Monday, December 28, 2009


There's a killer in your house
you cry for the shepherd
but he doesn't hear
and the rest of the flock
has long since disappeared
You try to reason
but his mind is only the fang
of an insatiable soul
and you were never accustomed
to getting down on all fours
on the floor
like an animal.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I will be starting a new project soon as a street poet down by ASU on Mill Avenue. I will be reading my own work, as well as the work that my friends have written and poems made popular by Frost, Dylan Thomas, Shakespeare, etc. I will improvize and accompany myself on accordion, as well as enjoying the unique opportunity of having some really fine musicians also sit in with me, who have already enthusiastically stated they want to be a part of this.

I will be posting the stories and interactions, etc on this blog as they transpire.

On the last Sunday night before the holiday, I was playing Christmas carols on accordion down on Mill Ave. I played for about 4 hours, and about 2 hours into playing I noticed a homeless man about my size standing off to my side, leaning against the post office building, just looking out at the busy street. As I was re-arranging my music to stand up to the December wind, he said that he really liked my playing. I thanked him for staying and listening. At that time he had been there for over an hour. At the end of the night, another hour later, as I was packing up, again the man spoke. I was surprised that he was still there. He had ducked further in the alcove to take refuge against the wind, which had even become more bitter. He asked me what size sweatshirt did I wear. I didn't think twice about my answer and told him large. From his pack he produced a very expensive sport sweatshirt, one that a sports enthusiast with money would not be without. He looked inside the collar and, with eyes with a sadness averting mine, extended the garment to me. "Here" he said. "Someone left it behind at the train station. I...well...I liked your playing and...well... I don't have any money..."

I told him that it was real nice, but I couldn't accept it. This was the nicest thing from what I could see that he owned, although I couldn't tell him that. He knew the value of it both in money and, more importantly, possibly survival in these winter nights. "Besides," he said, "It wouldn't fit me."

I could have easily argued the point, but his demeanor, that of almost embarrassment but with also with such humility, choked the words in my throat. "Thank you" I said, extending my hand to accept the gift. It was then, and only then, did his eyes meet mine and he sighed and smiled.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This was the quick charcoal I did to get an idea of values. Not too much detail, just light and darks...
This is the finished pencil sketch

Monday, December 14, 2009


A bottle tips over
and rolls
smashes when it falls.

You're long gone
and I'm smashed
but it isn't that easy
with kids involved.

When bottles fall, they don't usually smash.
They bounce around a bit
then roll
and end up settling
settling against the wall.

They only smash
when they are thrown.

Monday, December 7, 2009


My baby and I went to the fights one night so she could bet the sure thing
The reigning great white hope whose golden robe read "Security"
But I took her change and the bet I placed was on the contender
Brooklyn trained, by those drunken rains of December

I spent my time down at the bars at night while my jellyroll stayed home alone
I stayed out a little late one night and when I got home I found her note.
She left me then for reasons that most men seldom remember.
No one to blame, but those drunken rains of December.

Well that was too long ago to harbor regrets
she always did what was right
I always did what was left.

When Gerty wrote Ernie*, her old writing pal, for a token to remember him by
he thought, "Why Ms. Stein do you need a token? Parisian memories should suffice."
So he started to think that the next best thing that he, as a writer could send her
was a letter
stained by those drunken rains of December.

As close to religion as I ever come, is playing Thelonius Monk
but I know of Jesus' soft spot for lost puppies, old pickups and drunks
So when death comes to call I know my next high ball
will flow from heaven's blender
and bongo's will play
like those drunken rains of December.

*Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemmingway

Copyright 1996 Crissum Publishing