On the Road to Satori – Stray Dog



Stray Dog


I’d come a long way
on the burst of energy
brought on by the disagreement
over that stray dog I’d found at the parking lot
of the shopping mall

it seemed like a good idea
to bring the bitch home

not so
thought my mother
en mi casa ¡No!
ensuing battle
of the will

a smashed windowpane
in the lobby of the apartment
curses torn from my lips
of savage rage

on the road


On the Road to Satori – Bridgeboro


hitchhiker by throwingtwixbars




so here I am
standing on this cold
pavement just west of Bridgeboro
where I once swam in a sea
of confused euphoria
bliss/LSD parties
at Hoegstrom’s
—a tryst in the closet
on a three-by-six mattress

her father—
nose and cheeks bruised
by years of heavy drinking
burst blood vessels feverish bowels
yelling “knock it off in there
you two!” over the noise
of The Moody Blues
…come, ride my seesaw

I met up with some old friends
and spent a week in town

and nearly landed a job
but lost it when I blurted out in
pure angelic sincerity I would
only stay long enough
to get the money
to travel on

my friends left me with
a handshake and twelve dollars
in a creased envelope—alms for
the vagabond drifter

so here I am
headin’ down the road once more
staring at the sleet and cold rain; disillusioned
at the world and its empty values and screwed up
demands on a young man barely
able to hold down
a job

On the Road to Satori – El Paso


town under freeway by joakimolofsson


El Paso


broad daylight
the Highway Patrol
blasting me with their
loudspeaker horn tell me
“get off the highway
no hitchhiking

I walk down into the city
and smell the filth of the Swift-Premium
slaughter-house blood guts and excrement
of processed pig meat in this the new American
Frontier—Mexican Bodega signs in red and yellow
short Spanish women pushing baby carriages
staring at me like a sinister felon just
off the boat from Alcatraz—
what women with babies
fear about strangers

On the Road to Satori – Nuevo Laredo

fountain by cindytenshi (Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas)

I wrote this when Nuevo Laredo was a much different world. This story does not reflect the current state of Tamaulipas, Northern Mexico.


Nuevo Laredo


the guy
from Peru
warned me

“don’t stay in Mexico, man
the federales will beat you up
take your passport

shave your head
and the next time
its off to the calaboza with you!”

we sat in a tiny cantina
in Nuevo Laredo and talked
about the dread Mexican police

who would catch you
without money for a bribe
and rough you up

I believed him
his head shaved
like a convict

three companions
paperless in Mexico
nodding in sincere despair

as we left the taco joint
I saw my wallet was gone

they looked at me startled
fue el mozo! the waiter
he took your bolsa, man!”

pointing at the restaurant in
pure mesoamerican

me not even thinking
turned and walked back
confronted the waiter

he reached down
behind the counter
and pulled out my wallet

with a sheepish grin
and not a gun
or a knife
to my relief

I split from
Mexico right away
and left behind:

my dreams of buying
that handmade Mexican guitar
the guy from Peru
his companions

and the traffic cop
with the bristle brush mustache who
reminded me of the captain
in the Sunday comics’
Katzenjammer Kids

directed traffic around
the little cobblestone circle
and the fountain

madly waving me across
like I’m some long lost son
hair to the sky and the
military duffel bag
over my shoulder
a target for the feds

saying “andale
mijo, andale
por aquí
this way … get out o’ here quick!”

On the Road to Satori – Melancholia




we heard
of a woodstockesque music-fest
playing in Austin

when we got there
the tickets had sold out
so we stood outside in the rain
the gray clay mud sticking to our boots

we took refuge
in Rodrigo’s Volkswagen bus
singing and playing on a borrowed guitar
I improvised in John Lee Hooker time
Jones on the harp in the key of blue
and Rodrigo slapping the beat
on his jeans

… melancholia’s killing me”

Jones and I
wound up hitchhiking back
to San Antonio waiting for a ride
near a Church’s Fried Chicken

the counter guy yelled
through the take-out window
“hey you guy’s hungry?” and handed
us two cartons of chicken
“Happy Thanksgiving”

we had totally forgotten!
we just knew we were cold
wet and hungry—so thank you
Mr. Church’s Fried Chicken man
somewhere outside Austin may
you be repaid in triplicate
for your act of kindness
to two cold and lonely

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