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Dorothy A May 2016
They could practically be heard arguing throughout the whole diner, but they were oblivious to their small audience of onlookers in the heat of their conflict. Tori stood there with her hands on her hips as her husband, Hank, made himself clear that he was upset. He was sitting up at the counter on one of the barstools eating his chili. On the other side, Tori poured herself a much needed cup of coffee.

“You’re a waitress, not Mother Theresa! A mother with two hungry mouths!” he bellowed out to her. “That’s less money that goes into our pockets! What the hell were you thinking, Tor?”

“Was only helping a poor guy out!” she shot back. “He looked hungry and—big deal—so I bought him something to eat! So forget it, Hank, cuz I’m not sorry!” She remained defiant in her stance, unapologetic in her Good Samaritan role. Her boss never allowed her to give free food away, so the food was on her. It was a hot dog and fries, one time, some bacon and eggs, another.  She got the man bagels, donuts, toast, oatmeal—whatever she could supply with his usual cup of coffee he ordered. It was obvious from the word go that he had little in his pocket, and he could barely put a tip on the table—usually a nickel or a dime, sometimes a few pennies. He wore the same shabby tee shirt, flannel shirt and bummy jeans. And those pitiful shoes—with his dingy white socks poking through at the big toe of his right foot—that was pitiful.  So what if she had two young children? Nobody was going into the poor house because she bought a poor guy a few meals.

“Well, stop buying him food! No more!” Hank commanded. Tori gave him her best you’re not the boss of me look as he put his spoon down and walked over to the booth towhere the man with unkempt, silvery hair, and an untrimmed beard, sat.  That was his usual spot, and that was Tori’s booth to cover.  

The man just stared at him, not seemingly startled by the younger man who boldly confronted him. “Hey, look!” Hank said, lowly, yet sharply, “Straight up and no *******. Get a job. Get a life. Just quit taking advantage of my wife. Got it?”

It didn’t seem like the intimidation was working. The man just stared at Hank, his deep, soulful, brown eyes could penetrate right through him, and Hank wanted to shift his gaze away. He didn’t though, for that wouldn’t have given him the menacing upper hand. “Well!” he demanded, fidgety and frustrated, “What’s your problem?” The response was simply the same silent stare and Hank blurted out through clenched teeth, “Don’t take nothing no more from my wife!”

Unexpectedly, the man placed his hand upon Hank’s and said, “My son, don’t be angry. Sin no more. I give you my blessing, and go now in peace”. Hank quickly pulled his hand away, his face burning with embarrassment. A few guys at table nearby snickered at the sight of the pair.

“The guy’s nuts!” Hank got up and moved back to the counter. “What does he think? He’s Jesus or something?”

“Hank, quit stirring up drama or you gotta leave! You’re gonna drive out business!” Al chimed in. Al was in the kitchen helping the cooks in the back to get out orders. Now if anyone had a right to kick Hank out it was him. He owned the place.

Hank, still enraged, pointed his finger at Tory and promised, “We’ll talk later!” He quickly stormed out. Tory was not to be dictated to, feeling vindicated for her kind actions.

Well, everyone thought the man who tried to bless Hank was harmless, off kilter, maybe, but harmless. He didn’t seem to cause any trouble, and he minded his own business—only spoke until spoken to, and it was always with grace. Was there something special about him? It was only Tori and fellow waitress, Bonnie, who put more stock into this than anyone else would.

“And what if he is God?” Bonnie asked.

Al scoffed, trying to keep the conversation at a low minimum.  “You sound just as loony as he is”

“Well? And what if he was?” Tori backed up Bonnie. “Or maybe even an angel! You know they can come in many disguises! Maybe God is trying to test us to see if we really give a ****. Did you ever think of that?”

Al shook his head. He couldn’t believe he was having this conversation. “Test us?” he asked back as if Tori had no sense at all. “You’ve watched too many TV shows!” He raised his hands up in a grand fashion of showmanship, knife in hand,” Or maybe I’m not the owner of Al’s Diner, but I’m really God myself”, he mocked.  “So, as God, my dear little children, I command you back to work! Come on, now! Chop, chop!” He started to shoo everyone away. “How you think we are going to feed the masses, huh? With loaves and fishes? Customers! Customers! Get those orders moving!”  

The smells and sizzling sound of hamburgers on the grill were enticing to the senses. Tori and Bonnie went back to busily retrieving orders, and Al went to chopping some tomatoes, but soon he was playfully tapped on the shoulder.  It was Amber, another waitress who never seemed privy to the conversation.  “You remember this song?” she asked him, singing the tune in an off-key way, “What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us….”

“Just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way home…” Tori sung along, cheerfully moving about, adding a pretty, more melodious tone to the song.  

“Exactly”, Bonnie exclaimed, enthusiastically. “Like God’s gone undercover!”

Al rolled his eyes, for he thought he made himself clear he was done with this talk. But he couldn’t help but get a kick out his quirky waitresses. “Sure I know that tune—a few decades back—blonde chick—what’s her name?” he asked, smirking.  

“Joan Osborne”, Bonnie proudly stated. “Cool song, too. Makes you think a bit…at least for me.”

“And so why not ask him who he is?” Joey asked. “He’s got a name.”

It was like everyone forgot Joey was in the room though he was busily busing tables and sweeping floors. Tory, Bonnie and Al stopped what they were doing and intently looked at the teen. He seemed to ask a sincere question.  Al burst out laughing. “Now someone’s talking sense, and chalk it up to the kid with good wits. Yeah, Joey, these ladies just want to exist in fantasy land. Go, Team Al!”

Joey shook his head and said, soberly, “Not taking anyone’s side. I just think he’s got a name and he’s got a story behind him…and it isn’t what you think, Tori…or even you, Al.”

Al waved his hand to dismiss the whole thing. “Yeah, his name is probably Ralph, or something. Even then, I bet Tory would believe he is the Almighty right there in the flesh!”

“I would!” Tory shot back. She looked at Joey and answered, “Maybe you do think I’m as bad as Al does, but you’re too polite to admit it…but…yeah…I did ask him his name.”

“And, so?” Al asked, pretending with wide eyes to be full wonder, like he was clinging to every word, anxiously. “What’s his name?”

He was simply finding humor at her expense, and Tori wished she never said a thing. She reluctantly replied, “I am what I am.”

What?” Bonnie asked. “What does that mean?”  

Al replied, “I am what I am! Well, that sure don’t mean Popeye, sweetie!” With a comical, gravelly voice, he did his best Popeye imitation, “I yam what I yam and that’s all I am!”, squinting up one of his eyes he teased Tori, “Got that Olive Oyl?”

Bonnie and Joey laughed along at the sight of him, and Al added, “Look! I may be practically an atheist, but I’m not ignorant to the bible. That’s just what God said to Moses when he asked the same question!”

Tory defended the poor man that she so proudly helped. “So what if he does think he is God? He’s not doing anyone any harm, is he?” Al completely ignored her, so Tory to turned to Joey, and asked again, “What harm is there in it?”

Joey slightly smiled at Tory, trying to remain respectful to her beliefs, and said, “Truth be told, I don’t know much about God. I’m not a churchy person. He pointed over at the poor man in the booth and said, “I just know if God existed, it’s not him.”
  
Tori was saddened by Joey’s words. It was not that because he didn’t believe her ideas were feasible—that maybe God was testing them—but that he didn’t even know if God existed. The youth nowadays—who did they have to look up to?  Who guided them? The internet? Their cell phones? So many people seemed to have walked away from their faith or had none at all. And Al reminded Tori so much of her own dad. She grew up in a home without religion. Her mom had a vague notion of God, but her dad was a huge skeptic that had the same mocking spirit that Al had. Neither her father or Al were bad guys, but there were no miracles in their worldview. There was nothing divine, and everything was so ordinary and practical.

But Tori always felt awestruck by the world, nature and the animals, a curious minded child. She was the one who had that childlike faith—even now as a grown woman—and she yearned to know God, personally, not just know about Him. She just had to believe that this world and the universe were not all just for nothing, not at all a happenstance, not a just a brief journey on this earth and then that was it. It was after searching and yearning that Tori went to her friend’s church, and soon became a Catholic. She might have been alone in her family in this endeavor, but it gave her life more meaning.

Tori would look at the figure of Jesus upon the crucifixion and oddly was comforted by the sight of him that might bring others revulsion or doubt—the nails piercing his hands and feet, the thorn of crowns, the blood, the tragic sight of his lifeless body so cruelly tacked up upon the cross.  She raised her own two children to know God, and Hank’s lukewarm feelings did not match hers. He wasn’t much help in that department at all. But she knew by looking through the bible that true life was about helping other people, that God loved the poor and the downcast. To find your life, you had to lose your life. To feel exalted, you had to humble yourself. To give your life, to save someone else’s—well, that was the greatest gift you could give. That means you gave it all.  She might not have been the smartest person in the world, but she didn’t need to be bible scholar to figure such things out.  

Well, it would be a while before Tori would see her special customer again. But one day she ran back into the kitchen and told Al, excitedly, “His name is Bill!”

Al shot her a strange look, and then he got the connection. “Oh, so that’s God name?” he said jokingly.

Tori pulled him by the arm and took him out front, summoning Bonnie and Joey over, too. Bill was sitting in the same booth he often did, but there at the counter stool sat a petite, sixty-something-year-old woman whom everyone was about to meet. “Al, Bonnie, Joey, this is Bill’s sister, Mary”, Tori introduced her. “She shared with me about Bill’s story, and I think you should know, too.”   She looked like Bill, but had black dyed hair and was better put together. There was a warm and gentle way about her that intrigued Tori. And she sat there to shield her brother by keeping him out of the conversation, for she didn't want to upset her brother by mentioning something that might cause him pain.

Actually, they all were intrigued by her story.  Mary had told them that Bill once had a family, a wife and two sons. He couldn’t keep a steady job, though, and he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. His wife divorced him years ago and moved out of state with their two boys. His sons never tried to contact him, and he hasn’t seem ever since. For quite a while, Bill lived on his own, but he didn’t take good care of himself. He was living more poorly than ever—not eating right or caring for himself, erratically taking his medication, and so it wasn’t a surprise that he lived a deluded life. “He does strange stuff like that, think he is God”, Mary admitted to Tori. “He’s been made fun of a lot for acting that way, and it’s my job to watch over him and see that he is safe. So now I help take care of him, and he lives with me. Bill’s always been too proud to accept my help, but the doctor says being with me will help to give him a better life”. Mary was a widow, and she didn’t have much money herself, but she did what she could to protect her brother.  

Al looked embarrassed, knowing now the truth about Bill and realizing he was making fun when he should have known better. Mary gave Tori a huge hug. “And thank you”, she said to Tory, “for looking out for my brother, too.”  Everyone, even Al, was deeply touched by their embrace.  

“You know that Tori is a saint”, Bonnie bragged on her behalf to reiterate the same sentiment. “There should be more people like her.”

Tori remained humble and disagreed, “No, I’m just doing what we should all do in this world. If anything, it teaches me that we should all see God in every opportunity.”

Al whispered into Tori’s ear and told her, “You want to give him something to eat again, well now don't bother paying for it. It's on me”.  She smiled at him like was ready to give him a big hug, and he added, “Don’t think this makes me all buying all this God stuff—or anything”.

“And why not?” she asked.  

He replied with his own question, the ultimate question that people have been asking for ages. "Why would any god allow a man to suffer like that? Just look at him! How could that happen and you still think there is some guy in the sky that's all warm and fuzzy, like some invisible Teddy bear?"  

"Oh, you mean so how can God be loving, fair and merciful?", she snapped back, hurt that Al would make faith sound so childish and idiotic. Tori thought a moment, and simply replied, "I could ask the same question. Is life fair? Is it just wishful thinking? Actually, all my life I've wondered such things. The difference between us though is I don't know all the answer any better than you...but I still believe."

Al waved his hand away at her, "Whatever..."

"Wait!", Tori commanded him as he walked away. Al stopped and turned to face her like he was more than through with this conversation.  She said, "Maybe if us mere mortals did our job on earth of helping others, it would better a whole nother story. You'd probably have a different point of view, Al."

She didn't expect Al to have some bolt of enlightenment when it came to God, but before he went back to the kitchen he left her with words she wished he didn’t say. “All those people way back then…all those prophets and saints…supposing they were around today. You think they'd they stand up to today's world? I don't. Wouldn’t they on meds, too? I'd say we wouldn't see them any differently than we'd see Bill.”  Blindsided, she never did know how to follow up with all that. Al just knew how to rain on her nice parade.

Joey never said anything about that day, but when Bill came in again, Tori surely took special notice of them sitting together for a while. When she passed by the table, Joey was watching Bill walk around, and she quickly noticed the new black and green athletic shoes on his feet. Even on him, they looked sharp.

”They fit alright?”  Joey asked. Bill nodded, and shook the boy’s hand. He never said anything about it, but his silly, old grin—along with a few missing teeth—was priceless. He truly was happy to get those shoes. The old ones, with the hole in the toes, remained on the floor to be pitched out.  

Tori had to ask Joey, “You bought those for him? That’s so sweet of you!”

Joey smiled. “I just never could stand those beat up, old shoes”, he replied. “They are a good brand, but didn’t put me back that much. I’m not making a big deal about it, though. I’m not even going to tell anyone I did it. Only telling you, because you asked.”

“Makes you feel good, doesn’t it? Like it really makes a difference”.

“Yeah, it does. It’s like buying God a pair of shoes.”

Did he just say it was buying God a pair of shoes? How odd to hear that from Joey, but how that statement impacted her, and Tori would never forget that.  She gave Joey a peck on the cheek and a hug. He was like a little brother to him. She didn’t feel old enough to be a mother figure, but she felt some kind of sisterly feeling for him.

Joey went on to explain, “Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about Bill, lately. He lost his job, his family—he lost everything. No, he’s not God, but I was thinking…though I don’t know that much about religion or God, I thought that if you do
JJ Hutton Jun 2011
Cindy Prine's bee buzz ringtone ripped her from
her deathlike slumber,
"Hello. Oh, hey Mom. What? Yeah, I'll be in tonight.
I agree...no, no I won't be brining Mattie. The Wilks
have her. They are wonderful with her. I love you too.
No, it'll probably sevenish. Not seven. Sevenish."

The Candy Corn Suite reeked of ****** fallout.
Sheets still wet and sticky with sweat.
The checkered floor covered in beer and discarded condoms.

Her ******* ached.
Most of the men had been awkward,
frightened, and easy to finish.
Hank, the porky 'friend of a friend', however,
had been brutal.
By the time he had finished,
her *** turned a light purple,
her back covered in spittle;
her scalp felt barely intact.

Cindy smelled pancakes and went downstairs.
"Good morning, darling. You want some hotcakes
and coffee?"

"Sure, Mama."

In the lobby, the Children's Funhouse looked like a ****** continental breakfast. Patrons from the night before and the workers
often sat side-by-side for what surely can lay claim to the
worst breakfast environment in the history of mankind.

"Will I have the pleasure of your company for a while, this time?"

"I'm afraid not. I need some time away from everything."

"Everything?"

"Todd, the baby, it's just depressing.
I'm twenty-*******-years-old, ya' know?
I did not sign up for domestication."

"Right on. Hell, neither did I," Chung-Ae Phun laughed
and curtsied, "So, where you going Cindy Lilly?"

"Back to my mom's for a bit."

"Are you two close?"

"Um, she is a brilliant woman.
We've never been able to talk,
but I guess you could say
I respect her."

"Fair enough. Cream or sugar?"

"No, thanks."

"How was Hank last night?"

"Oh, God, that ****! He--"

"What about my ****?" Hank blurted with a sinister, crinkled edge of lip.

"Oh, I'm so sorry! I had no idea you were still here!"

"Why the **** should that matter," he snarled grabbing her tiny left arm.

"Hank, leave her alone," Madame Phun said sternly.

"She's just a little *****, Chung-baby."

"Hank, you need to leave."

"**** that. Not after the money I wasted on last night.
You promised me she was top rate.
I want my money back."

"Hank. This is not some fast-food joint,
where you come back to the counter
and ***** after you've eaten your burger!
Judging by the panting, sweaty mess you were
last night, she did just fine."

Cindy Prine reached for the intersection of her *** crack and belt line,
wrapped her trembling fingers around the hammer.

"Well, then I think I deserve another one on the house.
Can we make that compromise?"

"This isn't ******* Craig's List either, Hank. Get out!"

"I want another lay with this Lilly broad."

"Absolutely NOT--"

Cindy interrupted, "No, no it's okay, Mama."
Hank grinned, his gut seemed grow, the
hair around his arms spread like vines.
"Is it okay if we do it in your truck?
My room is an absolute mess."

"Fine by me. How I usually do it, anyway."

Hank opened the door for Cindy, in faux chivalry,
then proceeded to his side.
The cab felt like hell, and the metallic seatbelt burnt Cindy's skin.
"Where should we start?" Hank asked staring at Cindy's chest.

"How about you just relax for a second."
Cindy rubbed his crotch firmly, Hank closed his lids
and sunk into his chair, as he let out the first sigh,
Cindy snatched the hammer with her right hand and
quickly struck him
one-
two-
three
times.

Hank's skull sprung a leak. Blood spewed onto the dashboard.
Cindy shoved him to his side, snagged his wallet,
and proceeded
to crack three or four of his ribs.
© 2011 by J.J. Hutton
Jeremy Duff Feb 2014
Abigail Turnman walked along the same sidewalk she did every morning before she had to work. She had the same breakfast from the same dive as she did the morning before.

As she was sweetening her coffee she looked up and into two very dazzling blue eyes, belonging to a young man seated at the table across from hers. She looked down quickly, sweetening her coffee, while she blushed.
She usually didn't get flustered like this and she hated that she was just because some dumb boy was looking at her. She looked back up and he smiled at her, revealing a mouth of uneven, yet not horribly uneven, stained, yet not horribly stained teeth. She blushed again, this time she smiled back.

"Are you Abigail Turner?" The young man asked in a voice that sounded as if it didn't get much sleep the night before. While he was asking this Abigail noticed his hair, a dark shade of brown, lighter and shorter on the sides, as if it had months before belonged to a military man.
"No," Abigail responded humorously, "My name is Abigail Turnman." She blushed again, at the stupidness of her joke. God, how she hated that this young man was making her blush this way. As if in response to her stupid joke or in embarrassment in having gotten her name wrong the young boy laughed and blushed, but not as much as she had.
He had only a coffee on his table and so she asked him if he would like to join her for breakfast. The young man smiled again before standing up. As he did, his hair fell into his eyes, which he quickly brushed out of the way before nodding and sitting down, across from her, coffee in hand.
"How did you almost know my name?"
Again, the young man laughed.
"Mark, uhh Callahan. He said he cleans up at your office and that I should speak with you."
Oh, Mark. There's a sweetheart if she ever knew one.

And in that instant she knew she could grow to love how this young man made her blush. Instead of hating it she would prize and cherish and she would include characters modeled after him in all her novels.
She didn't even know his name.

"So, you're a friend of Mark's huh?"
She asked this in a more confrontational way then she meant to and the young man seemed to recoil before he saw her blushing again, knowing that she had not intended to ask it in such a way.
"Yes, Mark is a friend of mine. Since high school actually. Uhh, my name is Henry, but uhh," he laughed softly, "my friends call me Hank."
"Well Mark is a sweetheart. So, if I'm not mistaken, you must be native here? At least since high school."
"Yes, I was actually born here, but uhh, if I'm not mistaken, you're from uhh New York, right? The city?"
As much as a sweetheart Mark was, he sure was talkative as hell.
Before she had a chance to say anything, Hank began talking again.
"So, uhh," he laughed softly, nervously almost, "I uhh, I hope this isn't too upfront, but I was hoping, uhh wondering actually, if you were doing anything tonight. My band and I are playing at the Stonehouse, it's a uhh, a charity show for Jonathan, our drummer, uhh his mom. She's fighting cancer, uhh, her condition has been improving but she still needs money for bills and stuff. I mean, you don't even have to pay, you know, I could ahh, I could sneak you in the back or whatever, I mean, uhh, it woudn't technically be.."
She cut him off,
"Yeah, sure I'll go. What time is it?"
He smiled even wider than he had the whole conversation,
"It starts at 8, uhh, it's at the Stonehouse, uhh, ****, I already said that. Oh ****- oh, sorry, pardon my language."
She pulled a pen out of her purse and began writing the address to her apartment on a napkin. Hank continued talking, mumbling, uhh-ing, but he trailed off as she handed the napkin to him.
"Pick me up at 7," she said, "We can go get some dinner before the show, you probably half to be there early right?" He nodded, "Okay, make it 6:30. This is the only diner I know, I've only been here since the start of summer, maybe you could show me some nice place to eat?"
He nodded, smiling and blushing and pushing the hair out of his eyes and scratching his arm and shifting in his seat anxiously.
"Now, it was lovely meeting you Hank, but if I don't leave now, I will be late walking to work, I'll see you at 6:30"
"Yeah, I'll uhh, I'll see you at 6:30"
She stood up and so did he. She was halfway across the diner before Hank kicked himself for being so stupid.
"Hey, do you need a ride to work? I mean, it's uhh, it's no trouble."
"Thank you, Hank, but I'll walk. I'll see you at 6:30, okay?"
She smiled a dazzling smile of white teeth, framed by golden hair, cut short, almost short enough to be considered a pixy cut.
She was out the door as Hank mumbled something stupid.
There was nothing like a holiday to make me feel  alone .

I watched her move with the music she seemed anything but alone .

They say honey draws bee's and **** does flies well here tonight in this bar you had a good mix of both.


She moved shook her *** every eye was on her .

From the ones that yearned to know that body to the women who just shook there heads and under there breath whispered what a *****.

How marvelous she was underneath dimmed lights me I just watched and sipped a overpriced drink .

Hank was behind the bar for some reason he always found time to speak with me .

I have no idea why I truly didn't care for people I just was in need of a drink and didn't have anything at home.

Man some looker over there huh buddy?

Yeah she's got a magnificent *** doesn't she ?

Yeah little big though for me Jack .


Never been one invented to big for me .

Hank laughed yeah that's true hell and never one to loose either.

What can I say Hank I'm a man of low standards and easily Impressed therefore I'm seldom disappointed .


Your one crazy ******* you know that ?

Hell I never forget that hank how bout a refill my man and by are entertainment a drink on me .

Hank went to fetch my Jack and coke and give the girl with the nice *** a drink although I doubted she needed one from me seems every guy in this place was buying her drinks and from her looks I understood why .


I looked around the room the usual's were all there and a few new faces I didn't truly care I was to them the odd ball drunken writer what a rare spices that is indeed .

Almost as rare as a fireman who smokes or is bat **** crazy .

When there's no fire to put out the nut would light something on fire just to have something to put out guess we all need a purpose and me I just need another drink.


The jukebox just kept playing the right kind of music and she kept in perfect time with the beat .

Rhythm  is always in the hips it flowed from there and took over it was some perfectly strange and beautiful  voodoo to watch.


The pool players missed shots and the place seemed almost alive.

Eventually a fight would break out now that was some entertainment .

I sipped my other drink hank was a good barkeep and total **** at mixing drinks

he started watering them down bout the third real drunks always notice .


**** Hank why not just give me all coke!

Make it a double always in mine you ******.

Hey Jack sorry must have been distracted.

Well stop staring at Larry's *** hasn't he told you he don't swing that way anymore since college.

Larry who was bent over the table making a shot just laughed .

**** man I never went to college Larry replied.


Yeah your right it must have been prison I knew I recognized you from somewhere .

The room busted up laughing ******* Jack .

Larry said laughing .


The room was alive the ***** was flowing .

Tommy walked up to me man you see that that chick dancing man.

I got two eyes don't I Tommy?

Well I been talking to her man I bet you fifty bucks she going home with me tonight.


Oh yeah Tommy she cant resist you huh?

**** man who could?

Been buying here drinks all night I can tell she wants it you see

the way she was rubbing up against me that last song .


Well you must have done something Tommy in fact seems you really worked her up .

What the hell you talking bout Jack ?

Tommy asked me as that goofy as expression was yet again upon his face.

Tommy was a arrogant *** in every sense he thought he was hot **** and when you took the hot part out of that statement you had his more true essence.


For as Tommy was facing me bragging I had been watching that little brunette the whole time.



Well Tommy I said , it seems that girl you danced with was so worked up she just couldn't wait for your return.

I don't get what you mean Jack.
Look I nodded my head he turned to view what  would in his mind be his latest conquest  making out with another woman .


I herd him say what the **** .

I took another sip of my watered down drink .

So Tommy I asked as I patted him on the shoulder .

Still want to take that bet?


And another night bit the dust .

Stay crazy


Gonz
Harold r Hunt Sr Oct 2014
Meeting Hank Williams Sr
I was setting in a store back 20 years ago.
When a car pulled up to the door.
A tall man in a cowboy hat came out and came in.
He sat down and began to tell us a story.
He ate a piece of pie and drank a coke.
Then he asked if he could play a few songs for us.
He sang I saw the light and your cheating heart like no one else could.
Then he got up and walked to the door. Tipped his hat and said tell them old Hank was here.
All you viewed from the door was the dust that rose from the ground.
Then we looked at each other and stated that it wasn't him. For it was Hank Williams and it was 1973.
Old Hank he died in 1953 Was this the ghost making someones day.
waiting for death
like a cat
that will jump on the
bed

I am so very sorry for
my wife

she will see this
stiff
white
body
shake it once, then
maybe
again

"Hank!"

Hank won't
answer.

it's not my death that
worries me, it's my wife
left with this
pile of
nothing.

I want to
let her know
though
that all the nights
sleeping
beside her

even the useless
arguments
were things
ever splendid

and the hard
words
I ever feared to
say
can now be
said:

I love
you.
Greg Berlin Mar 2013
back on the railroad
caught between the current
and the cold
how is it ol' Cassady died?
they say he rode the tracks
all the way to Avalon
say it was exposure
that got him in the end
secobarbital and second hand smoke
waiting on a wet sunrise
that never came
counting railroad ties
half way to infinity
hell of a way to go
the hero of two generations
hell of a way to go
not with a bang
--as they say--
no one there to hear the whimper
4am ticket to shambhala

Hank gave up the grief
weeks before he died
crippled and old
poor *******
Bukowski could
hardly walk
down those hallways
to hell
maybe Hem did it best
Ti Jean died from that almighty
weight on his shoulders
unhappy with a dead liver
and a dead spirit. yes,
Hem did it best it seems
him and Hunter
--football season is over--
felt the world
slipping out
quick as it came
so they both put a
quick one to the brain

all of my old friends
are dead now
one way tickets to Shangri-La
I see them
they all walk the tracks
but they don't wait up
they don't wait up

light one for me
Hank
I'll be there soon enough
Always some drunk ******* standing in the back of the bar who feels his life's mission is to continuously shout boisterous requests for "Freebird" during the encore.

Second hand smoke thick as English fog and deadlier than a toxic chemical spill in the middle of the driveway.

The load out and equipment set up in which the drummer inevitably excuses himself from working with any other piece of equipment besides his drums, since  "there a big enough hassle on their own".

The inevitable bartering for free beer which during later years became a case of being lucky if you got your drinks at 50% off but even then sometimes you wouldn't be given a tab.

The lone dancer at the very beginning of the first set, never the most attractive lady I in the house and all too often she made it through a whole song without a dance partner.  It always seemed like some kind if code, especially when an inebriated gentleman would hook up with her. But I never figured out what the jig was about.

Always a drummer in the house, the real deal or an enthusiastic amateur. They will find a way to play the drummer's kit. Don't even try to stop them, for any reason. They will play.

Likewise the older gentleman with the button up cowboyshirt, the one with the stale pack of Marlboros in the front pocket, he will try to impress you by claiming to know every song Hank Williams ever sang. The wise gambler bets that indeed he does have an encyclopedic knowledge of Hank's repertoire. Unfortunately he never claimed to have the pipes to pull one or two or three off himself...but that won't stop him from begging and soon enough he'll be under the spotlight singing "Your Cheatin' Heart" with every word and melody spot on but voice that could turn Hank's mother away. He is the anti-PR agent for Hank Williams. After people hear him butcher the songs they don't want to know what Hank sounded like singing them.

The bouncer is your friend. If such is not the case before the show begins make every effort available short of paying him your whole salary to secure his loyalty. Trust me here.

To be continued
Yep, much more to com
Terry Collett Mar 2013
Hank’s mother lectured
Him on the objectification
Of women. Never objectify

Women as ****** objects,
She’d say emphasizing each
Word with a slap to the back

Of his head, (he hadn’t seen
Women as such up until then,
Being only ten), women, she

Added, her dark eyes boring
Into his, are not there for men
To paw over with their eyes

Or hands of any other part
Of their anatomy, poking Hank
In the chest. Yet, when he later

Considered her words, he recalled
That she and that Mrs Baldof were
Always leering over that Jack

Hynde, saying, look at those biceps,
Wouldn’t mind those arms about
Me, imagine those muscles rippling

Over you and they’d laugh and
Giggle like a couple of schoolgirls
Being tickled, and although his

Mother was dead now and his
Father brain drained in some
New York hospital ward, he did

Try not to objectify women as
****** objects, did try to see
Them just as human beings, but

It was pretty hard when a nice
*** went by or a pairs of *******,
Casually caught his eyes, going

Down the subway stairs for a train,
Bouncing there like punch bags
In a boxing gym or a slim figure

Came into view as he stood by
The window looking at the late
Afternoon sun, puffing a smoke,

Listening to jazz, a bottle of beer
In his hand, but he did try, and his
Mother’s words were still there,

The echo of them and the slap of
Flesh on flesh still vibrated inside
His head, despite the passing of time

With the clock’s tick-tock and him
Still turning his head and old eyes,
Watching a pretty woman going by,

In a tight fitting, breast hugging,
*** clinging, short shock frock.
2010 POEM.
first step

when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
Corey Kuropas Oct 2014
I'm a simple man
A country boy north of the Mason Dixon
I don't look for much
There's only the little things I that I yearn
Like the love of a good woman and a smooth whiskey
Maybe a reliable old truck and some folks that would miss me

I'm comfortable anywhere I go
From the corn fields of Illinois, to the mountains of Tennessee
I travel light, some blue jeans and some shirts
Perhaps with a few bucks for a little fun
I listen to some old country every day
Like No Show, Hank and Mr. Conway

I'm cut from old school cloth
Just like my folks before me
Yeah, I'm not fancy
I just am who I am
A lover and a fighter
A son, brother, uncle, and lover
Bob B Oct 2016
Caught out in a deadly blizzard,
We thought the end was near.
Experiencing zero percent visibility
And insurmountable fear,
We pictured our helpless, frozen bodies--
Icicles à la mode--
When rescue vehicles finally found us
Next to a country road.
Having lost all sense of direction--
In total disorientation--
We considered all of our options
With mounting trepidation.
Suddenly two lights appeared
In our rear-view mirror.
What a sigh of relief we breathed
As a truck got nearer!

Try to stay calm. Do not panic.
Land sakes alive!
There she was to save the day:
Granny in her four-wheel drive.
 
Hank and June were expecting a child
During a storm one spring.
To make matters worse, Hank had been injured--
His arm was in a sling.
June said, "Oh, oh. Baby's comin',"
And Hank started to panic.
"The roads are flooded and the bridges are down!"
Cried the desperate mechanic.
"Besides, I couldn't drive the stick
In my current condition
Even if the roads were good.
What's that? An apparition?"
Through the rain-streaked window Hank
Could see some flashing lights.
Granny was there in her trusty truck,
Repeatedly flashing her brights.
 
Try to stay calm. Do not panic.
Land sakes alive!
There she was to save the day:
Granny in her four-wheel drive.
 
There's a legend on the prairie.
You hear it far and wide.
You can believe the story or not.
Whatever. You decide.
As a monster storm approached
A small Midwestern town,
Swirling clouds indicated
A tornado had touched down.
Granny jumped into her truck
Without a shred of concern,
And driving toward the twister past
The point of no return,
She raced into the monster dead on--
Talk about courage and pluck!--
And knocked the twister to smithereens
With hardly a scratch on her truck!
 
Try to stay calm. Do not panic.
Land sakes alive!
There she was to save the day:
Granny in her four-wheel drive.
 
Whenever you find yourself es in a bind
And wonder how you'll survive,
Think about Granny coming to the rescue
In her four-wheel drive.

- by Bob B
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song
I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song
I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the Tower of Song
So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don't let a woman **** you
Not in the Tower of Song
Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may
be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the Tower of Song
I see you standing on the other side
I don't know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
We'll never have to lose it again
Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the Tower of Song
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song
Taylor Cuomo Jun 2014
You have changed me.
The way I think,
the way I read,
the way I write,
and the way I live.

Your writing has pushed me.
To think harder,
to view life differently,
to write more freely,
and to not try.

Hank, you and your words have changed me.
And now,
I am a better,
stronger,
smarter,
free-spirited,
version­ of myself.
Charles Bukowski and his writing had a huge impact on my life and my writing.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
bukowski socialized with
                                             sean penn and madonna
but he did not care for
                                             the material girl with her airs,
acting like a literary
                                             poseur, name dropping, chatting
about swinburne, like
                                             some patron at a bloomsbury
salon. she even asked
                                             him if he would appear
in her raunchy *** book
                                             but he refused. bukowski
would complain to sean    
                                             about madonna's phony
behavior and sean would
                                             get furious and defensive.
bukowski just laughed it
                                             off. he valued sean as a
friend and an artist but
                                             he had no time for
madonna playing hip,
                                             he said, she's not being real.
bukowski treasured his
                                             daughter, his wife, his cats,
classical music and his
                                             muse, his way with words,
characters, situations.
                                             he was a regular guy
and a gifted poet...
                                             and everyone called him hank.
Arcassin B May 2014
by Arcassin burnham





she carried on
when she didnt have any strength,
and all the rumors was stopping her from
from talking to hank,
the boy in third grade class
that she had eyes for,
long hair and think glasses,
and she thought she ugly before,
confidence grew inside
like a new brain cell,
forgetting all the gossips
can nobody stop the sight of prevail,

and nothing would me more proud,
and nothing would me more proud
you finally got the guy you wanted,
nothing would make me more proud,
nothing would make me more proud,
told you could make it,
just like i promised.
http://arcassin.blogspot.com/2014/05/proud.html
I Grew Up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was king
My friends all liked the Beatles
But, that was not my thing
I liked to hear the fiddle
To hear the joy burst from the strings
I Grew Up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was king

I remember me and Grandad
Listening to the radio
We would listen to the Opry
While my friends went to the show
Johnny Cash, The Gatlins,
Grandpa Jones, and Old Hank Snow
I was raised on country music
I just wanted you to know

I loved the feeling I would get
when I heard a country tune
Singing about trucks and girls
And a golden Tennessee Moon
Charlie Daniels, Jimmy Dean
The Judds, and Roger Miller
Willie, Waylon, Tom T. Hall
and Jerry Lee...the Killer

I Grew Up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was king
My friends all liked the Beatles
But, that was not my thing
I liked to hear the fiddle
To hear the joy burst from the strings
I Grew Up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was king



Country lost it's western
and Rock it lost it's roll
But, still old country music
Those tunes just made me whole
I learned all of the lyrics
And I love to hear them sing
I grew up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was King

I Grew Up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was king
My friends all liked the Beatles
But, that was not my thing
I liked to hear the fiddle
To hear the joy burst from the strings
I Grew Up on Country Music
When Rock and Roll was king
Saul Makabim Jun 2012
**** masterminds
steer clear of this man
He's relentless
a pitbull
Lumping up Pinkman
for no logical reason
He's a madman
Massacres Mexican
kingpins and button men
Knocks out Keith Jardine
in a barfight
initiated as a ptsd
relief valve
Maddog brothers
Axe murdering elite
eliminated with a bullet
a fender
and a little help from Gustavo Fring  
The only man
to walk away unscathed
from the exploding head of Danny Trejo debacle
Houndog Hank
the sherman tank
is hot on Heisenbergs trail.
Its almost guaranteed
One of them will die
Heisenbergs Bad
But Schrader
is badass.
Sunday July 15th
Dorothy A Mar 2017
It’s a horrible feeling when you belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to you. When you don’t matter to a single soul—there is no worse feeling in the world. That feeling nagged Clem throughout much of his life. He used to walk around, wounded and broken inside. Though what he felt inside may never have shown on his tough armor that he wore in public, Clem often felt his life pretty much meant nothing. So how did he ever get to where he was today? How did he get to be so blessed? It amazed him.

Born in 1917, Clem Manning never thought he’d ever make it to one hundred years old, yet here he was. Today was his special day, though he didn’t want any fuss over it all. But he was living with his daughter, Violet, for the past few years, and she wouldn’t have it any other way but to put together a celebration to remember. With a houseful of people, some inside, some in the backyard, and some on the front porch, Clem could say that he no longer felt that he belonged to nobody and nobody belonged to him. It was a beautiful Arizona day, and the distant mountains were ablaze in a fiery purple.  It was a day made for birthdays.  

Seeing one make it to one hundred was rare and amazing sight to witness. To make it this long meant you beat the odds.  Most of all, it was amazing to good, old Clem, himself. His parents died young, long before he could remember them. If others in his family lived longer, he never would have known. The only kin he knew of was his aunt and her husband. They may have taken him in, but he certainly never felt wanted. Both of them slapped him around, punished him by locking him in closets, and prevented him from eating meals when he was bad. They also neglected his needs of decent clothing and a good bed. He had a beat up mattress on the floor or nothing but the hard floor, itself, when he was being punished.  Thankfully, somehow someone intervened, and he ended up in a boy’s home. That place wasn’t a whole lot better when it came to dodging a hard hand, but he was kept clean and with a full belly.

Clem ran away when he was fifteen from that place, and that was in the throes of the Depression. From there on, he fended for himself. His days of experiencing hunger from living at his aunt’s house helped him to be street smart. The petty thievery he learned to master—just to manage to stay alive—continued on beyond childhood.  Like many men, down on their luck and traveling the country, he rode the rails illegally. Just how did Clem survive to be so old, anyway? In his hobo days, he’s been shot at, chased by police, and bitten by dogs. He also almost drowned once in a rapid river, and had a bout with double pneumonia that made him downright delusional and on Death’s door.  

But when the second world war came about, life became easier for Clem. He found his sweetheart, Bess, married her and settled down out west. He wanted to fight in the war, but a hernia disqualified him from joining. His life was surely spared then, for many of his friends were drafted in the army, went overseas, but never made it back alive.    

It sure has been one heck of a life. Resting in his easy chair, he was thankful he still had his wits about him—had a sound noggin—and that he could see and hear still alright—with the help of coke bottle glasses and a hearing aid. Everything that surrounded him was a grand sight to look at, knowing that he helped to create all this hustle and bustle of people in his presence, those here simply to honor him.

He and Bess had three of their own children, Hank, Violet and Daisy, and they also adopted two more, Ted and Sam. It was during those days in the home for boys that Clem saw some of the luckier ones go to good families, selected by potential parents that could give them the secure homes they desperately wanted.  Clem was never picked but picked over. Because he never got that chance, he swore he’d help out those just like him, ones who felt unwanted or ignored, ones that belonged to nobody and nobody belonged to them. He did just that very thing and strove to become the best dad he could possibly be. This was a learning experience for him, and his mistakes were his teachers. Nobody showed him how to be a father, but Bess was his rock and his ally. How he longed to be with her, again.

Clem outlived all of his friends. He lost his sweet Bess fourteen years ago, and buried one of his children—his beloved firstborn child, and it wasn't easy to bury Hank. It should have been the other way around.. There were now thirteen grandchildren, and he never did remember how many great grandchildren that there were, but they were all here now. It was a miracle to have everyone under one roof, as there was family scattered all across the country. He smiled to himself as he thought about how everyone took the time out of their busy lives just for one, old geezer.  

“You better matter to someone right now”, Clem once told a good friend, “Cuz one day you’ll be long gone, and you’ll be lucky if anyone knows your name. It doesn’t matter if you are loved by one hundred people—or one person. That’s how I see it, anyways”.  

With his wife’s relations, and his children and their families, Clem knew the family tree had plenty of branches on it. His life did matter in this world. One of his grandchildren, Amber, mapped a tree out, and she made it all seem so spectacular, and put together like a royal family’s would be. Sketched around the details was a tree done in colored pencil—vivid greens and browns that were eye catching to even a old man with weak eyes—and today it was on display for everyone to inspect and talk about.  

Clem knew very well that his days were waning, that soon he’d just be a memory in the minds of his children and his grandchildren—probably not his great grandchildren who would barely remember him, if at all. Someday, he’d just be a name in the family records of that famous family tree. Like he said to his friend, his name would barely matter to anyone some day. He was simply Clem Manning, a guy who got a break in life and dodged disaster. Maybe only the good did die young, or perhaps he was just too stubborn to die.

But this wasn’t a day for having a sourpuss or for dwelling on the hard things. This was a day to remember for everyone, more than just a birthday for a lucky, old guy that beat the odds. Clem couldn’t eat much of the food made for his birthday feast—too rich or not appealing to his declining appetite—but he promised to have a nice sized slice of cake. It was red velvet with cream cheese frosting, his favorite.

Happy Birthday to you…happy birthday to you…happy birthday, dear Cle-em

Da-ad

Grand-pa

Happy Birthday to you!

There was lots of applause, cell phones out and cameras snapping for picture taking, as Clem tried to blow out the three candles—1-0-0. Thankfully, he had a bit of help from the little ones up close, for Clem wanted to still show nothing was going to beat him, especially three, little, measly candles. But those weren’t just measly candles. They represented so much of who he was.

He still couldn’t believe he made it to see this day. How on earth did he pull it off, anyway?
Mitchell Duran May 2014
We took the back road to the house. The shade from the trees made the road feel like tunnel. Not a shred of light came in. We'd have to drive slow. The road wasn't made of concrete: it was made of dirt, rock, and dead leaves. Sometimes we could see the worms come up out of the dirt in the headlights, their pink stretching bodies like weird little fingers. Carrie never looked. She said it was too scary. The rest of us would look and watch them dance around like that. Sometimes we'd have to run them over. Of course, we'd feel bad about it, but we needed to get back to the house. There were things to be done. Nothing planned, but nonetheless, things to be done.
Englend reversed the car up to the front door. The liquor, the food, and the beer was in the back and would make it easier to get it from there. Patty and Carrie (the one scared of the worms) ran straight to the bathroom. They'd been complaining about how we never stopped at a gas station to ***. Englend said we didn't have the time and I just didn't care. Denny was in the same mindset as me. We usually were. Kat was looking out the window, thinking about something she didn't wish to share when we started to unload. She offered to help after she'd finished her thought, but the three of us said we had it. We didn't really, but we let her have her thought while we carried the bags. There weren't that many to complain about anyway.
When everyone was inside unpacking their things, I hung back and smoked a cigarette. I looked down at the river. It was full and rushing. The trees were full with bright, lime green leaves. The branches were tanned auburn from the sun. They looked the forearms of the Mexican girls at my high school: smooth, everlasting, stretching to a place I was never allowed to touch or look at. I ashed my cigarette into a pile of leaves and immediately worried that I was going to start a fire. I kicked it out, thrusting my boot heel into where I thought the ember had went.
"What the hell are you doing?" Englend screamed from the front porch, a handle of whiskey underneath his arm, a glass with ice in the other.
"Ashed into the leaves," I told him, "Trying to take it out." I kicked the leaves a few more times, then walked towards Englend.
"Let me get a hit of that," I said, pointing at the handle.
He spun the top and it rolled off the tread. The cap rolled off the deck and Englend chased after it, handing me the bottle first.
"Take this. Where'd the hell it go?"
"Down there somewhere," I said, pulling the bottle back. The sweetness of the whiskey hit my nostrils first, then the bite of the liquor. I coughed, feeling my eyes begin to water. The first one was always the hardest. After that, they got easier.
June had just ended. July was just arriving. The third was tomorrow and the next day was the fourth.
I took another pull from the handle. I placed on the decks railing and left Englend with it. He was still looking around for the bottle cap.
"I thought I saw it roll under the deck," I told him.
"*******," he moaned. He looked up at me, "Come and help me. It'll be faster with two."
"Can't. Gotta' check on Carrie and get ourselves a room."
"*******," he moaned again, reaching under the deck.
"Don't get your hand bit by a possum or rat or something!" I yelled behind me, going inside. "Carrie!" I screamed, "Where'd you go?"
"Upstairs getting our room ready!" I heard her scream from the 2nd floor, "Come and help me put the sheets on."
I went into the kitchen. Denny was stocking the fridge with the beer and the meat. I reached over his shoulder and grabbed a Budweiser. He had an open one in between his knees. The light stuff was on the bottom to the far left, the heavy stuff in the middle, and the expensive IPA, hoppy stuff to the far right. The top shelf was for food, mixer, and whatever else the girls had decided to get at the store. Fruit and things. I opened up the freezer. There were two handles of Smirnoff resting on three large bags of ice. We would need more ice. I closed the freezer and ran my fingers of the labels of two more handles of Cazadorés tequila and Bulleit bourbon. Overall, I thought we were fairly stocked for the four day weekend, but one could never be to sure. People came out of the wood work for the 4th of July. No telling who would show up at our front door.
I went upstairs to see what Carrie was doing. She was laying on the bed with the sheets resting on the dresser. The light was off. The room was cast in that light grey pigment that happens when the bedroom light isn't there. It was nice. The sun had been straining my eyes the whole time even though I had been driving in the backseat. Carrie was laying face down on the bed. She was wearing a skirt, so I slowly laid down on the bed and inched her dress up. She didn't flinch or move, so I pulled it up until I saw her burgundy lace *******. They looked pressed or ironed or something they looked so clean.
"What're you doing?" Carrie asked me, her face down into the mattress.
"Just looking," I said.
"At what?"
"At your ****."
"Why?"
"Cause' it's nice."
"Close the door."
I got up, closed the door, and laid back down.
"Lets put the sheets on the bed first."
"OK," I said.
We put the sheets on the bed, but couldn't wait for the pillows and the rest of the blankets. We tried to be quiet, but knew we weren't. After, we took a shower together. I rubbed Carrie's shoulders while the hot water rained down on us. She said it was better to get a massage in the shower because the hot water loosened up the muscles. I didn't know if that was true or not, but I did it anyway. I watched her as she unpacked her bag. Her hair was wet and it swung back and forth, wetting her back. She was wrapped in her favorite pink towel. Water dripped from her body down to the floor. I waited to put my things away. I had brought up very little. Mostly *****. Carrie took up most of the dresser. I had one drawer by the time we were finished.
We took a nap. After we were done sleeping, we looked outside and saw the sun had been replaced with the night. The stars and the light coming from inside of the cabin streaked out into the forest like a splash of golden florescent paint. Carrie and I poked our heads outside to listen to the creaking trees and the rustling of animals through the bush. Someone downstairs was lightly clattering dishes as they cleaned them while the smell of red maple firewood burning in the fireplace came up to our room. I took out my phone from my pocket and looked at the time.
"****," I said, "It's already 10 o'clock."
"I'm starving."
"I'm starving and need a drink."
"Let's go downstairs and see what they made."
I slipped on my 501's while Carrie straightened up her hair. We went downstairs and saw two plates with hamburgers and fries on them. Patty was at the sink cleaning the pots and pans. She was staring down into the soapy froth, humming a song to herself I couldn't understand. She hadn't heard us come down. Denny, Englend, and Kat weren't in the living room.
"Where is everybody?" I asked.
"Oh!" Patty burst. She swung around, a soaped up frying pan in her hands. "You scared the **** out of me!"
I put my hands up, "Gotcha!" I said smiling.
"They went for a walk somewhere and left all the dishes for me."
"Leave'em," Carrie said, taking Patty's hands and wiping the soap away with a rag, "Van and I will take care of them."
"I only have a few more..."
"I insist!" Carrie took Patty's arm and lead her to the couch and laid her down. I took a cup from the pantry, filled it with ice, and poured Bulliet half-way up. I handed the glass to Carrie and she brought it to Patty.
"Look at that," Patty smiled, "Full-service."
"What you get when you come up to the Dangerson cabin."
"**** right!" I exclaimed through a bite of hamburger, "Only the best here."
Patty leaned her head back after taking a long sip of the whiskey. She exhaled and closed her eyes. I watched her as her chest heaved up and down. She kicked off her shoes and let her hair fall over the armrest of the couch.
"You said they went into the woods, Patty?"
Carrie took her burger and went and sat next to Patty.
"Lift your legs up," Carrie said, "Let me sit with you."
"Yeah. They went into the woods an hour or so ago. Probably a little less."
I opened the fridge and grabbed another beer.
"What were they going out there for?"
"I have no idea."
"Probably to get firewood or something," Carrie said, "Can you grab me one of those."
"Sure," I said, tossing her one.
"Wait," She yelled, throwing her hands in the air. The beer landed right in one of her flailing hands.
"Nice catch," I laughed, opening the fridge and grabbing another.
"You're such a ****!"
I smiled and walked out onto the deck.
"He really is," I heard Carrie tell Patty.
"I heard that!"
"You were meant to!" she called back to me, laughing.
I shook my head and opened the can of beer. Why did they decide to go get firewood now? We had plenty of wood here already. Patty probably didn't know what she was talking about. That happened often. I strained my eyes to see through the darkness, maybe see if I could spot a flashlight or the round end of a lit cigarette, but the forest was just a wash of thick blackness. Even the stars had grown faint.
"Englend!" I shouted.
Nothing. Not a peep. They were far out there.
"Englend!" I shouted again.
"What the hell are you shouting at?" a voice said from the trees. I couldn't tell who it was, but it was someone I knew.
"Who the hell is that?"
"Well who the hell do you think it is?" It was Englend. He came out of the trees like a wild boar. He had a handle of whiskey in one hand with a pile of small twigs and firewood in the other. What came to mind first was a mix between a drunken Brawny guy and a pinecone.
"What's all the screaming about?" Kat asked, trailing behind Englend. Denny followed behind. They all had armfuls of wood. From what I saw, little would be useful, but I kept that to myself.
Englend came up the deck and handed me the handle. I took a long pull. As I drank, I looked up into the stars, which were now out and shining brighter than they were before. A cloud had moved, wavered off somewhere, presenting the gifts that were behind it. I lowered the bottle and watched Denny and Kat walk up the stairs. They were smiling.
"What are you two so happy about?" I asked, handing Denny the whiskey.
"Gimme' that!" Kat snagged it out of my hand, laughing. She took a long pull. Denny, Englend, and I watched, amazed that little hippy Kat could take such a heavy shot.
"Good God," I murmured.
"She drinks like a pirate," said Denny.
"A ****** pirate," added Englend.
Kat was especially small. Not a small person small, but petite. She also had a great *** and could out drink, out party, and out do the rest of us in debaucherous shenanigans. She had never heard of the word or feeling of shame either and did, really, whatever the hell she felt like.
"I heard that you *******," she said, exhaling, blinking her eyes wildly.
"That was a biggun'," Denny said, taking the bottle and pulling it.
"Needed it. Englend had us wandering around the ******* forest for firewood the minute we got here."
"Do we even need any?" I asked.
"Course we do!" Englend exclaimed, "Gotta' keep our ladies warm!"
He put his arm around Kat and shook her.
"Gross..." Kat frowned, her face pickling while she squirmed out of his arms.
"You love it Kat...where's Patty? Where's my babe!?" Englend thundered off into the house.
"I'm right here," Patty squealed. She was still on the couch with Carrie. She kicked her feet crazily as Englend jumped on her. Carrie jumped off just before he cannon balled onto the couch.
"You guys are SICK!" Carrie screamed.
"You love it," they both said in unison. The two of them play wrestled until Patty finally got Englend by the ***** and kissed him.
Denny handed Kat the bottle," You want another?" he asked.
"I'm good, Denny," she said.
"Hank?" He asked me.
"I'll take one, yeah," I said. I pulled it back as Kat went inside. I exhaled and looked at Denny, "So, you and Kat are the only two legitimate single people here. How you feel about that?"
"Hopeful," he said.
"That's good to hear. I'll see what Carrie can do."
"Sweet," he said nervously.
"Let's get inside. Patty made some burgers."
"Thank God," Denny sighed, shaking his head, "I'm ******* starving. Englend had us walking for ******' miles.
"No idea why. We have plenty of wood downstairs."
"Seriously?"
"Yeah. Lots of it. I cut a bunch the last time I was here."
"******," he laughed, "Englend told us were out."
"He doesn't know what he's talking about," I said. We walked into the kitchen. I put the bottle down next to Carrie, who had made her way from the couch back into the kitchen. She looked at the bottle, then at me.
"What you drinking there?" she asked me looking at the bottle.
"Whiskey," I told her.
"Can you not drink so much?" she whispered so no one could hear her.
"I'm good," I said, taking her hand, "I just drank a little bit outside while I was waiting for Englend. They went on a wild goose chase for firewood."
"Good."
"Denny was telling me they went all over for the stuff."
"Why?" she smiled, "We have so much from the last time we were up."
"That's what I was telling Englend, but he didn't care. Guy gets antsy."
"Who's antsy?" Englend called from the couch. Patty was wrapped up in his eyes, looking drunk from the single shot Carrie and I had given her. Kat was on the couch with a beer. Denny was hovering by the door, rocking back and forth on his heels still holding an armful of fire wood.
"Why don't you just leave that by the door?" I told Denny, "Take a seat. Stay a while."
He dropped the firewood by the side of the front door and took a seat on the floor in front of the fireplace by Kat. He looked up at her and smiled, but she didn't notice. She was sipping her beer, rummaging around in her pocket for something.
"What I was saying was that you guys didn't need to get anymore firewood or kindling or whatever the hell you guys got because we have a lot from the last time Carrie and I were up."
"I saw those logs," said Englend, "And they're ******* twigs compared to what we got!"
Everyone laughed.
"Well," I said, opening the fridge for another beer (I wasn't sure where my other one had gone to), "I'm not taking the **** down."
"All good, we'll take it down."
"You'll take it down," said Kat, "We had to walk through half of the ******* forest to get to your secret wood spot, then walk back. I'm finished with wood for now."
"Fine," Englend moaned, "I'll take it down in the morning."
"I'll help you," Denny added.
"Good! We got two big guys to do it. It'll be done in no time."
I turned around and opened up the cabinet that was filled with shot glasses. I took six out, put them on the table, and filled them with whiskey.
"Let's take a group shot before we all start getting snuggly and sleepy."
"Great idea!" Englend shouted, popping up from the couch.
"For America!" Patty giggled, following Englend.
Kat helped Denny from the floor and walked over to the counter. They parted hands when Denny was on his feet, but I could tell he wouldn't mind holding her hand for the duration of the trip.
"I'm glad to have you all here," I said, "Glad we could do this."
Everyone nodded, smiling, holding their golden brown shots in the air.
"For America," I said.
"For America!" the rest of them yelled. We soaked in the glory of fine whiskey and hazy conversation for the rest of the night.
Everyone was moving slow in the morning. Englend seemed to be the most up out of everyone. I walked into the kitchen to him whipping 12 eggs, grating cheese, pan frying potatoes, bubbling coffee, and pouring orange juice into mimosa flutes. The champagne was already out. I thought, a little alcohol will probably do me some good. It did. After my third glass, I kissed Carrie when she groggily walked into the living room. She preceded to slump onto the couch. I brought her a cup coffee and some Advil. She smiled meekly into my glazed over, blood shot eyes. I could tell she was hurting, but she would be right in a couple hours. Once we got into the river, all would be right.
"Jesus," said Carrie, "You guys are already drinking?"
"Of course!" Englend laughed, "It's the fourth and it's already noon. We're behind if anything."
"And Englend made breakfast," I said.
"I can see th
This Ain't a ******* Country Song

You know I love my Rock and Roll

I wouldn't write a Country Song

'Cause that's not how I roll

This song it ain't bout country things

Like pickup trucks and cars

You'll never find me writing

About getting drunk in bars

There's no mention here of Taylor Swift

or The Charlie Daniels Band

I wouldn't write of how the banks

are taking our farmland

This Ain't a ******* Country Song

You know I love my Rock and Roll

I wouldn't write a Country Song

'Cause that's not how I roll

I don't know **** 'bout Redneck stuff

like hunting dogs and guns

I wouldn't write of Daisy Dukes

showing off some hot babes buns

I won't write 'bout the Opry

I don't know all that stuff

Of Minnie Pearl and Grandpa Jones

And Mr. Roy Acuff

This Ain't a ******* Country Song

You know I love my Rock and Roll

I wouldn't write a Country Song

'Cause that's not how I roll

There's nothing here 'bout Bourbon

or of Racing through the fields

I don't know much about farming

or crop futures or of yields

I listen to The Rolling Stones

Trace Adkins I don't like

Lady A can go away

Kid Rock can ride his bike

You won't hear much about Zac Browns Band

or of food thats Chicken Fried

I might go to a hoedown

If I'd  just  up and died

My music, it fulfills me

It makes me who I am

But I'll stay away from country

songs, Cause I don't give a ****

No Oak Ridge Boys or Hee Haw Here

Hank Williams I won't buy

I'll never buy a Dixie Beer

It's a drink I'll never try

I won't sing about Kentucky

or of a Texas Yellow Rose

you know this aint no country song

Good god I hope it shows

There's no mohter, dogs or applie pie

no  fishin' in the dark

No Everything is Beautiful

No songs by Terry Clark

I'm really open minded

My friends they are the same

We won't buy country music

To us it's just so lame

This Ain't a ******* Country Song

You know I love my Rock and Roll

I wouldn't write a Country Song

'Cause that's not how I roll

I won't mention stuff you'll find

in songs by Nashville bands

There's nothing here about

watching football in the stands

I'll never write a country song

Cause country just ain't fun

Oh crap I just read this thing

And I think I just wrote one

This Ain't a ******* Country Song

You know I love my Rock and Roll

I wouldn't write a Country Song

'Cause that's not how I roll
written at the Herzl Camp

"A drunken man got mad at him / Because he barked in joy / He beat him and he's dying here today / Will you call the doctor please / And tell him if he comes right now / He'll save my precious doggy here he lay / Then he left the fluffy head / But his little dog was dead / Just a shiver and he slowly passed away."


*This extract comes from a poem called Little Buddy, and is controversial. Allegedly written at the Herzl camp there are claims it might be originated by someone else by the name of Hank Snow.
T R Jul 2014
Yes, the Glass Slipper fits.

But I will not go with you.

You stand shocked in your magnificent Uniform,
Black shoes and Spurs sparkling
Sword shining in its scabbard,
Proud blue eyes wide,
Handsome face stunned

Prince Henry Alexander
Your father gave a ball to find a queen,
but you found me instead.
We will marry
BUT you will be the one transformed, not me

You rode to my house on your beautiful Horse,
descending from your castle,
to bring your future queen back to your life
of Privilege and Royalty.

No. I will bring you into my world of
menial work and sacrifice and exhaustion.

My fairy Godfather is here to help transform you.
You came with a glass shoe for my foot.
But now YOUR polished shoes and silk socks,
footwear of a Prince,
are coming OFF your privileged feet.

You are stunned and horrified
You resist and argue
You refuse and try to leave
Your pride and anger rise
But there is no escaping your destiny.

You are now the barefoot Prince among the cinders
Barefoot in your Dazzling Court Uniform
Would you ever dance barefoot in your elegant Palace
Naked soles instead of smartly clicking shoes?

Now we take your Royal Sword
You will not be fighting battles anymore
Your Medals and White Gloves are pulled off
You shudder as you surrender pieces of your
Royal self to our hands.

Here are the rough clothes of a peasant farmer
made of rough burlap.

What are these? You gasp

Strip off your magnificent Imperial Uniform.
Scarlet Tunic and pressed striped blue Trousers
Royal Sash and Epaulettes
that belong to your former Princely life
Step into your new uniform of labor and poverty.

You struggle with outrage and frustration
but a surge of courage gives way
and crumbles
as my Fairy Godfather strips you of your inherited
Nobility and Privilege

Send a message to the King and Queen
You are renouncing your Royal Throne
Your birthright
Your former life and former future
All that you once were
and all that you were born to be.

You are no longer Prince Henry Alexander
Soon to be King Henry Alexander IV...
What name is that for a peasant?
You are now Hank
That is all. Just Hank.

Renounce your Princely Education
your formal training
your upper class speech and manner.
We will help you strip yourself
of your High Position.
Do not worry.

Your Aristocratic identity is already dead.

We will sell your splendid Sword.
We will trade your former sparkling black shoes
for a pig
Exchange your former Brilliant Uniform
for a goat
Your former ring with the Royal Insignia
for grain and seeds
Trade in your former Spurs and black silk socks with
the monogram of your former name for a plow.

Your head of wonderful Golden hair,
the hair of a Prince on a Throne,
the hair of Warrior in Battle,
hair for a Palace, hair for a Ball.

I remember the palace lights
shining on your beautiful Golden hair....

All that glorious hair
must be shaved off.

Your handsome face already in shock.
Your mouth drops open.

Your Golden hair will be sold
to make a wig for a wealthy bald man.
Let him wear the Princely hair with pride.
YOUR pride and dignity are shriveling and
vanishing like raindrops on a hot day

You will work long hours in the fields
You will sow and reap, tend the animals,
Chop trees, you will be a beast of burden,
We have no Ox.
We will attach the plow to your Princely shoulders.
You will have no need of thick, full golden hair.

Your Princely hands and feet are smooth, clean, white
protected by shoes, boots, spurs, gloves.
But soon the earth and rain and wind
will enter and crack them.

Your beautiful, beloved Horse,
Groomed in the Royal Stables,
waiting outside the house
is no longer yours.
Yes, we will sell him as well.

Together we will live a life of drudgery.
We will have children who will never know
their Royal lineage.
You have descended to my level
and here you will remain...

I will name our new pig Prince
to remind you, as a gentle joke for summer nights...
A revised ending for Cinderella, with a bitter twist
I was fairly drunk when it
began and I took out my bottle and used it
along the way. I was reading a week or two after
Kandel and I did not look quite as
pretty but
I brought it off and we
ended up at the Webbs, 6, 8, 10 of
us, and I drank scotch, wine, beer, tequila
and noticed a nice one sitting next to me -
one tooth missing when she smiled,
lovely, and I put my arm around her
and began loading her with *******.
when I awakened at 10 a.m. the next morning
I was in a strange house
in bed with this
woman. she was asleep but looked
familiar.
I got up and here was one kid running around in a
crib and another one running around the floor in
pajamas. I picked up a letter addressed to one
"Betsy R.", so I went back and said,
"hey, Betsy, there are kids running around all over
this place."
"oh Hank, **** it, I'm sick. I want to sleep, not
rap."
"but look, the ..."
"make yourself some
coffee."
I put the *** on and the little boy ran up in his
pajamas. I found a shirt and some pants and some
shoes and
dressed him.
then I cleaned a bottle with hot water, filled it
with milk and gave it to the kid in the
crib. he went for
it.
then I went in and squeezed her
hand. "I've got to go. are you all
right ?"
"yes, a little sick. but please don't feel
bad."
I called a yellow cab and we went back across
town.
is this what happened to
D. Thomas ? I thought.
if a man didn't think too much he could be proud of his little
conquests -
except that the women were better than we - asking nothing
as we squirted our poetry
our ******* our
***** to
them.
we were sick poets sick
people.
across town I knocked on the door of my host and
hostess.
"what happened ?" they
asked.
"nothing. got
lost."
they sat a beer in front of me
and I drank it as if I were
wordly:
a piece-of-***
any-night
anywhere
type.
"somebody got a
cigarette ?" I asked.
"sure, sure."
I lit up and asked,
"heard from Creely
lately ?"
not giving a **** whether they had or
not.
JJ Hutton Jun 2011
Cindy Used-to-be-Wilks-Now-Prine-Again
pulled a hammer from the intersection
of *** crack and belt line,
and proceeded to air out
the passenger-side window
of her in-laws Suburban.

She dropped the parcel in the
captain chair and ran back up the
driveway to the soundtrack of a
whiny car alarm.

By the time the master bedroom's light lit,
she was turning the car's ignition.

She made a beeline for the Children's Funhouse,
just under the skirt of Oklahoma City.
Blanketed by a dense tree line, the red and yellow
chipped, wooden building was thought
by most interstate nomads as an ancient eyesore.

She parked at McGowan's Store, bought a 30-pack of 'Stones and
a pack of red 100s.
Cindy ran across the lulling interstate to the Children's Funhouse.

Walked in the backdoor beaming,
"Hello ladies! Anybody want a drink?" she said to the room
full of workers.

The women of Children's Funhouse sported an image
that anyone could guess, as long as they knew
the place to be a middle-classy truck stop brothel.

After a chorus of I-do, I-do's, Cindy began tossing beers
to freckled ladies, decked in frilly skirts, saddle shoes, bobby socks,
and more often than not--pigtails.

Chung-Ae Phun, the madame, walked up behind Cindy,
tapped her on the shoulder and the two embraced warmly.
"Hey Mama," Cindy said.

"Oh, Cindy Lilly, it's so good to see you!
You picked a wonderful night to make your
prodigal return. Looks like a lot of business tonight."

"I could certainly use the money."

"Is four okay?"

"I'll take as many as you can send my way."

"That's the spirit darling. I want you to take
the Candy Corn Suite."

"I'd be honored, Mama."

Chung-Ae Phun established a fine business.
On Mondays she treated the local law enforcement,
on Sundays the district judge, and every other day
weary truckers came in to find solace.
Only special guests were treated to "special" girls
in the Candy Corn Suite.
The orange and white checkered carpet, the yellow walls,
radiated an eerie invitation.

"Let me get your outfit ready,
if you'd like you can wait in the room" Phun said.

Cindy Prine moved the stuffed bunnies and bears,
and planted on the bed.
Freedom rang like the Liberty Bell in her small skull.
Few of God's creatures ever held as much original
joy in their bones as Cindy Prine.
She could turn tundra to beachfront with a smile.

Chung-Ae Phun knocked on the door and entered,
setting a white and pink polka dot dress on the edge of
the bed.

"Your first client is a friend of a friend. Terrible gut,
smells like an ocean of whiskey, but seems nice enough."

"What's his name," Cindy asked.

"Hank."

"Send him in."

Cindy slid into the dress,
quickly pounded a beer,
heard a rapid, eager knock on the door.

"C'mon" Cindy chimed.

"Well, gawd ****, baby girl. Looks like you've been real bad."

Cindy rolled her eyes.

"I sure have. I can't find my ******* anywhere.
Will you help me look, Hank?"
© 2011 by J.J. Hutton
Hank always tells the truth it seems
That's right, you're not pretty enough
Not smart enough too believing the dreams
He "thinks I've been cryin' since he's been gone
Well I'm gonna give him a good leavin' alone
"

Yeah, truth hurts it always does
But delivery is key, gotta give some tact
Never know when you need them to have your back
"I just don't like this kind of livin', I'm tired of doin' all the givin'
I just don't like the things you're doin'
Your evil heart will be your ruin
"

I'm the fool dressed in naivety
Believing promise of longevity
"I believed the lies you told me, when you whispered dear I worship thee"

Should have made yourself known
Long before we started this show
But maybe karma will get you soon
Take that hot air out your balloon

And I hope you "just can't seem to take it anymore
You feel empty walking through a swinging door
Seeing all the lonely people just staring at the band
Wrapped inside the feelings
Playing one night stands
"

And dear I wish I could
I really know I should
*"But the toughest thing, I ever gave up was today
'Cause old habits like you, are hard to break"
Ok, (") are lyrics from Hank Williams Jr songs
Order of appearance as such
"Good Leavin' Alone"
"I Just Don't Like This Kind of Livin'"
"May You Never Be Alone"
"One Night Stands"
"Old Habits"
Dual meaning behind Hank....we all have one...
Terry Collett Aug 2016
Sure I like broads, said Hank,
Especially the cute
Ones with soft dimpled cheeks;
The cool sleek ones like cats

That purr in your ears and
Claw at your groin; I like
The plump dames, with puffy
Pillow-like ******* where you

Can lay your head on those
Cold lonely winter nights;
Or the slim broads with tongues
Like razors, hips like small

Handles, who keep you on
Your toes and in their beds;
And the clever dames who
Use their heads listening

To Brahms, while I lay in
Their arms, looking into
Their bright blue eyes, seeing
Death waiting for me out

There on the rim, just me
And dark deadly old him.
A 2008 POEM.
Akira Chinen Jun 2016
Master of the way
East meets west with pen in hand
Haiku Hank is king
I met a wise man, named Mister Hank
I went to his store, because I had  no money in the bank
But a broken laptop to sell, and an empty stomach

The door was locked, but he let me in still
He said "Sit down son, talk if you will
Because you look like you've got some troubles"
I sat down across from him, and felt my stubble
And then I felt my stomach rumble
Looking right down at my shoes

He said "When I talk young man, I want you to look me in the eye
And I figured he thought what I was saying was a lie
When I was trying to talk about my broken laptop

But I couldn't have been any more wrong,
He just looked like an old time song
That's seen it's share of plays
And wanted to help me out

I told him how I write, and how I sing
And he said "It's good that you've found the thing
You really have a passion for."

"The thing that this world lacks is drive,
But I see the spark in your eye,
The kick in your side
And I know you're gonna make it out there"

We talked about drugs, and we talked about love
Everything we were taught, and the concept of
The things we were taught to believe

But the most important things, that I learned from him,
Is you can't spread happiness, if you don't have it within
"It's a sad fact son, but look out for number one,
Because sometimes love can't carry you through,
All the cold winters and the midnight blues
Just take a step back for a while, and maybe you'll find a better view"

It's just one of them things that'll do you right
An old soul with some good advice,
Sometimes, that's just all you need.
Rafael Alfonzo Sep 2015
I was down on my luck** and had not returned to my job nor had any notion of returning again. I had a plane ticket for Boston that would fly me to Minnesota that was scheduled to depart in twenty days. I had still not yet bought the bus ticket to Boston. I had one hundred dollars to my name. My friend Billy had owed me one hundred dollars as well and gave me one hundred and thirty dollars in 1988 pesos coins as repayment. Knowing that it might be difficult to find a place who would honestly convert them and that their worth fluctuated, I would have much rather he paid me in US dollars but I took them in thanks and didn’t mention it. He knew what I was thinking and told me that if I couldn’t get a fair price that I could mail them to him when he got to Missouri and he would mail me what he owed in cash but until then all of his money was ******* in his trip home and even that was barely enough but that he had checked on their worth and said it should cover the one-hundred he owed. I smiled and we warmly shook hands to seal the deal.  We spent the day riding around in his wrangler and running some final errands for him before he would be gone.
The three years we had known each other might as well have been a lifetime and had felt just as full as one and had gone by just as fast. We ‘d drunk coffee and smoked cigarettes outside of Elizabeth’s bookstore. We’d watched in silence the beautiful women that would walk passed without much attention given to us. We, however, gave great attention to every ***** and bounce and shimmy. There were some gorgeous women that came to the bookstore those years. We shot pool with Bernie, who had the keys to the Mason Lodge and had many great conversations on the fire escape. We played games of chess in the bookstore. We drove around listening to the blues. Sometimes we got together, the three of us, at Billy’s and we’d make a fire and they’d drink coffee because they were old men and had had to stop drinking years before and I would drink some bourbon or wine after a cup or two of coffee and then we’d share a pack of cigarettes between us and we’d feel the warmth of the fire and have some good laughs. Bernie was diagnosed with a rare and terrible cancer in North Carolina on a trip to see his son in the Air force and had been brought back home a few months later and beside his wife and daughter and son fell silently to sleep and never woke up again. I hadn’t gone to see him but Billy said that when he saw him he didn’t mention his condition once and that he even got out of bed and sat with him on the back porch that looked out upon the open land and sky and they talked like nothing was wrong and laughed and said they’d see each other again. Bernie died a week later.
I hadn’t planned it this way but the opening to this story is very much dedicated to Bernie, and Billy, I hope you get safely back to Missouri and that your pesos will help me make it through the fall.
I had not told my mother or my love, Rosalie, that I had left my job. So I made fake work schedules and left the house and returned home at all the appropriate times with a lanyard I had kept from work hanging from my neck and hung it on the doorknob when I got home. During the day there were several options to occupy the eight-hour shifts. The town ran very much so due to the college and I would go up there and browse around the old books called the stacks and take a few with me out onto the grass of the quad and read them. I would read for hours. I got restless every now and then and would even read while I walked in circles up and down and back and forth the crisscrossing paths under the trees of the quad. This was great until I got caught for taking these books from the school at my own leisure and soon it was revealed that I was not a student there and they told me not to come back. Some days I would run along the riverside. I enjoyed long walks on the train tracks around the city with my headphones on and taking pictures. I always had my backpack on, even if nothing was in it, but usually there was a book and a pair of Rosalie’s ******* and on occasion I would take this out and close my eyes to smell them and I would miss her very much. We lived with a few towns between us and she was a very busy and dedicated young woman. She was working in nursing homes and taking care of home patients and going to school full time on top of it and doing clinicals and taking care of her little brother because it takes a lot sometimes for a man to be cured from his drinking habits, which was very much true in their fathers case and her mother was a wild and paranoid woman who refused to believe that her boyfriend was beating Rosalie’s little brother while she was away at work. So Rosalie took great care and love for her brother and also custody.
I, however, had not been so responsible with my life. When I came back from the Army it was not as a hero but I could tell a great hero’s story because I’d known them all but mostly they were characters in stories I’d read in the barracks, or secondhand tales given in extravagant detail during chow and none of them were true but they sounded quite exciting. It made the time at bars when I had gotten home less lonely because I could tell a tale in first person convincingly enough that many an old vet, with his own made up fantasies, would act like they believed me and would share their stories and we didn’t have to sit there thinking about the buddies we lost or the women whom had fallen out of love with us one time or another or the families we were avoiding. I liked going to the bars, but I wouldn’t have had anything to say if it weren’t for those stories.
I met Rosalie a month after having been discharged. She sat in Elizabeth’s bookstore and was studying for a class. I was with Billy at the time and we were outside smoking cigarettes when we saw her walk in.
“Did you see that?” Billy said. I saw her all right. She had gone inside and we were still sipping our coffees and smoking and I was still seeing her, no matter what else walked by or how pretty the sky was or the warmth of the sun.
“That’s a good girl right there,” Billy said, “not like most of these others we see out here, kid.” It annoyed me a little that Billy was still talking about her, egging me on a little. As I had said, I had seen her and he was disrupting my fantasizing and I had known she was a kind girl and I wanted to save my dream of her for a little while longer before I brought it to her.
“I know,” I said.
“Well, go and see about her then!”
“I’ll go”
I had no intention of letting her pass by but there was thunder rumbling in my chest and butterflies in my stomach and I had suddenly become cold even though it was sixty-five degrees out on the sidewalk and something was keeping me from standing. “I’ll have one more smoke and then I’ll go in for more coffee and see her then.”
“Tonto’s nervous! Ha ha ha!” Billy got a kick out of the thought and patted me on the back. “If you want,” He said, “I’ll go say hello for you.” He was still amused.
“You’re twice her age Bill,” I said, “she’d probably call the cops on your old ugly mug”
“The cops may be called because of how well endowed I am and she’ll be screaming and the neighbors will worry about her and call the cops on us”
Billy was always talking about his manhood and I never knew any good rebuttals because I was honest with myself and so I never had a response. I let him brag. All I knew is I had one and I knew it wasn’t large but none of the women I ever slept with ever said it was too small and they all enjoyed lying with me afterwards and talking quite a while before falling to sleep and sometimes the *** had been wild.
The cigarette was finished and I was still nervous but I didn’t want to hesitate any longer. I don’t even think she’d even seen me when she walked into the store.
I went inside and ordered a coffee and looked over to her. She was on a laptop and had a pile of books beside her and some papers and she looked up and our eyes met. I held the glance with her for a little longer than a moment. I was a little embarrassed and she was beautiful and I was wondering what my face looked like to her and if my eyes had been creepy but she lifted a corner of her lips and smiled before looking back to her work and then my shoulders relaxed and I realized I had held my breath. I laughed to myself at my own ridiculousness and let it go and then walked up to her and extended my hand and she took it with a smile and I looked dead into her beautiful hazel eyes again with confidence and we’ve been in love ever since.

The reason for my trip to Minnesota was to see my old friends from the Army: Grady and Hank. We hadn’t seen each other since I was discharged eight years ago and they reached out to me when they could but I wasn’t very good at keeping in touch with them. After I left the Army it was hard for me to talk to them. I felt I was missing out on something and I didn’t want to think of them dying without me and I didn’t like those feelings so I tried to pretend they didn’t exist but they kept me in the loop of things and always asked how I was doing no matter how well I stayed in touch with them or not. It meant much more than they’ll ever know that they did. So when they said they had both gotten out nothing was going to stop me from reconnecting with them. They said they were going to drive east to see me. I called them back.
“Let’s not hang around here in Maine,” I said, “it’ll be the middle of fall and there’s nothing to do around here. Instead of you guys coming all the way out here and then staying for a week let’s make the whole trip a seven-day adventure and you ******* can drop me off home when it’s over?”
“That sounds all well and good Russ but how the hell are you getting out here?”
“I bought a ticket, I’ll be there on the twenty-second of October at eleven.”
“That’s what I like hearing old pal!” Grady said through the phone, “Now that sounds more like the Russ I know. You’ll find me at the airport at eleven. I’ll bring a limousine with a bar and buy a couple of hookers for us”
“No hookers, Grady”
“Yes, hookers!” Grady said, “do you still do blow?”
“No”
“Good. Me neither. Honestly, I don’t do hookers anymore also. But it sounded like a proper celebration didn’t it?”
“It did.”
“Well, then its settled Russ. I’ll see you on the twenty-second of October at eleven PM sharp in a long white limo and I’ll bring the *****, the blow and the ****** and it’ll be like old times.”
“Sounds perfect Grady, I can’t wait.”
We hung up.

The plan was I would spend the night at Grady’s and the next morning we’d get Hank and we’d head for Chicago as soon as we could. One of their friends, Lemon, would be making the trip with us and would be there at Hanks when we got there in the morning. Lemon was an excellent shot with the rifle and a better guitarist and Grady told me I’d get right along with him. He told me he was at the range and the Sergeant was yelling in this black boys ear that he couldn’t shoot worth a ****.
“MY ******* GOT BETTER AIM BOY!” “I CAN HIT YOUR FAT UGLY MOMMA IN THE EYE AT TWICE THE DISTANCE” “YOU COULDN’T HIT PUBERTY IF I DROPPED YOUR ***** FOR YOU!”
The Sergeant, Grady said, went on and on at the top of his lungs yelling at this black guy and we all stopped and stared at him.
“As the Sarg kept hollering the kids rifle kept popping off shots at the target and you’d hear him grab another clip when the other ran out and reload it and then keep shooting but none of us could tell where the shots were going. The Sarg was so loud and the shots had such a rhythm all of us at the range stopped and looked over. There wasn’t a single bullet hole anywhere on the target except directly in the center where every bullet he had shot had gone through and nowhere else.
“Finally Lemon ran out of bullets and the Sarg quit hollering and he called him to attention.”
“Where did you learn to shoot a rifle Jefferson,” The Sergeant inquired.
“Sergeant, I have never shot a rifle before in my life”
“Do you think it’s funny to lie to your Sergeant?”
“No, Sergeant”
“So why are you lying?”
“I’m not lying Sergeant”
“What did you do before you enlisted, Private?”
“I worked on the farm for my father, Sergeant”
“At ease soldier, Staff Sergeant Dominguez would like to have a word with you.”
And that’s how Lemon went to training to become a ****** but he broke his leg in training and got sent home.
“Well ****,” I said, “He must be one helluva guitarist.”

We were to spend a day in Chicago and camp at the Indiana Dunes and then drive to Detroit and spend a day and camp there and then head to Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia if we had the time and then go to Boston and they’d drop me off at the train the following morning and I’d go home from there. But all of that was still twenty days away and I was down on my luck and had to save every cent I possibly could for the trip. Rosalie was excited for me. She knew how much I hated being home and that I stayed around to be with her even as much as she said that I shouldn’t let her stop me from doing what I wanted with my life but I really had no clue but I did know that she was the love of my life. She was happy to hear of this adventure and supported me but she didn’t know how broke I was and I hid it well by cooking all of our meals with things at my mothers apartment or my fathers house depending on where she came during her once-a-week sleepovers. She was proud of me for how well I had been with managing my money. There’s nothing to it, I told her.
The summer had been one of the best summers I’d ever had. Rosalie and I got to spend a lot of time together in-between our own lives and every moment had been cherished. I worked often and hard for twelve bucks an hour for more than forty hours a week but had nothing to show for it now. I’d gotten in trouble with the law and the lawyer was costly and so were the fines and the bail, even though I got the bail back I had to dump it into my beautiful old truck and then some because I hadn’t taken the best of care of it. I also spent most of my money on dinners out with Rosalie and I liked buying her little brother things every now and then and I had a terrible habit of buying books. Also, I had a habit of going to the bars on weekends and I wasn’t a modest drinker.
The last paycheck I got was for five hundred dollars and I spent it on a room for a long weekend at an Inn by the ocean for Rosalie and I to end such a good summer properly. Money is for having a good time and is for others. That’s how I’ve always thought it should be spent. When you’re broke, it’s easy to find lots of good times in the simple endeavors and I enjoyed those but I also enjoyed getting away with Rosalie. So when I say I was down on my luck do not think I was unhappy about it, I had lots of good luck before I’d gotten down on it and Rosalie is possibly the best luck a young man could ever come across. Still, I only had one hundred dollars to my name and three 1988 pesos coins that I’m not sure will be worth the other hundred and with twenty days to go. It’s going to be pretty tight.

I want to talk about our time by the ocean now...

(c) 2015
Draft. Possible other parts. Story in works.
harlon rivers Oct 2017
Maybe it's been written
somewhere in the constitution
     of the waning moon

                                         ― When somebody loves you,
                                               you can never be lonely ―

But, appearances
  to the contrary,
the moon is sometimes blue;

counting stars alone
in a sky full of stars

is just about as lonely
as 'once in a blue moon'
                              can be ―

Like when the night is yours alone
                  or feeling alone
               in a crowded room

hearing Hank Williams moan within your silence
       "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"

                                         ― When it's hard to say
                                               you love someone,..
                                               but it's harder to say
                                               when you don't ―

                • • •

A coyote's pleading howl
breaks the silent twilight engulfing trance
cast by the dappled moonlight;
like there's some kind of lonely madness
    swallowing him whole,..

                     as
    these two hollow eyes
                 gaze out through
                                     the chilly,
                                            sobering
                                                 refreshed
                                                   Autumn air
                                                             ­    spilling
                                                                ­  in through
                                                            the open window,

                                                        ­           counting stars ― alone
                                                           ­             in a sky full of stars


                                                       ­             the crackle of the fireplace
                                                       ­            echoes, startling the silence
                                                         ­                of a feigned warmth
                                                                ­          from the other side
                                                                ­ of an otherwise hollow room

and i feel frayed as a hole in an empty pocket with nothing left to lose

the impending dark winter nights are lonesome
            and  linger longer than before ...
  
seeing the empty space beside me
   I remember how it really really aches to just be ...

                                                            *­lonesome as a blue moon ― *

                   ✩                        ✩                                       ­ 
                ✩                                       ✩                           
✩          ­                                                      ✩
         ­                                                                 ­                                

moonless ― rivers ... 2017


Lonesome as a Blue Moon
Written by:  h.a. rivers
Stop
Laughing like that.
you sound **A
bit
Pathetic.

Hide that smile.
hIde that frown.
Thank your lucky stars.

Steam from the shower
Clears the mind and
Reveals the
mArks left behind
because I am Too fair or
should I say Caucasian
looking, Hispanic
doesn't comE
acrosS clearly like the mind.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to
Everyone but me
becAuse I never got
anywheRe on my own.

Here lies the secret,
Eat it like dessert:
All of this has been done before
Little doesn't even come close to describing me.

Melt into movement
Ease into enjoyment
kNeel into knowing
Drown in deliverance.

Scratch.
Cover.
Again.
Repeat.
Another empty bar room
Playing songs for empty chairs
A deaf dog and his blind master
Are in the crowd and no one cares
The singer tells his stories
No one really wants to know
They're trying to watch the tv
No one cares about his show

A break comes and he's sitting
Talking to the tender of the bar
On a torn and worn out bar stool
Eating pickled eggs out of a jar
Complaining of his station
How he is just playing, making rhymes
When a voice out of the corner asks
"Can we talk...if you've time"

I've been around for ever
Since time began for sure
I can help you if you'll let me
I can open up the doors
I'm known by many titles
Silver tongued, though I may be
I can help you if you'll let me
But, my help....is not for free

I've helped singers before you
Wives, and mothers, fathers, sons
I've helped with politics and warfare
I've been at both ends of the gun
In your case, it is simple
I'll talk of music and of muse
And I'll give you some advice boy,
Some advice, I think you'll use

I was there back in the fifties
When Hank Williams died en route
Who'd you think was driving?
I helped him pick his suit
I made deals with Elvis Presley
One too many so it seems
I help many climb the mountain
They deal with me to reach their dreams

I've been around for ever
Since time began for sure
I can help you if you'll let me
I can open up the doors
I'm known by many titles
Silver tongued, though I may be
I can help you if you'll let me
But, my help....is not for free


Talent is a godsend,
****, I hate that word
But, it only gets you started
You don't move on, if you're not heard
I was there with Jimi Hendrix
I sat and watched him die
He was only one of many
Who could look me in the eye

I've crashed cars and downed airplanes
I've watched so many play the fool
I was there back in the sixties
Pushing Brian Jones into his pool
Keith Moon and countless others
Have sought my help to move along
They gave their souls for ever
For the small price of just a song

I've been around for ever
Since time began for sure
I can help you if you'll let me
I can open up the doors
I'm known by many titles
Silver tongued, though I may be
I can help you if you'll let me
But, my help....is not for free




I helped a man named Chapman
Buy a gun and change his time
He wanted to be famous
And I wanted his soul to be mine
I helped Belushi load his needle
I was there with music ******
I remember how Jim Morrison
Shut his eyes, and closed the Doors

I can help you if you'd let me
Take you far from clubs like these
Put you far up on a mountain
Where people come crawling on their knees
The man looked at the stranger
The barkeep couldn't see
Don't worry said the stranger
Right now, it's you and me

I've been around for ever
Since time began for sure
I can help you if you'll let me
I can open up the doors
I'm known by many titles
Silver tongued, though I may be
I can help you if you'll let me
But, my help....is not for free


There's a deal upon the table
It might be vague, but trust me son
No one else in life will help you
I'm the only one
As there's a god in heaven
He doesn't care if you get rich
And face it, aren't these taverns
Just enough to be a *****
I can have you playing big shows
Selling out, folks know your name
You can be the one controlling
Not just playing in the game

A handshake, all I need right now
The contract, I'll work on
Just tell me that you'll do it
And from now on, I'll be gone
I was Allen Klein to many
Colonel Tom to others too
I've been Beelzebub and Faustus
I've been many names to you

I've been around for ever
Since time began for sure
I can help you if you'll let me
I can open up the doors
I'm known by many titles
Silver tongued, though I may be
I can help you if you'll let me
But, my help....is not for free


The offer is a good one
Just look around and make a choice
You came here on a greyhound
You'll leave in a Rolls Royce
Time will be your ally
You will have all the time you need
To reach the music high ground
To have the fame, to succeed

The barkeep broke the silence
The singer went back to the stage
But, somehow he was different
It seemed the singer turned the page
What answer did he give him
Did he take the Devil's deal
Was this just a drunken vision
Or was this devil's offer real

We may never know the answer
For talent only goes so far
And for now the singer's singing
To a deaf dog in this old bar
The silver tongued kibitzer
Disappeared into the night
Did our singer sell his soul or
Did our singer do what's right?
John Mar 2013
Hi, I'm Jackie. I am 18 years old and I'm a senior at Brennan Burton High School in Frederickson, New York. Frederickson is the suburban wasteland that you've doubtlessly seen and read about in countless movies, TV shows and books concerned with life in these mind-numbingly dull pockets of land. If you can even call it "life", that is. However, I find that the aforementioned depictions of the people and happenings in towns like mine are, more often than not, completely wrong. It makes me wonder if the people writing these shows and films have ever taken the initiative to actually venture out of their modest little apartments in SoHo to see for themselves what an actual suburbia feels like. But, I digress... Sort of. The purpose of my story is to try to prove to you that what you think about suburbia is probably all wrong, or mostly wrong.
     Now, where to begin?
     OK. I live in a two-story house that was built in the wake of World War II. It was one of those houses that government built for the soldiers who were returning from the war to live happy and prosperous lives in with their smiling families. That was a long time ago though, and now it seems like most of the houses in my town are occupied by single mothers, single fathers or familial units that include a step-mother or step-father. And my family is no different, being made up of my father, Henry (everyone calls him Hank) and my little brother Huxley. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer only a few months after Huxley was born. They did everyting they could for her, but the cancer was advanced and she passed away only a few months after her initial diganosis. I loved my mother. She was a strong woman, she went to college, got a well paying job and gave birth to two kids. Sounds like a busy life, especially when you take into account that she was only 38 when she died.
     Thinking about her too much kind of shifts me into slow-mo, so I'm moving on. I love my dad, too. He's had a hard life. He grew up in a hard part of the city and had to drop out of school to start working at around 14 or 15. Not too long after he started working to help his family out, his father disappeared. Supposedly, my grandfather was involved with some sketchy people and, without a doubt, probably was involved in some sketchy dealings. Anyway, after he disappeared, my father was forced to work 18 hour days, 7 days a week. My grandmother was an alcoholic and a pill popper before my grandfather disappeared, and afterward it only got worse. One day when my father got home from work, he found his mother drowning in her own ***** on the kitchen floor. He rushed her to hospital, but it was too late. And to top it all off, when he got home, floating in the inch deep puke, he found her suicide note. That's when my father decided to pack his bags and move out of the city. Soon, he found work in an autobody shop and started saving money. Not long after that, his boss introduced him to his daughter who was around the same age. His boss's daughter turned out to be my mom.
     Sorry if all this background is annoying, but I figure if you want to read my story, you might as well know my parents' stories too. After all, if there were no them, then there would be no me. But yeah, my father. He's a good guy. Always quick to make light of any situation. You'll never catch him bringing the emotional air of a situation down. That;s just not how he operates, and now that I think about it, I can see why. If he had made a habit of that, he no doubt would've ended up like his mother. I'm very appreciative of him and everything that he does, I just wish I got around to tell him that more often.
     Then there's my brother Huxley. He's 9 years old, in the 4th grade and was named after Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, my mother's favorite book. The name is eerily fitting too, almost as if his being named after a famous author was a foreshadowing of sorts. While his best friends are playing the latest PlayStation game, Huxley is devouring a novel. Basically, if you put it in front of him, he'll ****** it up and be quoting it the next time you see him. He's a smart kid, a really smart kid and I couldn't be prouder as an older sister, especially these days, when the only ting kids read are text messages and Facebook statuses. Whenever I go to the library to finish schoolwork, I always try to pick something up for him. The last one I got him was Carrie by Stephen King, one of my favorite authors. After he finished it though, he told me he'd much rather me bring him home another Nicholas Sparks book. I can't say you would ever hear those words coming out of my mouth, but I admire the kid's openness. I picked him up The Choice a few days ago, and when I checked in on him that night his smile was never brighter. He quickly kissed my cheek and told me he only had a few chapters left so I had to leave him be. All in all, he's quiet, shy and sensitive and I love him for that.
The unfinished first chapter to a short I'm writing that very well could turn out to be my first real attempt at a television pilot. Be gentle, it is unfinished and I've yet to even read through it yet, so yeah. Raw, unedited and unfinished. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

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