Everett Poetry Darling Performs Mende Smith Poem

WHISKEY AND SODA

“The every day begins
where the writing day ends.”

-H. Miller

Turn the yellow key
in the metal door
and go in

the bergamot-scented
room where the clock
chatters and the light bends
silver and pallor divide
in between the blinds and
the knot of the afternoon sun.

Drop the bag
on the floor and slip out
of those shoes

His rooms are empty
ceramic and stone
and glass and water
moths hidden in
dark and damp
safe behind doors
unopened.

Twist-off cap on the bottle
and the safety ring snap
echoes off the sink

The after-five ride
is over and the ice
is too-soon melting
in a short, clear glass.

Pour out the Bourbon slow,
just top off the ice and
the bubbles

The mouthful’d chill
rises to the occasion
of a writing life,
and she thinks it
tastes like Hemingway’s
kiss, Joyce’s mocking jay
Jack-a-daw grin,
and Miller’s libations.

Breathe.

The only color
inside seems to froth
in the afterglow
of a whole other week
gone to whiskey
and soda

©MES2014

Gonzo Journalism Defined (with poem)

Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that embodies the page without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative.

The word “gonzo” first came into its own in 1970 to describe an article by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who later popularized the style, making it his own. The term also applies to other subjective artistic endeavors—written, spoken, and audio.

Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy through the reporting of first-person experiences and emotions, as compared to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations, attributed and/or verified by third parties.

Gonzo journalism disregards the strictly edited product favored by newspaper media and strives for a more personal approach; the personality of a story is a multi-sensory expression, unequivocally as important as the event the piece sets out to feature.

Use of sarcasm, humor, exaggeration, and profanity is common and celebrated.

Among the forefathers of the aforementioned new journalism movement, Thompson said in the February 15, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone, “If I’d written the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people—including me—would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

Long live Gonzo Journalism.

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LOW DOWN HIGH

Under the scree of a mescaline-yellow sky

wheels roll along the red highway

crying with joy

and coyote calls.

High and low

low down high

Two men still laugh in the dust-heavy air

white top folded down

eyes lolling their stems

popping off and squawk

in the metronome flash-out short radio blare.

Down low

up high

life still high

Leather bodies fading in the noonday sun

fat on the dole to horn-rimmed sorrows

twisting mouth candy poplorica smile

black spot in the distance

spinning like the barrel of a six gun.

Life on high

life down low

still life still

One man coughs up a little tiny slice

of his morning keylime pie

choking back lullaby-memoirs as muddled as lime

singing that song that hum that same old hum -ding ring

telephone shock-faced scion.

High life

low life

still life

Under the blue collar of another town

fingernail scratching inner ear glum

the sellout flux horn-busted button-hole smut

shit scrawling dynamo

takes in the dawn

wilderness wild wide

jack-a-daw gape-dawn.

Still life

low life

high life

Whenever the typer stops

pushing in long enough

thin man and big man

stoke up and toke up the signal fire

soon-a-day

all night

whiskey daydream a go-go.

Low life

high life

still life

twice burned in the desert

when the smoke circle scrum

banging marathon drum

lights it up like a match

by gone by the wayside silence

of the lamb chop moon.

©MES2013

zetetic truths

rosegarden

Joe takes his boat out on the river
every Sunday to talk to God
to the same spot on the river where his mama
do-ed up the wash and laundry-ed thirty years
before the cancer ate her body up
and then she was buried by her two sons
right there under the Banyan tree
Joe is a dark-skinned man
and he came from the belly of a red-haired belle
and after his papa died out on the farms
and his older brother in the war
after two sisters stillborn
the freedom had come to the working men
he was skinny and he was old now
so the farmers paid him no mind
let him stay on in the back
and never paid him no money
and he never knowed what freedom was
but now he knows, now he does
freedom is a talking to with God out on the river
freedom is tired of living in old tired bones
freedom is an old red-haired belle who
sings to high heaven from the rushes
her ghost body not heavy like Joe’s old bones
not longing for nothing but a plate of fish
freedom came for mama after she went away to God
Joe felt the gradual changes deep inside
and buried them down in the dark earth
with her blank stare and her lost prayers
and right near that place there are a hundred
angleworms squirming in the mud after the rain
Joe’s callused fingers pick them up
and their falling bodies fill a soup can
one by one he gathers them up like the beginnings
of other lives he’d lost to the land and the river
and he wondered if these here worms came from the
pale belly of his mother, just like he did
but a man must eat to live no matter
how dark or light his skin is
a man has to live somehow
not like a slow-witted worm
effectually turned out of the dark earth
by the warm summer rain
under the shifting cloudy sky
Joe throws in his line and he waits
there it is, there is that splash
before he could say a word to God
or even open a match book
to light his cob pipe
up came that yellow-eyed Catfish
and it tugged the line hard
to tell him and the Catfish God
that some invasion had come
over his old Catfins and bones
and in the water was a silver pan flash
creeping through his feelers
with some disintigrating influence
he had seen that hook and that fleshy angleworm
and it thrust him forward like eager digestion
how sweet it was, that soft bite
offered him before the sting of the hook
and he recognized as he hung above the water
that it is a better thing
to be merged in this harmony of life and death
and he knew that Joe would eat him up
a longing tide of gastric juices
and to catch a fish
is a cosmic thing
and to be breaded and ate with whiskey
‘neath provident skies
is a peradventure
whether you are the fish
or the baited hook
or a man with a matchless hunger
in a month or a lifetime of Sundays
whose freedom is in the zetetic truths of
angleworms stabbed with wire-fish hooks
throbbing and pale and fleshy and
lying on the banks of that old river

 

Orig. Posted September 5, 2010 at 8:32pm

 

Last Poem in 2009

Last Poem in 2009

you are right here where I left you
one lightbulb missing in ten twists of twinkle lights
silk kite grounded in the sudden rain
tied to a lamp post in Venice beach
never tied to a tree stump
teeth chattering crepe paper smile
there is no more civil war in the south
than any revolution occupation of people turning 49
50 is the new 50
there is nothing on T.V
nothing on sale worth buying
just the tandem back-and-forth stocks pedalling tricycles
for a new .99 cents store
there is no meat in the soup
cockroaches in the cupboards
no gas in the tank and the kitty is hungry
there is no fetus in her belly anymore
now that you peed on her leg and beat your chest
small as it is and hairless as a dingo’s ass
showing her the door and then walking through it
over and over and over and over and over
the ramparts glow like Roman candles in your dying eyes
never going to say nothing else about anything
that you never wrote down before
that is the way you die a little more everyday
just in case anybody is still watching

Manhattan Madonna [Hollywoodland 2011]

Manhattan Madonna     Madonna statue as found.

 

The Leo House stands in the heart of Manhattan. In the hollow confessional of the lobby, I stood waiting for the nun to confirm my reservation.

My stomach was as empty as the eyes of the portrait of Saint Francis watching from  the west wall. The rooms were single occupancy only and a mere sixty dollars a night. Where the nuns and young priests have slept dreamless and stiff in the host metal beds, my lover and I conceived a child entirely in sin.

First, I hold my husband blameless for the empty marriage that swept the ashes he left of me to ignite in another man’s arms. Second, to bring the millennial revision of holy virginity to my loins pulled tight as a cloche purse a  hazard of uninterrupted nights of unprotected sex and my lover’s botched vasectomy, blame what the first week of February does to New York. 

The beautiful and hopeful sky between the shadowy concrete spires and the bricks—more shades of gray than a used crayon box could hold.

The  lights of the Empire state building glowing in four perfect hearts, just like right before that scene of Sleepless in Seattle when the heat-seeking missile-like  lovers embraced their first kiss.

My heart thumped while we rode in the taxicab silent as children in church. I did not look at him, and he said nothing.                                   

We were sinners to the bones of us. 

I could no more look him in the eyes than he could telephone his wife and say that we were checking in to this obscure hostel for a mid-winter sex fest.

The room we shared was the number of the holy trinity.  We fell together below the crucifixion mural hanging above the headboard; our lust left us burning blue like the carpet under our bare feet.

In white sheets pulled taut as the shroud of Turin, we bled into each other like the lashes on Jesus. 

We bled with the fury of the openhearted Madonna. We bled like our bodies touching so purely in sin made how we made it together a holy communion.

Slowly turning the breath of God into a body language so passionate that the egg white walls around us cracked and the yolk of our son stirred into life.

Seven  days and seven nights, we weaved him into flesh and into bone. On the eighth day, we rested.

Manhattan Madonna [spoken version]

imgres (7) 

 

The Leo House stands in the heart of Manhattan.                                                                    

In the hollow confessional of the lobby, I stood waiting for the nun to confirm my reservation.                     

My stomach was as empty as the eyes of the portrait of Saint Francis watching from the west wall.

The rooms were single occupancy only and a mere sixty dollars a night. Where the nuns and young priests have slept dreamless and stiff in the host metal beds, my lover and I conceived a child entirely in sin.

First, I hold my husband blameless for the empty marriage that swept the ashes he left of me to ignite in another man’s arms.

Second,  to bring the millennial revision of holy virginity to my loins pulled tight  as a cloche purse a  hazard of uninterrupted nights of unprotected sex and my lover’s botched  vasectomy, blame what the first week of February does to New York. 

The beautiful and hopeful sky between the shadowy concrete spires and the bricks—more shades of gray than a used crayon box could hold. The  lights of the Empire state building glowing in four perfect hearts, just like right before that scene of Sleepless in Seattle when the heat-seeking missile-like lovers embraced their first kiss.

My heart thumped while we rode in the taxicab silent as children in church.  I did not look at him, and he said nothing.                                   

We were sinners to the bones of us. 

I could no more look him in the eyes than he could telephone his wife and say that we were checking in to this obscure hostel for a mid-winter sex fest.

The room we shared was the number of the holy trinity.  We fell together below the crucifixion mural hanging above the headboard; our lust left us burning blue like the carpet under our bare feet.

In white sheets pulled taut as the shroud of Turin, we bled into each other like the lashes on Jesus. 

We bled with the fury of the openhearted Madonna. We bled like our bodies touching so purely in sin made how we made it together a holy communion.

Slowly turning the breath of God into a body language so passionate that the egg white walls around us cracked and the yolk of our son stirred into life.

Seven days and seven nights, we weaved him into flesh and into bone.

On the eighth day, we rested.

 

(First place performance Poetryslam piece 2011-From Hollywoodland)

 

 

 

Munson Diner (with found images) published NZ 2011

imgres (7)                                        I dreamed I was a yellow bird

                                a little yellow bird

                 a little fast song bird singing in the white tree

               on Moth street

     I dreamed I was a white moth

dusty wings beating fast through the trees

autumn is yellow on the avenue

outside the Munson Diner

I dreamed I was a man

driving a little too fast to the corner

city bird songs on the radio

imgres-2 (3)

                              in the little yellow beetle with white stripes

                              I struck a small black boy

imgres-1 (2)                                      in a yellow shirt on his white bicycle

                                              his small body was tumbling and tumbling

                                      and I could not stop my dusty wheels

                               I lifted his head

               his bleeding head and the siren came raining

raining his red blood on the white stripes

in the middle of Moth street

his frail limbs broken like egg shells on

the bowl of my hood

and the sky turned over like autumn leaves

and I woke up alone in my big bed

like the last eight months alone in this bed

alone as a new yellow bird

and hungry for life

all life all life and everything that it is

that it is

any life worth living for another bright sleepy day

I walked down to the corner in my blue, blue jeans

I went to the Munson Diner

sat in the white booth

behind a black and chrome table

I ordered my five dollar breakfast and a two dollar beer

yellow eggs and toast on a warm plate I ordered a cup of coffee

                                         and turned imgres-4                                                                 my spoon over

there were scratches on the back

and scratches on a the creamer pitcher

and scratches on a twin sugar shaker

as old as the diner

maybe as old as Moth street

maybe as old as me

the waitress was wearing a t-shirt

with a little bird on the front

and she brought an extra napkin for my lap

her hair was dusty as moth’s wings

and her lips were cracked like yellow autumn

cracked like yellow autumn leaves

   my thoughts stirring in of bicycles and black boy

imgres (9)

                         yellow beetles and hungry birds and fast men on the corner

                  and my thoughts are melting into a fine powder,

                stirred to mist and lightning swirling around

            stirred like the yolk of my head to life

           rising up through the low ceiling

         returning to the mouths of the clouds

the slip away clouds

above the brick and the mortar

above the tile rooftop

where it feels like the end of dreams

above the city and up-rising

above the Cirrus strands of a Greenfield sky

the stray light spills like shadows like shadows

like shadows

the sugar spills on the black table

the chrome light stirs the vapor of late morning

spilling it back into me like no cream & sugar

today I am a white cup

and this day fills me up, so up with clouds

I am stirring with my silver spoon spine

and turning and turning around and around

turning you down

turning into black,

black

coffee