Francis Thompson
Oct20

Francis Thompson

“Francis Thompson (!)” i “My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap. My days have crackled and gone up in smoke, Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.” “The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson   Soul chaste First chastised by a chase Through London laudanum haze and haste Up and down and down and out Stop to have another taste Nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide ii On this side of the great divide The hound and...

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Saint Francis
Oct07

Saint Francis

“I love St. Francis of Assisi as well as anybody in the world.” Desolation Angels Once a sybarite youth and reveler Dreams and visions and change of heart Lepers and beggars fevered new start Francis set to restore his Father’s house He threw and flung church gold away Bernardone beat and locked he stayed Francis turned from father’s ways And stood there humble, pure, and bare He wed himself to poverty and fast as fare To gain heaven...

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The Kid from Red Bank
Sep16

The Kid from Red Bank

“Count Basie’s swing arrangements are not blaring, but they contain more drive, more power, and more thrill than the loudest gang of corn artists can acquire by blowing their horns apart.” i Jack Kerouac Count, bink-bink! The Kid from Red Bank On the River Navesink Red Bank Boogie One O’Clock Jump Stomp and stamp and stump the band Give the man a mighty hand Tinkling keys Fats Waller knees William Basie’s simple swing Keep your flashy...

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Literature
Sep11

Literature

“ . . . companionship . . . definition of literature . . .” i Jack Kerouac In memory of Patrick and Paul Let me reach for another book And another and another Let me climb that ladder That soars up high As I reach for another and another book Not any old book But books that speak to my soul And tell me I have traveled this road before you And as Thoreau said “If it is not a tragical life we live, then I know not what to call it” And...

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Tristessa
Sep03

Tristessa

Tristessa Black tresses Dirty dresses You mess-a Mucha lucha, Muchacha, señorita Esperanza Junk is a drag “It is a way of life.” i Just ask BOOL No gains, all loss (Not everyone as smart as old Harvard Lee, anthropologist) Junk is called junk because it is junk “They all looked like junk.” ii Hope is gone, Esperanza Replaced with junk Sickness Hopelessness Tristessa Junk is a drag Junkies are a drag Goodbye peachy coffee complexion...

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Of the Beautiful Alene Lee
Aug01

Of the Beautiful Alene Lee

It was Paradise Alley so long ago In the alphabet downtown east Lived a subterranean in clouds of strong dark tea By the name of Alene Lee San Fran or New York City Names, places changed but ‘tis the same Heavenly Lane and hipster games Pillow talk and pushcart walks Of the beautiful Alene Lee Of the beautiful Alene Lee He was young and drunk and jazzed She younger and cool and sweet High cheekbones and velvet slacks She was brown and...

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Fracas is a Bar
Jul27

Fracas is a Bar

Fracas is a bar I live not far Oh, the place is full of history Involving many a cop and car A big melee comes to memory About the night Of the smashing fist fight In the parking lot And not a little but a lot From near and yon two hundred folks Online zine screamed and spoke The place shut down With nary a frown But soon reopened Sharply spoken About hush-hush dollars And boy, folks hollered Things calmed down In the town But now new...

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Carousel Gone
Jul18

Carousel Gone

“I hitch-hiked to Asbury Park . . . when I got there, I was exhausted—” i Carousel gone “No plans, lady, just making the building stable. Keep away from the machine.” Enable me, construction man, to see beyond coarse gritty sand Mermaid vamp and debauch Rests upon a tarnished couch Where goest dream place childhood? Face the ocean where once we stood Soggy foggy July morn Hung over and still forlorn Parking deck hangs undone In the...

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