The Taos Poems

1
She-muse
Lover of life
Sketches water shadows
Of dancing nymphs
On hot spring rocks
Glistening gold dust
Green hazel wood
Sparkling champagne eyes.

2
Coming home
Walking down
Rain walk lane
Such a sweet refrain.

Feels like a home coming
Back to where the
Ghosted buffalo roam.

3
Naked
Gently touching Mother earth
Gaze longingly up at Father Sky
Follow the sweeping witches broom like
Mushroom cloud’s
Soaring eagle’s drift.

Black tawny brown
Morning sun bleached wing
Outstretched,

Scouring craggy, isolated
Scarped golden Rio Grande gorge
For unsuspecting going about their business prey,

 

While joyous swallows in
Abundant insect Spring flight
Swoop low over the wide, feral rolling,
Treacherous cold swirling white raft
Lightening rapid swirling millpond waters.
Too cold to swim in,
Too cold to take primeval early morning
Plunge in,
Too afraid to embrace these mountain clear
Crystal chill waters,
On this early snowfall
Sunrise surprise
Fall in hesitant love with you
Winter spring morning
Head down in bubbling hot sulphur pool.

Our two bodies
Sucked in to
Swept into
A maelstrom of creativity.

Watch life ponderously emerge
Out of the chaos.

Two well traveled souls
Philosophize,

Paint distilled watery
Positive brush marks onto
Negative impressions of pre-destined
Sartre existentialisms,

Rigorous verbal examination
Through the powerful microscope
Placed in our seeking hands.

Look at the crossroads of our life’s,
Rewriting Robert Johnson,
The country blues singer’s version
First recorded in down town San Antonio hotel room.
Retrace those un-trodden paths
That one failed to take
With a hell hound on one’s trail.

Feel warmth of hot springs
Minerals absorbed
Travel weary bodies
Languid and revitalized.

Disembodied poetics of the rock pool
A source of renewal.
Listen to the walled in and echoed murmur of
Unseen, hidden and veiled
Grey ice cold powerful river
Heading south to the warmth of Mexico,
Witness to bloody bullfights in dust scarred villages.

Hear muffled bird song
She replies in dulcet Californian undertones
The wary bird responds.

A nightingale sings in uncharted waters
Taken of the page
Evicted from London’s Berkeley Square.

4
Harmony
Her green hazel eyes
Glittering prizes
Bright and alive in still Zen
7 am wake up call in this
New morning stark shark
Dark whisper breeze.

 

 

 

5
Bodies submerged in warm sponge
Sulphur algae
Rio Grande hot spring jewel pool.

Exposed to nature’s harsh elements.
Wait for distant rumbling tornado
To drift across flake horizon.

Stripped to the bone.
Flesh unwinds.
Unravels to reveal
It’s immortal coil.

Given as a sacred offering
To the tribal nature spirits
Hovering above
In other unseen
Parallel universes.

Impish goat hoof guardian
Of Grecian hot spring grove
Demands a $50 entry fee
And a vow of eternal silence.

His faithful mongrel
Shaggy, scruffy dog
Stares out into the void.
Takes that perfect elliptical
Photograph to the impassive
Depths of his fleeting mind.

 

 

 

6

Two souls converge
Gaze into the refracted and distracted
Circus hall of mirrors.
Shake with laughter at reflections of self.

Reveal history
His revealing
His story
Story
Mystery
Missed history
My story
Revealing
History
His His story
His story
Story
Mystery
Missed mystery
My story

Reveal weaved within
History                                silken
                                                         His
His story                                   spider webs of
                                                                       Story
Mystery                                            distorted
                                                             Mist
My story                                          (end of distorted)
                                              Revealing
Silence

 

 

 

7

Jack Kerouac is dead.
He was on the road
Before I was born.

I come from another generation

I am a child of rock and roll
I am a child of soul
Of the spirited love supreme melodies
Of Tamla Motown.

I am a child of The Beatles
Getting their first album ‘Please Please Me’
As a 14th birthday present.

Sneak summertime preview
Digging deep
Hidden in parent’s bedroom
Victorian wardrobe drawer.

I am a child of rhythm and blues,
Country and electric Chicago bluesmen like
Muddy Waters, Elmore James,
Buddy Guy, Son House and
Mississippi John Hurt
And the Rolling Stones
White urbane imitations.

Jack Kerouac is dead.

His demise,
A sad burnt out writer
An alcohol fueled derelict case.

 

 

Lost
Bewildered
In a ‘mother do not leave me alone’
Fixated haze

As he entered his twilight zone
I failed my eleven plus
Was down graded from a primary school
To a failed all boys
Abusive
Secondary school.

Where Mr Fincher, my fourth year woodwork teacher
Went home one night and put a double barreled shotgun to his head
Blew his brain out across the back garden potting shed.

Where I fought in the playground
Walked around in solitary despair
A misfit amongst misfits
Groomed as prospective factory fodder
In a collapsing conservative class ridden culture.

I am a child of the sputnik age

Tune into
Snuggled up in bed
Under white cotton starched sheet
Hidden transistor radio.

Watch bright lights through
Quivering red brick suburban net curtains
Float across uncharted night star bright galaxies of oceans.

I am a child of the space race

Dance a joyful gig
Punch a stubborn fist into the air as
Neil Armstrong takes one giant step
For mankind
And another for the
Hundred and one Howard Johnson
Ice cream flavors.

I am a child of the cold Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis

I am a child bought down low by the assassination of John F Kennedy
Huddled in Autumn chilled dining room
By gloomy coke fire and crackling wireless set
Listen to Friday’s edition of Any Questions
Interrupted,
The broadcast from middle England village hall
Brutally terminated by those gun shots fired from Dallas book emporium
And the grim news darkens even further that gloom ridden evening.

I am a child of the war fought by the FBI and J.Edgar Hoover against un-American activities.
I am a child of these killing fields reduced to a stunned shell shock silence
As the dream of Martin Luther King is gunned down from the balcony of downtown Atlanta motel
As Malcolm X and the black panther leaders meet similar fates.

I am a child of the civil rights movement and protest songs about church bombings in Atlanta killing innocent young black girls and the wholesale slaughter of other men, women and children in the Mississippi Delta.

I am a child born into the revolutionary struggles of Che Guevera and Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution
Follow the course of their final victorious entry into Havana
Through the pages and right wing bias of The Daily Telegraph
Believing momentarily that they were the cold hearted despots in this chess like end game.

I am a child born to protest against the Vietnam War
Storming the gates of the American Embassy in May 1968 without success.

I am a child of the world wide liberation and anti-colonial struggle, mourning Che Guevera dying alone, bullet in the head in Bolivian jungle police cell and of Chilean’s President Allende, his suicide fermented by the underhand tactics and bloodied hands of the CIA.

 

 

I am a child born into the Summer of Love hearing tinkling of Indian holy bells in Leicester Square,
Walking about wearing flowers in my sprouting bean shoot hair
Arrival at Golden gate Bridge San Francisco after a 4 day and 4 night hitch across the USA
On the come down of an imagined dream.

I am a child of psychedelic ramblings, The Greatful Dead and American Beauty
Seeing dawn in on the bleak lyrics, the dark manic vibrations of Nico and The Velvet Underground
In ramshackle Church Street London student flat
But I stood on the outside, caught off guard by weary, triple head distended rumbling underground reflection.
Engulfed by a sense of non-being fragmented reality checks and alienation.
Emotional turmoil locked behind a flaking cornflake mask.

They tell me that Jack Kerouac is dead and that he was on the road long before I was born and that he died a hopeless drunk

But his words and his spirit live on.

8
And how are you today?
And how are you today?
And how…..
And how are …
How, how are you today?
And how…
And are….
Today you are .. and
How are you today sir?

Make sure it is a good one!
Make sure it’s a real good one!
Sir make sure it’s a good one!

And how are you today?
And how are you today?
And Sir and Madame how are you today?

Number43
Calling number 43

For those departing to Denver
Please go to gate number 2 right now.

Number 43 coming up
Have a nice day
Have it on me
And how are you today?

The aliens have landed at Amarillo Greyhound Bus Station
Guided down the divine hand of the pulsating throbbing whirl and swirl of tinkling one armed bandit gambling machines,
Fuelled by the quarter and the dime bits
Servicing grey hounded passengers as they decamp from caffeine-ated, inter-galactic, interstate space stations.

Peruse the sea of orbital black crow feather cowboy hats,
Pirate scarf on Dallas ghetto love struck street fighting couple
Draped in polished snake skin knee length high heeled boots.
Broad band peak baseball caps point backwards to the land of the rising sun,
Thinning white streak pony tails, drooped black-grey-ashen moustaches,
Clones of Hollywood Western silver starred sheriffs vainly attempting to round up the lost and vanished wild west posse last seen heading into rattle snake Big Ben country,
Trapped in some demented wandering time machine,
Hear dull patio echoes of clinks of rusted spurs and the constantly swinging unhinged and un-greased and oiled gun fight saloon bar door,

All walking up and down luminous glow worm space ship steps,

Yes there are aliens at Amarillo greyhound bus station serving out lashings of Martian fast food with turgid green coffee and burnt offerings of hash browns.
Yes there are aliens at Amarillo greyhound bus station with robotic white brilliantine toothpaste smiles and computerized, digitalized zombie responses,
Serving up breakfast specials with beef or bacon sunny side up with green coffee, small, regular or large,

All asking.

And how are you today?
And how are you today
And how are you today

Be sure that you have a nice day!

Have it on me.
Have it on me.
Have it on me.
Have it on me.

 

And how are you today?
And HOW are YOU today?

9
Adrift in Texas Lady Bird Johnson wildflower wilderness zone
Afloat in white light heat of this American Dream cruise night.
Swim amongst luminous plankton silhouettes of ghosted shadows on the move,
Refugees from unreported, un-newsworthy, bruised and bloodied battlefield zones,
Watch reflections of this phantom shadowy army of ragged lost souls in stooped Hunchback of Notre Damme shoulder’s flight.

Pas through this tram line grid lock of the soft pork under belly of the American interstate network,
Waft  in and out of the turmoil of this earthquake coyote trickster roadrunner highway,
Try and avoid the raised tail of the smiling skink’s aerosol spray.
Blank face staring into the bland eye of the flickering machine,
Churning out these outsiders who have strayed beyond the permitted parameters of this speed chess game.

10
Tense penumbra
Deciphering spotless coded messages, placed in sealed bottles, thrown into gleeful oceans by playful children,
Written in invisible ink, transcribed in Egyptian hieroglyphics, beamed through flashing 1000 beats to a minute strobe lights onto gyrating lost heart beat epileptic video screen walls.
America for that brief moment is transformed into a one nation monster raving loony free party state.

Personal history revealed, pure mystery,
Walk out through electronic swing door,
Play black jack in 24 hour Pueblo Indian Nation casino,
Players switch from hard oak table to hard oak table as the black guillotine bar descends,
The Northern Lights re-emerges from a sunken hinterland
The gambler’s sweat crumpled dollar bills fade into oblivion.

Gee, the twenty something pony tailed Indian traveling south to Santa Fe strikes it lucky,
Leaves with a $100 note sewn into beaded bandana scalp
Clutches his heritage and pisses into pine wooded, snow cap blue sacred lake.

These are the dreams and images of America as I pass through this holding station.

Leave Taos, one last coffee at the Café Tassa.
Bjourn who sang at the Taos Inn Monday open mike night,
Tells me from his solitary writing table that he used to be in the moving business,
I momentary thought he said ‘movie business’ and that once he had helped Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to relocate into fresh start New York apartment.

 

Expressed anger towards Kerouac, thought that Kerouac was wrong to profit from rewriting his and other people’s stories,
Said he might have been a good writer and a powerful influence on future generations but he sure was fucked up,
Bjourn as he passionately writes at coffeeless Caffe Tassa table remarks that he was from Kerouac’s generation,
That he was also a child of the great depression,
Turns to me and asks,
Turns to me and pleads,
How can one stand up and say that one is proud to be an American in this present war in the air, send in the ground troops climate.
Points to me, gesticulates wildly in the caffeine punctuated hot house air,
How can I say that I am proud to be an American?
Physical pain etched on furrow-weary Scandinavian brow.
But the American state is not the people, the state acts outside, the state acts against the wishes of the people, doesn’t always represent the democratic sentiments of the people.
But still how can one feel proud to be an American today, walk tall, head help up high,
In this land of the free where buffalo once roamed, simply wall tall in the world.

Mile’s puppy fat shaven 18 year old red face reads out his red virgin soil poetry,
Reads out his youthful passionate American verse as the Taos new moon,
Moth like hovers over ahead spinning out silvery cloth of gold threads,
Mile’s screams out, his tumultuous volcanic ready to blow Mount Etna, King Lear blind rage out into snow blasted mountain ski Taos hostel, shouting out to fresh pasture lunar cycle,
I wannta make a difference
I love you Sam
I wannta have an effect on this politically fucked up America,
I want,
I want my poetry to be revolutionary
I want my voice to be heard
I do not want to be exiled into this arid poetical wilderness.

I have a voice

I have a voice
Which I want to be released from its gilded cage

I have a voice

Which I want to release from the golden angel ghetto of my mind.

11
Fiery tempest
Bright flame frolics
In insectless southern sky.

12
No moths hover
Around
Candle lit
Electric storm.

Maybe the rain
Soaked their
Highly strung filter tip wings.

And forced a moth crash landing
Into the eye of yellow brick road
Rattle snake fork tongue storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Poem Extracts

Like the late arrival of the Bute swan celebrating
25th anniversary shaky weather beaten touchdown
From Siberian winter wasteland flight."

Umbella Stands