Monthly Archives: December 2012



Pop Bukowski in his coffin
dead as hell
but reaching for one last beer
and almost making it.

Al Purdy

On the stone on my grave
I have asked them to write


And I will

Seeking still
some simile or metaphor

What is it like, or most unlike

Am I below or above
does it taste like dust or love

If I can’t write about it
how will I know I’m dead

How will you know
I’m still alive


In nineteen seventy five
In the rainforests of Venezuela
Eric lived for a year with the Yanomami

He also lived with the Hunkpapa
the little people that only the shamans see
unless you toke what the shamans toke
then you can see them too

When Eric was ready to go home
the Yanomami gathered by the river
and wailed and mourned as if he’d died

Eric says his goodbyes and tries to start his boat
Tuned up, new plugs and all, but it just won’t start

He pulls and pulls while the tribesmen wail

After what seems like a very long time
the shaman comes down to the boat
and asks Eric if he’s sure he must leave

Eric insists again that the time has come

The shaman admits that he has placed
Hunkpapas in the motor to keep him there

He pulls them out one by one
juggling them hot in his hands
and throws them steaming into the river
One pull and the motor starts

In two thousand and twelve in Austin
Eric is ready to go home again
Many wail and wish that he would stay
but he knows that it is time to leave

At times like this it helps
to have a shaman for a friend

John Hawk flies in and reads
Eric’s poems to the Hunkpapas
and watches as the little people leave

It takes a few pulls, but the motor starts

12.12.2012 AND COUNTING

12.12.2012 AND COUNTING

Been out of Austin six months now
two oceans, some rivers, and a sea

Gathering material to throw
into a big pot of Shiner Bock

A pinch of limestone ground real fine
eye of salamander, blind of bat
and horn of ram from the Shiner cap

With branches from an old live oak
leaves still clinging to the stock
a dozen poets stirring the pot
and breathing their words across the top

Watch it bubble and settle and steam
something will scum to the surface soon
haiku to draw through a slender straw
and cups of couplets in rhyming itme

The Mayan calendar is running down
but I’ve got next year’s Marilyn and
ten new poems, and plenty of faith
that awe and Austin will carry on



There have always been therapists

The first one was the snake
who just suggested to Eve
that she open up a little

For six thousand years
he’s been trying to slither out
of a skin our projections
have painted him in

The second one was Eve
who many judge about as low
for passing it on to Adam



And finds that it is mostly
a matter of listening to the other

Honoring equals love, or trumps it,
or extends it, or replaces it nicely

Respect means never having
to say you’re sorry, when you’re not
and will know you’re lying anyway

Hours are fifty minutes long
the other ten a gift from God

He goes home, his feet lighter
for the shadows sown on

He is afraid people
will think that he can’t spell

and means sewn, like Peter Pan
not seeds, and seeds, and soil