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Monday, June 28, 2010

The poetry of John Prine

Well, it got so hot last night I swear
you couldn't hardly breathe
a heat lightning burned the sky like alcohol
I sat on the porch without my shoes
and watched the cars roll by
as the headlights raced to the corner of the kitchen wall

Mama dear your boy is here, far across the sea
waiting for that sacred core that burns inside of me
and I feel the storm, all wet and warm, not ten miles away
approaching my Mexican home

'Oh my God', I cried, `it's so hot inside
you could die in your living room'
take a fan from the window
prop the door back with a broom
the cuckoo clock has died of shock and the windows feel no pain
the air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train

Mama dear, your boy is here, far across the sea
waiting for that sacred core that burns inside of me
and I feel a storm, all wet and warm, not ten miles away
approaching my Mexican home

Well my father died on the porch outside
on an August afternoon
I sipped bourbon and cried with a friend by the light of the moon
So it's hurry, hurry, step right up!
It's a matter of life or death
The sun is going down and the moon is just holding its breath

Mama dear your boy is here, far across the sea
waiting for that sacred core that burns inside of me
and I feel a storm, all wet and warm, not ten miles away,
approaching my Mexican home

Saturday, June 19, 2010

a child of the road

the day i gripped the bare metal handlebar
of my friend's mini bike
was the first day i felt
the true wind in my face
the rat tat tat tat of the
little motor that burned my leg
through my gasoline and oil stained pants
its power sluggishly perfect
as i twisted the throttle with my right hand
i knew then i was ruined forever

we ran it up and down
the dirt road to his home
a million times
we'd have to drag our feet to stop it
or sometimes run it up against a tree
we rode hard and laughed harder
until after the sun had set
and kenny's father came out to get him for supper
i'd walk the two dark miles home and feel contented
cleaned out

i soon was to learn
that my father did not share
my love of motorcycles
he forbade me to have one
or to go riding with friends
he hated anything
that traveled on two wheels
or was it that he hated
anything that brought me joy
one more chasm in our widening relationship
for i would find ways to go

one day he caught me
riding a sharp red and white yamaha twin jet
on the outskirts of town
its shiny deep paint
made no difference to him
with anger in his face
he told me to return it
to whoever it belonged to
and to get myself home
he never found out
it was mine

i garnered an ally
a kid being raised
by his brother
so that i could buy the ragged bultaco
with the faded red tank
which barely ran
and hide it there
the first of many
motorcycle mongrels
i'd buy and sell
and hide
until i'd wear out my welcome
and move on

then came bronson
and fonda and hopper
and the long roads became shorter
to me and my bike
i'd sneak myself away
for a day or two
destination not cared
ride to a new place
on the endless black ribbon
that stretched far beyond my front wheel
and sleep in a park
or a campground with no blanket
and live like a gypsy

the first time i rode across the state line
i felt a welcoming arizona furnace
gently roasting my chest and my arms
a benevolent wind blew
dry and different in my face
and made straws of my hair
the arid clean smell
of creosote perspiring
attacking my nostrils
it was then that i learned
the warmth of a smiling heart
trumps the brilliance
of the white desert sand

now when summer approaches
i spend wonderstruck hours
with my nose in a map
no need to make sense
of this arcane lust to wander
for my mind is a child's
awake and wide open
to the newness of every mile
to hear the doctrines and beliefs
of the people i'll meet
the shepherds
the innkeepers
the tavern owners
who will unknowingly teach me
a child of the road

Michael B

Sunday, June 13, 2010

i wonder if

a woman feels

the weakness

a man feels

when they glance

at his face

in the same way

we admire hers

Michael B

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Channeling Hemingway

As I continue to forge forth with my writing of poetry, short stories and my fiction (or memoir - still undecided how it will turn out) I'm finding that the large work is taking a lot of energy. I mean that in two ways: taking a lot of energy to write and taking a lot of energy from me. I also find that that energy is replenished when I can breathe in bits of inspiration.

I have gained so much inspiration from Hemingway. While the literary world will debate Ernest Hemingway for eons beyond my lifespan, no one can dispute - the bastard could write. He saw himself as an author (in contrast to being a writer) long before he was ever published. When I can visualize this - his drive, his dedication to his craft, his writer's eyes and ears, his work ethic and his moxie - I realize it is possible and that I can have that too. Time will tell if there is any talent to go along with all that.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I get the urge for goin'...

At this time each year like Joni Mitchell I get the urge for goin'. Unlike in her great song, where she pulls the covers back over herself and goes back to bed, I make my plans and go. "I get the urge for goin' and... I guess I'll have to go."

Happy birthday to me...

It's truly great to have the support of those who are most important in your life. The photo above is the manifestation of that support in my life. In the photo above you will see my wonderful wife's birthday gift to me. She remodeled a spare bedroom in our home to be my den, where I can write and read and ponder the things I want to write more. She did it perfectly. It has my career fire service memorabilia, family mementos and literary stuff. All my favorite and inspirational authors are there. With this great support how can I go wrong?