The Bible Belt Bachelor Beat, The Prison Speech (2005) Poetry by David L O’Nan

(c) David L O’Nan

The Bible Belt Bachelor Beat

So now the beat was out on the streets again,
Darkness hears the soul’s tears burning within.
Finding home wearing the sadness coat.
Fighting a love affair with a knife wielding holy ghost.
My beautiful girl is at rest, wasting away
She is staring into the darkness – Of this evening’s shade
The horror calls from across the halls,
They were deafening, my silence proved too late
So now I know, how the death bell tolls
I seek revenge, I fuel myself with scorn and hate
To take apart, the crooked heart
Who severed my soul, magician of greed and loath?
Reincarnate myself into the heroin, the addiction
The power rose, the mighty lion, the sorcerer,
The dictator, the cult king
The need to be disillusioned
The creation was to be crazy,
To break apart with newly found powerful hands,
That used to be so gentle.
So fragile and weak,
When I used to touch her cheek
The morning like a celestial daydream,

The haze of fog
Sipped her tears,
When she began to cry
The dryness,
Like a desert for sad brown eyes
This germ will not run, cannot hide
Cannot mutate, I know that I can design
The perfect plan, the perfect kill
Alas, I may become dirt on the way
Dear God, knowing however
His bones are already chilled
Spirits have cried, they dry, they fly
They live in my heart, for my love
That was taken by the evil in a wild heart.

The Bible Belt Bachelor Prison Speech


To all that have been captured
We are breathing the same chipped paint walls,
Yellow urine stained floors, pneumonia air.

The air of a criminal
Locked up, prison guards whistling our death tune.
Death will be coming soon.

We’re already dead in a sense.
Nature is outside, designed for the free man

On a warm sun-lit sand.
The touch of lovers, the natural consumption of lust.
In my cell asleep with the poetry –
I felt when I was one with the free
When I wasn’t practicing bullets
Setting fire to Mother Nature and to faith.
When blizzard walks exuded freedom.
Through the snow chills devouring my feet
With numbing, cutting skin
The pain of past freedom
My name is Dante Moricelli
Her name was Nadine Angelis
You might have read about me
In your wrinkled newspapers, Slippery
phlegm gazettes

The glossy excitement of a Time Magazine.
The mortality sonnet depicting the surrealism in a slippery dream.
Nadine Angelis was my love as the tender years began to fade.
Young, careless, we were the storybook tale of the unsaved.
I will tell you more about my love,
If your ears are tuned to listen “Must
we have a heart, we never listened
before?” “Must we have ears,
To be attentive to your listless self-loathing?” “Must our
maniacal spirit be all and sundry To your hopeless
“Are we peasants to your pulpit?”
“You, bleeding your cold love propaganda in our troglodytic tomb”
“Interrupting the carving of our minds with a fever
That comes from watching roaches scurry down prison floors, Spiders climbing up our
shirts, flies and decay consuming our food”
“Marking x’s on our calendars with our life force fluid,
The countdown to our demise: the foregone conclusion”
But I am a human heartbeat
I was a 5-year bachelor that fell on hard times,
The loss of reasonable thinking,
And a self-confessed stalker of love
So, if what I’m about to tell you –
Were the opening of a movie
The song “Let There Be More Light” Would be
resonant, magnetic to the ears
Illuminating, flashing of lights from psychedelic trips of torture
The horrified manic looks,
As we drive erratically down a desert road.
Passing cacti and breathing in dry arid air
The sun setting down to a dark orange/bright red hell.

The flashes of a nearly perfect capture lay –
In the trunk of a Pontiac Sunbird.
The music, the music like soundwaves to our mind.
We can see the sound
We have become the sound
We have become the light
Passing by leather skinned lizards with masochistic claws,

Wanting to give you one more bite in the jugular before – The eternal
damnation of our soul’s ease.
The serpents black flickering tongue – Spreads
over the heavens
With a Hallelujah Chrysalis of poisoned tears.
We, looking for an escape to find peace again
But, knowing the only written word of our future is that of a Eulogy.
A eulogy given by family members who didn’t know us well enough
to care before.

All because of espionage and jealousy.
And the loss of love that wasn’t understood quickly enough.
The burning of a desert,
The scarring on the face of Mona Lisa
The victim that lay in his own bloodletting on torn towels – and
shredded t-shirts.
With the rips, that remind us
The struggle it was
The determination in us that caused our perfect lunacy to this near
perfect kill.
His false hopes of spiritual happiness
And wellbeing exposed
by his crooked cross on a cut chest.

Even though I’m terrified by the outcome.
As sheriffs, detectives, specialists all pace faster and faster behind our car
of forlorn sin.

The electricity already beginning to pop in our veins! The multiple
trips are scary, long, and all indicative
That we had almost masterminded the perfect crime.

So, now the collapsing rollercoaster ride has ended.
The song has ended.
Let me tell you how we came to this plunge into ridicule and reverie.
I’m Dante Moricelli “the Bible Belt Bachelor”
The name they stamped on me,
I’ve lost all identity and dignity now
I’m just a title, less of a man.
Because I erased a man from existence
Who deserved to die.
He took away the root to my soul,
My dear Nadine Angelis
She made my heart feel, She
made my blood pump
And he twisted my mind into only one way of thinking,
Left me with the confusion

Much like after an aneurysm
The pounding, splitting shards of glass as well
shakes to the wild howls of coyotes.

Releasing small increments of mania.

Poetry from David L O’Nan in the Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers

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

The return & revised version of “New Disease Streets” by David L O’Nan Poetry and stories

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

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!

Poetry: Black Jackets and Boneless by David L O’Nan

Black Jackets and Boneless

from Before the Bridges Fell and also in Hard Rain Poetry Anthology

Baby, we can keep running from this city. We can leave all the devils behind. We can watch as our denim leaves our black jackets and become boneless. Bareless, watching our shoes turn to rubber and dust.

We can drip the oil from our hands from broken cars. From hopes of stolen motorcycles that lay dead in the ditch. We can try to escape those devils behind. Once again, baby. Do you remember the words you said to me? You told me to jump from the bridges and just end it in a moment of anger, of sadness? Do you remember the way you felt when I said you were hopeless?

Do we remember the horrid things lovers say to each other when scared? When angry? When feeling like God isn't watching. Do you still want to run away with me? Do you want to throw our silver rings in the river and watch them float under?

Run with me, let's watch the light reflect off the rocks on a partly cloudy day. Find new life wherever that may be.

I know I can feel blind. And I can't hear your scream when they are whispers. I'm Van Gogh. I feel dead like him too. Maybe I can't see past the fields of flowers of imperfections. I need you to run with me. To find new angels that don't fail us and fall to feathers by our cold feet. The angels that failed me, failed you, but first failed God.

Let's run because we can't stay here. This is where the bridges will fall. This is where the witches cook up recipes in the cauldrons. This is where we will never see each other in the way we once saw each other. 

Black jackets full and run like a rogue, or boneless and bleached out like the skeletons giving up to be buried in shared dirt.

Hard Rain Poetry Anthology U.S. Link
International links on this page. 

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

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

Poetry from David L O’Nan in the Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers


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.

A Review of “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan (review by Ivor Daniel)

Review of Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan. Ivor Daniel

A poem is a bridge built of words and hope.

Before the Bridges Fell takes us to many poems, many bridges. We cross from nightmare to
 light and sometimes back. To a mindscape where a bridge is a crossing, and simultaneously
something to suicide jump off. Bridges across to the murky hopeful past of literature and
 lived experience. And to the tawdry here and now.

In these dubious times of ours we read to escape, but not always into beauty. The
 characters in these poems navigate scripts not fully written, open to doubt and danger. The
 improvisation of their daily lives is hitchhike-ride scary. And these poems nail the truth that
without that risk, we would not journey, would not create.

O’Nan has ‘seen the ruin’, and has kept on living, kept on writing. The poet has witnessed
 humanity ‘Driving erratically and uncaring of a permanent damage’, on

‘freeways full of a new rage blinding -
From metastatic stars on American car plates….
An embolism on a prairie field’.

And further on up the highway, in another poem,

‘you can feel a little rot. When the curves of the road are at your throat’.

O’Nan has seen the banal and the ugly side, and captured it like Hunter S Thompson and
Ralph Steadman captured it, and thankfully for us he has kept on going until we can…

‘Watch the cities become countryside.
And watch humanity float
Off these infertile grounds’.

In these poems there are precious moments when, as in our lives today, we are brought up
short marvelling at moments of beauty (conventional or otherwise) amongst the horror and
the drab;

‘We were cut from the Jerusalem sun.
The pile of rags in the oils of the sand’.

And there are glimpses of nature shining through;

‘The birds digest our mayhem
to the streets’.

And sometimes, there is peace and contemplation…

‘Let me sit another night and feel my completion through a pond full of stars’.

But overall it is the unresolved angst of Americana, of humanity, that bubbles up through the
 sand in these poems, where …

‘lives are just scars
to look at in our corners of a heaven.
We continued gunning down true leaders.
We took the beauty from our land’.

O’Nan is prolific and well-read, and up front about his influences. He has one of his

‘hunting Bukowskis down with bottle cap bitten

In his Acknowledgements O’Nan describes himself as ‘an editor for humans all over the
 world’ and goes on to say that ‘the worldwide writing and reading community is the always
fascinating...beating heart of the world’. This community is indebted to David L O’Nan for
 these pertinent and powerful contemporary poems. And for all the energy he puts into
boosting other poets, and helping that ‘beating heart’ beat.

All the poems in Before the Bridges Fell

‘weave in the beauty and the

This is where we live, between the beauty and the broken. As we navigate the storms and
fevers of the mind, the need to live between the dreams, ‘to brush the teeth, comb the hair’.
To see our deal with society through. This book will help us do that.

A poem is a bridge built of words and hope. 

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

The return & revised version of “New Disease Streets” by David L O’Nan Poetry and stories 

Poetry from David L O’Nan in the Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers

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

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

Reviewer bio: Ivor Daniel lives in Gloucestershire, UK. His poems have appeared in A Spray of Hope, wildfire words, Steel Jackdaw, Writeresque, iamb~wave seven, Fevers of the Mind, The Trawler, Roi Fainéant, Ice Floe Press and The Dawntreader. He has poems forthcoming in After..., Re-Side, Alien Buddha, The Orchard Lea Anthology (Cancer) and The Crump’s Barn Anthology (Halloween). . @IvorDaniel  

Blurb for “Before the Bridges Fell” by me (David L O’Nan) from Robin McNamara

author of “Under a Mind’s Staircase” with Hedgehog Press

David L O’Nan’s poetry reads like the American landscape. Filled with hope, passion and despair. If you like Charles Bukowski then you’ll like these poems. A very relevant poet in today’s indifference to mankind’s suffering and abandonment. There is a strange kind of comfort, a familiarity within the poems like: 

Living in This Toxic Coalmine with the opening lines:

‘There are fields that no one wants to breathe There is a reality in which we cannot be.’

A Coffee Shop Chronicle has the beautiful Bukowski-style lines:

‘She’d drink vodka until 3 A.M. after

Saturday night excursions. She had men

howling for her and laughing at watered down jokes.

She could play violin like Alice Hartoncourt, with the beauty of the moonchild spirit.’

A highly relevant poet for the times we live in who paints an Edward Hopperesque canvas across the pages with his words. Highly recommended.

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

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!