GRANDPA

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With his brittle bones

and his sun cracked face

he rode near ‘bout every mile

of the round-up trail.

 

He licks the wind

and stares out at nothing

tobacco dripping lip, spits.

Hell, I fought the sun,

and I won

fought a sneakin’ coyote once,

he lost.

Broke rattlesnakes in half

between bare hands.

Got caught in the drought of the Tulsa ride, too.

 

Thought I’d die in that damn burning desert

never have I thirst, so much

for one wet drop.

They found me about four miles from Breakers Pass.

Eighteen-ninety-seven,

that was my last long ride.

Too many damn city boys

tryin’ to run the drive.

 

And now my grandson drives off

in that noisy pick-up.

He’ll never know the dry taste

of sand and grainy dust

between your teeth.

Wind kicking in your face

like a thousand angry hoofs

punched in your mouth.

 

And my friend,

cold black night.

 

Damn all this fancy fiddle.

I FOUND MYSELF ON AN OLD BOOKSHELF

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You were obscure,
I found you sitting by yourself
alone on the ledge of the bookshelf
you were frozen and unborn
almost a single bookend without a book

but you stood tall and dusty
proud to be an ancient volume
on a hand burred shelf
of solid polished oak
delicately carved
for a hand to rub and feel
the smooth curves
leading to well worn edges
and time tattered pages
from a volume of your work.

 

MOVING PICTURES

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You have always been a movie to me
knowing I could never touch you.
Now you sit and stare at me
from the other side of a bottle
on this table here between us.

I feel as if the magic is missing
you are not the star I dreamed of.
Once you were my shining light
in a dreaming heaven
of a momentary wish.

Now I see what I am left with
is not what I had hoped for.
And I see what I am watching
is not what I enjoyed.

You have always been a movie to me,
and now my life plays in reverse.
I never could quite touch you
and now I know.
I’ve touched too much.

 

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER COMMUNION

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They run like colts
in river beds of solid wines
flicking whatever berries

at each other
or something.

They both understand the language
wondering with each other.
Laughing,
and knowing

when they hurt each other.

Suffering for each others pain
and crying
because they dance

in each others rain.

 

DIZZY DEVON BROKE HIS STICK AGAIN

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Old Dizzy Devon broke his stick again
seems he was pumping someone to the floor
it was back behind the Cue Shot hole
beating and screaming
over some two bit whore.

I knew the bitch, yeah
what a lush
needle marks like chicken pox
Dizzy never was for brains too many
the other pimp deserved the score.

He must have sucked that gin down cold
I’m told the pimp smiled to the morgue
old Dizzy, yeah,
he sure knows how
to use his stick at night.

No eight ball, cues, or felt no more
Dizzy ain’t around to tell
no one’s seen him for awhile
it’s not the first time Dizzy’s gone
ask any fool at this damn hole
he’s broke his stick before.