Vietnam #4
(for Tim Page)

featured in the poetry forum November 16, 2013  :: 1 comment

There are long lines of sweaty men in olive drab
Moving through a low land forest
Hear the heartbeats, the minds drift away
Angry at girlfriends wiggling on some other boy’s lap
Thirsty for beers opened with church keys
Hungry for Grandmother’s favorite recipe
Sitting in memory’s kitchen eating
Slow light, bite by bite.

They are coming past me now
Detonation wires, helmets, holy boots
The click of wedding rings on M-16 stock
The bandages stark white
Now blood red like smoke grenades
Waving into the moment as the radio calls
The static of the radio, incoming rounds
The slogging in leech water
To come to this pulling of the trigger
The burnt gun powder refuse, flames
The song of the shell casings landing in a pile of little bells
The heart is out of control, the eyes are everywhere
The breath a blacksmith’s bellows
The movements of this chaos, the battlefield of man
Killing man killing man killing man
The long distance display of the portrait of the faces behind gun barrels
Lit up with fires, Michael Herr says,
xxxxxx“Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods.”

The mechanics of the clouds, the brown rivers, the land plowed by bombs
Coughing M-79 grenade launchers burp and burn the woods
They lob explosives into your life
Where brothers in arms carry you, feet dragging
Sips of water, blood wet bandages over your eyes
Over legs torn, mangled bits of a self
Faces point with fingers up the Glory Hill
Daggers of smoke
The soft sharp thud, a brutal helicopter
Auto-rotating in from the clouds
Some of these bodies
Will leave skeletons where they fall.

It is a rock’n’roll flash on a pole as women in pink dresses flash peace signs
And part their legs, soldiers dream of pussy waving before their eyes
The cooing choir of soft voices, what the women allow
Arms in the air, drunk for a moment with a cigarette
Nicotine stains gooey on the fingers, breathy fumes of hard alcohol and weed
Flip flops help dry the jungle rot,
Standing on a thousand crates of ammunition
Look down the street
In the air
The roar of the crash
And the suffering
The little yellow mother cradling emaciated crying
Children dusting the bodies with lime
Nuns wailing beyond praying

editors note:

We send’em young with unlined faces; same chaos, different places. Then, we pray for them? (Thanks, Chris, for this real and reverent remembrance.) – mh

Haiku for Eric

featured in the poetry forum April 27, 2013  :: 2 comments

Tiny storm diamond
Angel leaps in the lightning
Permanently Yes!

editors note:

Yes, maximized to the full extent of life; leaping with the angels. Yes, Eric, wherever you are! – mh

At Thanksgiving Celebration
(she reads in the other room)

featured in the poetry forum February 8, 2013  :: 0 comments

She is a Leyden jar
Condensing the currents
Of a properly held
History book.

Lady Leyden Jar is so upset you can’t see it.
The fey maenad sits proper and still.

Can you spy? The shadow is
Whipping her wild,
Waking her up in a
Shoebox diorama.

editors note:

And where is that shoeboax diorama? It’s inside a Leyden jar, inside a shoebox diorama, inside a Leyden jar, ad infinitum. Keep that lid on tight or you better WATCH OUT! zzzzZZZZZAP! – mh

< untitled >

featured in the poetry forum January 30, 2011  :: 0 comments

in each falling leaf
the wind is a little bird
a golden tracer

editors note:

Just a few words to awaken another erstwhile epiphany of the face of God. (Many thanks to Dallas poet, friend and Mad life liver, Zim!) – mh

NOTE BROKE BLUE

featured in the poetry forum July 4, 2008  :: 0 comments

Dad said, “don’t rush the bait,”
A mouthful of hooks is all you get.
Fueling the darkness, I abruptly turn
Turn the horseshoes Backwards
So mice don’t gnaw my bones
Invested in wind smoke of chimneys
Elusive as the arroyo’s shaping current
Like tides turning against each other
Passing the mad eddy swirl the tug of turnstile
If you smile a smile in NYC, a thousand smiles
End the day, Each smile a gamble,
wiser from the scars You know being cut by the cards
The longer we live, the more we know the dead
Can’t help gather up a bouquet of broken wings
Eventually lay in whatever grave
The price of love Wilderness
blue note is so black its shiny
on a road like driving up the
empire state building
the road presents faces
saltwater taffy progression
stretching on machine arms
I knew it was summer the way
The memory comes on me
Car door passing, plane in the air
A chandelier with one candle on fire
The glass I carry carries the colors
Of falling down storm
Lost songs aren’t lost,
So I take some in singing, “leave me alone.”
Got a pit bull ghost locked on my left shoulderneck
The dirt nap is long & the sleep is slow
When suicide pay ton is shifting load to fast
Gravity drift, I see her as a prairie bird displaying
On the wave of wind I drove a big red truck
On a road like driving up the empire state building
Ok, Love is the answer
Passing through tunnels
Love is the question too
I fall through
Barely write them
Done as the dance of the dancing Albuquerque Lady
All the men craning their necks or nodding yes!
Way out west
Drown in the sunset sun
Through ears full of water I hear
Night whisper she comes
Can’t get a hold on the wild sea
Impossible catch sunset sun
Here comes the time to be quick or dead
Because the midnight here she comes
Simple gear turn click of the clock
The night must usher the day
Midnight’s promise confusion’s ghost
Angel or devil who holds the sway
The devil fingers the cold key
not yet the flesh lock will turn
so violence taunts all dream
All the paper scrap will burn
Angel grip on wild sea
Impossible we are sunset sun
Midnight burns everyone
I see a face in your face
I am another one of you
I see a face in your face
We are forever coming true
Testing all notions startles the heart
There is no lock to this cage
Broke wing crossroad generation
Wishing a brave clown to rage
I see a face in your face
I am another one of you
I see a face in your face
We are forever coming true
Reincarnation of the wild sea
Living light sunset sun
Scrapbook memory quick and the dead
Midnight bows and is gone
The stars splash over my head
Stars splash off my shoulder
The last time you press your lips on me
The kiss of the quick and the dead
There is only one answer you’re hoping to find
I can’t give you the pleasure you’re not mine
Trapped in this season caught on the line
Covered in heartbeats blood butterflies
Our love a rough stone
Strange cuts late at night
Nothing polished nearly light
When voices are quieter than thoughts
Star dreams scattered form the start
Questions of respect question the heart
Why do we come together, why do we part?
Running across this burning bridge
Ghost in the room silent watching
The way night and daytime part
Oh the city waits in the window
You’ve been breaking mirrors
Not in a hurry for dawn
Playing ol’ solitaire
Even if you lose this time
One of these days you’ll win
Cuz the losers are the winners
Cuz they let the winners win
Waiting neither here nor there
Hoping against the disappear
Can’t do right
Can’t do wrong
Can’t feel the night
Can’t make the dawn
Things in the heart ain’t that nice
Feels like skating thin ice
The city waits in the window
For you to open your eyes
You just keep shuffling your deck
Practicing your disguise
Refusing all suggestions and offers
What are you so afraid to be
Seems all along you’ve been staring
Into broken mirrors
Come down see the halo smile on the face
What are you doing there tearing up your heart of ace
Mind racing thinking drinking up anger and love
Now melancholy run with harp
The rain giving up a blue day sky