The Elephant’s Foot

The dark hungered and the smoke cloud thundered,
My form nude-lit where it leaned to the shudder.
Eye-shake, vision blur, blacker than soot,
I laid in love with the elephant’s foot.
Eruption caught me perusing the long halls,
Washed-white windowless sarcophagus maw.
I had a need to exceed what a man sees,
And that lump thing, pristine, on the concrete
Casted the vision-like threads in my head,
And wrapped me in love as the boils spread.
Black clung my pack and my clothes,
And the rock-glass-corium mass spread low
Did kiss my bones with its ion caress,
And it smoldered at the shape of my undress.
I wanted to be under the control rods,
Concrete skin of my nuclear war god.
I wanted to be back-lit,
By the rock-mass bathing the place where I sat.
The wall-clouds crowding the facility bid me,
Hurry to the pit of the wrinkled menagerie.
I gazed at the thing, feeling nothing except
Strange awe at the form of the black ashen foot-step.
Motherland, understand that the call had risen,
Seeing that failure had freed it from its prison.
There is no mistake, I will take my love away.
Eyes shake, half-awake, as my insides bake.
And my eyes close, smoke in my nose.
All I feel and perceive is it’s warm prose.
It is whispering words in my ears,
Radiation thoughts that it wants me to hear.
Goodnight, great failure-born beast.
I will love you as long as I sleep.

Ode to the Glassy Madonna

Back broke, she is curled in the trunk,
Bruised blue on the edge of the pustule ooze.
In the midst of the tire-scuffed junk,
There are burns on her lips and a cigarette stump.

The desert is wailing like death,
Coyote banshees like screaming Comanches.
But her face gives no mention of sweat,
She’s a perfect madonna the lord has begat.

Over and under the silhouettes wander,
The face of black shadows has torn me asunder,
The lipstick an apple-red spell I am under,
My fortune is told on the rumblings of thunder.

And I find that I can’t help but stare,
As the officer kicks at some tracks in the sand.
The wind moves curled strands of her hair,
Towards the purse scattered out in the prickly pear.

There’s polish in small bits of glass,
But the sand is a jagged and tortuous thing.
A cold rigor-mortis curled mass,
Has cut to the depths of my eyes in a flash.

Sing-songing choruses cut from the currents and
Whistled no more on the lips in assurance,
The woman does laugh at my spirit’s procurance
Her body, and others, a simple disturbance.

Here, you are pitiless, loath to become,
And still you remain until reckoning comes.
She is carried away like as drawn by a breeze,
Her eyes bid me ponder what justice could mean.

What am I now to the cold of the ocean
The pull of its currents, the dark and the motion.
Where is my purchase on sand or my feet,
In the wake of the things I am destined to meet.

Please, oh my God, for my sake, for theirs,
For anyone’s sway that would cause you to spare,
Let me be near them, begetter, don’t condemn,
Don’t take my anguish or make me forget them.

I love you too much for the vacuum to draw you away.
I love every facet and shape that composes your face.
Remember, my love, that the void is abrupt and
My hands are not enough.

A Very Shanty Christmas 

In Shanty Town the hobos ’round

Glimpse quite a dreadful sight.

A taxpayer, in Santa furs,

Sits begging for his life!

With little bells and signs as well,

He uses up the space

The bums must use to ask all of

The passers-by for change!

Not right, this plight, on Christmas night!

“How can it be!”, they wail.

“When we lay here and ask for change,

They lock us in the jail!”

Injustice! Slander! Unfair laws!

Some bums come from the bar,

And demand of poor old Santa Claus

The money in his jar.

“I simply can’t!” The Santa says,

“This money’s not for me!

It’s going to a soup kitchen

To buy a Christmas tree!”

“A Christmas tree! How can it be?”

The hobos yell and jeer.

“This stash of cash’ll come with us
To buy some yuletide beer!”

They take the jar of change from him

By the force of pointed shanks,

And buy some booze and brand-new shoes,

For those among their ranks.

As they wander in the city eating food

And guzzling drink,

The feel of warmth and happiness,

Is all that they can think.

“Christmastime is quite sublime!”

Says a bum in merry jest,

As juices from his onion dinner

Drip along his chest.

“Quite!” Says Dwight, by the moonlight bright,

He’s happy as a lark,

As the entire drunken company,

Happens on a park.

And blazing forth in brilliant green, like from a dream, an evergreen!

“Best ol’ tree I’ve ever seen!” Says Shmee, as he wipes his fingers clean.

And they stare in awe at the pretty sight,

The entire troop of hobo guys,

and one is moved to tears that night,

For something stirs inside their minds.

“Say…” says Jay, what’d Santa say?

About the kitchen by the way?

Maybe we can take this tree,

And bring it to other bums to see!”

They cheer and set to hacking it

With shivs and shanks and teeth,

And they work until the dawn breaks

To cut the mighty tree.

Lines of pinkish light emerge

The sky is grey and wizened,

And city windows shine with orange

Light from the horizon.

The hobo kin, with one last heave

Do fell the mighty tree,

And finish by the light of morn

That final selfless deed.

And they carry on their shoulders

Through the streets the evergreen,

And raise it like a victory flag

For all the world to see.

A worker from the kitchen brings the

Horde of poor ones out,

To see the might and splendor

Of the tree the boys have found.

“It’s tall and bright and shining!”

 Says the worker as she stares.

“And though it may just tip and crush

The expensive building there,

I’d say the risk of lawsuit is a

worthy price to pay,

To see this wondrous plant life

Which has gathered us today!”

And every heart’s a flutter, every person

Moved to tears,

For this gathering of the hobos

Is the biggest one in years,

They hang garland wreaths of garlic stink

Upon the tree so fair,

And they light the glowing trash hearth

With the greases from their hair.

Merry Christmas to the Shanty Towns,

And taxpayers alike,

Merry Christmas to all,

And to all a good night.

Hobo Poem

This poem is dedicated to the boys I met in the swamps.

I’ve got a beard that’s filled with mush.

And in my hair are bits of hay.

I sleep in dumpster and in bush,

and trashcan fires light my way.

I sit all day upon my rump.

I’ve got no bedding or regrets.

My hat is battered and torn up,

in the band there are some cigarettes.

I do not toil in farmer’s fields.

Nor greet a soul by ma’m or sir.

I steal from tourists all my meals

and shank the dirty taxpayer.

The shopping cart,she is my steed,

and mangy dog my only friend.

I get my heroin and weed

from soup kitchens that I attend.

Bar fights, glass shards,shivs and shanks,

I take what’s mine and other’s, too.

I utter not a “please” or “thanks”,

and collect in jars the morning dew.

So if you see me in the sun,

snuggled up in summer snooze,

filled with old stale hot dog buns,

and on my breath a reek of booze,

drop some coins into my cup

and give my head a gentle pat,

consider laying in my dump

The hobo life is where it’s at.