Poetry & Art Anthology “The Whiskey Mule Diner” inspired by Tom Waits

The Whiskey Mule Diner (on Caroline Street) by David L O’Nan

I was wandering out of Whiskey Mule, the night began fading
The city is falling all over itself and dude, you smell like onions
Taxis are hissing passing by just pissing, ripped pantyhose legends prancing drunk.
Just ask the crooked mayor, he’s had his share of temptations.
He’s burned all his morals and held his head high as he’s collapsing. 
Three women all believe that he’s dedicated, but he’s living deep on the tip of the Dead-End hill.

The diner’s lights are blinking an epileptic fury.
The faithful and the shrinks are washing their cuts in the sink.
They have been harassing their soldiers through the flesh wounds of thunder.
Bullets and promises go damp with the blood circling the city streets.
Just another cup of coffee surrounded by dust, rust, and feathers.  
Our minds remember the times as a child of walking with family and preaching God to unlit skyscrapers
Bring light to this city you damn bawdy building!  
Nasty voices call down to teach us new sinning that we never knew would go past the blinds of those windows.

The cobwebs in the corners of the Caroline and Market Street are doing a Cain and Abel waltz.
Across each other, intertwined while the poisoned neon glow of the Whiskey Mule hits it.
Old men walking crooked onto the sidewalks with lust in their eyes and itchy coats and itchy crotches.
They want to see the man play something from the 1950’s ‘til he is out again poisoned, asleep on the jazz piano.
Lifting Jesus to the ceilings,  the waitresses are all crying except for the one who’s always smiling and fetching her phone number to a plumber, a priest, or a pariah that wandered in from the subway.
Sometimes this place has felt closed for hours, 
sometimes it feels like it never stops breathing.
The fevers in this place is imminent and you walk out with hash browns in your hair. 
Feeling like a motherfucker stuck in the drain.

At Whiskey Mule you began your marriage to a suicidal levitation.  You want to sit on
 the back of a 1969 boss 429 mustang and pull at the corners of the hairs on your head.
Wailing to a friend that’ll die with you in the end, "buddy, Let’s create some shooting stars tonight”
And you’ll battle the fog in your stupor, and you’ll wish you had more pancakes and in circles
 you’ll go, pushing and shoving hobos until you’ll step on a broken bottle and crawl back into the diner
...And some Barbara Mandrell will be playing Sleeping Single in a Double bed.
You’ll feel like the stomach bugs are carving through your skin.  
Go home to the wilderness of a quiet
 apartment building that is surrounded by demons running around your head.
Drop the needle on the fading night.  Another day stalks in and abruptly gathers energy from the 
lightbulb sun.

Watching the squalor fight the dandy with the curly hairs falling out of your itchy scalp.  
No longer a village wimp.  You’ll take the bait to the next offering.  Tracy will shake the bottle
 and you can’t resist the bounce and the waves in the glass to the swarming through your throat
And you’ll dream of the fandango on a cobblestone bruising and the sunsets will sound like a sultry one
 night stand.
Forget that crippling walk for just a little while and cut that rope from the sky, little man.
Your asking to be certified, Your asking to be hypnotized, but you keep asking to be recast as something 
that doesn’t reflect in a puddle’s mirror, Jack.

The Whiskey Mule Diner on Caroline Street has good food and sometimes bad.
It has murmurs of grandiosity and mistakes to be had.
It has the memories, the merging from man to fallen angel.
It has the lazy eye blinking, It has the wisdom of a desire to escape the straitjacket.
And perform magic that illuminates from the squeezing.    
My mind is heading to a new home,
Whiskey Mule

Pinot Noir by David L O'Nan

1971, Bakersfield
Cold day, cracked around the edges but laying sweaty under itchy blankets.
After 3 A.M.  drinking Pinot Noir with mustachioed confessions. 
Can’t trust sidewinders walking when their sliding on slick brick roads blinding-
The regular man walks around with sociopathic confidence and he dreams of
all the wars ending long enough that he can find him a lady.   
He wants a family
And he wants to die from the cigarettes, 
he wants to live on nothing but pennies.
He wants it all to be wrapped up for him like a present, 
but does he know how to praise.

So he decides not to fear him, he shall not be dismayed. 
He walks with him on a sunset through the meadows-
looking for that new wave.
Drinking Pinot Noir and thinking outside the box. 
He’s that same old man he was yesterday.
He’s invented himself excuses, he’s playing fast and loosely.  
Calling all the phone numbers in his paper
 wallet.  Which lips will he kiss tonight, or will he be just biting on his?  Chapped up and feeling cold-
boned, drunk and sad.  
He drops out a few dollars for dinner with a nobody he knew from 19 years
before.  She didn’t like him then, she doesn’t like him now.  
But he’s already got images of him pushing 
up her purity veil and calling her his forever.  
More pinot noir for the dipshit.  Close your eyes and wake up with the phone dangling from the 
phonebooth and a hard-on grin, jazzed up and creepy.

Your brother’s wife and kids find you there.  She is laughing pitifully.  
She has never cared for you really.
The children hide behind an umbrella and a mask of ass and back covering their face to hide away from
Uncle Stranger.  
He’s just a drunkened wolf wandering the streets, 
howling between the sheets of 
both polars he must face, day after day.  
He never really knows his eyes and can barely feel his face.
He’s just molded full of lines with pinkish skin cheeks with an early morning yellow pickling through.
Boy, he’s a pinot noir away from chasing Jesus to the cross.  
He wants to be crucified first, and let the 
city wash away his sins.  
That olive green mattress and his wino schemes has lead him to three divorces 
and one incredible night that he relives over again and tries to regain back in his pulsing mind.

Bio: David L O'Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana.  He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies "Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen (Avalanches in Poetry & Before I Turn Into Gold) and Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Inspired by Bob Dylan. He runs the www.feversofthemind.com website. A wordpress site that helps promote many poets, musicians, actors/actresses, other writers. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press "The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers" "The Cartoon Diaries" & "New Disease Streets" (2020).”Taking Pictures in the Dark” “Our Fears in Tunnels” (2021) a collection of poetry called  "Bending Rivers" a micro poem collection "Lost Reflections" and new book "Before the Bridges Fell" & "His Poetic Last Whispers" (2022)  His latest book is "Cursed Houses" David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire among several other litmags. He doesn’t enjoy the process of submitting constantly, however. Twitter is @davidLONan1 @feversof for all things Fevers of the Mind.    Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .   

Atonement by Clive Gresswell

In the switchblade of the night
The freezing jewel of barracuda delight
The tempting fate of failing light
The falling rhythm of dismay from this train
Of thought to obey the trunk is hidden in the back of time
The amulet is prised in line
The liberation a dance of swans
Some with beacon some with songs
A marching army of choruses
Bitter winds of self regret
From sands of time the tidal wave
The room of being the bloody knave
The haunting of the bloody cave
From which the nazi hunter gave
The Jew his freedom’s only grave
Atonement splendid in the light of days. 


The Summer of '89 by Lynn White

The ice-cream man appeared 
at frequent intervals
on the corner of the street
near the large grassy area
in summery Sochi.

He had no van
just a barrow
and two cardboard cartons
of paper wrapped briquettes.

He had no fridge,
didn’t need one,
everyone knew 
Russian ice-cream
to be the best,
the best in the world
and so never got time to melt!

The evidence was all around.

The grass was full of people
enjoying the lazy sunshine,
sharing their music, smokes 
and iced creamy kisses
in the Sochi summer.

The perimeter of the grass
was edged with signs.
”Keep Off The Grass”,
an English speaker translated.
She smiled.
“But we take no notice!”

Bio: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/ 

Summit by Stephen Kingsnorth

You ask why, my reply, why not?
Enjoy the trees, but leave the wood -
and note, that orchard marvellous -
for justification not my deal,
that ignorance, a bliss for me.

Whale soundwaves pass on through the deep -
as cow wails sound unrecognised
except by those attuned to scale.
Some overdose on bitter pills
when companies slice artists’ cut -
as patrons paid for flattery
and canvassed for a frameup work.
Here siren sounds tempt from the rocks,
pied pipers lead a merry dance,
thirty piece silver buys a friend,
like kiss, a shock identikit.

So cock a snoop convention’s way,
the market place for art with strings
repay naïve fans, courtesy -
as poets clash with editors.
Trim principles, for principal -
climbed summit, music as its peak.
Most dollar short, unpublished art;
peer over shoulder if you will,
by equal chance, may overhear,
the tags that speak identity,
encounters that outlast their slot,
all subject, serendipity.

So this, we hear, story distilled, 
the mix of moods, well travelled way,
a track replayed, the trick relayed,
a riff resolved in harmonies,
bandwidth for uninitiate,
as I, a jack of all, trade winds,
who grows as hear, an ear retread,
sail wordsmith crossing rockplay tack.

Rebel Songs by Stephen Kingsnorth 

I know another buffet laid,
a battered body carried round, 
though shoulder high and beaten, bruised -
that’s how the surfing tension broke,
as law for grace, seen what it was,
another myth to pacify,
the power of men exemplified.
Their trophy false as faerie dust,
this punk against establishment,
the tables turned, not meek nor mild,
when profits came, young hope abused.

They said this breakthrough, highnoon first,
claimed quake in earth tore, altered drape,
and all was left, brief loincloth stained,
on virgin land, new paradigm.
The females vented feral screams,
while bands in wings sang rebel songs
when third, the body stole away,
tones hushed, hear strains of spiritual.

The rolling stones were laid aside
when dared by one to satisfy
their blood lust, known unjustified,
the woman raised, against mores.
So harmony not melody,
but facing truth staves tougher score,
a heartbeat pumping blood and gore,
ourselves stripped bare to start again.

You may read this, a culture shock,
just as the orthodox, he not.
Forget religiosity, 
another myth that raises Cain,
and as we want our music heard,
then clear detritus from the lore.

I visit scene from older age,
another scene, prior decades,
but empathetic to the cause.
a voice too radical for stage,
yet sage for our eternity.
But can we hear through threnody
our rage at world’s complicity?

Bio: Stephen Kingsnorth, retired to Wales, UK, from ministry in the Methodist Church due to Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, including Fevers of the Mind.   
His blog is at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/   

A Series of small poems inspired by Tom Waits by Merritt Waldon

Falling through clouds
Burgundy screams
The weight of all that air
All that falling
The bed felt good this morning
My eyes burned shut
With resinous smoke
I am a star
Riding the Rail
Climbing that
Chameleonic word
Jumping back.off
Every chance I get

While i sit sipping a Fosters and listening murder in a red barn
All of sudden envision
Sauntering out of a red barn
The Cyclops from My dreams appears
Half slouched and drooling
All over my mind
In Technicolor 
Deluge Under a big top

5 a.m. poem//

trickling haphazard tongue against labia minora
of Memory & History how they moan
dripping like liquid moon beams
their silver visions of futurity


Meditation on the mercy seat of a spirit___
Sipping with dank muses the black milk of spirit orgasm
Mind explodes like a grenade
Leaving bits of eternity across a licorice smelling room
Candle in the window, note on pillow
Blues from hell echo
Theirs a pen weeping for the hand of its master

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with poet Merritt Waldon

a succession of failures #4 by Marty Shambles

if you don’t have money
the world does not afford 
a modicum of dignity.

i’ll give you an example:

i was outside the in-n-out
north beach, sf
circa 2013 i think
and i had slept 
on pavement
the night before,
then worked a shift 
at my job,
and would sleep
on the pavement
that night.

i needed to charge
my phone
b/c access to 
requires a phone

out in the courtyard
where the scent of
searing meats and
potatoes lowered
into oil
teased my senses,
there was a power
and i sat at a table 
where i
could get a charge.

i charged my phone
for about 10 minutes
before a security 
guard came up
and said
you can’t use that.

i know he was
only doing his 
but he made a choice
to side with the
people in this world
who want to divide
into its constituent
strip all the copper
from the walls,
send people who are
undesirable up
excrement river
and good luck
with the paddle.

what could it have 
the charging of one phone?
maybe 2 cents.
in my destitution
could’ve scrounged
2 cents from my 
yawning pocket,
had he asked—
had he identified
me as a brother
rather than rabble.

i’ll say it again
in case you missed it:
if you don’t have money
the world does not afford 
a modicum of dignity.

it’s the 21st century
and some days it seems
that some people get all
the dignity
and leave none 
for the rest of us.

Bio: Marty Shambles is a Pushcart nominated author of poetry and short fiction. His book businessmen & ghosts is available from EMP Books.

Whisky and Wine by D.C. Nobes

Swallow your fears and doubts
Wash them down with whisky
Swallow your foolish pride
Wash it down with wine.

We can’t know what life may give us
sometimes heartache, sometimes pain.
We don’t know where life might take us
sometimes losing, sometimes gain.

Swallow your tears and pains
Wash them down with whisky
Swallow your scars and stains
Wash them down with wine.

We can’t know where the road may go
sometimes rising, sometimes down.
We don’t know what paths to follow
sometimes lost, sometimes found.

Swallow your cares and worries
wash them down with whisky.
Swallow your wearisome woes
wash them down with wine.

We can’t know when an end may come
maybe soon, maybe never.
We don’t know what will happen next
sometimes love, always life.

Swallow your fears and doubts
wash them down with whisky.
Swallow your woes and worries
wash them down with wine. 

Bio: D.C. Nobes is a scientist who spent his first 39 years in or near Toronto, Canada, then 23 years in Christchurch, New Zealand, 4 years in China, and has retired to Bali. He used to enjoy winter but admits that he doesn’t miss the snow or the cold. He thinks that almost all poetry was meant to be read aloud. His work has appeared in Tarot Poetry NZ, The Violet Hour, miniMAG, Karma Comes Before, The Hooghly Review, Poetry as Promised, Whimsical Publishing Press, Boats Against the Current, Sixpence Society Literary Journal, Bubble, Red Wolf Periodical, and Acropolis. 

Bang, Bang Goes the Gun by Anton Pooles

and the moon shatters like glass! I carry fragments
in my pail—minnows and moon 

swim a vortex.
On the way home

I meet an old friend 

who makes musical instruments from fishbones.  

I trade my vortex
for a swordfish-


keep up 
the neighbours

blasting that thing all week long. 

They throw stones 
at my window,

paint my door red. 

I don’t live there

Bio: Anton Pooles was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia and now lives and writes in Toronto, Ontario. His work has appeared in an array of journals and magazines. He is the author of the chapbook Monster 36 (Anstruther Press, 2018) and the full-length collection Ghost Walk (Mansfield Press, 2022). 

Beating a Hustler by Rp Verlaine

He had taken my money
three times after I'd
bought us cheap drinks
not even a whores navel 
could sweeten.
A known rogue
in a pool hall
that already had
more thugs
than cameras find
at mafia weddings.

I was four hundred down 
doubled or nothing for 
the fourth time when I
whirled around and let the
pool stick become a splintered 
puzzle across his face
4,5,6 times
fractured his right wrist too
in case he was armed.

Everything froze save the
jukebox playing
a song I didn’t know
as I slowly walked out backwards
into the bouncer who
I gave my remaining bankroll to.
Tanned and huge in a tight tailored suit
“don’t come back” he said 
“even if he deserved it
we don’t need that here.”

I ducked into a cab
forgetting my address
And remembering I’d left my wallet 
at the pool table.
Maybe they could send it Express Mail.

Hell's Gates by Rp Verlaine

A large angry  
tattoo on this babe's arm
reads- Hell's Gates
Are Open-.

How wide? I ask
nodding to the artwork
of letters in red and
yellow fire on her arm.

Wide enough
she tells me, do
you need another

Need is not
the word I'd
use but yes  
and I watch her  
pour until the

froth kisses
the top of
the glass.

Then she  
looks in her mirror
putting a comb
through dark
the sun hits just right
every day.

Sometimes I
think I come to the
bar for that alone.

I finish my beer
tip her a twenty
and go home where
I can dream about
Hell and its guardians
with brown auburn hair.

Far better I think
than dreaming of those
with eyes languid with regret
and with souls long
out of reach or those with
knives under their pillows
I've found 
myself far too 
often sleeping
next to...

While the gates of hell wait.

So I choose the bars
the darker the better
where only the bartenders smile
refuses to hide.

Shattering The Nerves by Rp Verlaine

like a shadow reaching
across your space
erased walking  at night
Shattering the nerves.
 t.v.  talking heads  
Disconnected truths
Guillotining transitory calm
Shattering the nerves.

Letters, calls, damned texts
Disheartening Darkening, harkening
Forgotten fears
Shattering the nerves
Stupefying twists
Of stimulants of accidental bliss
Shattering the nerves.

Listening to the rain
Parting with the heavens
To a tape of Your last goodbye
Your last goodbye your last goodbye
shattering the nerves.

Amateurs Need Not Apply by Rp Verlaine

Crumbs from a bad sandwich in my beer
at local bar, long without charm,
hope, or enough cash in
the register to make it
worth a robber’s odds
of going to prison.

Photographs of New York athletes
taken ten to fifteen years ago
adorn grimy walls.
Speaking less of gain or
fame than loss.
In this place where old men know
they can drink till helpless
for nothing save
the price of looking at each other.

Most involved in a besotted solo
monologue and I don't interfere.

“A nursery in hell” says the bartender,
wiping flecks of dirt off the counter
with a towel so foul
it hasn’t seen water for as long
as too many in this bar.

Now part of the background
on unemployment
I write haiku on napkins
waiting for the next job,
or pretending I want one
like the rest of them.

Staring into glasses,
miraculously always never
empty or filled
while they kill time

and themselves slowly,
which takes years of practice
a drunk told me, adding
“but only if-
he said, almost cheerfull,
you do it right.” 

Bio: Rp Verlaine lives in New York City.
He has an MFA in creative writing from City College.
He taught in New York Public schools for many years.
His first volume of poetry- Damaged by Dames
& Drinking was published in 2017 and another – Femme Fatales
Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books
titled Lies From The Autobiography vol 1-3 were published from 2018 to 2020.  His newest book, Imagined Indecencies, was published in February of 2022. He was nominated for apushcart prize in poetry in 2021 and 2022.

Tom Waits by Binod Dawadi

His full name is Thomas Alan Waits,
He was born on California,
He was a singer and a song writer,
He loved romantic life,
He had won many awards,

He loved  beat literature so much,
He had a beautiful car too,
Where she used to spend his time in music,
As well as other works,
He started to perform from 1960's,

He used to combine different musics,
As well as used to play them,
Like as a stream of consciousness,
Small Change, Heartattack and Vain,
We're his best musics,

He also worked in a films,
He also performed as a villain in many films,
Like as Dracula and mystery along with,
Heros character,
So we should love the Tom Waits and his works forever.

Bio: Binod Dawadi, the author of The Power of Words, is a master’s degree holder in Major English. He has worked on more than 1000 anthologies published in various renowned magazines. 

Dog Walk With Sadie Through a Tom Waits Cento by Michael Brockley

I spent the day unringing bells in a house where nobody lives. While the ghost of my white German shepherd asked what keeps mankind alive other than the innocence of dreaming. From the heart of a Saturday night, I eavesdropped on Jersey girls who lured their beaux into blue valentine beds, my ghost dog and I having our fill of pasties, g-strings, and swordfish trombones. Sadie reminisced about rain dogs over the sausages and eggs we ate in a Cadillac. King Kong’s old ’55 backfiring all the while in the vicinity of Heart Attack and Vine. We wound up on the wrong side of the road. Stumbling in and out of Tom Traubert’s blues. Neither of us could swear we’d mailed the Christmas card from the hooker in Minneapolis to the disc jockey full of bourbon in Johnsburg, Illinois. The piano had been drinking, not us. How many times must a man from the bottom of the world whistle past a graveyard until he’s granted Jayne’s blue wish? Sadie asked if I’d ever walked somebody home. I answered I hoped I wouldn’t fall in love again. 

Credits for Cento: Dog Walk with Sadie through a Tom Waits Cento

“You Can’t Unring a Bell”
“House Where Nobody Lives”
“What Keeps Mankind Alive,” Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill
“None of Us Is Innocent When We Dream”
“(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night”
“Jersey Girls”
“Blue Valentines”
“Pasties and G-Strings”
“Rain Dogs”
“Eggs and Sausages (in a Cadillac with Susan Michelson)”
“King Kong”
“Old ’55”
“Heartattack and Vine”
“The Wrong Side of the Road”
“Tom Traubert’s Blues”
“Christmas Card from a Hooke in Minneapolis”
“Jockey Full of Bourbon”
“Johnsburg, Illinois”
“The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)”
“Bottom of the World”
“Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard”
“Jayne’s Blue Wish”
“We’re All Just Walking Each Other Home,” Ram Dass
“I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You”  

Bio: Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana where he is looking for a small dog to adopt. His poems have appeared in Lion and Lilac, The Last Stanza Poetry Journal, Ekphrastic Review, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Vagabond Dissent, Wordpeace, Down in the Dirt, and samfiftyfour. 

Pressing On by Stephen Kingsnorth

It seems what’s pressed is catching up,
that gold disc rising after set
as press on brings returning past.
Perspective says tracks disappear,
but groovy when they reappear;
the return ticket underscored,
prepacked as greetings in a card,
both art and music stacked in pile.
Its story stretched from spin before,
long play, when only ears received.

Surrural by Stephen Kingsnorth

Whiskey, lemon, ginger beer,
Kentucky, St Pat’s Day cheer,
following the mule indeed,
Mojo tops with Epitaph.
Laid claim Jameson the best -
I’m Bushmills, an Antrim man.
Where he’s at, Surrural too,
as rhythm beats, furrowed, bow,
hoe down, square prance and the plow.

New word minted, larger field,
come a cropper, share the yield,
cock-a-hoop as cock the tail,
shaken, stirred and then preserved.
Has it legs in swirling glass,
Black and Tans, in liquid bold,
bluegrass for the bourbon thrill,
citrus, catcher in the rye,
does it kick into long grass? 

The New Friend by Eamann Breen

There was nobody in the back of the diner except him, sitting alone. He couldn’t take his eyes of me when I sat down. He nearly dropped his toast into his coffee. He nodded but I ignored him. I thought of moving but it was too late. It would be stupid to move away like he intimidated me or somethin’ like that.

Mario scurried over to me. ‘What would you like today Angela?’

I looked at the menu in the plastic holder on the table that I knew by heart. I put it down. ‘I left me purse at home.’ I hated having to do this again.

‘Don’t worry you can pay me the next time.’

I ordered a capacino and a pan-oh-chocolit. As I sat there like a spare and texted Tina and checked twitter. Tina was having a bad hair day.

When Mario brought the coffee the guy cleared his throat and said, ‘you’re a pretty girl, I’ll give you that, but you’d be much more attractive without the dyed hair.’

Fug-off. I knew I was pretty. I spent a long time every single day trying to hide it. This morning I had had a long bath while my mother was at work. I used her good lotion and shampoo. She’d be ragin’ when she got home. Before I left the flat I scrapped all my hair back and covered my face with foundation and tinted my eyes lids green. It was like a mask. It made me feel strong and before I left the house I cut myself. Only a scratch really. A hint of pink under the skin no blood but I put a tissue under my sleeve just in case.    

‘I don’t want to talk to you.’ I didn’t even look up from my phone. Then I couldn’t resist. ‘So who are you? A fashion expert?’ I knew my roots needed to be done. I knew I was a mess. 

‘I’m John, but people call me Johnny Cash.’

‘Is that a joke?’ he was beginning to bore me. I could tell he liked the sound of his own voice. Deep voice, local probably, been away I guessed.

‘Like the country singer but I like to make money.’

‘What are you doing here? You look like a loser.’

He ignored me but kept my stare. Then he smiles, eyes all twinkly ‘What age are you? Let me guess …?’

‘I’m nineteen. Too young for you.’

‘Jesus you’ll look like forty in a few years’ time. You’ll need to cut out the smoking for sure.’

‘How d ’ya know I smoke?’

‘I can smell the nicotine from here.’

‘You’ve got some fugin nerve!’ I put my hand in my jacket pocket and squeezed my lighter letting the sharp edge of the top dig into my thumb. I like the comfort of the pressure, just like the feel of the knife on my skin when I cut.

‘I’m not saying anything you don’t know. Nothin’ you haven’t heard before.’

‘What about you? All dressed up in your suit and gel in your hair.’ Nobody around here dressed like that I laughed. Then I spied a small snake of a tattoo trying to escape from under his white shirt cuff.

‘Well how’d it go in court?’

He looked surprised and stared at me looking directly into my eyes. I didn’t blink or turn away. Finally, he offered ‘how did you know?’

‘New shirt, not ironed and hiding your ink.’ I laughed.

‘Not guilty’ he said slowly. But he said it in a way that meant something else like the absolute opposite.

‘I bet you get good wear of that suit and your own chair in the court.’ I smiled, so smart. ‘Maybe buy yourself a new one. I hear they have a sale on in Dunnes this week. What were you up for?’

‘Breaking and entering. Robbery and misdemeanours. Take your pick.’

‘Cool. What are you doing here?’ As I looked around at the tatty walls and cheap tables and damaged chairs. Everything was worn and came from another place. Rejected because it wasn’t good enough.

‘I’m in-between.’

‘In-between what?’ I asked. He had me hooked like a fool.

‘In between lives you could say.’

‘Yeah right.’ I checked the phone again. Nothing new.

‘You’d have to get rid of that bad attitude and smile a bit more.’ He waived to Mario for the bill. ‘We could make money.’

‘I’m not a theef. Anyways if you are so good Johnny Cash why aren’t you in a mansion in Killiney?’

‘Life has played a sad trick on me, a sad sad sad trick. But then you would understand all about that.’

‘Me?’ I exploded

‘Yes. You’re Jimmy King’s girl, aren’t you?’

‘Ex-girlfriend!’ I hissed. ‘Fugin ex if you want to know.’

‘Ah. I see. He spoke about you a lot inside. Your blonde hair and your smile. He had some photos too. Very tasty I might say.’

‘You make me sick.’

I don’t think so. I’m a much better jockey than Jimmy King. I could look after you. Take care of you. I’m on the lookout for a woman. I would treat you well. Get some rings for your fingers. Maybe a new phone. Maybe one of dose Burberry bags.’

He was full of it. I knew it and he knew it. But he looked alive. I imagined him pawing me and it wasn’t any more unpleasant that Jimmy King with his stubby hands and slobbery kisses and his slapping. Not romantic like or long term but for a time I could do it. Jeez I was desperate.

Mario approached. ‘Isn’t she a pretty girl?’ Johnny Cash says casual like I was a greyhound or a Honda.  He handed him a note.

‘Pretty Angela.’

‘My mum calls me that.’ I said before I could stop myself. Just slipped out.

‘No job I imagine and no prospects.’

‘Fug you. I’m in between jobs.’

Fugin Mario winked at me as he left the change on the table and walked away. Johnny Cash examined the small metal plate and called out ‘excuse me mate I think there has been some kind of mistake.’

Mario ran his hand through his fringe and turned annoyed. ‘Whaat-a-mistake? Coffee and toast? Three fifty.’ Mario under pressured reverted to his Italian accent and looked at me for approval.

‘I gave you a twenty.’

‘No you didn’t. It was a five.’

‘No definitely twenty. I don’t want to cause a scene.’

‘It was five.’

‘No. I’m sure.’ Johnny Cash checked his wallet. ‘Yep twenty. Certain amigo.’

‘No it was a five.’

‘Is the manager about?’

‘I check.’ Poor Mario. He went to the till and spoke to the cashier. There was some raised voices and pointing towards the back of the café. She handed him three fives. Johnny Cash stared straight at me all through this interval. Mario came back and handed over the change.

‘Thank you!’ he said as if the greatest wrong in his life had suddenly been made right. He got up and wiped the crumbs from his trousers and walked passed my table. He dropped a napkin with a mobile number on it and then ran his finger across my cheek as if he were playing with a dog. ‘Call me if you want.’

I said nothing. I didn’t even turn around to see him leave. Not for the first time in my life I felt tainted. I sensed Mario standing beside me before he spoke.

‘Your friend -’

‘No friend of mine!’ I snapped

‘The man’ he continued.

‘Yes the man. What about him?’

‘He lied. We have no twenties in the till.’

‘Is dis my fault?’ I needed air. I wanted to run out and fill my lungs with cool fresh air. As far away as possible.

‘He’s not a good man.’


Slowly I walked out with the napkin next to the lighter in my pocket, the lighter that has somebody else’s girlfriend’s name engraved on it, as I pushed the door open Mario shouted, ‘tell him not to come back.’ I smiled through concrete lips ‘you too!’ I smiled no more. The door, as always, banged noisily behind me.

He was waiting across the street as I knew he would and he knew he would. Nothing I could think of would stop me now.


‘Well alright. One thing. If you put your fists on me, I’ll stab you in the throat with a knife.’

He looks me straight in the eye, comes close and I can smell his sweet aftershave and tells me if ‘I ever do that you can have this knife to do the job’ and he taps his breast pocket.

‘Coolio’ I say.

‘Where to now? Your place?’

‘No I’m kipping at my mom’s at the moment.’

‘My place then. I’m across town. And take that scrunchie out of your hair.’

I do and shake it out. It covers my shoulders. He leans over and smells it in the middle of the street. He puts his arm around me and we walk towards the corner. I allow myself the luxury of resting my head on his shoulder as we walk. We stop at the lights and he turns to me dead serious.

‘I like to do certain things with my lady.’

I laugh. ‘I’m no lady!’

‘Oh, but you will be.’ Now he laughs back.

‘One more thing’ I say noticing his blue eyes for the first time. ‘I don’t do no hard drugs. I don’t inject and won’t help you.’

‘That’s fair and not a problem for me. What about blow?’

‘I don’t mind a smoke.’

‘Sorted then. Got some good skunk back at the apartment.’

Then I think of the two of us together. What am I doing? I take Jimmy King’s old lighter out of my pocket and throw it in the bin. Off we walk into the future. Well maybe not the real future but a future for as long as it lasts. Just another Monday. Next week it could be different for me but I don’t get my hopes up.

Bio Eamann Breen (he/him) is an Irish born London based playwright and storyteller. His short story When He Told Her has been published by Liberties Press Dublin in an anthology called Brevity is the Soul. The Hessian Bag was shortlisted for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award at the Wexford Literary Festival. His monologue The Lucky Escape debuted on the Player Playwrights Showcase YouTube channel – https://youtu.be/3tNutxGZQy8 and Ten Top Films has recently been published by the Seattle Star https://www.seattlestar.net/2022/09/ten-top-films/

New Disease Streets by David L O’Nan

I cut a record in the trance of snaps
On a new disease street.
Watching them worship the homeless man’s defeat
They stole our dancing jewels,
And from that fame
The sandwich bag Madonnas grew.
The appetite for the bleak and the new.

Music breathes out of dead-end windows
Cockroach apartments smell better than -
The flesh that is sticky from these sweat bleeding streets.
Oh, the wet blades shine more when they’re silver.
An appetite for the starved and the view.

The alcoholics are stretching for a new fight.
Those dirty pigeons that sleep in the grass instead of the trees.
I bravely found a quarter in the storm drain,
It appears the acid has eaten away at George Washington’s face.

Nevertheless, I can ride in the rusted pink taxis -
That drives faster than quicksand.
It is lonely then sickly.
Huffing in graffiti paint fumes through the holes of a brown sack.

I’ve surmised that I’ve digested the whole city, and my stomach is -
Starting to rumble and splash in its own rivers.
Now, my existence has been debated for years.
But for now, you can call me Galileo -
Because I'm punching down the stars to the land.

We are just trying to give the dying one last light show.
With all the roses’ souls, I've ripped from the soil.
Before we all slip back into a coma
And dress back down to our dusty selves.

A Full Moon Over Secret Headquarters by David L O'Nan

The full moon becomes our religion
Watch the fold in the clouds, that is us
And if they shall search for us
Amongst our secret headquarters
Cuddled together sharing Egg Biryani
What are those stars, trapped behind obese trees?

The wind blows at our tent, our lockdown
Trying to infiltrate our codes
To steal away our dance
and leave our footprints to be discovered by the gods.
The river wants us too - It sways in a vulgar ballet 
Then dies off against the dam.

Your scarf and dress left in a ruinous insult in the mud 
Left to be panicky, dizzy, separated, and severed alone - In the grass.
How can I relocate our flames?
To dwell in the hum of purring 
Collect our wings from the cheap magician
and terminate the spell.

A grandiose full moon smother
With its clouds
Even after promising heaven behind the dark curtains - That was us.

A Broken Pocketwatch Genius by David L O'Nan

Heard a gunshot through the golden curtain
They were ringing bells and smacking tambourines on our adventure.
I woke up on the greyhound bus, dumbfounded with a boner.
I can only remember someone whispering a smokey smell into my ear.
And then I went to a faint.  
A pocketwatch missing and several ladies singing loudly
Anyone here could have been the culprit.

Sitting in piles of sweat,  the heat boils me to anger.
My jeans are dirty and stained.  Someone’s needles rolling down a blanket.
I just sit there trying not to dwarf myself in this world of giants.
Sloped over and hiding my head in a t shirt.  
I was put here to go to war with the bubbles in my head I am just popping them and looking around to see who the snitch will be.
So I can maybe lead myself out of a touch of pandemonium.

By the edge of the bus I leaned and rested my aching head.
I smoked 2 cigarettes with a belly dancer-
who smelled like the walking dead.
I see a collection of papers on the floor, and I know we are somewhere in the south.
I see Missing Persons Posters folded under a green skirt and a musky towel. 
Have I made a deal with the sin of flesh, or a greasy devil?

Have I made my genius wasted by hanging my clothes in the land of honey and feathers?

I see this girl from many moons ago across the street.  I suddenly feel a little safe even though she never imagined me.  She imagined herself as a stranger to kindness, and as a dart to be thrown blindly to the glass.   She was innocent once, then new cables,

And new wires to trip her into doubt.  She was once my dream when she wasn’t sharing the last name of some fella’.   
Yet here I am still thinking that she was the one that could have known me better than anyone.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with poet Merritt Waldon

Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently? 

Merritt: I began writing poetry at 12. I wrote tiny stories and drew since i was 3 or 4.   Back then there were two major influences.  Li Po and Baudelaire. 

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer? 

Merritt: Since then and now the biggest influence on my idea of writing has always been John Keats .

The pivotal moment I knew I WANTED or was a writer was when I read the entire portable Whitman reader in a hay field next my house when I was 7. I got in trouble because I slept in between bails for two days no one knew where I was

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career? 

Merritt: The people that has helped me writing over The years the most Summer Dawn Bill Shields Daniel Yaryan Nancy Patrice Davenport Thomas Lyle Bush Thom Woodruff Tony Campbell Dr. J.C. Bacala ..    This answers the main question.  Of course there are others more recent. As well.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work? 

Merritt: I grew up in Madison Indiana next to the Ohio river in the country. It influenced me as a writer by turning poetry in to a.more spiritual entity than a utility of expression.   Backpacking all over the western hemisphere has deeply influenced the writing.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you? 

Merritt: Most meaningful creative work.  I’ll have to think on that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax? 

Merritt: Drinking reading hiking hacky sack chess reading  Music listening singing along

Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing? 

Merritt: Going down chiseling my own tombstone Out of these bones.

Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or song that always come back to you as an inspiration? 

Merritt: Blues . rock. Really jam while I write.   Love all music.  One song.  Change by blind melon

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote? 

Merritt: I’m planning a poetry event called Poet-loose on October 9th at 4 p.m. in Scottsburg Indiana

Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey? 

Merritt: Being a child of agent orange

Merritt bio & links:

I’m 48. Born 1974 Madison. Live in Scottsburg . published books and online and in anthologies. I am living the poetic I am.

Collaboration poem from Merritt Waldon & David L O’Nan

July 2022 Poetry Showcase from Merritt Waldon

Poems by Merritt Waldon: Strange Visitations & more poems for people



Collaboration poem from Merritt Waldon & David L O’Nan

photo from pixabay

The Imperfect Wild (lifeless stones behind that wall)


Lost in a triangle of  disembodied 
Air resembles butterflies forlorn
Inside out       

Imperfection tightly pulling piano
Wire around our necks 
Our strangled humanity 
Lifeless as stones decorating fields


So maybe I'm not a carpenter
can't walk on water
Can't build a bridge after bridge
just keep reaching up from the water

I can't peel the grease from my slippery shoes
Maybe I can only live without full knowledge
Without full focus
A burning mind with moneys always fading.

Was life ever meant for me or us; the imperfect wild?

Merritt Waldon. Born September 12, 1974 Madison, Indiana just few blocks from the Ohio river. Born and raised by U.S. Air Force veteran of Viet Nam and his best friends sister. Merritt was almost named Stroh’s Waldon; after his dads favorite cheap beer after rotating back to world.  As long as he has been able to hold a writing/drawing utensil he has dreamed of being a published writer.  spending a lot of his late teens & early twenties traveling the united states & writing constantly, eventually returning to Indiana marrying having children divorcing marrying etc divorcing; still writing living . Has had work in Sun Poetic Times, Mojo Risin’, Beyond The Pale, One Hit, RoaDDawgz a magazine for the voice of the homeless ( under the pen name Ru mi), Smalltown Monthly, Crisis Chronicles, Cheap and Eazy Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Twizted Tungz, Fearless, Voices From The Fire, Bedroom Anatomy Lessons, The Rye Whiskey Review, The Black Shamrock, River Dog Magazine #1, Fevers of the Mind, Be About It #18, Americans & Others anthology, A Cooch Behar American poetry Anthology, Strange Gods From The Prairie: A Gasconade Review Anthology, The Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts: OMNIBUS vol 1., and Cajun Mutt Press Features. He has three books of poetry published; Oracles From A Strange Fire co-authored by National Beat Poet Laureate Ron Whitehead published by Cajun Mutt Press, then Pistol City Blues & Madison Street Screams and Smoke Break Poems published by Dead Man’s Press Ink. 47, he lives and writes in Austin, Indiana. https://tinyurl.com/ne6m3j73

other links to click:

July 2022 Poetry Showcase from Merritt Waldon

Poems by Merritt Waldon: Strange Visitations & more poems for people

Poem by Kushal Poddar : The Smile Craft (for Merritt Waldon)

A Quicksilver Trilling by David L O’Nan : Poetry & Writing style lyrics inspired by Dylan

An Ode To Tessa While in New York by David L O’Nan (From Before I Turn Into Gold)

In 1961…In 1961 by David L O’Nan (from Before I Turn Into Gold Anthology)

A Fevers of the Mind Interview/Promo piece with Ron Whitehead, U.S. National Beat Poet Laureate

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle

July 2022 Poetry Showcase from Merritt Waldon

All American boys_meditation on memory_for Jerry Waldon

I watch it waving daily in the Ohio River Valley breeze
Across the street, at the confederate blue grey cinder
Block building, a tire shop

It protrudes out off the building on a rusted pole
Every roll of its cloth in the wind

The red white & blue
Of my childhood days of always being the
Miniature shadow of a veteran

Those days of growing when my mind was a better
Soaking up the wisdom & knowledge
Of silence, war, and all American boys
Who traded their Pittsburgh pirate dreams
For an m1 & orders

A life time ago, his and mine too
Always bound by the road, mark twain
& hank sr,  beer & Indiana nights

Bound by blood, by memories long gone
Lonesome blues         lifetimes of mad 
Knowledge DNA mingling with chemicals

Altered through war, readjustment to
Society; & a lingering ghost of youth
Digging out the skulls of mans gods

All American boy days, red white and blue
Covered in napalm & agent orange
Hony tonking,  living fast busting loose
Madison Indiana out to the world

I remember going with him for tournaments
All over Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky
Any time he gave me money & I ate without him to save 
My money I would leave the waitresses a poem
Just a teen & already scribing the road between
the seen & unseen

Its waving to the east, jutting out from the wall
Across west main st, looking out my window
Its' rolling form red white 7 BLUE



Oct. 13, 2020

The cool October day, sunny, hushed traffic busying by
Mind funk locked trunk cant look through dream junk

Hushed echoes of Ben Johnson, ancient Skalds,
Or Bards; the dreaming oracles of eternity

Grandchildren's brief voices in the kitchen
All adults off guard; they seek the sustenance
Of refrigerated cheese & play

My skin goose pimpled, I recite the constitution
I claim it As my balls to contemplate the age & sing
Madly the temporal odes of the decayed body
Of liberty

Its' ink made from the blood of millions
Its paper recycled broken treaties
All the roads lead where?
I laugh to myself, knowing the only quote
Like that says Rome.

I digress towards prosody now;  
The hustling life of Scott county like back-
Ground music

The cool October day, sunny, hushed traffic busying by
Mind funk locked trunk cant look through dream junk

A POEM for A.C.M. 

I dream of a belly dancer in a yellow sun dress, cheeks red
And full of the motion of bodies

Her twirling blond form,  singing some kind of dirge
To invisible crows
Her skin glowing of a  mid western sun
Eyes like orbiting satellites transmitting
the ecstatic hope of mothers & lovers

Voices in the dark, sje spins
Whispering her songs
To a lost star


Peeled back scars like gorilla tape revealing
The seeping of stars

Rushing water sounds

Polished stones of eternity

Madison-Milton bridge

The once Charlestown bridge
The Louisville bridges---

The sound of the furious water
Like static or white noise from a billion televisions

Glaciated currents of my childhood nightmares
& dreams

The mad coddling of the geo magnetic songs
Of the Ohio river valleys

Ectoplasmic oracles of genetic history

A mirror of madness & culture

The looking glass of mid Americas 
Addiction to visual waves from
A flashing screen 6 feet from them
As they drowse in to pillows 
Of LED light

Muddy waters, willows, spiral notebooks
& decades of revolution
Around the sun

The rushing water sounds

Good beautiful river vibrations of diadem

Eyelids itch with the blood of gods

Adventure time my whole life,  woods
Hugging the Ohio River like a warm lady
Echoing the secrets of memory

The baptismal of mind labyrinths
Traced out in bones & history


Listening to the slowly fading out screams
Of butterflies

The machine gun beats of drums as fast
As artillery spewing forth

The music clings to ribs
To memory the soft parade files

The stirring of something unseen
& powerful

Fingering the senses
I watch the vibrational ripples of air
Twirl like some kind of dervish
From the 13th century
Or like monks drunk on wine
Dancing through streets
As if the mad infinitesimal energy
Of our own divinities
Clasped tight to hand

Dragging our vision through

“you got to meet you a few
Animals at the crossroads”

Their filming the scuffling figures
Scuddling down the sidewalk
At dawn

Following them to the ledge
High above them
In  the brownstone next 
To the liquor store

Their vibrations sing with the sun rise
The last poems of a drunken poet
Crying on the shoulder of his muse
Waiting for the unseen

To pull them from the ledge

The image is not new
The holy renaissance of senses
& star c(h)ords

The music lingers 
Sinew, piss, and rivers
Undiluted spirit of youth clamors

“everything must be this way”
Cyclical waves of never ending

Ever see the lips of an ancient bard
Chapped & surrounded by hair
Weeping 3 stories in to the night
Calling to the dogs or the gods
Looking for the lack of gravity

“Tropic corridor
Tropic treasure
What brought this far to this mild equator”

Looking for something new
Like wine growing from the decomposing
Bodies of Aristophanes
& Jim Morrison

Listening to the slowly fading out screams
Of butterflies

POEM _ Meditation

i was thinking of a uniform

Uniforms.   how skin could be 
A uniform.

Thoughts like an invisibility cloak

Wearing it like being consumed
In napalm

Strange idols burning with blue flame

Lounge chair made of razor wire &
Mortar shells

History's caustic finger nail  scratch
Across the bardic swirl

This quarantined year lazily slouching by
Looking for the absolution of freedom

All the cyclical lips & their gutter odes
Pouring from great speaker 

With a milky way subwoofer
Permeating the rhythmic turbulences
Through the living

Organic microphones 

The laughter of clowns & muses
Til their hips cant gyrate any further
Or their livers stand the test
Of the ambrosial significance
Of love

The slow embers of flesh in the throws
Of passion & mortality
The melting of beings in to singular

The tongues of unity flashing
Beyond becoming 

Uniformed bodies of oneness

Uniforms of the living
Like individual flags or
Or bio waves of invisible
Waves that form whispering
Bodies like static through 

In to images we seek our selves
Unrelatable to stars til we
Take off the uniforms of our lives
Float on

portrait by Ryan Heacock

Merritt Waldon. Born September 12, 1974 Madison, Indiana just few blocks from the Ohio river.

Born and raised by U.S. Air Force veteran of Viet Nam and his best friends sister. Merritt was almost named Stroh’s Waldon; after his dads favorite cheap beer after rotating back to world.  As long as he has been able to hold a writing/drawing utensil he has dreamed of being a published writer.  spending a lot of his late teens & early twenties traveling the united states & writing constantly, eventually returning to Indiana marrying having children divorcing marrying etc divorcing; still writing living . Has had work in Sun Poetic Times, Mojo Risin’, Beyond The Pale, One Hit, RoaDDawgz a magazine for the voice of the homeless ( under the pen name Ru mi), Smalltown Monthly, Crisis Chronicles, Cheap and Eazy Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Twizted Tungz, Fearless, Voices From The Fire, Bedroom Anatomy Lessons, The Rye Whiskey Review, The Black Shamrock, River Dog Magazine #1, Fevers of the Mind, Be About It #18, Americans & Others anthology, A Cooch Behar American poetry Anthology, Strange Gods From The Prairie: A Gasconade Review Anthology, The Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts: OMNIBUS vol 1., and Cajun Mutt Press Features. He has three books of poetry published; Oracles From A Strange Fire co-authored by National Beat Poet Laureate Ron Whitehead published by Cajun Mutt Press, then Pistol City Blues & Madison Street Screams and Smoke Break Poems published by Dead Man's Press Ink. 47, he lives and writes in Austin, Indiana.


Poems by Merritt Waldon: Strange Visitations & more poems for people

Strange Visitations in Pistol City on the birthday of Poe _ for Edgar A. Poe & Ron Whitehead  
(after reading some Poe all night before// & waking to read Ron Whitehead's Learning to talk with crows) _

Quite early this morn
a rapping came
Rapping at my door

 Ignoring it at first, while sipping
Coffee, smoking & remembering 

Remembering long ago conversations 
On poetry, philosophy & history, 
Remembering Learning to talk w crows 
By Ron Whitehead &
Tom Waits ‘ Bone Machine echoes
Stars begin to fade from sight

Neck feeling the weight of worlds
Gravity like a mysterious dust
Dead skin collected from long 
Lost stars

An hour later as if by schedule
A rapping early on my door
Longing & soft   yet firm
A sweet midnight breath 
In the madness of musing
I answered the strange moment

There, before me was a raven as big 
As an eagle, a hellhound, whos leash 
Was held by the perfect image of edgar 
Allan poe

A panic chill like some one walked over my
Spontaneously mind recalls a time once telling 
A 7th grade teacher; that like Poe
My pen would be the death of me
During a talk in which he introduced me
To Goethe & Faust

The teacher laughed, I had stayed after class
Cause he loved my essay on Nietzsche for his
English class 

Yet in the present, I wasn’t laughing 
Smiling YES; alas laughing
I was not

Faced with such a visitor on His birthday
Of all days
I let them in & sit back down on my brown 
Barstool bought from the Goodwill

As if by telepathy , He also recalls the conversation
With my teacher
& adds that perhaps it be true

That some day all voices will gather 
Traveling  Lithe 
Singing our ballads, odes & dirges
To the living creative fire
We are

The hellhound snuggles at His feet
& the raven chills next to Him perched 
atop the television like something out of
A Bosch

After an hour or two of dialogue, & poetry
Where we agreed that the only real true 
Freedom is found with in the creative imagination
& that most people never take the blinders
Off long enough to see any thing save their own 
Lives;   many other subjects were spoken 

As daylight began to crawl in to the world
He bidding me fare well handing me a tug 
Out of a transparent flask that appeared to be

I began to realize
That I have always been searching for Edgar Poe & his Raven
& the pen that wrote greatest united states literature

I light a cigarette, look at my dog; Sir Charlie Webfoot;
Now asleep under the bed

Still remembering the tapping, rapping , rapping
At my door    this morn   quite early
While the moon drifts  with its fullness
Over southern Indiana

Rainy 3 a.m. (a spontaneous moan)

Rainy 3a.m. (a spontaneous moan)
Rain drops falling to pavement
Reflected from streetlights
The light shimmers beneath the dark
Sitting, electrified by hands of
Lightning descending from clouds 
Another night of work done
Mind twisted and mangled like sails
In the storm, this body a boat
Churning in the invisible mood water
Of a sleepy Friday 3 a.m.
Southern Indiana breathes a wet
Sigh as the sky feeds the earth
Mind washed and yet still cluttered
I await the ride home to sit reading
Keats, Collins, and Ramey
Maybe even pen some new universe
That has never existed
Bleeding out in to the soggy parking lot
My thoughts flow 
I collect them in to a cauldron to boil
Searching out the pure gold of
Human experience


A spontaneous moan__//(just ask Corso)
Without hands strangling reality to fit the way the hands seem to think
it should all fit perfect and precise
the world will not fall apart...
it's a difference between rowing and capsizing...
without hands dragging time through the gutter, it really only
exists in transit as we move
frivolously against ourselves
breaking the tide; here I go again praying to
a god the people made neon
it reads
without these hands rifling through this soul
i don't think i'd ever get up
no coffee, just pillow
getting head and that's where it all went
without hands life is already chaos
it's already a mess
just ask
Gregory Corso.

It stays poop_ (for Rhiannon/Reid)

Trip trap, lost in the forest of relivin'-  can not get past the battle wounds-
Can not get beyond the puss covered laceration down next to the soul.
There are often unremarkable images thrown up and out, that the  pen dries
Up for the moment and there can be no recording.
Voice. Microphone. Tape. Like a conquering worm slithering
In and out             devouring the consciousness, devouring all performed
Moans          leaving only garbled mess of tongue between the ceiling & sky-
Levitational madness grips
the barbaric poet as he falls deeper in to the sky
        Away from home
    Away from reality
He was only an experiment
only a nightmare brought through worm shit-
But it stays poop- "it stays poop", you know just like it stays eternal
                             wings of change
                 brings strange transformations- Never does it remain one but many
Many   many-               Deja vu is  i swear-  it is proof of transmigration-
Proof of reincarnation-   Proof of unfinished business chaining a thing to
Its imperfection

Field report from a mountain (dec.62001 - written upon finding out Gregory Corso had died)

Field report from a mountain
 For Gregory.....
 I am climbing the roads to Avalon, and the mist
 envelopes me, there are ghosts draining my veins of
 There are angels rifling my skullcap for thought
 I am tattooed on the devils left hand, riding Cerberus
 into dreams, feeding on the blood of stars,
 can somebody tell me where the fuck I am.
 this narrow hole , this pit where i am collecting dust.
 come if you be my friends, talk to me, show me it
 doesn't have to be one big shotgun blast
 Now here this, you can not have my bones, those are
 Calliope's, those are the bruised lovers in the cave,
 and here, awe if I survive, is where the word will
 so tell me do any of you see the arrow-headed moths
 flapping there wings in the sky, wanton and hungry
 for my white flag
 Fuck it. come! here are the veins of sleep,
 come friends feed on these hollow horizons,
 I give it you, this dark tide,
 where my silence becomes demons
 where the pain resides
 there's no salve for this wound, no patch to hide
 thank you lovers for holding me at least for a second
 there is no safety Gregory Corso, none; no muse to save
 us from this melting pot dungeon
 and where do we take the hymns of Osiris,or the  harp
of the muses?
 lol. I am rolling now, and the allies grow gnarled
 tooth walls dreaming of my gluttonous taste
 No more Gregory, no more do they weep or praise the
 Frankenstein poet of the blind seraph,
 and this is funny
 old hollow men sitting on a shanty porch just out of
  out of reach, the hand of gods 

Some poems from Merritt Waldon

Poem by Kushal Poddar  : The Smile Craft (for Merritt Waldon)