Nick Cave Inspired poems by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

He’s a ghost, a holy godlike guru

Like a preacher 
mad with a microphone
on stage black dressed
unbuttoned cross hangs
chained to his open chest.
Cave’s his name—
through his dark accent
you feel his plight.
With every chord,
the riffs he plays—
the crowd ignites.
He stands like a God
in this house, auditorium,
arena from Jubilee Street
to Tupelo. His British band
plays so loud they can hear
from the clouds all the way
to heaven. Even Methostopolies
loves to feel the burning fury
of his Southern refrains. 
With Cave’s Northern soles 
he prances and romances 
while towering over his disciples
owning this stage; 
when his voice rises—
raging poetry, bible verses
he spits out grooves of insanity
from her to eternity
some of his stanzas 
will save your sins
with the rhymes, epic anthem 
odes to Johnny Cash.
This son of an English professor
pens songs like sonnets, so sinfully
sweet, dedicated for the drowning
and defeated Cave will Nick
your scars as his guitar bleeds.
When you see him live
applause from his electric pulpit
and always scream. Lovers
addicts, tattooed outcasts
heed his choruses, spotlight
untamed. Mad like a preacher
Cave faith has him dropping needles
on vinyl skin, instead of veins. 
Let Nick’s sermons and hymns 
send you inside the skies 
his church is at night
for the price of a ticket
more than a show 
before leaving
all you disbelievers 
definitely will understand—
as this singer extols
spinning reprieves
of his holiest refrains;
as each riff resounds
you can feel Nick’s soul
was saved by the beats as
each night Cave rolls his
tongue with the confessional 
kiss of rock and roll. 

Nick Cave's Spotlight Craving

From a photograph by Ted Grudowsky

He sat at the piano, fingers
touching black and white
keys, matching his tuxedo
colored suit, dark tie and   
an alabaster shirt stained
with sprinkling sweat.
The singer put an Australian
Dunhill cigarette, letting it
dangle in his mouth. After 
playing a few notes, 
he stopped, looking for 
a match under the spotlight,
but there was nothing but
baggage claims, loose leaf
lyrics he scribbled in limo
on the way to the show. 
As the singer fumbled,
in the front row, my balding
friend got up and hurried to the
side of the stage. Taking out his 
antique silver lighter from his 
torn blue jean pocket, Martyn 
in his faded blue Leonard Cohen
t-shirt, reached up from 
seats and magically lit King 
Ink’s ciggy—Cave winked 
and mumbled Thanks mate! 
Looking back down, towards
the keys, the singer grinned 
eyes closed, beginning 
the notes to “And No More
Shall We Part” he exhaled 
smoke— savoring the nicotine 
on his lips, the music echoed 
reigniting the quiet the halls;
as the singer played, we all sat 
mesmerized, watching Nick Cave’s 
fingers becoming entranced again.


Why Fear Her Tears?

Why are all the women weeping?
…They are weeping back at them
—	Nick Cave

Every night I hear La Llorona
grieving outside la Ventana, 
I no longer close the blinds
or cover quivering under
How to sleep, how to sleep
Instead, I take in the chorus 
of her lamenting wails, 
and then una mañana
desperté to find her weeping
like a song spinning on 
an endless vinyl trying to find 
a place where her cries can no 
longer feel dethroned. Cada 
noche, I rise from bed and stroll 
descalso barefoot to la concina, 
reach up for a bowl in la alcana 
cupboard and bring it back 
to my bedroom, leaving it
under my cama mattress,
so, when I hear La Llorona 
weeping, I make sure the bowl 
is empty, if it’s full I pour 
out the pain into an empty
botella, corking each one, 
And when the wind does 
howl and cuando el viento
sopla, bottling every sob, 
I always save for her, keeping 
Them safe as she leaves me
the sweetest of invisible beso 
where her rosas grow wild
kisses on the floor. She knows
I am no longer afraid each night 
I feel her medianoche refrain…
as I quidado carry, trying not
to spill nor leave any trembling
tracks, protecting every huella 
drop of her lagrima tears. 
 
Don Quixote Driving His Truck

Navigating their way 
on N. Buena Vista Ave 
to Hollywood Airport, 
Burbank, CA…with 
Sancho Panza in 
the passenger seat,
using his iPhone, Don
keeps waxing quixotic
about directions, which
way they should turn. 
Wishing he was still 
on his horse, doesn’t 
like how the truck tries
to swerve onto oncoming 
traffic, Listening to Ghosteen
while scratching every
Nick and scar on his chin
following his inner Cave
imagination, picturing 
bright horses, unholy Jubilee
street corner spirits standing in  
front of the Jesus graffiti on 
the Hollywood sign, Don
loves pushing the sky away
past the skeleton tree, 
as another airliner lifts 
off above them, Sancho 
says go ahead, let’s take 
the fork and see where 
the road leads us towards
our latest mapquest, seeing
the fringy lunatic gaze on
Quixote’s wandering eye,
Don pushes down on 
the pedal like he’s galloping
on his favorite caballo, Yes, 
derecho, my friend, no longer 
lost, with the windows rolled 
down, the maniacal driver roars 
it is time we become legends again. 


Before I Turn Into Gold Online Anthology: 4 poem showcase by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda


A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Bio: Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing. 

His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry. 

Adrian lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”
― Sigmund Freud





Before I Turn Into Gold Online Anthology: 4 poem showcase by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

(c) Geoffrey Wren

I Always Daydreamed of Running Into Leonard

Outside a café table 
somewhere in Los Feliz, 
the poet in his vintage blue 
suit with his fedora tilted 
over to keep the LA sun 
from hindering his already 
wrinkled skin. While sipping 
a rare blend of European tea, 
I notice the way he flicks 
his cigarette ashes into the air, 
as he, slyly grins, Cohen
waves me over, “You must
be a poet.” he whispers 
in his deepest voice. 
“I can tell…” he says, 
as I sit down, I stammer: 
“I love the way you smoke 
that cigarette…” Glancing 
back at me, through his mirror 
shades, I picture Leonard 
delightfully giggling, 
“Each ash flicked 
is my way…” he begins to say 
while taking a giant drag 
of his already vanishing 
cigarette, he declares: 
of thanking her for the gifts 
that came like a seductive 
prayer” like an expressionistic 
memory filled with poetic 
smoke, as his aura clings—
Leonard disappears

4 AM rewakens like Leonard Cohen

He wakes up early as darkness 
shadows at the monastery in 
the Los Angeles mountains, 
peaks of monks chanting, 
even amid his resilient vows 
Leonard sparks lighting her 
cigarettes with his mind 
in the dark, blinking back 
his eyes begin to sing, remembering 
her lips ready for wordless 
conversations flashing back 
from the spotlight so smoky 
she returns… again and again, 
coming like a reimagined passion 
play, the roles between the sheets,
bodies of poetry believe they
were more than making, recreating  
love. Before their dance climaxed
and he woke up alone, only 
her ashes remain, flickering 
in his mind, she arrives before 
the light of morning, she reaches 
inside reawakening the match
between his half-closed eyes, 
the poet exhales, reliving 
the stars from their last night 
together, her drags rise from 
the floor, merging with shadows 
even more ashes from her 
smokiest flame this Lady 
Midnight reappears—glimmering
candles ripple as his glowing skin
loves to remember every space
she loved to explore.


She asked, why Leonard Cohen preferred his walls, empty and white?

When he glares, in between
sips of wine, Beaujolais 62,
he loves imagining movies
emotion pictures from his
imagination coming alive 
his eyes, the blinking 
projector focusing 
daydreams, each scene 
becomes a poem, the pen
and paper on the table, 
always there to recreate 
lines from the memoria 
verses he transcribed
just by sitting starting
at the walls, never white
and empty, to Cohen’s 
eyes they filled up
painting his mind 
with colors, resurrected 
focusing her glow Marianne’s 
body naked, wires filled
with birds chirping waves 
of laughter, Hydra isle reawakening
morning embodies the fantasies 
from his favorite shadow 
play, his mind dancing 
with the sun, Leonard 
loved watching his 
imagination rhymes
coming into light. 

The Chills

Standing in the vacant 
kitchen in his newly 
inherited home, Adam 
recalls the last night 
together drinking as
father and son, asking 
the poet where he could find 
the last bottle of Tequila. 
Opening the fridge, he 
remembers discovering one 
of his father’s holy Cohen
notebooks, rhymes 
frozen inside with so many 
little freezer burning icicle 
crystals on every page. 
Feeling the cold from 
the fridge, he doesn’t 
close the door, the son, 
Adam wants to stay here 
and inhale the freezing steam 
inhaling the verses chilled
by his father, wanting to 
be thawed out waiting 
for the voice of The Flame
deep dark smoking to reappear 
reliving the last moment
discovering the last notebook
his father the Poet—left with
with the bottles and ice cubes,
knowing each stanza inside
he would know the stranger
behind the father, with even 
one poem could he discover
a line would that we answer 
so many lyrical labyrinths 
melting so many paradoxes 
glimmering inside. The Poet 
now gone, the house is even
colder. But as Adam finds 
the tequila bottle with his
father’s fingerprints back 
in the fridge, he clutches it 
and pours one last shot, 
although this “lost” notebook 
has only half-filled in  
elegiac treasures, with 
a toast he can still 
feel the chills, as Adam 
drinks, no chaser tears, 
missing Leonard the Poet  
his father, the son declares—
“I wish I knew him better.A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Bio: Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing. 

His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry. 

Adrian lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.


Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
poetnotarockstar@gmail.com
www.AdrianErnestoCepeda.com
twitter.com/PoetNotRockStar
instagram.com/thepoetnotarockstar/
facebook.com/poetnotarockstar/





A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Adrian: Mi Papi gifted me his antique typewriter and I would write Star Trek stories and Sports Newsletters. It was later on, during my undergrad when my first poetry started to flourish. I was influenced by Pablo Neruda, Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison, Lou Reed, Liz Phair, PJ Harvey.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Adrian: Sylvia Plath, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Patti Smith, Sandra Cisneros, Gris Muñoz, Carmen Maria Machado, Anaïs Nin, Anne Sexton, and Alfredo Aguilar said it best: “Read other’s work as generously as you’d like your own work to be read.”

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Adrian: I was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in South Texas, specifically Laredo and San Antonio. Being the only member of mi familia who was born in the United States, I mostly spoke English to my parents in the house. Much recently, I have embraced and honored the bilingual aspect of poetic voice in my latest collection de poesias Speaking con su Sombra. Bilingual poems inspired by and dedicated to mi Mami who passed away in 2017.

Living in New Orleans, Chicago and visiting South Carolina, Portland and Paris, France has influenced the way I hear language. Being someone who stutters with a speech impediment, I am fascinated with dialects, accents, and languages different from my own. Reading poets like Leila Chatti, Naomi Shihab Nye, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Tiana Clark and Forough Farrokhzad has influenced me to honor my own voice, cultura and lenguas in my own poesia.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Adrian:

My latest collection Speaking con su Sombra that will be published this September with Alegría Publishing. This collection is a passion personal project that I have been writing for over five years. It is only recently that I have discovered the strength to finish these poems that were influenced by mi Mami who’s guidance and inspiration are the reason Sombra is finally being published. I am so proud of this new book. The poems in this collection reflects the true me that I have been afraid to show to the world as a poet. The bilingual aspect shows who I am, where I came from, how I was raised. Sombra is a poetry collection 50 years in the making. My true bilingual voice appears on every page in a personal voz that I hope these poemas will connect universally with my readers.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Adrian: For years I experienced fear and self-doubt that I could actually make a living as a poet. It did not help that when I attempted to read my poems aloud in open mic readings I would stammer and stutter over almost every line. But something changed, one day, at the San Gabriel Poetry Reading, I was in the middle of reciting one of my most erotic poems and something mystical happened to me. As I read, this poem, the words flowed out merging so powerfully with my voice. I realized as I walked away from the mic and when someone in the audience whispered to me after I finished reading, “That was the best poem I have ever read in my life.” This started the path of me making a career as a poet. Soon after this reading, I was accepted and earned my degree from Antioch University’s MFA program, publishing my first book Flashes & Verses…Becoming Attractions with Unsolicited Press. I always was ashamed of my stutter, but after that reading and all I learned while earning my MFA degree at Antioch LA is the reason, I have a career as an award winning/published poet today.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Adrian: Walking with my wife in nature. Reading UK music magazines and biographies on my favorite artists, writers, and musicians. Watching Jeopardy.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Adrian:

I am preparing some readings promoting my latest poetry collection Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing. Things are still in the planning stages. I will post more info on my social media accounts.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? A favorite piece of art?

Adrian:

“I am blessed with impulses. I reproduce myself. I love.”

— Julia de Burgos

My favorite photograph is one my wife and I took, when we were first dating, in front of this glowing fiery fountain at Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Legend has it if a couple take a photo in front of that fountain, you will marry each other. And it came true.

One of my favorite art pieces is The Blue Boy (1770) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) oil on canvas, on display at The Huntington Gallery in San Marino, CA,

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Adrian: Mi Mami, my esposa Michelle, mi Papi, my mentors: Silke Feltz, Dr. Kirsten Ogden, Alma Luz Villanueva, Gayle Brandeis, Carol Potter, Bart Edelman, Richard Garcia, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Francesca Lia Block and Lidia Yuknavitch. They have believed in me and have been a part of this journey that I continue to thrive on and off as a poet of my live on and off the pages I write, every day of my vida as a proud poeta.

with Clash Books

https://www.adrianernestocepeda.com/

https://www.frontierpoetry.com/2018/06/14/the-creative-muscle-an-interview-with-adrian-ernesto-cepeda/

Twitter: @poetnotrockstar

https://www.clashbooks.com/new-products-2/adrian-ernesto-cepeda-la-belle-ajar-preorder

http://www.lunalunamagazine.com/blog/poetry-by-adrian-ernesto-cepeda

Short Bio:

Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing.

His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry.

Adrian is an Angelino Poet who lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”

― Sigmund Freud