Another Visit by the Black Dog

just a downslide when no hills exist
a deep troubling ending
for a life never begun.
I visit the oven’s open mouth
more often than not
Sylvia’s got nothing on me
I the deflated ball she never bounced.
Coward I bounce to a dead mirror
I’ve knotted the rope
but my hands disobey my heart
my mind forever tortured echoing coward.

The Golden Dance

Saw you last night walking the girders,

Golden Gate, not golden, not for you.

Metal diving board, a death trap for the sad,

I never knew and now my delusion comes true.

I am so sorry life has been cruel to you.

It’s been cruel to many before. I will never

feel those arms around me, those lips pressed

wetly against mine. What did you think I could do?

Did you see wings on my shoulders or sandals on my feet?

You’re gone, now I’m lost, I am sadder than you now.

Sad is the only word I can use, my eyes speak with my destiny.

Arty’s Story

Each morning it’s “off to work love.”

Each time I am lost, never could live without you,

pity me Lord, my body now frail

without a will to continue this trip

across the Milky Way, it’s just too much.

I can’t bear this loneliness, lungs struggling,

this heart’s dragging me here and there.

“Doing good Arty,” the nurse says somberly.

“You’ll be running about in no time.”

Where too, I wonder and to whom or what,

a gurney maybe rolling slowly to man’s self built hell,

sifting sands of my time on earth?

A hole no doubt, a wooden box where it’s ‘off to work love.”


Acne covered moon
would a clean night
clear your face
or are the scars
like scars of rape
and loneliness?
I wonder
if you see the pebbles
in my soul?


Nothing crystal in Altoona’s

railroad shops, I tried

to grow a flower there

but the bud blossomed inward

for no one’s eyes

an implosion of beauty.

Just now in afterthought

do I see the petals

and from whence they came?

Locomotives came and went

black dinosaurs feeding

on strength only men could give.

I’ve often wondered

about man’s power,

the power of rivets and hot flesh

wrapped in greasy denim

where flowers dare to grow.

The caustic bites of railroaders

exploding in sweat and fumes

wounding comrades

but for just a moment you see

in retrospect no time was given

for healing balms,

just time for slinging spit and tales

of whores and pimps of yesteryear.

So how this flower grew

I’ll never know except

perhaps its roots ran deeper

than dust and acid smoke

down deep where dinosaurs

could never reach.

A silent part of me where maybe

not even I could reach.


In the cellar of my thoughts

you come creeping up the stairs

like nausea to surface

on my tongue, wagging farewells

behind you, those goodbyes

that hang like shingles

hinged to my lips

swinging frantically

each time you walk away.

A Vinyl Night

You and I sat cold by the tent

you were stoned

I didn’t know

California nights

could be so bone cracking cold.

We watched campers

moving in and out like ants

on a drop of sweet

it was a vinyl gypsy night

as campfires curled snake smoke

against a carbon ink sky.

The beach was stark empty

you needed friendship

I offered only silence

silence and a beer

you wanted neither.

We smiled as laughter

rolled from nearby tents,

love laughter, bare skin giggles.

No stars shined in a bleak darkness

just a gnawing void never leaving.

God I feel it again today.

Broadway Sorrow

Rain smothered my windshield as I turned on

Broadway heading west for no reason

just my mind wasting time in darkness.

Carole and James sang, quietly telling me

maybe you wouldn’t love me tomorrow,

maybe god is skipping this year’s festival.

Potholes vibrating my steering wheel and reminding me

my money is gone, six cigarettes waiting for a shaking hand.

Loneliness has never felt so sorrowful.

Windshield wipers streaking my life with each splash of light

cast by godawful sulfur leached yellow lamps.

I truly am the man of constant misery, stay your distance.

You said goodbye, but I didn’t hear.

I heard only what I wished for, what drove me.

You never complained until our pot boiled over.

Swish another splash of life pushed me away, far away.

I wish there was a wand to wave to bring you back,

back into my arms, but rain keeps falling and never calling.

His Memory

His Memory

The lantern cast shadows
like so many tentacles
reaching to each corner
in the dank dusty room.

An old woman stared sadly
a young man’s picture
framed and time yellowed
she once loved him fiercely.

Outside wind whispered life
through cracked windows
with eyes vacant
time robbed her of expression.

Secretly she kissed the picture
tucking it deep inside
her heart broken chest
and slowly began to die.

The Silent Dance

Death be kind,

be soft like a lover’s touch

be smooth like a lady’s silk

Go slow like loving nylon

before the dance.

Death be silent,

a knife through butter,

be quiet like cotton

or a peaceful morning pond.

I wait for you my friend

in stillness, a darkened room

in which I live,

my escape for a quiet sob.