Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Allen Iverson is a verb meaning
To get from there to here
Like that (the way he did it)
Your game is what you are

Barbed-Wire Fence

The bright light pinned the coyote behind a barbed-wire fence
He was thin and weather-beaten
And he had some miles on him
You could see his ribs as his chest heaved
His ears quivered and his tail hung low, almost between his legs
His fur had been torn in many places and was running to white
His body was scratched and sore and his left hind leg bled
He stood perfectly still, except for the quivering and his chest heaving
I'd kill you if I could, his golden eyes said; what do I do now?
He was magnificent

Border Radio

A great Christ rises over the mountains
Shining like a beacon, like a Coca-Cola machine
      in a filling station in the middle of the night
Beckoning, arms outstretched, come unto me
For nostrums, patent medicines, elixirs
Remedies, cures for all that ails you
Even salves and balms for where
        the nails went in
Essence of the root of forgiveness
          for the betrayer
Don't laugh; do you even know how a radio works?
And me all crippled up here
Between heaven and hell
Between w and x
Between science and magic
Between guns and the storm
Between the bend in the road and the border

Buddha in the Delta

A man's lifetime seldom spans one hundred years
Yet he endures a thousand years of sorrow
Thus wrote Han Shan
From the fastness of Cold Mountain
One thousand years ago

Got to keep moving, got to keep moving
Blues falling down like hail, blues falling down like hail
So sang Robert Johnson
From the purgatory of Mississippi
In this exhausted century

Would they have understood one another?


The world is not poetry, they keep on telling him
Life is not poetry, they insist
But he knows they are wrong, it is so
Just as he knows the messiah will come
When the righteous accept his words into their heart