Imagined America Poems 2015-2016

…words and images inspired by past travels across America…

Cowboy Whores

i never want this road to end
this highway to eternity
the one that stretches out ahead
it draws me on
motion mad
ever forward

in finite wanderings

through sunrise and sunset
the compass pointing
turning wildly
which way to obey
stopping off and taking stock
on endless plains

mesmerised views

i am the tumbleweed
blowing through your life
my journey undefined
randomly loving
this moment in time
and drifting down

your endless vistas

like cowboy whores in
small town bars in
the far out heat of sultry nights
we fight and argue
spit and shout
bull ringed banter

lassoed laughter

an eagle watches with delight
your fall and ruptured
twisted might
stretchered to a waiting kiss
her mouth on yours
her cowboy whore

God’s blessed being

in blood soaked leather
she kneels down by your gaping wound
to drink forgiveness
offer hope
a whirling dust bowl
hangman’s rope

i never want this road to end

to never die to never end
you see me now before I’m gone
the car door slams
the big wheels turn
to each unearthly mountain top
false and empty

like his love.

uk – 14th June 2016

Miss America

Miss America

Miss America

I’m coming for you soon Miss America
your open roads and endless vistas
that draw me into your welcoming arms
between mountain range and desert canyon
I will lie with you and feel your soul.

Cover me in your ocean spray
and dust me down through golden lands
from east to west on highway roads
I will promise to love you Miss America
I’m coming for you soon.

uk – 13th June 2016

Burning Deserts

BurningMan_2014_Art_Gimbel-132

Burning Deserts

we are warm blooded
heart beating sun creatures
unfurling summer seekers
driving the endless highways
dusty desert revellers

we are wicked in the day
in wanton desperado ways
conjoined and intertwined
our oiled skins shimmering
tanned tattoos melding

we are thirsty for love
spirit drinking heat givers
lust worshipping lovers
two flesh hungry fuckers
down begging on our knees

we are two writhing bodies
on acid tripping light pulses
beat mixing solar senses
tranced mirrorballed minds
mad maxing to sound magic

we are the scorched mountains
our souls strip-cleaned bare
exfoliated night dreamers
gathered as tribal ravers
carnality without a care

we are out there craving
psycho sexed misbehavers
dancing deviant dwellers
eagle eying the vultures
that circle through our lives

we are your nightmares
subcultured undergrounders
leather clad storm troopers
sabre lasing the star bright sky
sucking your parched earth dry

we are the burning deserts
and you’ll never understand why…

uk – 19th february 2016

Desert Drive

IMG_36903half

Desert Drive

let me take you on that desert drive
across the glowing vistas of your mind
where dry lake beds twist and hide
their sunken dreams that flow inside

see the clouds hover close to ground
low mountains shimmer without sound
the dust dry heat soaks to your bones
like shifting dunes and trembled moans

you stop and watch the setting sun
turn fireball shades burnt orange red
the sky ignites when your day is done
fades daylight washed in colours bled

now look in envy – stand in awe
your old self burns down to its core
come climb on high this nearest peak
unlock those secrets that you seek

you tell the moon your nightly wish
to start anew and wake refreshed
the desert drive that brings you here
will make your darkness disappear

uk – 8th january 2016

bird in a cage

IMG_3867copyright

bird in a cage

eagle eyed
scorched land
pluming dry heat
desert dust rising

across the prairie

clanging freight train
bright orange sunglow
containerized cargoes
territory unfocused

bokeh travelled

mountain clefts
riven lifted shaken
thunderous beatings
rocked by time

explored and conquered

desired but gone
desperate thirsty days
an undefinable madness
blown away

gun barrelled laws

scalped open mouthed
rifle shot spattered
the echoes of echoes
horse hoofed stampedes

canyon charged
bible belted church bells
bone white picket fenced
your people no longer wanted
miles and miles of barbed wire

keep them in keep them out

as far as the eye can see
twisted real estates
beer bottled highways
eagle eyed and watched

only good when dead

~

you are like a caged bird
but when I open the door
you have no strength to fly
history has defeated you

broken your wings…

uk – 11th december 2015

come venture out again

come venture out again

into this desert land

of bleached

cracked bones

shredded of flesh

scattered beneath

thorned monoliths

wind parched

time tattooed

they point

unforgiving fingers

from dried gulch

to crumbling mesa

the dust devil highway

one way destination

oblivion

viewed from the thermals

circles and spirals

dizzying heights

the wanderer

in a cosmic haze

blood and daggers drawn

wounds gaping

taunted by thirst

lost soul

fallen hero

forgotten muse

still out there

still searching for life

come venture out again

they said

come…

 

the eagle soars

higher and higher

until lost in the white blindness of death’s gaze

your fingers unfurl

parted lips kiss the cracked earth

and your soul floats finally

through the garden of golden dreams

uk – 9th december 2015

Rodeo Rider

skinny boy
sinuous body
feeling your hips
with your long slender fingers
following the curve of your bones
mini overland mountains of maleness
your belly a soft valley of curly dark hairs
legs stretching out to the end of the sun lounger
endless hot desert highways disappearing into the horizon

mesas and buttes hazy under blue skies
soaking up the heat like Joshua trees
rooted in memories scattered upon this overridden land
the tall cactus with its arms outstretched waving
a body full of life-giving liquids stored inside
the shimmering sands beneath late afternoon sleaze
motel vacancy signs flickering to the passing traffic
enticing and inviting you to come in and try
their air-conned bliss

your heartbeat pulsing beside the glistening pool
running your blood-red painted fingernail along the ridge of his leg
his eagle image soaring across your reflective glasses
great convoys of trucks stirring dust into devil columns
they dance this weird dance to the other side of the tracks
bulls that were born and bred for bareback riding
you tell him the sky is so much different out here
feels like if you climb up the mountain high enough
you could catch hold of a cloud and float away

his burning cigarette ash caught on the still breeze
disintegrating in silence on the surface of the pool
the sunsets will make you feel like the world is on fire
your blood-red painted fingernail tracing the line of scars on his chest
shiny sunrise pink tattoos in marbled whorls of rib-boned glory
but he looks away and sighs with delayed exhaustion
drags nicotine down into his tired lungs
a lazy lacklustre look of annoyance
at losing out on last night’s cash prize

uk – 5th november 2015

Southern BBQ Sauce

Southern BBQ Sauce

Southern BBQ Sauce

I want to taste
your Southern BBQ thighs
and lick the hot mess sauce
from off my lips
spread some sweetness
on your Southern BBQ breasts
and lick them clean
suck the flesh
I want to taste
your Southern BBQ ribs
your belly pork
pulled and parted
between my lips
I want you to taste
your extra hot sauce mess
sticky and sweet
on my succulent meat
I want to taste
every last delicious piece
I want you in my mouth
my Southern BBQ feast

uk – 2nd october 2015

Southern Morning

she woke to a wet Southern morning
the high humidity tipping the scales
air so hot the sheets were damp
the moisture clinging between her thighs
her thin night clothes drenched and satiated
from the restless dark wanderings
that had taken hold of her
taking her far beyond anywhere
she had ever been
a fevered hour of climbing walls
finger nails clutching at her distant lover’s words
the sound of constant rain drumming
thunder through her bones
it made her feel alive
as she lay ravaged amongst her tangled curls
slain victims upon her flushed cheeks
her hands and body twitched and squirmed
and yearned for something more
some other excuse to begin again
to take his distant urgent words
and return to where his dark wanderings led
the secret places her lover only knew
where she allowed only him to go
she woke to this sweet and sticky mess
so complete
that panting
gasping for breath
drained
defeated
she slumped sideways
across her bed
and succumbed
to the wet
Southern morning heat

uk – 19th september 2015

moving towards an unknown universe

11215119_963740960345706_9012134336148954397_n

moving towards an unknown universe

so many guns
in
so many hands
in
so many homes
in
so many towns
in
so many States
in
so many ways
in
Disunited America today

plane crash in my old home town
gunshot echoes in a Virginia town
the distance covered by deep water
shipwrecks from here to there
news events shared and connected
cyberspace allowing it all to happen in an instant

exploding

we live in each other’s pockets
#facetoface
#handinhand
#stepbystep
moving towards our own shared destiny

close your eyes
and enjoy
the coloured lights
dance
a cosmic
kaleidoscope pattern
in an unknown universe

your silhouette
a dolphin dive

uk – 27th august 2015

…come.venture.out…

come.venture.out…into.this.desert.land…of.bleached…cracked.bones…shredded.of.flesh…scattered.beneath…thorned.monoliths…wind.parched…time.tattooed…they.point…unforgiving.fingers…from.dried.gulch…to.crumbling.mesa…the.dust.devil.highway…one.way.destination…oblivion…viewed.from.the.thermals…circles…and.spirals…dizzying.heights…the.wanderer…in.a.cosmic.haze…blood.and.daggers…drawn…wounds.gaping…taunted.by.thirst…lost.soul…fallen.hero…forgotten.muse…still.out.there…still.searching…for.life…come.venture…they.said…come…

uk – 24th august 2015

Angel

angel

Angel

been no friends round these parts for the best part of four months now beginnin’ to wonder at the meanin’ of it all starin’ out the windows makin’ as if I was expectin’ the phone to ring or some such nonsense door all swingin’ expectant in the breeze welcome mat waitin’ lyin’ spread like the dog needs feedin’ tongue out droopin’ bowl empty big old eyes starin’ at me makin’ me feel even worse or some such fuckin’ nonsense when I look beyond the stoop and on down the road past the trashcans bums and hobos litterin’ the neighborhood I think about my old Sal and why she went that way that hot August night screamin’ fuckin’ nonsense like a crazy kitten caught in a storm drain and screamin’ fuckin’ nonsense till the moon hollered back and wouldn’t you know she just breezed on back like there was no tomorrow her big old droopin’ tongue lickin’ her greasy painted lips fresh from servin’ all day breakfasts down at Danni’s Diner on West 32nd St call me a fuckin’ sonofabitch but I kicked that Sal right off the stoop and hollered her right back down the street she’d come up talkin’ her goddamn nonsense as I said been no friends round these parts for best part of four months dog lying dead out back flies buzzin’ like a pack of goddamn alien invaders suckin’ the goo from out his sockets while they brick up the doors and cover the windows with slats of timber torn up like matchsticks made by giants and tossed across the yard breakin’ down the beautiful rose bush my old Sal planted the year we married back in goddamn it was back in sixty-four or some such year the dog came later after the great storm that tore the sheets from the roof and turned the street into a river the bums and hobos took shelter in the church until the great fire burnt them and the church to cinders floatin’ off down the street as I said been quiet round here lately.

uk – 21st august 2015

Deep South

deep south

Deep South

she steps outside
into southern heat
and deep cicada noise

bud light in hand
unsteady on bare feet
a drunken heady poise

exhaling smoke spirals
swaying to the swing seat
thru scattered yard toys

he follows her scented trail
with manly entreats
night threats employed

his handful of stiffness
the tired air con unit bleating
just another din that annoys

a mouthful of ice cold beer
dark neighborhood streets
holding it all back to enjoy

she takes his hot lusting
sticky as candy sweets
abandoned in cars destroyed

this token moment of love
dirty and indiscreet
a pleasure for her sonny boy

suffocating her childhood cries
crippled with defeat
defence methods deployed

he wanders back indoors
screaming cicadas in deep heat
her heart beat an intense noise

and then later
for absolution
she prays to her god

uk – 11th august 2015

 

 

Sissy Spacek on a Greyhound Bus

Sissy Spacek on a Greyhound Bus

Sissy Spacek on a Greyhound Bus

I sat by a country girl
strangers on a southbound bus
she was waving farewell
to her stillborn child
a look of Sissy Spacek
in her vacant eyes
trailer trashed and fevered
under D.C.’s capital sky

I heard her say to me
as the Greyhound pulled away
“one day mankind will make this
whole darn world flat as a cake
and nothing will stop the wind
from blasting us all to kingdom come
to daresay end this earthly hell
and bring my stillborn child back to me”

I looked at the girl
the sprinkle of freckles
smattering her childlike face like
first drops of rain spoiling soft sand
her battered bruised and bony frame
imagined under a thin cotton dress
she lowered her silent face
to fill her rag with prayer and tears

I muttered sorry or something
highway landscapes complementary
Virginia, Carolina and Georgia girls
all swiftly singing past my view
until “good luck to you” in Jacksonville
the place she planned to stay a while
recuperating on the old folks’ porch
in the sunshine state as some would say

uk – 21st june 2015

 

 

Toronto 2 Times

Toronto2Times2large

Toronto 2 Times reverse2large

Toronto 2 Times

I met Michelle by chance in Amsterdam
We were both delayed and shared some hash
Before taking flight to Canada the following day
She let me sleep on her apartment floor
I was too shy to ask for anything more
And despite having bragged to my best friend Rich
That I would “shag my way around the world”
All I remember now was the doughnut in her fridge
And the note saying “Chillin’ in Toronto for more than a year”

A week or two later I met two girls
On a Miami bus heading south to Florida Keys
One an English Rose travelling alone
The other Israeli who made the crowd three
We shared a cheap hotel room and morning grits
Me and the Rose we ditched the Israeli girl
Sped west in a convertible Pontiac Sunbird (very nice)
Along the Alligator Highway to Naples (sweet FLA)
And the sweeping blue Gulf of Mexico bay

With the money she had she drank in with me
The Cajun blues on Bourbon Street (New Orleans)
But I was far too polite and her time ran out
So we said our goodbyes and took our leaves
I ventured forth on endless seas
Of driving, driving, always driving
Sun rising over miles of desert blinding
I was running to, I knew not what
And running from the map I’d lost (it blew out the car btw)

In San Juan Capistrano (LA) a lion was on the loose
And on through Vegas in a Cadillac Sedan de Ville
To Denver (Colorado) and Mountain Dew
Catching a Trailways bus to Chicago (Illinois)
Stopping off for egg McMuffins on the way
I met Jim and then you in a nightclub bar
And suddenly those words all came true
As we screwed and screwed and screwed while high
In the sky-rise-sky overlooking Lakeshore Drive

Drove up to St Ignace (Michigan) between two lakes
Took some pics in the motel bath and one for the view
And on and on the next day my turn to leave
Across the border hiding weed stuffed undersea
In the stash of trash paddling around our feet
The car was searched but nothing found (huge sigh of relief)
You dropped me in Toronto and turned to leave
I waved with Michelle, her with the doughnut,
And 2 tickets for us to see Mr Iggy Pop in concert (yay!)

uk – 30th may 2015

Old Stumpy Was Petrified

Old Stumpy was Petrified

Old Stumpy floated down the swollen river
Like all good nomads not looking for a home
He one day had to settle down
And by chance came upon some marshy ground
In a time when names were not important

He hadn’t meant to sink beneath the sediment
The volcanic ash and dissolving silica
Filled his veins and hollowed fibres
A fossilised soul turned to stone
Petrified at what had or might still come

It was hot and humid back then
Sub-tropical and equatorial
Before the ground began to shake and heave
The Colorado Plateau took a steppe too far
Erosion exposing Old Stumpy again

He touched the roots of ferns and cottonwoods
Felt the zigzag thud of leaping jackrabbits
Heard the warning cries of coyotes and bobcats
The faintest hints from the lazy lizards
His own tree species was indeed extinct

When people came everything changed once more
They started on the ryegrass then grew some corn
Built their pueblos and painted petroglyphs
Spanish explorers brought them horse and pox
Later, homesteaders, stagecoach, railroads, ranchers

Old Stumpy enjoyed the company for a while
Until the hammers chipped away at his precious insides
The purple opals and quartz iron oxide hues
Were too much for these wanton people to resist
He was soon a vandalised version of his former self

And now, the badlands and painted deserts
Have become tourist traps with turn-outs for large RV’s
Disgorging their bloated and abhorrent cargoes
To gawp and straddle Old Stumpy’s back
Both petrified in one hundred degrees of summer heat

If Old Stumpy could sing, he’d sing the blues…

uk – 20th may 2015

 

Route 66

Route 66 2large

Route 66

Following a line of trucks
And disused electric poles
Across sagebrush and tumble weeds
To a distant point of perspective
Where nothing really matters
And the only sound
Is the battle cry of noble warriors
And their forgotten hearts
Laid to rest beside the dried
Remains of the last prairie buffalo
Shot cleanly through the head
By a white man’s rifle
Forever echoing across the
Vastness of time

uk – 19th may 2015

roadtrip

roadtrip2large

roadtrip

I’m just – walking – down this – road – that’s

Empty – of all life – that I’m – a – part – of

Can’t – see – quite – just – where – I’m – going

Feels like – I need – someone – to guide me

Take me – lead me – push me – to-wards

A future – world that – cares – not – for – us

Why – should – I – be – here – I – don’t know

Turning – spinning – falling backwards

Not interested –

Or fascinated –

Can’t see the point –

To this road trip –

I’ll walk away –

And stay away –

Don’t need to be –

Awake today –

It’s gone –

I’m just – standing – by the – roadside

Thumb out – head down – looking – sideways

Dust is – blowing – there’s no – knowing

Where – my – mind – and – this road’s – going

Stop me – save me – take me – back home

To the – safety – of your – welcome

Please don’t – leave me – here – all – alone

Help me – save me – take me – back home

Disinterested –

Not fascinated –

I’ve reached a point –

On this road trip –

I’ve walked away –

And stayed away –

But now I’ve come –

Back to stay –

With you –

uk – 4th may 2015

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