint sat almost
quite near the bottom of its tulip glass.

A woman with eyes of amber and hair
as chestnut strolled through a vineyard amongst
the ripening grapes full of juice to soon
become wine. She clutched a notebook—behind (10)
thick black covers lay ideas and sketches
to bring the world to a more natural
state—balancing the wonders and the merits
of technology apace with the allure ‘n’
sanctity borne to the natural world.

When the ginger bearded man finished the
final drops of his stout, another appeared
heretofore him—courtesy owed to the elder
gentleman. “Notice dat ye got d’ mark
o’ a man accustom amid the seas,” (20)
he inferred; gesturing the black and blue
compass rose inscribed inside a ship’s wheel,
imbedded into the back of the ginger
bearded man’s weathered right hand.
                 “I have crewed
and skippered a many fine vessel, but I
am renouncing my life at sea—one final
voyage I have left inside of me:
one single terminal Irish-Atlantic
voyage t’ward home.” (30)
“Aye d’ sea can beh cold
‘nd harsh, but she enchants me heart. Ta where
are ye headed fer d’ place ye call home,
d’ere sonny boy?”
     “’tis not simply a where,
‘tis a who. Certain events have led me
to be separate from my wife. For five
eternal years I have been traveling—
waiting to be in her embrace. The force
of the Sea, she, is a cruel one. For (40)
it seams: at every tack or gybe the farther
off I am thrown from my homeward direction
to stranger and stranger lands… I have gone
to the graveyard of hell and the pearly gates
of (the so called) heaven; I have engaged
in foolhardy deals—made bets only a
gambling addict would place. All to just be
with Zara. I am homesick—Zara is my
home—it doesn’t matter where (physically)
we are located, my home is with Zara. I (50)
was advised to draw nigh the clove of Cork
and wait; wait for a man, but I was barely
given a clue as to who this man is,
only I must return him this:” the ginger
bearded man held out a dull silver pocket watch
with a frigate cut into the front cover
and two roses sharing a single stem
swirling upon themselves cut into
the back.
   “Can it be? ‘Tis meh watch dat meh (60)
fat’er gave t’ meh right before he died…
I lost it at sea many a year ago.
It left meh heartbroken—fer it was meh only
lasting mem’ry of him… Come to t’ink I
was told by a beggar in the street—I
do not remember how long ago—dat
I would happen across a man wit’ somet’ing
dear t’ meh, and I’d accomp’ny dis man
on a journey, and dis man would have upon
‘im d’ mark of a true sailor…” (70)
    “Dear elder man,
my name is Abraham; the mark you see
represents the control that I have on my
direction—thought it appears the Sea retains
some ascendancy… Yet now, it appears,
the Sea is upholding her bargain—though
a bit late... Do you, by chance, own a vessel
that can fair to Colorado?—all across
this mist’d island no skipper ‘ll uptake
my plea; they fear the sharp wrath of the Sea (80)
or (if they have no fear) simply claim my home
‘is not on their routes…’ i’tis a line I’ve
heard too often. I would’ve purchased a vessel,
but the Sea, she, has deprived me completely
of my identity and equity.”

Zara, with her rich chestnut hair sat upon
a fountain in a piazza—her half empty
heart longing to savor the hallow presence
of Abraham, and stroke his ginger beard…
Everyday she would look out at the sea (90)
whence he left…
     All encouraged her to: “forgo
further pursuit”; “he is likely deceased
by now”—his vessel (what left) scuttled amidst
the rocks of Cape Horn, yet Zara could feel
deep-seated inside her soul he is alive;
Alive (somewhere) fighting to return home.
Never would Zara leave; never would she
abandon post; she made that promise five
years ago as Abraham, ‘n’ his crew,
set out on their final voyage; and she (100)
would be ****** ere she broke her promise—a promise
of the heart—a promise of love. Abraham
said: “You are my lighthouse; your love, it, will guide
me home—keep me from danger—as long as you
remain my lighthouse, I’ll forever be
set to return home—return home to you.”

Out from Crosshaven did the old man take
steadfast Abraham en route to his home.
Grey Irish skies turned blue as they made their
way out on the Irish Sea, southwest, toward (110)
the southern end of the Appalachian Island.
The gentle biting spray of the waves breaking
over the bow and beam moistened the ginger
bearded face of Abraham; his tattooed
hands grasped the helm—his resolute stare kept him
and the old man acutely on course.
A shame,
it struck the old man, this would be the final
voyage of Abraham… he: the best crew
that the old man had ever came across; (120)
uncertain if simply the character
of Abraham or his pers’nal desire
to return home in the wake of five long
salty-cold years—a vassal to the Sea
and her changing whim. Never had the old
man seen his ship sail as fast as he did when
Abraham accorded its deck—each sail
set without flaw: easing and trimming sheets
fractions of an inch—purely to obtain
the slightest gain in speed; the display warmed (130)
the heart of the old man.
        And thus the elder
gent mused as he lightly puffed on his pipe
while sitting on the stern pulpit regarding
at Abraham’s passion to return home
(as he calls her):—maybe dis is d’ reason
d’ Sea has fought so hard, and lied, t’ keep
Abraham from returning home… Could not
bear t’ lose such fine a sailor from her
expanses—she is known t’ be quite a jealous (140)
mistress…
      But for all Abraham’s will and passion,
the old man insisted for the fellow
to rest; otherwise lack of sleep would cause
the REM fiddler to reap his debt—replace
clarity of mind with opacity.
Reluctantly stalwart Abraham gave
in and retire below deck—yet the old
man doubted the amount of rest that he
acquired in those moments out of his sight. (150)

For the days, then weeks, in the wake of their
departure from the port-island Crosshaven,
the seas were calm as open water can:
gentle azure rolling swells oscillated
and helped impel the vessel forward. The southern
craggy cape of the Appalachian
Island pierced the horizon. Like a threshold
it stood for Abraham—a major landmark;
the closest to home he had been in five
salty long years—his limbo was beginning                               (160)
to fade, his heart slowly—for the first time since
he left port in eastern Colorado—
started to feel replete again. The Great
Plains Sea—his final sea—he would not miss
the gleam of his lighthouse stalwart on shore.




Book Two

Oracle:**

Upon a beach, Abraham found himself alone—gasping
in gulps of moist air like that of a new born baby first (10)
experiencing the breathe of life; he felt as if he
would never become dry again… the salt burning his skin
as it crusted over when the water evap’rated
into the air; Abraham took the first night to rest, the
next day he set to make shelter and wait for a rescue
crew; out he stared at the crashing waves hoping for a plane
or faint form of a ship upon the horizon…days and
nights spun into an alternating display of day then
night: light then dark—light, dark, light, dark, grey, grey, grey…

Abraham (20)
gave up marking the days—realized the searches are done—
given up after looking in the wrong places (even
he did not know where he was…) the cold waves and currents took
him to a safe shore away from his ship and crew, in a
limp unconscious float…
From the trees, and what he could find on
the small  island, Abraham occupied himself with the
task of building a catamaran to rid himself of
the grey-waiting.
Out he cast his meager vessel into (30)
the battering surf; waves broke over his bows and centre
platform—each foot forward, the waves threatened to push him back
twofold… Abraham struck-beat the water with the oars he
fashioned; rising and falling with the energy of the
waves; Abraham stole brief looks back with hopes of a van’shing
shoreline—coast refused to vanish… his drenched arms grew tired;
yet he pushed on knowing he would soon be out passed the
breaking waves; then could relax and hoist sail; yet the waves grew
taller—broke with greater power… Abraham struck-beat the
water with his oars—anger welled—leading to splashes of (40)
ivory sea-froth instead of the desired progress
forward; eventually, his arms fell limp beyond the
force of will… waves tumbled him back to shore as he did the
first night upon the island…
Dejected Abraham lay
in the surf that night—the gentle ebb of the sea added
to insult, but hid the tears formed in the corner of his eyes—
salt water to salt water… the next day Abraham took
inventory of damage: the mast snapped in multiple
places, the rudders askew—the hulls and centre structure (50)
remained intact; the oars lost (or at least Abraham cared
not to search); over the next weeks he set to improve
the design and efficiency of his vessel—the first
had been hurried and that of a man desperate to leave;
the bare minimum that would suffice—he set to create
a vessel to ensure his departure from the des’late
accrue of sand and vegetation; Abraham laboured
to strengthen his body—pushing his arms further passed the
point his mind believed they could go—consuming the hearty,
protein-rich, mollusks, and small shellfish he could find inside (60)
tide pools or shallows—if lucky, larger fish that dared the
nearby reefs.
Patiently, Abraham observed the tides and
breaking water; he wanted to determine the correct
time to set off to ensure success—when the waves would not
toss him back to the beach; the day: a calm clear day—only
within few metres of soft beach did there exist any
breaking waves, and those that broke were barely a metre high;
loading provisions upon the vessel, Abraham bid
farewell to the island (out of wont for the sustenance (70)
it gave not for nostalgia) grasping his oars, he set forth
to find open sea—where the waves do not break and set you
gingerly on foreign shore(s); Abraham paddled passed the
first few breaking waves, his heart pounding with hope—he stifled
the thoughts (celebrate when the island is but a subtle
blue curve upon the horizon); as the island began
to shrink in his vision, the sky to his back grew darker…
the waves started to swell—moguls grew to hills—Abraham
stroked up and rode down; the cursèd Island refused to shrink…
if not begin to grow wider… stroke by stroke Abraham (80)
grew frustrated—stroke by stroke frustration advanced into
anger—stroke by stroke anger augmented into fiery
beating of the water!—Abraham struck and struck at the
Sea—eyes closed—white knuckles—trashing!—unsure which direction
he paddled…sky pitch-black, wind blowing on-shore Abraham
bellowed out to the Sea in inarticulate roars of:
hatefrustrationpitydesperationheartache!
Towards
Abraham’s in-linguistic roar, the sky let out a crack
of authority! a wave swept the flailing Abraham (90)
into the ocean—cool water only heated the rage
in Abraham’s mind—his half empty heart only wanted:
to sail home, become whole  again—sit under and olive
tree and stroke the chestnut hair of Zara as she drifted
off to sleep on his chest while he would whisper sweet verses
into her ear… Abraham’s rage, beyond reason, forgot
the boat and all clarity, he tried to swim away from
the cursèd island—scrambling up waves only to tumble
back with their breaking peaks—salt, the only taste in his mouth;
churning his stomach to *****; his kidney’s praying he (100)
would  not swallow anymore… his gasps stifled any curse
Abraham’s head wished to expel onto the Sea—yet she
swore she heard one final curse escape his lips! at that the
Sea tossed Abraham (head first) into his ghost-helmed vessel—
all went dark for hostile Abraham…

Contemplating back
at his rage—knowing the barbarian it makes of him,
Abraham peered into the band inscribed into his
ring-finger and saw the knot tying him to Zara—shame
at his arrogant-uncontrolled-fury sent Abraham (110)
into a meditative exile inside of his mind
(within the exile of the island…) in his mental
exile Abraham spun into deeper despair at his
two failures—even more at the prospect of failing the
vow he professed onto Zara: return home—home from this
final voyage, grow old with her on solid ground, never
to die apart and cause the pain of losing a loved one
without the closure of truly knowing the death is real,
to die by her side white, white with the purity of age…
Abraham’s destitution turned inward—his fury, the (120)
lack of control, the demon he becomes when rage surges
through his muscles; equiping him with untamed strength without
direction or self-possession—so much potential, yet
no productive way to use it… Abraham’s half-full-heart
burned, ached with passion and anguish—all desire
focused on home, his return, but the mind’s despondency
and insistent ‘what-ifs’ kept poor Abraham prostrate in
his mental cave—all his wishing for anger and vi’lence
to force his will, it did more to retain him upon the
cursèd island than bring his heart closer to fulfillment: (130)
his long awaited home…
Out of his mental exile did
Abraham’s irises dilate and contract with blinding
illumination—self-pity is not what make things happen—
it would only serve to anger Zara—nothing other
than I can be to blame for my continued absence; I
am stronger than that!—looking at the tattoo in his hand,
he remembered the reasons for the perennial brand—
the eight-spoke ship’s helm: the eight-fold-path—I must cut off my
desire for anger to be the solution and focus (140)
on the one path to Zara—the mind can push the body
further than the body believes is possible—the star:
the compass to guide me via celestial bodies
to where my heart can see the guiding beam of my lighthouse!
This is the Final Voyage epic thus far. I am converting Home into blank verse and it is taking longer than I thought to do; which is why that part is incomplete here. I also added line numbers. I changed The names as well.
Mel Holmes Feb 2014
seductive decay

on summer days we
rode down the river in our ripe age,
careless if the rapids swept us
into their deadly dustpans,
the black hole of water,
the possibility aroused us,
perhaps because it seemed so far away.

and next to the river,
the appalachian townsfolk wandered the deep grass, they
gathered here to see the circling folding-tables,
buy the spread of goods,
the goods are masks.
the masks are of old folks’ faces,
cartoon-like, goofy comic characters in the funny pages.
masks of rubbered wrinkles, permanent,
bulging eyes, whiskered ears that never stop growing, with
an elastic band, you can become an elder.

old age attracts the crowds,
i have a fascination with it myself,
picturing all the stories that have
taken elders to the present,
it’s hard to fake being wise
when you’re forced to think for years.
r Jul 2014
Blue the mountains
holding close in view
sacred smoke of yesterdays
blue fog shrouded trails
beneath the rhododendron

falls of sweet blue water
replenishing the rivers
sapphire lakes reflecting
splendor of the bluest hills
above the peaceful valley

hear the sacred music
of the blue ridge mountains
magic in the songs of old
forever blue my appalachia
blue the hills I used to roam.

r ~ 7/4/14
\¥/\
 |      ^^^^^
/ \
spysgrandson Apr 2017
with moonlight, he travels mostly
at night, past snoring hikers and embers
of fires that cooked their food, kept darkness
at bay, and heard what they had to say

if the coals could only speak, perhaps
he would find the right circle of stones,
a black heap of carbon that once glowed
red and gold, and her tale would be told

at least he would know the last words
she spoke in this wilderness--whether she
chose to vanish into the deep wood, fodder
for the scavengers

or was the prey of evil men,
who lurk at every turn--in bustling city
and quiet forest as well--vipers who strike
without warning, without curse or cause

when the moon's light wanes, he moves yet
in darkness, feeling his way, a nocturnal detective,
hoping to find what the others have given up
for lost and registered among the dead:

sign or scent of her--black coals or white bones,
a piece of tattered clothing, the canvas backpack
with her name, the hiking boots he laced for her
which left tracks he forever yearns to find...
"Inspired" by the brutal ****** of a couple on the Appalachian Trail in the mid '80s. In this case, the forlorn searcher has lost a lover, daughter or someone he wanders in the darkness to find.
Marian Oct 2014
Petrichor breezes mingled
With the scent of mountain laurel
Blew across the cool summer air
The taste of citrus on my tongue
I have a view of the valley below me
Everything looks so small
In hidden caves, I sing
And wade in mossy waterfalls
I watched the moon rise in the velvety sky
I'm falling slowly asleep
Upon a bed of lady's slipper
In the morning, I shall awake
To vibrant creamy pastel skies
And fragrant mists of dawn
I shall walk upon paths
Where no foot has ever trod
Paths bordered by rhododendrons
Where my heart can soar
With evergreens and white pines
Hidden safely with my mountain cove
A haven where I can dream
Nestled in amongst the Appalachian mountains
In a small, but comfortable log cabin
My heart keeps telling me "I am home!"

**~Marian~
Haven't posted anything for quite some time,
So I don't know how this sounds!!! :P ~~~~~~<3
I will try to post more frequently, if I can,
Although I can make no promises!!! ~~~~~<3
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it!!! :) ~~~~~~<3
Cyril Blythe Aug 2012
He had a red raised bump from writing too long
Now, I feel a proud resistance from my 36 ‘o clock shadow’s frill
Summer cicadas, on Cranfield Road, always sang their song
and the sun set behind our blue Appalachian foothill

Now, I feel a proud resistance from my 36 ‘o clock shadow’s frill
I got to shoot Dad’s 30/30 rifle when I was fourteen
and the sun set behind our blue Appalachian foothill
No other Bayless has ever seen Peru’s countryside eaten in fire and morphine

I got to shoot Dad’s 30/30 rifle when I was fourteen
but Mom has always been a vegetarian (except for some fish)
No other Bayless has ever seen Peru’s countryside eaten in fire and morphine
Cheese, fruit, and silence is our favorite family dish

But mom has always been a vegetarian (except for some fish)
Mimi and Leiron love cats and Pops and I on ink relied
Cheese, fruit, and silence is our favorite family dish
Mimi’s glasses, shaken by sobs and laughter, fell off when he died

Mimi and Leiron love cats and Pops and I on ink relied
his dead lips were painted a shade too red, inexcusably
Mimi’s glasses, shaken by sobs and laughter, fell off when he died
The trashcan in my room was filled with murdered versions of his eulogy

his dead lips were painted a shade too pink, inexcusably
Summer cicadas, on Cranfield Road, always sang their song
The trashcan in my room was filled with murdered versions of his eulogy
He has a red raised bump from writing too long.
Emily N Jul 2012
1.   Stop drinking coffee at levels that promote addiction, and subsequent withdrawal symptoms

2.   Wear your reading glasses like you’re supposed to

3.   Read more contemporary fiction

4.   Don’t lie about reading Ulysses

5.   Don’t bother converting the Mormons

6.  Eat more chocolate

7.  Eat less chocolate

8.  Bring flowers to sick people

9.  Bring flowers to dead people

10. Bring flowers to some living people

11. Don’t frown when people tell you it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile

12. Act as if it is going on YouTube

13. Stop ******* swearing all the time you good for nothing *******

14. Tell him when he reaches the spot

15. Tell the barista that whole milk is always okay

16. Tell the other barista that his beard and love of poetry does not an instant access to ******* make (although it’s close)

17. Stop calling your brother a ****

18. Stop calling people *****

19. Call people more respectable names when you dislike them

20. Give up the self-righteous entitlement that reading theory gave you

21. Keep reading theory while sipping organic tea at Delta of Venus

22. Practice your ******* instruments

23. Practice means learning how to read music, idiot

24. Stop saying the Lord’s name in vain—say it earnestly and vehemently as the biggest condemnation that is publicly appropriate

25. When referring to Jesus, call him the militant anti-family pseudo-rabbi carpenter

26. Stop being a condescending ******* about things like that

27. Stop being a condescending *******

28. Recognize your self-loathing and self-deprecating sense of humor is just a cover-up for how content you are with being a condescending *******

29. Tip more

30. Tip cows

31. Tipper Gore is not your friend; accept that

32. Accept that you will never make it to Comic-con the year you care about the panels

33. Accept the fact that you should not be complacent accepting anything

34. Every birthday, apologize to the poor souls who are also born on the same day, and thus over-shadowed by you

35. Apologize to everyone born on the same day as you for ruining the day

36. Initiate things, don’t be: lazy, scared, intimidated

37. Don’t be: lazy, scared, intimidated

38. Stand up against hate

39. Continue your hatred of popular culture and the mass media

40. Listen to more indie labels

41. Don’t shout at people for not knowing the band you’re talking about—gradually introduce them to a better way of life through an introductory mix-tape with a friendly greeting in sharpie

42. Always keep a sharpie, or any permanent marker (don’t fall for brand-name consumerism) handy

43. Don’t be ashamed of liking classical, bluegrass, antiquated sea shanties, and Eurovision

44. Engage people… happily

45. Don’t force yourself to be happy, that’s too obvious and overt and cliché. Blackmail is the route to take

46. Run daily, whether at the gym or from the law, whatever is convenient

47. Fix the law (“Law”)

48. Fix broken bikes

49. Go to med school and fix broken bones

50. Give up med school, it is not the place for you

51. Find the place for you

52. Search the world like the biggest game of Where’s Waldo for your place

53. Once you find that place, decorate it how you want to, and not how a “TLC Interior Decorator/Stylist” would

54. Don’t ******* listen to television shows

55. Unless it’s Shark Week; watch more Shark Week

56. Leave post-it note poetry for people

57. Send text-version post-it note poetry to people

58. Check your ******* phone more often

59. When you do check it, don’t ignore it

60. Ignore your phone sometimes

61. Ignore Facebook a lot of the time

62. Even if the **** you post on Facebook and Tumblr is ironic and mean, people won’t always get that, so act accordingly

63. Thus: do it more often

64. Eat more fruit

65. Eat more vegetables even though they ******* ****

66. Ask people if they legitimately and honestly enjoy vegetables, as opposed to lying about it to present the image of the perfectly healthy person who inspires irritation in donut-lovers

67. Have a donut party

68. Have more parties for all kinds of people: party people, anti-party people, people for the protection of parties, national society for the party-neutral people, et cetera

69. Since this is number sixty-nine, have more ***

70. But only if you really want to

71. Clean your room and organize your records and bookcase—how are you going to woo him with a messy room, and if you don’t woo him, how are you going to have more ***

72. Be consistent with social-function participation, a.k.a. “stop falling off the map”

73. Wear shoes that have arch-support or you’re going to **** up your feet

74. Do more yoga or you’re going to **** up your back (even more)

75. Visit and use and worship the library more

76. Volunteer if possible

77. Commit to things you care about

78. Don’t take it personally when people don’t care as much about Southern Gothic Literature, or Appalachian folk tunes, or Jacques “I’m a smart *******” Derrida, as you do

79. Don’t let people who don’t care as much as you do get in the way of you caring

80. BE ******* ENTHUSIATIC BECAUSE LIFE IS RAD

81. Even if you say you hate life, know that deep down you feel a boundless appreciation for the awesomeness that is being alive and breathing and sleeping and eating and reading and ******* and eating and talking and singing and ******* and ******* around and jumping and dancing and taunting and laughing

82. Stop biting your nails

83. Start a project and finish it (writing, painting, music ****, etc)

84. Be honest all the time

85. This includes the times when it’s easier to lie to yourself

86. Drink responsibly

87. Be responsible

88. Except for the occasions where frivolity and debauchery and outright irresponsibility makes for a better time

89. Drink hard liquor first, then beer, to avoid a bad time

90. Create a moral foundation that is not based on the principle of an afterlife and stick to it

91. Have faith in the dynamic human spirit

92. Recite William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech daily

93. READ EVERY SINGLE FUCKNIG DAY

94. Don’t cry when people say they don’t like to read, just tell them they haven’t found the right book

95. In the face of what seems like imminent despair and fruitless endeavors, remember “Life, Liberty, and Literature”

96. In the face of what seems like imminent failure, remember **** happens, bro

97. In the face of what seems like imminent awesome-ness, be ******* appreciative, bro

98. In the face of imminent adversity, stock up on coffee and chocolate

99. Be friendly

100.                Live life like a rational, compassionate, free-spirited, opinionated, open-minded, interested, and interesting human being because you know **** well you have the capability to
Cali Oct 2012
how strange; you leave me
hanging on to your words
like parachutes, a smile
dancing across my gratuitous
face; appalachian eyes
the color of melancholy
and mouth of a sailor.

you said, I never thought
that I would miss you
quite this much.
...and my very heart
swooned at the idea of
you, so very far away,
so close to me.

come home to me,
darling, I want to tell you
how much I've missed you.
Gidgette Apr 2016
As I sit atop this Appalachian mountain
Watching the sun rise
Seeing lights reflection dance on the lake
Nature's bounty dazzles my eyes
The cardinal nests in a tree beside
He too, waits for the morning star
Being so close to the sky above
Making heaven seem not so far
Winters frost makes everything shine
As it has covered the frozen ground
Like an Angel has come straight from above
And thrown glitter all around
The moon says her daily goodbye
Slowly starts to fade away
And behold, the sun peeking over the horizon
Ready to light the day
Jonny Angel Feb 2014
Lightning flashes
& thunder rolls
over the mountain side,
where standing
exposed on granite slabs,
I guzzle it by the mouth-load,
become one with the creation.
Who needs sunshine,
I love the taste of
the Appalachian rain.
1.

When I
was young
I listened to
Billy the Kid

I galloped
across the
living room floor
giddy upping
in an ecstatic
square dance
with my beloved
America

excitedly
enraptured
boundlessly
enthralled
in youthful
zeal
ebulliently  
yodeling
hymns
whistling
reveries to
America’s
heroic prairie
songs

a precocious
kinder beaming  
moved and illumined
by the broiling fanfare
of trilling trumpets

to uphold the promise
I pledged allegiance
to diligent  work
galloping onward
on ponies of
reverent faith
respectful duty
playful engagement
and guardianship

2.

expectation
never fell short
of resounding
supranaturalistic
optimism

energising
the sweep of
a nation’s
self evident
exceptionalism

our democratic
vista stirred
and steeped

a nation of
wheelwrights
building
wagon trains
to traverse
stratified latitudes
with sturdy ladders
erected with common
sense sensibility
of hands to work
and hearts to God

earthen
yeoman
dancing in
wheat fields
threshing sheaves
of prosperity
their exertions
elevating
families
raising
a glorious chorus,
a peeling crescendo
of horns of plenty
splayed across
landscapes of
an ennobled
nation
placing fruits
of labor upon
ascendent
alters to
to receive
the anointing
of abundance

the lighted grace
of infinite possibilities
shines for a grueling
world listening to the
clamouring drumbeats
sounding in the hearts
of all grace anointed
republicans


3.  

No lullabies
no quiet moonlit nights
we ardently
dance on keys
boasting soul
filled dexterity
the quick self
assuredness
extemporaneously
jazz tapping
across bold
hidden rondos
grasping
transcendence
squarely set
in the minds eye
of unbroken resolve
our cool countenance
an unassailable
righteous destination

any
spare sweeping
plaintive introspection
lends space to
affirm
an
affirmation
beginning
with the individual
unum to e pluribus

solitary dancers
incorporated into
fully enfranchised
troopers

the gyrations
the rhythms and steps
of individuated melodies
join to form a harmonious whole
a beautifully woven consensus

this democratic symphony
perfected in an intelligent
choreography of
separate people
sojourning  
toward
a mutually
constructed
shared destiny

aspirational desires
call forth generations
of spirits boldly engaging
the challenges upholding
the rights and privilege
of all citizens
the celebratory harvest
of a new nations
natural law


4.

As a man
I cruise
along
Main Street
in a joyless
joy ride
gliding by
disassembled
factories
moldering schools
defunct governments

surveying the
demolished ruins
of cities,
the decrepit
wrecking ball
of history
is busy,
rolling through
towns
not worthy
of cast iron
destruction
forged in
foreign kilns

we built palaces
to democracy
in the tiniest hamlets
dotting the granges
wholly assimilated
into a national congress
of freemen

today our
congress
is scattered
dialog seeking
resolution is considered
betrayal to holy
partisanship...

selfish insistence
masquerades as
high ideals

portraiture
of obstinance
is a grotesque
reflection
of virtue

we have
reduced
the peoples
house

to a battlefield
for tribes…..

once freemen
now captives….

soulless ghosts
wandering lost
inside grand
rotundas...

mocked
by murals
and inert
granite statuary
howling
expiration dates
of timeless
psalms

sojourning
the trail of tears
drinking from bowls
of anguish

our only
respite
the silent
ruins we
find impossible
to leave

fear fills our bellies
rust stains our hearts
abiding acrimony
ain’t easily brushed
from dust laden cloths

the deconstruction
of dead cities, mark
expired civilizations
centuries in the making
hammered by the blows
of the mightiest blacksmiths
with precision and deft craft


5.

the spareness of
Martha Graham's set
frame black shadows
of fortitude

it always starts
with the individual

then surely
sure footedness
measured footsteps
boldly dance about
the lily pads
of the keyboard
a resounding ballet
the arms wave
like swaying stalks of wheat
but hurry to respond
opportunity knocks
conditions change
the group awaits
to be joined

my pirouette
remains my solitary mark
on the weaving spindles
crafting the mosaic
of a complex American
complexion

the possibility
the promise
laid before us
wheat fields
of democracy
tilled planted
attended

the wondrous yields of
an Appalachian Spring
the promise
hectare of grace
apportioned to all
citizens

the promise
harvest of liberty
freedom
of opportunity
all anointed
freemen
conferred an
amazing grace

civil discourse
was once spoken
we can learn the
lost languages again
sitting on the porch
with neighbors
sipping ice tea
sharing thoughts on
hot summer evenings
caring too care

but scoundrels
became heroes
we fetishized
idiosyncrasies
of insisted
entitlement

we ******
the whole by
exalting the part

we dare not condemn them
lest we condemn ourselves




6.

the west was once woolly wild
I hear the sweeping sound
of my youth rustle again
the dramatic symphony
of a brilliant people
filled with courage
undeterred optimism
claiming a continent
manifesting a new
Pax Americana
a century
of immigrants  

coming to integrate
coming to assimilate
coming to believe in the promise
coming to make a new promise

I came to hear Copland
when I was young

when America was young
when promises were made
and sworn by a brilliant
fanfare of trumpets

when America was young
Copland composed
when America was young
a promise was made

come forth brothers
come forth sisters
come claim
the promise
of a simple gift


Aaron Copland:
Billy The Kid

11/29/11
Oakland
jbm
Plastic liquidation
With god as my witness
The only cure with
A grave land as your living space

This forgotten life style
Left you as a ******
Only to your sick Aids ridden fantasy

Ballooned music maiden
May your curls grow to collapse
A broken hilarity
In an overused vessel
Emma Erbach Jun 2013
Let's spend a week forgetting to be lonely.
I'll fly into Knoxville, drive east
until the roads run out. No one goes
to Harlan County unless they have to.
The mountains are giants, here, they almost
disguise the desolation-- the pieces
of people that got caught
when the mines collapsed.
You tell me to be careful, as if
this isn't my country, too.
As if I wasn't born with dirt beneath my fingernails.

I like how you treat me delicate.
I like to pretend I'm a flower.
You touch me like I'm breakable.
I want to protest that I'm not, but I'd be lying.
Look at me like you mean it, like I'm
the only clean water
you've drunk in weeks. The wells
have been choked with weeds.
So leave bite marks on my back as you
burn the brush.
There is a sweetness in me if you can find it.

Let's drink like teenagers; make sloppy love.
I want to *** at the same time and then lie around
giggling and smoking cigarettes.
Pull the blankets off the bed and trail them
through the house until we've ****** in every room, twice.
Let's build a pillow fort, drink cheap
wine out of mason jars, and then **** so hard
it falls down around us.
I want you to lose hours in me, whole days,
come up for air next Tuesday and we'll
cook breakfast at midnight. You make me so hungry.

Tell me about your childhood, tell me
the one thing you asked for every Christmas
and never got. I wanted
an Easy-Bake Oven. I wanted to play normal.
Tell me all the things you got but didn't ask for,
never wanted, didn't deserve.
I'll run my teeth across your earlobe
and let my hips listen to all the words
your tongue never learned to say.
We are both still just babies.

I like how you scare me.
How sometimes you hold my wrists together
when you tell me I'm beautiful
so I can't wriggle away, because you know
I've never been good at accepting compliments.
I can count the number of nights
we've spent together on one hand, but the months
of distance take more than just digits.
I used to think you hated me.
I used to hate myself for it.

I know the darkness in you. Three days down
in the mine with no canary and me just waiting
for you to reemerge.
You always seem to find your ways out of it.
I like to think of myself as a lodestone; you tell me
not to get arrogant, that being wounded and beautiful
aren't interchangeable, but I believe
they both can make us strong.
I want to write poems with my fingers
on the small of your back,
leave scratch marks as a reminder of
how far I've come. You make me forget to be sad.
You teach me not to take myself too seriously.
I want to be your canary.
Follow my voice out when it gets dangerous.
I'll only scream when I mean it.

Get a little lost in me. Undress until
I can feel the heartbeat in your **** reverberating up my spine.
So run your tongue down
my torso; forget to breathe, while you
Tell me the things that scare you.
Show me your seams. Somewhere beneath
all this rock there is a gold mine, so trace my veins
like a treasure map. Maybe someday
they will lead you home.
What am I to do when you are hundreds of miles away
Hiking the Appalachia
Living off the land and proving your manhood

The dog cannot hold me and warm me at night
The ******* will seize to amuse me after a week
The empty seat at the table will irk me
I could go on but I think you get the point
I need you

If you really must fulfill this quest
Just know
That I will watch the door awaiting your return
That I will hug your pillow every night
that I will wear your clothes to feel closer to you
Ah, I could go on but I think you get the point
I need you
Daisy Duke Danica Patrick dialogue

DANICA this is preposterous and an embarrassment to my career image

DAISY oh yeah ya think so

DANICA 1st off you’re simply a fictional character i’m a real live racecar driver 2nd you’re a hillbilly ***** who most likely had *** with both cousins Bo and Luke behind Uncle Jesse’s barn

DAISY who you calling a ***** you venomous ***** i did not have ****** relations with those boys (pause gaze averted)

DANICA bare-foot traipsing around Hazzard County dressed like a rural Dixie belle acting all ingénue

DAISY you ain’t got no manners woman were you raised in the south

DANICA Beloit Wisconsin then Roscoe Illinois for your bird-brained information

DAISY ya know in a vague way you owe me

DANICA owe you what you Appalachian Deliverance banjo ****

DAISY i was laying down rubber pedal to the metal gravel dust road in my ’74 yellow Plymouth Road Runner before you was ever born

DANICA what’s that supposed to mean granny i thought you drove a Jeep CJ-7

DAISY it means my fictional character put a seed in the mind’s eye i planted the thought of a female warrior on the racetrack you understand i trail blazed through Georgia back country all you are is just a graduated knock-off of me

DANICA you tawny scrawny pigeon-toed knock-kneed backwoods ****** wouldn’t know your *** from a hole in the ground behind the steering wheel of a Dallara chassis Honda engine open-wheel racecar and if you think i owe you then you must think i owe Janet Guthrie Lyn St. James Sarah Fisher also ***** you ***** *** rebel *****

DAISY girl you got a mouth on you bet you know how to use it in the dark i bet that’s how you got to where you are i know about those FMH pictures

DANICA what i beg your pardon i earned my stripes on the racetrack

DAISY on your knees with your mouth in the shape of 0

DANICA white trash redneck witch! i hate you

DAISY now Danica calm down remember to breath and remember i’m just a fictional character didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers so bad

DANICA all right ok maybe i was a little too hasty to judge and maybe we did just get off on the wrong foot you know Godaddy is looking for someone vintage yet lovely enduring like you

DAISY you’re sweet Danica but my acting days are done i think you look real pretty in electric lime green good luck at NASCAR but i think you do better at Indy that’s just my opinion

DANICA you just might be right Daisy i’m too independent can’t seem to get the hang of you bootlegging draft-racing good ole boys

DAISY amen
Adele Aug 2016
her eyes looked at me with faith
hinting there's another way to live
She has a little world inside her head
since we were young
and the moment she graduated,
I knew she's almost there

I am one of those people who
will be forever stuck in this small town
No one believes in me,
Well, I don't trust myself either
What do I know anyways?

The tear in my knuckles, taste of blood
from the endless fight, forever be on my father's side and knowing there's no hope in my mother's misty mind. This is how I live and this is how my every day work.

I have to let her go. We live in the same place but two different worlds.

I have to walk away although it might hurt us both.
'inspired by the book Where All Lights Tend To Go'
Mandi Wolfe Nov 2019
I sit watching brown eyes
probe affectionately through the haze
at the mirrors created by close family.
I think the intimacy that is made possible
by the sharing of wine, **** and space
in a dim room full of sad love and smoke
will never ceased to amaze me.
The men see themselves in each other
and are both heartened in their own ways
I am drunk now in my way
and The Mirror is ****** in his
and Brown (Green) Eyes is both at once
Appalachian mouths move in turns
to take a hit or a drink or a shot at wisdom
Suddenly the truth of our three souls is laid bare
on the tiny table there between us.
My heart tightens around the words
as they echo through each chamber
growing louder with each reverberation.
“Happiness is being able to breathe”

Love you, Frank.
Trevor Blevins Mar 2016
This end of the trail is where Christian values drive up social status,
Tell you your friends,
Who not to glance at.

I'm not one for all that purity,
And no one else in my shoes could deny the *** in the air.

Crisp and new,
Shining like the grass in the rain,
Remarkably less discussed.

I feel no need for forgiveness tonight,
Which makes me happier than usual...

Typically, I will count the days with
Input to the last time I felt like I had direction— spend an hour telling Rothko I almost relate.

I admire you, but tonight I hope you're miserable.

My bones went hollow, the mood went heavy,
And the bridge went to ruins...

Can't say I'm surprised.

I'll fall asleep with ambience tonight, and wake to all the correspondence I'm not waiting for,

But I'll be of use to you.

I'll be of use in the North,
So odd to imagine my purpose,
Replaced as I am
Or even just looked over.

It's a downpour,
Yet I'm having the strangest drought,
Feeling like I need more light and far less space,

Who now will be at my sickbed?
Don Sturgill Feb 2010
Born in these hills, taken away
when I was three.
Son of a coal miner who took
my mother, my brother, and me.
Drove west to the ocean, Pacific.

The kids there called me "hillbilly" and "hick."
Said I talked funny. Punched me, kicked me,
generally tried their best to make sure
I knew I didn’t belong there.
And I did not.

Eventually, though,
I learned to speak like them,
dress like them, act as if I was not
from Kentucky, my daddy
was not Appalachian, that
these mountains had no part of me.
My only recourse was
after the pledge of allegiance…
I never sang the “Oregon” song.
I sang, "Kentucky."

But, my father, he wouldn’t change.
He was proud of his heritage.
He played banjo; he played mandolin;
he went fishing, a lot.
Grew the best garden in the county,
ate soup beans and cornbread.
He did not give a hang for their Yankee ways.

I hated him. I hated my father.
until I returned to these hills.

Now I see them,
I see him,
in me.
Copyright Don Sturgill 1983, Kentucky USA
Jonny Angel Dec 2013
I’m gonna
break a quarter tonight,
sew half of it in my
sweet darlin’s dress.

Then I’m gonna sprinkle some salt
on her path,  but not before
I strike a match,
name my fishin’ hook after her
and swallow a chicken heart.

Granddaddy tole me those
things will do the trick.....
he's been a lover most of his
natural born life.
Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan in caftan
Of tan with henna hackles, halt!

****** universal ****, as if the sun
Was blackamoor to bear your blazing tail.

Fat!  Fat!  Fat!  Fat!  I am the personal.
Your world is you.  I am my world.

You ten-foot poet among inchlings. Fat!
Begone! An inchling bristles in these pines,

Bristles, and points their Appalachian tangs,
And fears not portly Azcan nor his hoos.
Nigel Morgan Feb 2013
Is there anything more lonely than the sound of boy playing a banjo on a spring afternoon? Oh yes, yes, it’s the sound of girl playing a banjo on a spring afternoon. A boy would lean back on the porch chair and let the instrument fall and rest on his chest to feel the raindrop-plucked vibrations, one by one. This girl, she sits on a kitchen chair, but not in the kitchen, and folds herself over her Daddy’s 5-string. The banjo rests on her blue-cottoned thigh, the lower metal edge firm against her stomach, her slight ******* pressed against the upper wooden rim. If you were standing in the doorway of the workshop you’d see her blond hair falling, falling over her face. There would be that dead-centre parting and just visible the edge of her wire-rimmed glasses.  Then, the denim jacket worn over the kind of summer-blue flowered frock pulled from her Mummy’s clothes that with her passing have now migrated into her bedroom. The thought of clothes is what there is close to hand at the break of day.

When Kath woke this morning, when the morning woke Kath, the valley air was already as sweet, as fresh as any April morning could possibly be in this green hollow of her home. She had lain there feeling the air caress her forehead. The window, always open beside her tangled bed, let in the ringing song of the waterthrush. Newly returned this handsome brown migrant warbler, his whitish breast streaked with brown, more thrush than warbler, she’d watched in the stream yesterday wading on his long, pink legs bobbing his tail like a spotted sandpiper. Soon there would be a nest somewhere in the beech and hemlock hollow along by the stream in the interstices of some fallen tree.

Ellen was due home this morning. She’d hear the Toyota from way up the track, driven overnight from Philadelphia she’d have stopped and stopped. Tired and so tired, she’d go from truck stop to truck stop, the radio her only company and the thought of Joel between her legs arching into her to keep her warm. But she’d drive with the windows down swallowing the night air as the ***** brown car swallowed the miles. Kath would have the coffee waiting, potato cakes on the stove, she’d have a fresh towel placed on her bed, underwear warm from the dryer, spring flowers bunched in mug on the window sill.

Ellen would never come right in when she arrived home, but sit down with the dogs on the porch step and gather herself, watch the mist rise down in the valley, drink in the bird-ringing silence. Kath would steal open the door and crouch beside her with Mummy’s coffee cup thrown, glazed and fired at Plummer’s Fold. Head resting against the porch supports Ellen would allow the cup to be placed between her hands, her fingers uncurled then curled by Kath around its rough circumference. There would be a kiss on the back of the neck and she’d be gone back upstairs to sit with her notebook, those new lyrics she’d been fashioning, her Plummer’s Fold diary – yesterday had been a rich day as she’d walked the bounds of Brush Mountain on the Big Tree Trail singing and plucking an invisible banjo all the while. Those songs of her great-great uncle she’d discovered in a pile of Library of Congress recordings just echoed through her, had become part of her. They were as much a part of the hinterland of Brush Mountain as the stones on the trail. Garth Watson’s voice, well she knew every turn and breath. She’d been listening to them since she was thirteen. She saw herself at the old Victrola blowing off the dust, placing the forgotten disk on the central spindle, scratching the needle with her finger to test the machine, gauge its volume. Then, that voice surrounding her, entering her, as lonesome as the scrawny girl just out of junior high that she had been, the dumb silent girl from the backwoods with that cute clever sister who played guitar and was everybody’s friend, who the boys rushed to fill the empty seat next to her on the school bus.

They’d recorded this song on their Lonesome Pine album. Kath had it all arranged, had it all imagined, brought it to that session at One-Two Records. She had been so scared Ellen would smile gently and say ‘Kath, not this ol’ thing surely. Why I remember Daddy singing this song into the night over and over.’ But no. When Kath had sung it through, looking into the bowl of her denim skirt, she’d raise her eyes to see tears running down Ellen's face. Everything between them changed at that moment. The location studio in The Farm House disappeared and they were girls on their home porch. In an hour they had it down and Larry had said. ‘My God, Holy Jesus, where did that come from’. So they went straight home and listened to those old records all night and most of the next day. They rewrote the album they’d spent a year planning (and saving for).

So now when they came together on those country fair stages, in the cafes in Baltimore or Philly it was that haunting Appalachian music that ran through their songs. Kath still shy as a blushing bean, hiding in the hair and glasses, reluctantly singing harmony vocals, Ellen– well, that girl had only to look wistfully into the audience and they were hers.  

And so they were living this life holed up in their family place, keeping faith with Plummer’s Fold. Daddy was in a home in Lewis now. He’d taken himself there before his dementia had taken him. He played his girls’ CDs all day long on his Walkman, had their pictures in his near to empty room – just a rocker, a table, a pile of books by his bed with Dora’s wedding quilt.

This music, this oh so heart-breaking music, the loping banjo, the tinkling, springing, glancing accidental guitar and their innocent valley voices. They’d exhausted the old records now and, their education in the old ways done, were back with new songs and Kath’s ideas to only record in the Fold and build songs with soundtracks of the world around them. She’d been laying down tracks day after day whilst Ellen was on the road with the Williams Band and often solo, support for the Minna Peel as ‘an outsider folk artist from deepest Appalachia.’

Kath wouldn’t travel more than a day away from the farm. Every show was an agony, except for the time they were performing. She couldn’t bear all that stuff that surrounded it – all that waiting, the sound check, more waiting, that networking **** One-Two constantly wanted her to be part of. She’d ***** off as the guys gathered around Ellen. She’d take a book and sit in the Toyota. She couldn’t do people, though she loved her folks, she loved her sister like she loved the trees and stones, the birds and flowers on Brush Mountain. Always shy, always afraid of herself ‘Too sensitive for your own good, Kathy girl’, her Daddy had said. Never been kissed in passion, never allowed herself to fall for love, though her body drove her to feelings she had read about, and thus fuelled had succumbed to. There was a boy she’d see in Lewis just from time to time who she thought about, and thought about. She imagined him kissing her and holding her gently in the night . . .
Holly Salvatore Jun 2013
Almost heaven, West Virginia
Printed on mudflaps
That reek of Appalachia
It is almost heaven
Not to have you
Holding me back anymore
It's almost heaven
To forget your face
Your stupid workouts
The 300 ways you found
To never say anything
That pinched drawn unhappy look on your freckled face
I feel grateful
And I'm thankful
To be a human again
I hated the way your
Silences sauntered into a room
Ten minutes before you did
I hated the way stale I love yous
Hung around your head
Buzzing like flies on the dead
I hated the way dreams were something to be laughed at
And subsequently given up on
It's almost heaven to have mine back again
I love the way you dumped me
Through text
Like a little kid
Like Sorry this is what my mom wants
Like Sorry not sorry
I'm not sorry you left me
It is almost heaven where I'm at now
I peed outside twice
In West Virginia
And you weren't there to be embarassed
By an Appalachian woman
Who wants to have almost heaven
Every day for breakfast
And truly-loving-life-in-love-with-a-musician
This is what heaven is
Every day for lunch
And maybe just beer and a song for dinner
I'M SO HAPPY
It's almost heaven not to have you
It's heaven to feel alive again
Road trips and no regrets. ******* love Bagels. Remember that.
a polar vortex
swirls eastward
on Siberian Tiger paws
bounding over
Appalachian Highlands
gobbling geography
gelling Great Lakes
spawning Erie blizzards
sculpting Wabash ice floes
clogging commerce all
along the Ohio River Valley

this voracious
juggernaut’s wide maw
bears icicle teeth
laughing as it swallows
Pittsburgh, Little Philly,
and a Big Apple, before
gorging itself on
generous portions
ladled into
simmering crocks
of steaming
Boston Baked Beans

growling
blue arctic
air blasts roar
bursts pipes
savages the heat
of blasting furnaces,
bubbling boilers, hot
belly stoves frantically
drinking oil, flaming gas
burning wood and
burping soot

the blistering
jet stream claws
screech a slashing
stratospheric hum
as Frigidaire blasts
swallows breath
brittles limbs
chafes cheeks
gnaws earlobes
crystallizes tears
nibbles nostrils
cubes snot
numbs toes
bites digits

diving sub zero
gradient subdues
batteries to
deaden states
delays buses
derails trains
cuts power
constricts veins
preys on
vagabonds
and animals

get the homeless
off the street!
bring the animals in
check on your
elderly neighbors
don’t get caught outside
and shut the **** door!
do you own stock
in the Public Service?

beware the polar vortex
and next months heating bill


Sonny Boy Williamson
& Otis Spann
Nine Below Zero

Oakland
1/6/14
jbm
Joseph John Feb 2013
We’re all just dancing.      
That’s life, an infinite and cosmic dance.      
The sound waves that the world produces wanders from polka    
to jazz    
all the way over the Appalachian mountains    
to finger picking bluegrass.    

Yes, life is simply a dance      
But dancing is not simple.        
What is the goal?        
To feel good!    
But for who to feel good?    
Is it enough that my endorphins rise    
To the rhythm of experience?    
No.    
To dance alone is beautiful,    
But not enough.    

So the point of the dance:    
To feel good!    
I    
and    
you    
and    
her    
and    
them    
and    
all.    

But how?    
Cause that is important.      
Well, first you have to hear the music    
Then you have to listen to the music    
Then you have to feel the music    
Then you can live the music    

We’re all in this beautiful dancehall    
I believe it’s called, The Universe    
And the music is soft    
So we have to listen close    
And we have to get close    
Cause we wanna get each other high    
But we have to watch out for each other’s toes    
Happiness for the individual is only possible    
When everyone is dancing to the same tempo    

The song can be different    
But the tempo must be the same    
Everyone moves in syncopation    
Toes are in tact and souls are in communion    

And there it is    
The cosmic dance    
To get my high    
I get you high    
And to get us high    
We get the neighbors high
And it can be a beautiful cycle    

Just, when your neighbor steps on your toes    
Pretend you don’t notice    

Life is a dance    
Dancing is fun.
Wanderer May 2012
He woke up bathed in moonshine
Sleepy Appalachian mountain eyes
Fading autumn honey liquid gold
Into the white background noise of reality
He always did have one foot in, one foot out
A ghost to those that he let see
Physical boundaries ignored, retired
Weary bones begged him to slip back into the comfort of oblivion
But for him sleep was ever elusive, a tease

Racing over lush valleys, dead seas and fertile plains
His thoughts are boundless
Synthesizing emotional code into poetic expression
He must pull it all together somehow
Beats and rhythms sparkle off the edge of his perception
They rarely paused long enough to remember
But he always did

Calloused hands prove a life of grunt work
His dreams had been so much more complex
Weaving through the atmosphere, linking fully with the cosmos
Lines whisper across his flesh
Roadmaps
****** and impulsive
Sensitively attuned to the pulsing energy around him
Shaping it into flourished verse

He is the sun
I merely the **moon
Two Blue Beams
rise in the twilight
from dark recesses
of a wounded city

astral projections
paint night clouds
in looming hues
of temporal intent

declarative beams
affirm a bold portent
of an insistent will
and timeless aspirations

one thrusting light
projects wanton determination
bequeathed from unhealed wounds
of a lacerated city

the other casts fervent hope
onto the vast celestial sea
boldly etching upon the heavens
an earnest nations highest ideals

the pillars of light
reveal the dual nature
fixing our place
in a turbulent universe

the brighter light
affirms the beneficence
of liberty's eternal grace
so divinely conferred

received by a higher self
accepted with gratitude
the gracious anointing
of freedoms rich abundance

ride this beam with angry cries
conjure ghosts from a dead past
channel a full measure of resent
its power of restoration is quelled

stirred from nagging agonies
nursed with righteous indignation
untreated wounds fester
the weak blue spire cannot heal

a bleak azure apparition
screams for selfish retribution
heed this dire admonition
a promised fury of
full demonic dimension

the rankled city
yearns to come together
united in communion
around these lights

drawn to the blue flames
like swirling moths
unconscious of what
compels shock and awe

earnest yearnings
flutter to exhaustion
struggle toward the light
aspiring to heal in the inviting glow

transcending the fissures
of our fractured nation
the waning resolve
of a national will

a restless Zeitgeist
cannot be repressed
nor will it relinquish
its will to manifest

a city's fondest hopes
entombed in collective memory
is foretold again
around these bold lights

entranced by the light
a solemn urban campfire
transfixed and sealed
we speak our hearts

holding hands
gnashing teeth
we bite into
our bent knees
tucked up
to sullen chests
heavy hearts
bear pains of loss
dreary tears wash
ash stained cloths
crumpled photos
dear bereavements
of faded memories
and expired hope

resolve is renewed
in bursts of pride
incendiary nationalism
suppress dissent
pummel thoughts
of perceived sedition
pump iron fists as
zealous sledgehammers
forged with conviction
in kilns of
righteous indignation
seething with infected
emotional hangovers
from prurient
tribal diatribes

these sweet sentiments
swing between the polls
of the vast pendulum's arc
along a narrow celestial scale

too and fro
angst and expectation
ebbs and flows
in this astral assignation

the heavenly helix
a set of blue axles
a modern vision
of Ezekiel's Wheel

the rung-less vertices
of our Jacob's Ladder
invites all citizens
to climb again

ascend this pathway
in the company of angels
arrive transfigured
renewed again

build new cities
transcendent destinations
new Edens await
pioneers to explore

fearless pilgrims
sojourn onward
moving to secure
liberty for all

conscious stewards
of the blessed good earth
celebrate rich diversity
of all the beloved

descending back
to an expired past
is a ridged stasis
anchored in Hell

witness flitting
nostalgic phantoms
pathetic pantomimes
of histrionic fictions

the downward path
of the lesser light
tethers us to the place
we cannot leave

The upward light
abhors a hells decent
resolved to vacate
acrimony and hate

the dancing helix opens
a blue portal to heaven
don saintly garb
wing upward in light

transcendence calls us
to traverse with angels
touch the luminescent hem
of God's divine robe

Selah

Music Selection:
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring , Simple Gifts

NYC
9/11/10
jbm
I have been in Pennsylvania,
In the Monongahela and Hocking Valleys.

In the blue Susquehanna
On a Saturday morning
I saw a mounted constabulary go by,
I saw boys playing marbles.
Spring and the hills laughed.

And in places
Along the Appalachian chain,
I saw steel arms handling coal and iron,
And I saw the white-cauliflower faces
Of miner's wives waiting for the men to come home from the day's work.

I made color studies in crimson and violet
Over the dust and domes of culm at sunset.
Sydney Jan 2017
I've never prayed, but I write about religion like I know what it means. I've never gone to church, but I have more faith than I know what to do with. I don't know if I believe in God, but I believe in this. I believe in everything we're doing here. I believe in mankind, our ability to do good. I don't believe that we were created for a reason. I believe that we were created to find one. And this right here, this is my reason.
This past summer I went on a mission trip with my friend's church down to Sneedville, TN to repair houses. I was definitely nervous going into the trip, because I had never been very religious and I'd be spending a week and a half fixing houses with people who grew up in the church. But even though I spent 10 days in 90 degree weather, sleeping in an old middle school with a bunch of strangers, working 8 hours a day to repair a stranger's house, I would consider my trip with ASP as one of the most amazing and important experiences of my life. This trip exposed me to a spiritual side of me that I didn't even know existed. And I wouldn't trade my time with ASP for the world.

— The End —