Rambling Woman BluesAll my biscuits are broken,
and I'm eating the crumbs.
Sometimes you just take it
any way that it comes.
Oh, my baby is rambling,
and I can't track her down.
It's three weeks tomorrow
since she rolled out of town.
And I know she's a good girl
and she won't do me wrong,
but the days are so empty
and the nights are too long.
I ate all the oysters
and I'm down to the shells.
You know we all do things
that none of us tells.
And my best friends are tired
of me singing the blues -
well, if I told the truth, friends,
I'd say I'm tired too.
But I need a companion
when I get so lowdown.
When my friends say, "Good night, Slim,"
the blues stick around.
When my baby gets back here,
I will send them away.
I'll say, "Thanks for your time, blues,
I don't need you today."
Every cat has its whiskers,
every dog has its day.
When your baby is rambling,
got to see it that way.
NOTHINGThe devil is in my televisionNOTHING in Free Verse More Like This
Antennae horns replaced with cable
Siren Temptress Bitch
Hawker of all things useless
Bloated trucks with testosterone voices
Drugs to ask your doctor about
Car insurance for cars
Life insurance for lives
Lives condensed to an hour
for the short of memory
Voyeur TV 24/7
Ersatz reality and faux news
Six hundred channels and
nothing to see
Constructioni built a manConstruction in Free Verse More Like This
blue and shuffling
suitcase body on
blood and bones
i built a man
hands with eyes
feet with teeth
sleeping standing up
i built a man
Impressionistcigarette smokeImpressionist in Free Verse More Like This
above the billiard
the patrons in
bar talk of
art and ass
out of the studio
into the streets
into the fields
but for now...
Toulouse and Paul
in a smokey corner
pick up the
HafizHafiz is loveHafiz in Free Verse More Like This
to a fiery proof
He sings a clarion
in crystalline voice
SharonBy chance alone I was hereSharon in Free Verse More Like This
To witness your passing
Your black velvet painting eyes
So large and luminous
Could have seen me off instead
Now a Nymph for all time
Clamor for attention
The mind a blur of well meaning
Suffering my foolish self
I try and let you go
As if I have some kind of power
Over these things
TOURISTI live in a tourist townTOURIST in Free Verse More Like This
I choose to welcome visitors
They are so happy to be here
Out of the cold and into the sun
How can I not be happy for them?
Smiling as I ride my bike past them,
they respond with smiles of their own
A perfect exchange
Costing nothing except a pleasing
mild exertion of facial muscles
If I thought like a business man
I would think it a good return
on my investment
The thought makes me smile
YOUI have run from your dense star,YOU in Free Verse More Like This
but have no velocity to escape.
I had you confused with
the buddhas in the middle of the Interstate.
Confused with the misologists
poisoning my water and
searing my eyes shut with corporate branding irons.
That is not you.
You are still camped in
my field of lavender
waiting for my wounds to stitch.
You are patient.
You are not a shrill voice.
You are not on the Interstate.
You are in my heart.
You are as strong as love
and elusive as humility.
Because you breathe,
Waking DreamGuests came uninvitedWaking Dream in Free Verse More Like This
Some stayed all night
Some just long enough
I was told I acted strangely
I asked if they were really here
Where here was, also in question,
but Peyote Woman did come
Thick blue black braided hair
With black hole eyes
No iris, only placid pupil
Sitting quietly, listening
Full skirt bunched up around her
Colorful blouse and shawl
She did not speak
This did not concern me
In the morning I am taller
I walk silently on cement
Looking down, I see shadows
of the soles of my boots
The shadow soles walk beneath me
I float above the sidewalk
Surprised to be so high
I fumble for a cigarette
One falls slowly to the ground
Gently hits and two cigarettes bounce back up
Only to fall back, hit again to become four
Soon I am surrounded
Thousands of cigarettes dancing under
And around my boots
This does not concern me
There is a war raging far away
Soldier brother pawn dressed to kill
Helmet, uniform, gun and ammo
He is hiding from the enemy
In the bushes along my side
NativePlantains towering, Goliath of the herbsNative in Free Verse More Like This
Great wide leaves filter the sun
Temple of green light
Two small black eyes, shiny peppercorns
Peer at me from under her home of fruit
My friend with the melodious name
Looks cautiously down
I look up at her
She does not understand that I love her
WORLDStell the story little oneWORLDS in Free Verse More Like This
speak in a long dead tongue
resurrected for our benefit
tell of non-existent creatures
building non-existent machines
hurtling through a non-existent world
pure joy of fantasy
heart bursting simple love
lessons well taught to
listen to those machines!
thumping and roaring about
the child stands in the prow
speed of light and dreaming faster
the world splits in half and then
splits again, only to form new worlds
she risks all and wins most every time
most every blessed time
she is an artist now
dueling with quick sand
her weight crushes mediocrity
she flies between split worlds
still singing in that ancient tongue
Grass AngelSunsplashed buildings, clear blue skiesGrass Angel in Free Verse More Like This
No traffic, no pedestrians; silence.
The end of June, the end of music.
No birds, no wind, no dreams
except this one.
This clinical, sterile dream,
Inside looking out
As the sun slowly makes its way
across the sky,
The only sound is the ticking clock.
I'm going outside to make a grass angel.
RecessionA man on fire walked calmly out of the building, through glass doors that were maybe there, maybe not. Hit the bricks, pound the pavement, skin a cat or two. I saw what he was thinking, it formed a black cloud above his head.Recession in Free Verse More Like This
He thought of old photographs and wicker furniture, of how dark it was inside for all of those plants to thrive. He thought of chances taken and opportunities missed. The monologue in his burning head was a constant buzzing fly, a death rattle.
Old TV shows, bad poetry, seasons, songs and metalworks; nothing could shut out the memories or calm the storm inside. Treading water, he wished that he could fly again. Over the horizon he walked, never seeing the starving child scuffling along behind.
A man on fire disappeared from the picture plane today, through glass doors that were maybe there, maybe not. Hit the road, Jack, make tracks, don't step on a crack. Leaving dust and ash, smoke-feathers and birthday candles, he receded.
DrownBlackness at three AMDrown in Free Verse More Like This
Books of hymns
Ribbons, wreathes, smoke
Phone calls from the dead
These things I know
Lambchops and RazorbladesLamb-chops and razorblades, barbed wire dessertLambchops and Razorblades in Free Verse More Like This
Blackhand man resurges, gather 'round;
Shadows eat the light, he eats the shadows
Blackheart bound with rough twine, engorged;
with sweet dreams turned to sour mash
with fear of echoes on twilit playgrounds
with summer's sudden screendoor slam ending
with attic wigstands cooing sick-sweet things
Head-cheese and shrapnel, red lipstick dessert
Blackhand man resurges, gather 'round;
Moths eat his clothes, he eats the holes
Blackheart bound but bursting out, engorged;
with severed birdwings falling from the heights
with rotten fruit boiling in fly-filled bins
with spineless slithering things that were tomorrows
with hollowness, vertigo, stitches-rending pain.
AwakeCracked an eye;Awake in Free Verse More Like This
still a smooth blanket of dark.
Pebbles rolled and fell behind.
Glue unstuck, the pebbles reached
the brain and sang, scooting
across a nicotine urge,
Urination, caffination, nicotine-ization.
The inner chittering and chattering,
never still, loud and
Screeching sirens for the pebbles
to bound against.
GrappleGrapple with my brain in flamesGrapple in Free Verse More Like This
Wrestle limb from trunk, and popeyed
Head spins, gasoline ignites incantations
Sweet relief is in another eye somewhere
Else, far away fuzzy, the war's in here
And mad crows work the cogs of revelations
Hurry on now, we can't last (long), not in all this
Up and gone, the winter's sock is on
The doorknob, the blackout of sensations
Sell your dreams to the man in back for
Two dollars and an old fruithat, but
Trenchcoat dreams aren't up for presentations
Goodbye and gone, we travel now in
Two different planes, ash and snowcapped bone
(I never meant for us to rhyme in my expectations)
So CallousThe peoples of the road-filled seaside plainSo Callous in Free Verse More Like This
damned a canyon
for the sake of mathematics
Balance was not their god
Duration was not their destiny
Multiplication was their dying
riprip off the clothes and bandagesrip in Free Verse More Like This
there you are
you and all your scars
let us see you
you have lived
you have lived
thank your good luck
you fortunate one
so many never got the chance
or took it if they did
thank your good luck
you fortunate one
tinyA tiny aeroplane flutterhums through the liberty of the sky.tiny in Free Verse More Like This
Quiet sky of autumn or of spring.
Nothing is more lonely or more beautiful.
I am there, looking out on random forms.
abacusThe wooden frame of my abacusabacus in Free Verse More Like This
warped from seasons of wet rain
Message clear as desert air
I took apart the frame
and let the beads of counting fall
now my days are numberless
Luna Cityby the light of the wild moonLuna City in Free Verse More Like This
the crazies flail without a beat
on burning city streets
homeless is not a number
it's a man who's not alive, but twitching
spirit is just an itch inside
and not an inspiration
who would want to breathe
when the only air is flames of cars and buildings
sparks and ashesThe worlds and sunssparks and ashes in Free Verse More Like This
are sparks and ashes
of the universe that was
All our wonders
grand and great
those scenes of interstellar awe
those lifeskins wrapping planets
are all mere dust of
the Magnificence that exploded and is gone
persian catpersian catpersian cat in Free Verse More Like This
The grey and one-eyed
hissed at me
and at my hat
It had tried to kill a sable once
which cost an eye
and lifelong rest
A sable's an expensive beast
The one that made my winter cap
incensed the cat
which smouldered yet
as I passed by
into the snowbound
Stones were placed there
in long and ragged rows
Not like the ones in circles
that seem like spirits
of the earth
speaking of ancient Scottish shores
and Cambrian hills
The rows were mirthless
moss-grown signs of those
who never quite lived free
speaking of nothing
nothing said to me
whom once the buried
tried to kill
and whom they could not now
Lancelot Price 2011 July 03
a simple excretionIf I were a pigeon, I'd shit the filth the world made me eat back down on the evil officechurchcastle towers it came from, then I'd fly down into the sea, swim away underwater and hold my breath until I almost died, and only come up when I absolutely had to and could breathe new air above new water.a simple excretion in Philosophical More Like This
islandsislandsislands in Free Verse More Like This
I look down and see the islands
from my seat inside this plane
a new level of existence
a new dimension
I'm so used to living in the land of flat
no altitude, no height from which to see
down of the fluffy white
Atlantis, the Utopia
the place to live
when I matched velocity with clouds
stepped out on their wondrous heights
I fell like a stone
Lancelot Price 2011 July 10 01:03
skywritingThey say that in the ancient daysskywriting in Free Verse More Like This
writing on sky was commonly done
And yet in these old modern times
we no longer write, but simply haze.
pale moonshine lustre lost in dullest grey
how I wish that we descendents
had still some beautiful words to say
to write within
the untouchable sky
CagesCages in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I grew up in a war-shaped cage.
I dodged the snipers and the dogs,
and wished for fighting on some days
when there were tests to take in school.
In time the war-shaped cage gave way
and all of us alive were freed,
though fools kept every broken piece
and seek and seek to bring it back.
Shall I show you my pain-shaped cage,
or tell you who is here with me?
There is no need. Reach out your hand
to those who share your own with you.
Do you call love a heart-shaped cage?
You are mistaken, if you do.
Love is a freedom, though it binds;
a precious freedom, one of few.
Some call the world a life-shaped cage,
and say we must prepare and wait
for all that hides and lies beyond
the small cage of our living days.
I say out loud that they are wrong.
The world is not a cage at all,
though many have been made by fools
and we may always live with pain.
This life is freedom, yours and mine
lift up your head and freely draw
a breath you will not draw again.
Enough for now, enough for love.
In FlightA. pays the seven dollars for a beer,In Flight in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the flight attendant takes his twenty
and says that she will bring change shortly.
He pops the top and pours the beer with care,
waits for the foam to go. With seatbelt tight
and armrest lost to someone on his right,
he can barely move. He is snug as his son
in a denim carrier on his chest all those
years ago, and as content. He is safely
out of touch, can do nothing for anyone,
nor be asked to. He can lift his plastic cup.
He can sip beer through the remaining foam.
He can lower the cup. He can do no more,
so lets himself feel no more need be done.
Alone a while, and glad to be alone -
A. was away, and now is coming home.
ElegyThat ever-circling hawk you see is death.Elegy in Free Verse More Like This
It never leaves your sight; is air its home?
Alas, it mastered air so it may hunt.
It may come down so fast and steep one day
that none could see it dive, yet you are gone.
Today you are too big, you are too strong.
But you will shrink, you will become a mouse.
Or death will grow till all your size and strength
are vain, and float mere inches overhead,
then take you with a twitch of its great beak.
It will take all you are, or nearly all.
The love you had for others and the love
they had for you cannot be caught or held
by talon or by beak, cannot be lost.
As death soars up again and circles on,
is it enough, that only love is left?
Say yes or no, just as you will. Say yes.
You see the way we sitYou see the way we sit and how we leanYou see the way we sit in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
toward one another, then sit back again.
We sip our coffee, say, "You should try this,"
and lift our forks to one another's lips.
Do talk and easy silence make it seem
there is no tension left to make us one
with all the heat and sweetness one might dream
or drive us far apart if it become
too taut and snap? Perhaps you tell yourself
that all is settled and no questions left
when two have been together for so long?
It is not that there are no questions left.
We ask them often, more than you would guess,
we ask them every day - and answer yes.
Barbed Wire BalladBarbed Wire Ballad in Free Verse More Like This
Bring more barbed wire. Bring the heavy rolls
of twisted steel and metal thorns. Wear
heavy gloves, unspool the wire from the roll,
make loops atop the wall. Bring more.
Bring more barbed wire. Here are metal stakes
on which it may be hung. Go on and on.
Here is a wire cutter for when we are done,
but that will not be soon. Bring more.
Bring more barbed wire. Here are people
to keep out, there are people to confine,
here a place to make secure, here we are
on our side, thank God. Bring more.
Here are people, there are people,
here a border, here a barrier,
here are places, here are people,
here a wall and here the wire. Bring more.
My love, there is a ghosti.My love, there is a ghost in Free Verse More Like This
My love, there is a ghost
who follows at your feet-
she sleeps on the black of your piano keys,
losing her fingers on the muted white,
with champagne lips and sunflower hair.
(she's warming your sheets,
foraying your dreams)
In the summer, they bury me under the sand.
(You) wash over my shoulders,
as I float off to sea.
"A heart- your heart
is coral blanched."
The sound of your music is haunting me.
Die Slowlyi'm tired of breaking up with meaning - she's as cageless and unfaithfulDie Slowly in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
as a life full of grace and hope and so am i, it seems.
i wear your unspoken wish as a dark clasp: the gleam of scales to abrade
the color-paper walls of your chest, thumbs pressing for your sweet dissolution
and open arms for the maniacal hysteria of a sad child's chaos machine
in a twist of hungry prongs that twirl your limbs into a vein wreath.
here, i was built to plunge your delusive dream back into the black hood;
i know it's blind and cruel as a storm, my dear;
dumbly, the grey weight of you will burst without a cloud
and the hellfire left cooling in your eyes will unbalance the galaxy
and gravities will rain your days back into a bottomless hollow.
perhaps i'm just an interloper, a demon trail running from each disaster
to feed a fetish for broken smiles.
quiet barbwire walls
sit and rust with no dispute
Summer, die slowly
starting todaywe're more than sad machinesstarting today in Free Verse More Like This
made to pump out
for empty minded shoppers
i've thrown away my book of codes
straight from æther
clearanceclearance in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
to hell with my soul
and its damnable heart; fire-
sale: first come, best price -
all of my art
is for love
or a lie
Blackbird Pupilsdont look at meBlackbird Pupils in Free Verse More Like This
with those eyes
bluebird green and hazel-ache
mine, already hollowed out
and daily leak-
i cannot bear your
youd see all those wax demonshades
youd know the clockworks run
i read some other poet,
his words were blackice bludgeoners, soundless suturing socket spikes, hammergods, each one,
the last cicada to flee the moult.
but he hasnt the orbs to ruin me.
almost no one has
shirazfound performingshiraz in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
amongst the curios and
fingertip promises in
Times New Roman.
supple wrists, o
tendoned silver thews
that sail on heated zephyrs
above the grasp;
of sighs and bones fore-
telling of table wine and
...This feeling, this disconnection . . . .... in Articles & Interviews More Like This
I remember leaving my body and floating just under the ceiling looking down on myself and that inane medicated grin on my face. I think I left my body out of self disgust: that smile was so untrue to how I really felt.
The dimensions of time and space have been broken, the dimensions of my mind have been broken. I no longer relate to the physical world as it is.
It's like being amongst people you know very well, family perhaps, but they feel like strangers to you. You don't feel that connection, that familiarity. You recognise them, you know them but . . . . . . . you don't feel them, you don't feel a part of them any longer.
It's like that with time and space, the physical dimensions of being, I no longer recognise them as I once did, they no longer have the permanance, the solidity, the reliability they once had. The familiarity is damaged.
In the eyes of this family I am damaged. They can't relate. They don't want to relate. They w
isolationbefore your naked eyesisolation in Scraps More Like This
she tells you
as she undresses
and you listen
her sincere gaze
her direct ways
a subtle uneasy dismay
a fear, an incredulity
her piercing blueness
you can't relate
its not your fault
you cant conceive
beyond your safe normality
how indellible are these hallucinations
the soothing smoothness of her skin
or how deeply this depression grips
the warm enticement of her lips
or how hopelessly enslaved is this
a promised reminisce of bliss
or how remorselessly these administrations,
her honest fingers willing tender caress,
steal her soul, her mind, her true intentions
or how self corrupt feels this psychosis
how her scarred thighs crave gentleness
or how defeated describes these revolving admissions
her imperfections worn like chains of innocence
or how these ups and downs are hit and miss
her simple heart fragile with openness
or how out of her control this really is
an entreaty of her submissiveness
or how she cries herself to sleep at night
in your so
QuixoticI had a cat once, whose name was Agapanther. We called him that because I wanted to name him after the agapanthus flower, but I said it wrong and it stuck. He was a beautiful cat.Quixotic in Free Verse More Like This
His spine was a blue ribbon to match his eyes that twisted when it was too windy, and his fur was like a storm that wouldn't stop until Summer. I'm writing this to remember him, I suppose, because I'm afraid I'll forget him if I don't think hard enough.
I planted seeds in the garden as sultry Summer melted.
Cosmos, I think; little universes in a paper package.
It amazed me thenstill doesthat you could pack up life like that
And put it into the hot soil a few centimetres deep
Then a few months later bursts of red and orange
Would fill up the clay pots that had been showered with rain for so long
And absorb the sunlight that returned again.
I finished building a home for my last seed and stood,
Pulling my fingers from the dirt and wiping them on my bare legs.
A few agapanthus were still blooming
For a Former FriendFor a Former FriendFor a Former Friend in Free Verse More Like This
You are like a toilet seat.
But I could tolerate your
Stench since you were useful when my
Glutted depths needed some
Shoving out. But you are also like a
That swallows too much
Booze, and bites the
Heads off baby puffins, with a hinging
Heave like puking drunks on
Porcelain. I told you
That I loved puffins, but you'd mock, your mouth
Smacking against itself like bitter
Smokestacks having sex
In toilet water
You are a toilet seat
That found it fit one day to
Stick your lukewarm club of a
Handle down my
And before she felt the slightest twinge of gripping-the-
You flushed and dumped your shat-down water on her
And I suppose this is the end.