Before the Bridges Fell #11: The Devil’s Beach Sonnets by David L O’Nan -poetry

photo/art by David L O’Nan (c)
The Devil's Beach Sonnets

1. The Intro.

They called it devil’s beach behind its
Mercurial cloak of crimson with white splotches
Of daylight, the sun bounces for a while and sits
away from the beach to just watch the love and the insane.

The beachfront stared at me with screwed on eyes
Watched me unmask, bathe in the beggar’s water, a prayer
Gates closing from the ocean to get ahead of the spies,
Waves lifting the walls of my wounds for all insects to crave.

I loved the smell of the algae wift and drift by the pagan seas
The witchery and the owls would rest by on a dark night
To watch the paradise, to watch the hell, the powders, 
the prowlers to breathe
What are my dreams in sand, heart shaped good-byes beaming in bright?
Waking up to the sounds of the ocean’s cello.
I bit my tongue and took in today’s first pill.

2. First Pill

I took in the first pill, and then I imagined us a bedroom
A way to save ourselves from the midnight ammo and hatchets
To get away permanently from my mind,                                                      and you away from your Americana husband
To get lost in your mouth, breathe with your mind,                                          a spell under your blue eyes
To bring back the color of this gray inside, impaled to doom.

There were ways that we had nothing in common
You dressed in beauty and often could be preppy
And I’m the rags of quick cloth, sewed imperfectly
You have the flower rings and a smile that guides me, to your beating heart my dear.

Oh, there were the times, times I wish to have back
That drunken moment you had too much wine and we walked hand in hand with,
 the moving trees or maybe it just seemed. Maybe we just were talking and I just imagined
your naked skin clothed away in a blanket,                                                     on the beach while he was away drinking,
 with his hunters and hookers.

3. Rings

Oh yes with you it has always been pretty rings, flowing hair and dresses
Turquoise tear drops, Poison box presents,                                                  charm me away doll into your closet
I want to see you in the way that God first imagined
Crescent moons and flowers beating like heartbeats, your smile swallows me whole.

Strawberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes
Unwrapping the Amethyst handmade, boho vintage golds.
I want to taste your lips in the everlasting glow, take in all of your taste.
Feel the cosmos peel at the nerve tips of my fingers and hold you in a sway.

Natural Opal, Emeralds and your peach appeal.
I would die to see you wearing that dress in mod cloth again.
I would die with alcohol on my breath, kissing bottles to be broken.
Against the recesses of the walls from sand to water
Watch the blue waves fade with your curved shadows
Pills fade too for a drunken mountain lion.



4. The Glory

My serendipity is skinned from the halos
I return to my glory, as a hobo in a vacant lot
Return to a dream where my fingers are calloused and have no bravado.
Guilt sits in my mud filled shoes. I’ve stalked in the waves.
The acoustics of thunder rains the ink over my withering heart.

I know you're out there pretending to be satisfied with horny princes.
Wearing crowns of camouflage hats and painting your world into a warzone.
I know you love to be called dumb in front of his friends on football Sunday.
I know you want him to admire you in perfect Huaraches like Frida Kahlo.
You will go outside and meditate with the stars. He’ll talk about borders with his
 assassins.

We can both be in the same galaxy, just ours many miles apart.
With our lonely eyes, the cellos, and anti-depressants.
Smell the same skunks many highways away while looking back blindly.
Semi-lights jam my vision, I pray for the collision if not for you.
I’m just a broken ceramic on a shelf.

Before the Bridges Fell #10 : Everyone is Kerouac by David L O’Nan – Poetry

Before the Bridges Fell #9 by David L O’Nan : Living in This Toxic Coalmine – poetry first on Icefloe Press

Before the Bridges Fell Poem #8 by David L O’Nan   “Those Hazels, They Slice” – poetry first published on IceFloe Press.



Before the Bridges Fell #10 : Everyone is Kerouac by David L O’Nan – Poetry





Everyone is Kerouac

It doesn't matter who you are, how you started.
How your mind runs, when you're on the stage.
And he looks at you, he says there goes "Jack Kerouac"

He was the godly catalog model in the suburbs of Milwaukee
A very proper, a very Grandpa's toy Quarterback.
He was alert with the ladies, he knew some poetry he found from a collection of Keats and he read them over and over to them.
And they fell to the floor in love, unless they knew his fraudulent stem.  The smarter girls could spot the false heart from miles away.
He tried to grow in a soul patch and dabble with some weed and next thing you know he thought he was the Earthquake.  
He shook that literary world.  Boy, he's off to New York City at the drop of a hat.

Off in Greenwich Village he pretended he came from the same grass as the Beat Poets and became obsessed by Jack Kerouac.
He'd say "Here sir, here's another $1000, a new poem for you...it is about drifting"   "Please listen to THESE words"  'cause shake your feet in your shoes and tell the New York Times you've just met van Gogh and Buddha too. 

Yes, he'd strut poetry through the streets.  Attaching a bongo to his back.  While the burnt weenie aroma hit the air.  He'd just laugh and laugh.   "Hey there girl with the gas leak apartment, let's go stay at the Chelsea Hotel, I know a few folks back there and they'd definitely get us On the Road"   He'd hit the subway with his Andrew Jackson style messed hair and jumped around high on amphetamine and like an elfin, whistling & snapping his fingers.  He'd just try to breathe and breathe.   

The women began to see a fake. Funny how every coffeehouse he'd visit he'd be holding that faded copy of "Dharma Bums" 
"Hey barista mama, I hate that media man, did you hear what they said about my poem I submitted to the Times? It will make you mad"

It didn't take long before his butt was back on a bus towards the Midwest.  Settle down in Indiana farms, cows, horses, shit, paint everywhere.   Writing that same poem about being angry about the news.   That news from 1980 when Ronald Reagan became a repeat to your fading memory.  Every year it is just the same.  The poetry like your soul patch began to grey.

And you see him stoned and deadpan at an art exhibit,  you see him cancelling other people that try to steal his show.   He is lit to the moon and talking about his squirrel habitat house.  He's wondering where that lady he saw outside and invited to the Chelsea Hotel is still alive.  "Oh, why she's his biggest fan and follows him into his own fame"  While everyone is a dairy farm caught ablaze, "in his mind" he is walking through the Village and making Oil Rag Frakensteins and tossing them into the frame to burn the world into art that no one had ever seen.  He'd read you "The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who... burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles." straight from Kerouac.   He'd say this one is for Ginsberg, this one is for Hunter, and this one is for Ferlinghetti. The old feller he's just in another dream. 

And now he's just blaming his old behavior on all of the stale midwest air, reading political quotes and acting as if he can predict which way his weed smoke will blow in the air during a windstorm.
Maybe he also had a gas leak that he could blame all his flirty ways with the girls half his age, and then drink with the cougars from the bars.   He'd write an avant-garde poem about the death of Burroughs, while the older women would swift away and flirt with the younger poets right in front of their girlfriends or wives.  They are there for a drink and act like art is their life.

Years later he is hyperventilating on the steps of a downtown flood. In the heart of a homemade College kid gentrified neighborhood. 
Breathing in, weed smoke out, breathing in, just laughs

"Kerouc, man, Kerouac, and...and...and..Burroughs"..... "Yeah"


Before the Bridges Fell #9 by David L O’Nan : Living in This Toxic Coalmine – poetry first on Icefloe Press

Before the Bridges Fell Poem #8 by David L O’Nan   “Those Hazels, They Slice” – poetry first published on IceFloe Press.

Poem #7 from Before the Bridges Fell: Scattered Christmas Garbage by David L O’Nan – poetryPoem #6 Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Are Running My Prints” – poetry




Before the Bridges Fell #9 by David L O’Nan : Living in This Toxic Coalmine – poetry first on Icefloe Press

Photo filtered by David L O’Nan of a coalmine.

Living in This Toxic Coalmine
first published in Icefloe Press  
There are fields that no one wants to breathe
There is a reality in which we cannot be

I wait for you to heal, as you wither like the sand
I wait for your angels to come by and build a temple with your hands

You’ve breathed in the blackest of beasts
That smother the air within the flow of these demons

Within our heart is little shards of twisted quartz
The crystals that cut through like minuscule crowns

The devil’s wind rips at the brim of my hat
I’ve got old souls dancing and trying to read the word to me

They know I’m no longer feeling human, I’m becoming a wooden boy
Talking like a stranger, fumbling sickly with his oil can toy.

Diseases like loves are just the flesh of charred whispers
Both feel the burns to the pores.
Sunlight can only wave in the hope to our deepest core

We’re tired of this burning, these shovels
The mouthing rambles of some fake heroes

Broken nose old men become experts at living
As they work on that same carburetor in that ‘95 Ford Taurus every day.

The sunshine has browned the roots of the grasses.
The heat has freckled me to the bones.

Through a life worth living we’ve all felt the worst grief
Some predators and sinners drink in to become their personalities
They’ve watched as the women weathered all the pedals
Under the icy stares from the devil in their men.

The minds that we all see as windows
Always think that they are invisible

The blackest of beasts may not be a pandemic
But the beasts that walk within one’s nerves, flesh & mind.
The darkness of the coal-seam fires
Leave the purity of what is underground to rise up to murder our hope

The mines are vibrating to combustion
The little stones quiver around my pulse
The pulsating veins quake like that bituminous coal
The canary flew in to sit on the wall just to become a wooden body.

The self-igniting madness of families severed by the greed
A pandemic could have been tamed
The spreading of ashes just splintered our breathing, and left us leathering.

Before the Bridges Fell Poem #8 by David L O’Nan   “Those Hazels, They Slice” – poetry first published on IceFloe Press. 

Before the Bridges Fell: English to French and Italian Translation of Clearly! by David L O’Nan  CLAIREMENT! and CHIARAMENTE!

Poem #3 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Had Sadness in Their Eyes (like in Littleton)” – poetry

Interview with EIC David L O’Nan with Anastasia Abboud on Grains of Sand : About how I write, my weird thoughts and a few of my revised Cohen Avalanches in Poetry Poems.

Republished Poetry/writing: Move on Up by Jacqueline Doyle

Move on Up

previously published in Rhythm n Bones Lit Issue 6 Love

1.

On my 18th birthday my friends threw a party in my room in a big high-rise dorm in Ann Arbor and someone gave me a new LP by Curtis Mayfield. He was wearing shades and beads and yellow bell-bottoms on the album cover. I don’t remember who gave me the record, just that there were still turntables then, and there was a candle burning, and patchouli incense, and I went out in the snow that December night after the party with a boy I liked and left the candle burning and the record playing and we took a long, long walk and we could see our breath in the air, the snow was heavy and wet, and when I pressed my nose against a store window, the glass fogged up, and I turned to him and laughed and then he kissed me. I can’t remember the boy’s name, just that he had blue eyes and a cleft in his chin, and I know he didn’t become my boyfriend, but that was the year of boys, lots of boys. When we got back to my empty room, wool coats sodden with melting snow, the LP was still turning and it was covered with candle wax, a perfect circle. I kept it because the flip side was still fine. “Move on up,” Curtis Mayfield sang, “Just move on up.”

2.

I was wearing purple bell bottoms with a front flap and two rows of buttons instead of a zippered fly when I met my first husband, who later gave me The Eagles’ Hotel California for my birthday, mostly because of the song that started “She came from Providence,” because he came to Providence to visit me and then stayed for two years. I vividly remember a party at the clapboard three-story house where we were living with six or seven people and two dogs and a lot of cats. That is, I remember candles flickering on the windowsills and the skunky-sweet smell of marijuana and dancing with him to “Hotel California” in the dark, almost empty living room after the party, but I must have the soundtrack to that memory wrong because we were living in Germany by the time that album came out, not in Providence. The candle melts, the record spins. My heart broke, my heart healed, the memories went round and round until I fell in love again and ended up in California.

3.

My second husband and I were in grad school in upstate New York when we fell in love. We went out every Monday night to hear live blues, and when his hand brushed the bare skin on my neck near my shoulder, the hairs on my arms stood up, electrified, and I knew that I would sleep with him, but not that we’d fall in love and move to California and marry and have a son and still be together more than thirty years later. During those decades I stopped listening to LPs and switched to tapes and then CDs. Last Christmas our son gave us a new turntable and we’re listening to our old LPs again—Santana, Muddy Waters, The Doors, Chuck Berry, Curtis Mayfield (side A), others I’d long since forgotten. We never give parties, not big parties, but on my husband’s 49th birthday we threw an “Almost 50” party with catered barbeque and plenty of drink and long tables with candles in the back yard and a DJ who played oldies and as twilight fell we danced to Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love with You” together. The August night air was warm, fragrant from the waxy white blossoms on our lemon tree, his arms around me familiar, his touch on the bare skin between my t-shirt and faded jeans still electric. Fifty must have felt like some kind of destination, but the records spin, the years go round and round, good years and hard years, everything’s the same but unexpected, the candle burns, we move on up.

Bio from 2019: Jacqueline Doyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her award-winning flash fiction chapbook The Missing Girl was published by Black Lawrence Press. She has recent flash in Little Fiction/Big Truths, Ellipsis Zine, Juked, Sweet, The Collagist, and elsewhere. Find her online at www.jacquelinedoyle.com and on twitter @doylejacq.

Before the Bridges Fell Poem #8 by David L O’Nan “Those Hazels, They Slice” – poetry first published on IceFloe Press.

Those Hazels, They Slice

first published in IceFloe Press https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-david-l-o-nan/

Remembering, those memories
Before the seclusion
To memories of you,
Somehow you made it from Limerick to Lane Fork
A creek full of snakes
They intrigued you to say
More snakes than angels here
Then you laughed
Níos mó nathracha ná aingil anseo
In our early twenties with hazels that wondered

Remembering, for many months
Trying to catch the butterfly
To dance with before the thunder bled on us
I had you within sight,
You were a millennial hippy in bellbottoms on Thursdays
By Friday you were vintage chic in a La Mendola dress
I’d long for you while hearing Sarah’s song playing in my head
Sharon from the Vampire Killers,
Your passion was to be Sharon from the Valley of the Dolls
And you, you drifted with hazels that sliced

Now we are children of 27.
You the Irish starlet searching for the dream
Stuck with a follower in love, a boy created in the dirt of the Midwest
Gravel chaffing your boho chick boots
We have to keep moving to keep your mind still
From Nashville to Kansas City to Yokohama for a week
We bled money from mud caves to gold mines
Until we shelved ourselves and began to pity as rats –
On the skim of the raising floods of New Orleans
The comedy of fools we entered drunk for many years
And your hazels lined with red in the castle of your soul

Twenties to Thirties,
Drinking and falling deeper to the sins
In passions you ran away,
I lay dire as the lone wolf
And still give you chance after chance
Dreaming of our rainjackets clashing on Toulouse
Wasting away in the downpours,
Our shoes getting stuck in sewer grates
Where are you now?
To new protectors, to new thieves
To talent scouts on Magazine Street
Your hazels looked to me and you say
sorry, no more kisses. I have to say goodbye
brón orm, gan póga níos mó. Caithfidh mé slán a fhágáil
What a tease as I fall to a prayer

Memories aren’t easy in the Big Easy in a lockdown
Coltrane’s “Blue Train” is growing more static and hisses
I just see those hazels, slice and say goodbye
Like your dizzy wake-ups before you drink your first drink
This song plays me like a straitjacket
And I dream of escaping on a ferry boat and hiding away
To one day escape your eyes and fall into the waters that’ll sway –
Sway me back to my youth and the worries I did not have.
The memories are my seizures
To my madman bones melted into your old Mahogany chair

Are you in your destiny,
Are you in love
Are you protected from the diseases,
Have the diseases took your identity
Has your fashion turned to rags
Have your men gone from Polanski to a black & white photo of our past
Are you enfolded to someone to cling to in the dying days of sunsets?

I’m not sure I can move past those hazels that sliced
Not knowing is just as bad as ever having you around.
The ashes spit down from the attic. The dust settles down my feet
It all becomes a haven for the depression to circulate within me.
And I whisper to myself, as if I were talking to the memory of you like a ghost.
to live alone, I don’t really know if I can. Without you, can I?
le maireachtáil liom féin, níl a fhios agam an féidir liom. Gan tú, an féidir liom?

Poem #1 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan: Narcissism Taxi Cab Parades – poetry

Poem #2 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan :Black Jackets and Boneless- Poetry

Poem #3 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Had Sadness in Their Eyes (like in Littleton)” – poetry

Poem #4 “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan Remembering Carol Andersen

poem #5 Before the Bridges Fell : Fevers of the Mind to Inspire Artwork Series (2009) by David L O’Nan – poetry

Poem #6 Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Are Running My Prints” – poetry

Poem #7 from Before the Bridges Fell: Scattered Christmas Garbage by David L O’Nan – poetry

Before the Bridges Fell: English to French and Italian Translation of Clearly! by David L O’Nan CLAIREMENT! and CHIARAMENTE!

Interview with EIC David L O’Nan with Anastasia Abboud on Grains of Sand : About how I write, my weird thoughts and a few of my revised Cohen Avalanches in Poetry Poems.