A Rooster Trilogy – Morning’s Chanticleer

Morning’s Chanticleer

in a narcoleptic moment of reflection ~ a dirge


As the sun pushes the grey mists of morning across the sands. currents rush into the houses. down | windows accept an invasion. brisk | thickets and blankets of pillows and light. dream catchers | apparitions bleed into twilight. a shadow lingers past the night. 

To touch the grey. I reach | to clasp the mist. I feel | to hear the whisper. I strain | energized by sadness. tears of waking disappear the night | a figure blocked by sunlight. a voice from the stairs, a face in the clouds | wisps of morning obscure the marsh. there! in the sunlight—you vanish. 

Please don’t shake me from these slumbers. delve in shallow breath | let me rest in my wanting. sleep | for you have beat me long enough. let go | I never asked for this. the tortured memories | my life waits for endless roads. 

::The ocean is a wall that blocks the current. the sun explodes the night. long but the days are shorter | a life deferred is a life lost. 

Was I your servant or your muse? deadlocked | a flight to the Seahorse Nebula on Orion’s back. a walk on deserts with Don Juan—peyote visions | mescal. delirium tremens | pink elephants. ahor | a flashback to those good ol’ times! taste the cotton mouth. spittle washed down with Orange Crush. 

::Into the sun. Icarus mourned but not forgotten. burnt—all future flights canceled until further notice, damn! I missed that plane. the Jefferson | but gained a button for my panic. 

Aged men on limestone walls. frescoes | they look with wonder. admonish the lame | war was never meant memorial. eyes ravaged by sight | shadows hide the pain. veneers | tears hide the anguish. cheers! | we drank to the living and smote the dead! of this pain there is no end | repeat: of this pain there is no end | only the vapor of fading lamplight. 

Prisoners grapple with bars. clutching | “Any day now…” they cling to the words of a vagabond. a child’s cry | a thief robs the house but leaves the night-light. on | a couch stolen. a sleep disturbed | empty pockets haunt the evening. derelict drifters and wanton wolves | wharf rats scuttle the harbor. hungry. 

::Mt. Shasta is a cold and lonely bitch in winter. trains spot run | it soars above the tree line. frozen—sun mottled | wake to the sound of a rooster’s crow. ka-doodle-doo! | or was it you that I heard? Hallucinations sneak past the gates. 

::A wise man once shared his dreams. said 

I can’t even think
to remember,
tho’ I know it
was something
quite clear. 

did I hear your voice
on the mountain that day,
or morning’s chanticleer? 

I know how easy
dreams are broken
when out of thin air
they appear. 



Originally published on: Dec 9, 2017 


A Rooster Trilogy – Doc Martens Sambas and Cigarettes



Doc Martens Sambas and Cigarettes



Eyes stare down corridors, blank at walls | linoleum tile and sterile góndolas | black wheels, rubber and steel | concise therapists probe density | evolve solutions, misconceptions—life is a cherry, hard pits and sour.

You roll the dice, draw lonely highways | search night’s crooked roads —creep with silent tires on gravel, lakeside—moon bright overhead. Stars fall. Winter follows | life is a carnival: bright lights and sorrow. Children play dress up, line up at school | lightning and thunder clap ::an omen. Just before you collapse | leaves you shaken—eating disordered | flaking skin like a moth in the flame | the sacred cows and the sacred vows spoken | dreams goals and values broken | swear words promises, spit in rage—bridges burned. Freedoms chosen.

::tho’ life seems to run like the wind, it takes a miracle to win—delusion and grand devices don’t matter, you give up on one and wait for the latter | stand at the threshold desperate and worn | stare at disaster in a garden of thorns | linen bed sheets, newspapers torn, from the bums in the alley you swore to protect | social workers and bachelorettes—community college, nursing degrees | tuition paid by the blood of your sweat | “Doc” Martens, Sambas and cigarettes.

Is it real or is it fake? The dealer on the corner won’t negotiate | cars drive by and curbs draw lines | street cars trolley to the end of the line—your room with a view, your isolate—fortress of solitude, heaven’s gate ::that crown of thorns becomes you, emptiness surrounds you—the sound and the fury of midnight’s crash? It’s only the garbage men picking up trash | the rooster crows and daylight reckons, the morning sun dries the clothes you slept in | dreams like plastic melt in the sun | you’ve climbed the ladder to the top of the rung | your rat race is run.

The seasons come and go with the years, time drifts by like a boat from the pier | paper trails fall from the sky, conspiracy theories drop like dimes | and all that noise about freedom’s chimes? Rings hollow, like a bootlegged rhyme. The whistle and hum of the tightening rope—your lifeline cut, left there to cope. And don’t it all just go to show?

A Rooster Trilogy – Flowers of Dawn


Flowers of Dawn


The sun rises blurred and wrinkled | sky the color of blood. The whirring spin of a circular saw grinds its path on plank | Bang! Bang! nuclear splash, alcohol pools wave headaches on ::music fills the air, the sound of harps | an angelic chorale sings Ave, Maria! | choking throat and rattle of death—a harsh uptake. Wake-up!

::a yellow moon rises over the rooftops, striking | awe in silence. Blue sky dark and twinkling stars meld into street light | alleys cluttered with wine bottles, clink. A cat howls in heat, water washes away the smeared light. Bleary-eyed and broken, I stumble among dust bins and the sediment of the living, crowned | with a golden halo of spirits—God, and Whisky, the One, and the Same | dusty showers of moonbeams glitter | a fedora of the night. A cap of dawn—a screw.


In this city the rooster is strangled by the roar of the automobile, the rush of the hour | a traffic and a cop drags cars through the crossroads—my mind | the Altiplano—the drifter’s horse and the gunslinger on L-dopa | brought to an awkward stutter—angst | plays cat’s-cradle on twisted fingers, an angry gut. A dog’s hair to bite you—a pint of Schnapps, a fifth of Port | cold rinse and spin dry.

A flower | rotted, ready to die. Waiting on Euphoria, the downhill slide | the Eternal groan—and that dark, slow suicide ::but that’s OK. I’m doing fine.

On the Road to Satori – Alice Texas

the hitchhiker by christiano bill

the hitchhiker by christiano bill

Each one of these stories is like a small window—a motion picture into observations made during a period of travel during the early 1970’s. I hitchhiked the roads of America and spent the years that followed in reflection. These poems are what grew from that soil.

They are to be enjoyed, read as rhythmic rolling narrative. They need no explanation except that, with a few exceptions, they tell a story that follows—one title to the next.

Pablo Cuzco


Alice Texas

in the wee hours
of a pitch black Texas night
in Alice bound for Nuevo Laredo

the road deserted
not even a gun-rack pistol-packing
Texas Truck in sight

no drivers dusted
from too many hours
entertaining the yellow line
looking for a rider to take the wheel

the rattlesnakes chattered
the coyotes yip-yip-yip-aye-ayed
into the pitch-black prelude
to the dawn

a thousand miles from nowhere
with nowhere left to go
a lost and lonesome
highway vagabond

the rumble down ten-wheeler
that eventually picked me up
was headed for Freer

blaring rhythm and blues
on the AM band cracking
and squawking like a CB radio

left little room for conversation
yelling over the noise
grinding gears and rattling truck parts

“Leroy Simmons—glad to meet you
Headin’ far?” Nuevo Laredo
“I can take you part of the way”

the Sonoran Desert
a desolate stretch of highway
Mexico—twenty-five miles to the south

Originally published on November 12, 2014

On the Road to Satori – Haight-Ashbury

circles by orzz


” Joaquín doesn’t live here anymore. . .


he died of the Vietnam War
—from drugs and alcohol.”

—it’s what I tell whoever asks
about my brother these days


I remember Joaquín
he’d fill my head with stories
about his time stationed at Treasure Island
on leave while in the US Marines
after his tour in ‘Nam

the summer of ’67, San Francisco
the long-legged blonde hippies on Haight sitting
on the sidewalk with blue eyes staring,
spaced out…sit down I
think I love you

Eric Burton
at the Fillmore—before
there was an East and a West—
singing blindfolded, stoned
smoking a cigarette
tempting the edge
of the stage
—tuned in
turned on
and dropped out
from the British Invasion

the yellow corn-cob pipe
and the nickel bag of Vietnamese
smuggled on the plane. I closed my eyes to
Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, my thoughts a stream
of moving pictures, eyes closed
in an instant, opened
to a new sense
of time and

On the Road to Satori – The Baby Blue Peugeot


peugeot 404 by zarkwebic


The Baby Blue Peugeot


winter was heading my way
the eternal summer
of the Southwest calling
I hooked up with two guys
and an old ’63 Peugeot
headed for Arizona

we kept the baby blue sedan running
twenty-five hundred miles
across Pennsylvania
along old Route 66
through Ozark hills
to the Oklahoma Panhandle

we cooked refried beans
over an alcohol stove
and popped cans of Coors
—you can only buy them
West of Tulsa—

they said

on rolling plains dotted
with clusters of trees
near a winding brook
on a night blistered with stars
we drank Rocky Mountain water
from a flip-top can

On the Road to Satori – Tucumcari

it’s a lovely day tomorrow by BWS




just outside Tucumcari
at a gas station
bar and grill

the attendant
in Levi jacket and jeans
pulls a lid from behind the counter
says twenty bucks

reminds me of workers
I met in New York
who were from Chile
wore cowboy boots
and red bandannas
and spoke so colloquial
they could barely understand
when I spoke Nuyorican

I listen to the jukebox
soft guitars and fiddles
old 30’s western sound of
hobos travelin’ singin’
songs in Spanish!
“Is this what you guys
listen to out here?”
the guy says “Yeah

he doesn’t get it
this stuff is not
on the radio
back East
this stuff
is precious

as I write I realize
I never got to hear
that music again

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