blue eyed soul
when you are born in detroit you join a club. it is a lifetime membership. no matter where you are you are a big ‘D’ boy. now older but no wiser i still have the invisible badge of that tattoo. after hours jazz. seedy movie houses and places where they have a dozen locks on the doors. but it is home somehow.
the police light up cars
for no reason
my neighbor was a cop in the city. they raided an ‘after hours’ place. when they did that almost every time the evidence and cash came up short. this time it was no different and as he was taking two cases of scotch and bourbon down the stairs to this squad car he was juggling them and in one hand was his gun. you guessed it. he shot off his toe. well the booze crashed down the stairs before he did. but. he ended up with a full pension in his thirties. shot in the line of duty. welcome to detroit. he was a good guy though and my wife liked his wife. so. to hell with it i say. they sold their home and retired to live on a lake up north.
with the precision
of a creaking stair
channeling basho and the oracle at delphi
i dont want to find the spirit of basho. if i did i would just shake him silly for creating my addiction. what the hell was he thinking. rambling around the backcountry like a lonely bob dylan. inventing a ‘stage name’ out of a tree. i always laugh when people pretend they know what he was thinking when he wrote that hokku or this other one. right now i cant figure out how the oracle at delphi got into the title of this haibun. for the love of christ dont ask me what a haiku is. ask that pine over there instead.
into a pond
all the frogs leave
say a word for jimmy brown
when you are poor you really can focus. or not. the choice is yours. pitch a tent on the town square and shit in the gutter or find a nothin job and work on your self esteem pushing a broom or emptying the trash at a mickey d. i always opted for menial labor in a pinch. pushing a rock up a hill made sisyphus a household name (among hippie neer do wells anyway).
sings my epitaph…
keeping yourself a secret from yourself
i was on my way to los angeles from milwaukee. i stopped in to see a friend in the suburbs of chicago. her father was a great guy. he had a large backyard and smack in the middle of it was a flower bed where he grew weed. he took me out back to see it and kept saying ‘dont look at it’ the neighbors just think i let the garden go and have no idea what kind of weed it is. inside the house he had a bookcase that was made of wood slats with antique coffee cans. there must have been two dozen of those cans in all and each was filled with weed. really good weed i might add. i asked him what he would do if one of his neighbors figured it out and called the cops. it was the sixties after all. he said no problem he would just plead ignorance and tear it out with apologies. he was a rather respected guy he said and they were sure to believe him. (i thought to myself if they find it outside why would they not get a warrant and search inside. experience teaches you to have these thoughts) yeah i said that is kool. we smoked dope all day and i left in the early evening for los angeles. dont know because i lost track of his daughter but he may have actually pulled it off. i hope so. he was after all a respected guy.
of a turtle
punctuates a dylan song
trick of the moonlight
hunters moon they call it. well i am vegan so that is just an artifact of what i am not. i live in an area surrounded by parks and hunting shacks with eighty or so acres of land with deer and other wild animals. but where i live the guns are silent. during hunting season the deer bears and all their fellow travelers come to live with us since we are the ‘safe zone’. not unusual to see them by the dozen. my backyard if you can call it that is the size almost to the foot of our septic field. that ‘yard’ is filled with scrap bits of lumber from the mill down the road. you cant let the tree roots pollute the flow of all that effluent you know and wood chips dont need mowing. the rest of the acres we own are filled with old oak pines a few birch and some maples for color. all planted by squirrels not me. I just let the seeds of wildflowers land where they will and grow where they can. oh and most nights the slats in the blinds over our bedroom windows reveal that moon. i think it too follows us to bed.
the kimono moves past
a woman inside
in this episode of my life
fade in. the old poet is typing. well that is not extraordinary but the lighting is really good and the makeup artist has removed all the wrinkles. the hair is a well constructed mess. the director yells ‘roll’ and the show is on. CUT. how did it feel to you. i mean did you feel it…
the symphonic sounds
of a paper shredder
you just cant play a sad song on a banjo
listening to willie. yeah nelson you know. when a street learned philosopher is singing truth you just sort of dance along and play the air instrument of your choice.
told me i was weird
(the voice in my head)