When the mud
Boils up to the surface
Wear your good boots
It’s been raining
If I was just a better man
I’d have made a little change;
Words still spoke echo loud
Instead it’s drugs that choke.
I have a mind filled of veins
Tracks leading Hollywood
Straight to Reno, desert rose –
And it’s a clear night tonight.
Blackness of a heart murmur
Every shadow induces blur
That silhouette each mystery
Like whispering dust amidst a dream.
“Goodnight my well worn boots,
I’ll be sleeping in tonight.”
So at last our North Sea Queen
Had her legions taught and adept,
Lamenting heard from shore
Where the abandonned had gathered
Bow of the vessel was pointed – of course – due north
To icy depths the legion were bound.
Back and forth the North Sea Queen strolled
Eyeing her crew to weed out the weak
As if it were still needed
To strike fear into her warriors.
They had been trained and hardened
Against the coldest of stones
Heartless and dedicated and ruthless and cruel
And each one full willing to bend at request.
She dressed in pure blackness
A sign of her coldness
Around her neck was wrapped ten strands of silk
That had come from the deadly
In an act of submission,
Her boots were thigh high
Of dear Spanish leather
Stained by the hands of those who’d defied her,
Her coat long and dark that swept to the floor
Beneath she wore – dramatically expected –
A gown of black lace.
So it was the ship creaked and groaned
Under the weight of a legion’s strain
Bound by blood to following orders
With the North Sea blowing with fury
Home again, home again, row row row.
This is the song I’ve never sung,
A lonely tree in the meadow
My faith watching it snow.
Because something isn’t clearing my fog,
And I’ve done up my boots too tight,
And the bridge is falling to it’s knees,
And some will cry as I’m walking on by.
But count out blessings in a well worn palm
With two bluejays resting a while,
Strange mountains silence is broken
And darkness slowly lifts as awareness shifts
Back into what I’ve never left.
Leonard Cohen wasn’t a poet
He sung long lines of Paris
In melodic sarcasm
That was rather
Fitting for the time;
Parisian hipsters and
Too much coffee.
Leonard Cohen had a voice
That carried well over
Folk music to the droll
Of caffeinated serious chatter;
Long lines and small chat,
And pointy boots that
Make you look.
Leonard Cohen was a mime,
Abused and used and paid well.
He lent his name to fashion,
He ran well with fine wine.
He used a painted brush
And was often confused with Dylan.
..And there were golden letters.
[Can I finally tell you?]
Like streams lapping mossy brooks,
To which my gloss rolled over.
In spite my anarchy,
My self propulsion…
Towards your grace.
I left slipping,
Jumping to and fro
Unto my broken jaw,
Lifelessly turning me over
Into airbrushed aluminum oxide.
My bloodless sorrow
That weaved my sorrow
Into perfect pitches
Hallowing my desire
Into five unspoken pledges,
Five needle point succulents
Layering my borders
Like foggy rolling alcoves
Set deep amongst
Cool summer’s afternoon
Wheeping willow rushes
– faint memories about this seascape –
But my layered angles sheltered me
From petty hearts that soothed me
To make my sleepless nights
Ever lonely, evermore.
A riddle I can’t play just so.
But lighting candles
That broke into my bedroom
And watched my brow quiver
As morning wretched it’s yawning
About the dusty trails,
I traced an even pathway
In triangles, forever faster
Until my morning had at last come
Filled with ancient rhythm.
Eyes so better clearer
Than one thousand lenses focused
On a heart so muddy [clearer].
I held onto my breath
Until anxious had subsided,
For I could not remember
What words had come before it.
And in such built excitement
A heart did flutter on,
Lost but not forgotten
Into books of golden letters
– Bound with broken arrows –
That felt so narrow holding
Pieces of leather’d sorrow
[Remember bloodless triangles]
That wept a stainless trail
From deep within desperation
Into worn hands of a savior
Who whittled out a triangle
To feed alotted perscriptions
With ever nimble fingers
Soaked in rosé water
And dried with ancient scrolls
Written in a forgotten language
That told of a lost soul
Who pledged a life to quill
Written in golden letters
And tied with broken arrows.
Words he’d lost to scrolls.
A heart he’d bled for food scraps
To feed his lifeless voodoo doll
Filled with needled pin holes
And scarred with a single triangle
Between worn out eye holes.
And written just below it
In tiny golden letters
Was ‘dia de la muerte’,
And the eyes all turned to sun
That grasped their holy language,
Blinding them to forgiveness
In smokeless trans-am tires
With a golden eagle flying.
This was not the end of stardust,
Not a burning pledge for Satan,
Not midnight’s showdown in dusty boots.
This was the last redemption hour,
A stained wedding gown and laughter.
And two boots made of leather
Tied tight with broken arrows,
Tracing triangles in the dirt
At gun points scary tremor.
Written neatly in a book
In perfect golden letters
Signed only with a triangle.
We had friends, sure. The kind of friends that went missing during the daylight hours and came out at night. Friends you’re not sure you’ve known sober. Perhaps this is toxicity… or fun.
We’d all get together at one of our pads. Getting all preparing at one of our dimly lit haunts. The ladies would all be scurrying around getting their ons-on. It was sub-culture at it’s finest. We knew it and cultivated it like Grama’s purple pansies. It reminded me of the ol’ Beatnik poets, or scenes of Almost Famous where they de-flowered William Miller. Those crazies who lived on the edge of poverty, half addicted to some narcotic the other half so close to the insane asylum it was the pure fabric of our well knit society that held them together.
It was interesting watching everybody in their own. Mindlessly wandering about their fantasies as that’d surface and take root in a discussion. We were a group of intellects, not withstanding the freeloading social surfers looking for their own stay too. We all have those, those curiously inclined but far to mind fucked to be able to withstand the rigors of an alternate lifestyle. Society is a tenacious mother who doesn’t let that stranglehold loose too often. Vice grips made of the finest steel a man can mine.
When you find yourself in these kind of situations, it’s easy to trace back memories to circumstances: naked and alluring. It’s a smile and a random comment. A shared drink. What started as a gentle touch on the shoulder and a look so dangerous it ate magic and cast spells. A perspiring beer bottle. Cowboy boots. Tweed jackets with patches on the elbow and thick rimmed glasses that poked out the sides.
It was love and magnetic, like a riveting fiction steeped in sex scenes and pool hall billiards and whiskey shots and a love story.
And I was a sucker.
This isn’t a competition. This isn’t a battle for your love. This is an experience that we’re on together, holding hands, loving, whispering, walking, and waltzing through the evening’s twilight music rustling out through the brown wooden speakers of the 33 spinning wheels.
I corked my own bottle, I dusted off my own boots, I held the door for you. This was me, it was never my attempt to woo you, to brainwash you into me. At least not fully. Of course it’s hard for me to not try my best to cast my spells, in the end. I knew my spells were commingling with yours though. All the difference.
In the evenings we’d go for walks along the sombre street sidewalks, arm in arm with unconsciously matched steps; a slow pace. Slow dance in the living room with dirty indy music holding us close.
The floors were old parquet flooring; only a few loose segments to mind. We’d navigate the few squeaky spots with delicate care and embrace.
It’s funny how intimate relationships are always stifled in public. Soft becomes hard. Release become manicured. But the saunter always exists, the presence is constant. Julie had a swagger cultivated entirely. So did the rest of the gang, the lousy group of modern beatniks, loveless bastards, free floating radicals, my family of grandeurs I’d so come to call by love.
[note: to read full epic follow dragging left wing]