The vision in my one open eye
Flickers like the air off of a flame
On a hot desert day--- a mirage
Of my waking state, your beauty
is my oasis.
Head buried like an ostrich
Under piles of pillows,
I can't hide from the Sun
Until it sets.
There's no return trip ticket
To my warm island dreams.
A private paradise,
Where we swim and bask
Without any care.
Dunk me under that water,
So for once, I'll feel clean.
You'll find me sitting in your corner,
With a towel around my neck,
Arms extended, holding a bucket of spit.
My mustache dances with long sighs
shifting whiskers towards the wind.
That last round was a close one;
I saw you stagger a few times.
Just remember to sidestep the bullshit
And swing when the time is right.
Maybe with a little finesse you might
Just turn around this helluva bout.
This is something you've got to do
And with all of my words of courage
And strength, I can't instill enough of either
In your shaken frame. So I just sit back
And watch as you slug it out.
I can't roll up my sleeves and say,
"It's okay, I've got this."
You're a special breed.
This hound's been sniffing
Several scents, tracing different trails,
But I'm most committed to yours.
This love sick mutt whimpers
And kicks in its sleep.
You might call it puppy love,
But I'm done humping everything that moves.
I wait at the window for the chance
Of a passing glance, and bark
At the mailman when he fails
To deliver your letters.
I'm more prone to sit by a closed door,
Than an empty bowl waiting for a bone.
And when I finally get a whiff of you,
My tail really starts wagging---
The pendulum of a metronome,
Set to a song that only dogs can hear.
There's an old, burnt out barn on the edge of the property.
That structure's got some history.
Built before the Depression, back when people still farmed dirt,
The barn stabled the horses, and lofted the hay.
This acreage is where our father was raised
Alongside livestock and crops.
Did you know he had a brother we never met?
That is, we never had the chance to meet him.
There was one summer when Uncle was fourteen, and dear old Dad
Was eight. Being the elder, our uncle took on the farm
When our grandfather ran off and lost his life to rye-whiskey.
At fourteen, being the patriarch left Dad's brother exhausted,
He took to smoking his father's pipe--
The taste of the old man's fatal habit lingered midst the tobacco.
Our grandmother didn't approve,
So the man of the house walked in the woods bordering the property
Where he was able to smoke, alone with his thoughts.
By mid-season these nightly walks were routine as our Uncle adjusted.
That July brought troubles.
The Sun scorched the crops, and a wolf stalked the horses.
Grandma told me of our uncle camped in a rocker on the porch.
A rifle resting on his lap, primed and waiting for the mutt to show its tail.
Uncle would sit there through the night, even when it was took dark to shoot.
With the night still and dark, all that could be heard was a match striking,
And all that could be seen was the sight of his nose
Silhouetted under the small ember of tobacco burning.
A young man of routine and dedication, he planned to camp there every night
Until that wolf reared its head, ready to be slain.
But then the rain came killing the drought.
It stormed for a week, now the worry was the crops would drown,
Or the barn would blow over.
Dad told me of the night he woke up the house;
Screaming, he stirred from slumber to the horses spooked by thunder.
Our uncle went to the barn to calm the horses; he sat there safe from rain,
Gently pulling from his pipe.
The horses were calm, but the storm was galloping harder against the roof
And with a gust of wind, the barn's maw opened,
Revealing one grey canine of a tooth, salivating in the rain.
The wolf headstrong and hungry, pounced the brother
Removing any obstacle impeding its meal.
In his final gasp of surprise, our uncle shot ember from his pipe,
Setting hay ablaze,
And a new Vesuvius bore hellfire in the barn.
Flames consumed the dog, and shot horses running from the pits.
Apocalypse had reached the farm, ending our family's way of life.
Their lives were shanties built from sticks, waiting to topple
---The craft of men and boys.
What's the appeal of this three-ring circus?
The music's maddening, and the words are just hype.
Manure and popped corn has stunk up the big top.
Town to town, night to night, the act stays the same.
The same freakish displays, the same leaps of faith,
The same little man popping up in a top hat telling you,
"It's time to start the show!" But someone always falls flat.
I'm part of the act but I love to watch it unfold;
Possessing an obsession of gawking at the usual curios.
There's the acrobats who couldn't give a flying-fuck.
The bearded woman who's really a man with nice legs.
The geek who'll eat anything that's kosher.
The contortionist who isn't much of a conformist.
The bipolar clowns with problems at home.
The fire breather whose habit is huffing.
You're the act claiming strength, but can barely lift a finger.
I'm just an animal tamer, sitting on a stool, whipped,
Wanting to call it a night, but has this gnawing feeling that
It just ain't over yet.
It's time to catch snowflakes on your tongue
But each unique, frozen formation of water
Melts near your mouth warm from whiskey.
Last night's hurrah left your breath hot
With a hangover and your belly of a cauldron
Boiling over some internal furnace;
Be careful to not let it froth over the pot's top.
Although you feel like hell, you should go out
In this weather, it's cold enough to quell
Any inferno, and I bet the breeze feels good
Against your forehead, aching like a headband
Worn too tight.
Mid-afternoon flurries with low visibility.
Thanks Mr. Weatherman for the obvious update,
But I've acknowledged the outside world
With a slight nod through the window.
I guess some people need to know though,
Those people who live blindly as hermits.
Those people who say, "I've got a great view,"
But live in basements with safety block glass
To let the light in when the Sun is in position.
Otherwise, I guess, they're left in the dark.
Yet, it's grey days like these, that there's no difference.
Those legs of yours are mighty impressive.
Rooted strong in the earth of the world,
They stand up strong in the stormiest of weather.
They kick the snot out of your stress with a swift,
Hard, Thud! of your boot making direct contact
And then those legs will march away triumphantly.
They can run and climb with ease, giving great chase
To even the most evasive of dreams and desires.
And they can flee if need presents itself.
They walk as if they're skating on ice,
And they skate as if they're flying.
Lady, those legs embody grace,
Attributing to your beauty.
And now they ache.
Even something so strong needs to take a few punches,
Testing their boundaries, shaping some character.
A nice work-over of a work-out, preparing for the day
The whole world is carried on your back.
It's queer falling in love with a specter of a woman.
Like an angel, she'll appear over my bed with gifts of comfort.
But like a demon, she'll leave you alone and empty in the dark.
Her beauty trails behind her, as her brilliance precedes her path;
However, you can't always tell when she's coming and going.
Leaving abruptly as she came, I would swear my friend's imaginary,
But if it weren't for the glass she knocked over on the way out
There would be no evidence she was ever at my side.
I guess that spirit grew restless; time for some exercise.