Friday, December 9, 2011

it is early December and Muskrat is reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter...

It is early December and between the hawk and roadrunner circling the back yard, this year’s mice population has moved further down the street.  There is a pot of water simmering and steaming on the stove, leaving droplets on the glass door panes.  The grocery list is simple and everything fits in a small backpack; potatoes, capers, bacon.  Muskrat adjusts his wools socks, tightens his belt and dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s , pushes the Wednesday crossword, two thirds complete, aside.  There are Christmas cards waiting to be sent sitting on the writing desk in Muskrat’s new bedroom, and Tom Waits is singing Silent Night. They are predicting a blood red moon and full lunar eclipse early in the morning with the moonset on the west coast, seven thirty in the morning over New Mexico where Muskrat decided to buy blood oranges to celebrate the occasion and sleep in until eight thirty.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I forgot one...

This one I think speaks on its own... also not one hundred percent but its getting there...


When the words leave her tongue through her fingers
Letters on the keyboard, you vibrate through my joints

I am surrounded by tomes of poetry scattered about my feet
Over white tile, their hard spines and bent covers

I want your words in my mouth, your lips wrapped
Around my hear, whispering I te amo

I want my fingers to run across the back of your neck,
The neck of a typewriter as I un-crease years long writers block

A lover’s block uncorked and left stained in black ink
If there are red shoes waiting on department store shelves

There is a slow dance in a dimly lit bar and a kiss
Two foreheads pressed close in words and futures

Kiss me he whispers, enter my bed, enter my heart
Enter my garden, there are pinecones supporting marigolds

And muskrat dirt caked paws singing ladybug lullabies
Lucy and pine trees, a hot sun embraced by autumnal clouds

On that is that folks... ride safe, ride free, stand together... Solidarity forever
and remember to hug the ones you care about... even in solitude and loneliness 
there is the yearning for romance and a touch...

Its october and Muskrat's settling in for a long winter....

So it's that time of year again... and hopefully that means I will be a little less selfish with my writing and with my baking... This week its cookies, biscuits, blueberry scones and Arroz Con Gandules!  As it is here are a few of the poem's I've been working on... As always they are rough drafts and no where near finished.  The first I just finished a few moments ago after my morning bike ride and espresso down at Cafe Guiseppe down on Silver near Nob Hill.   Wonderful people, amazing espresso (best I've found in town) and a damn fine environment for sitting a sticking ones nose in a crossword if I do say so myself.

Anyway... enough babbling and rambling... here are a few poems... I hope you like them.  I always want your feed back... you all make me a better person.


Albuquerque, the smell of warm play-doo and kitchen stove roasting green chilies
There is an almost full moon rising in a cloudlness night
Sitting low above the mountains
                                                            Heavy with unseasonal warmth
Pieces of a rotator belt at the intersection,
a cucumber underneath bike tires,
October yellowed leaves in the gutter next to a freshly watered brown lawn
Muddied and confused
            It’s October and in the seventies by mid afternoon
            In Japan its raining and getting late
to be climbing Mount Fuji
                                                Oh ladybug
                                                soon… soon... but please, go slow

People's name's become insects to protect the innocent.

Leaning against the stuccoed wall 
Watching moonlight adorned September post rain clouds
Perfectly silhouetted framed like silver around a vintage broach
Thin, elegant and oxidizing in the rain and heat
He is waiting for the kettle to whistle
Whistle in a town where no trains moan at two in the morning
A new mexico moonscape drapery over sweet cherry peppers
And end of the season wilted tomato plants
There are mustard plants weeding out the backyard
And a ladybug is cleaning her child’s pee from the dining room table
An ocean and an email away
Muskrat’s socks have holes in the toes and heels
And there is chamomile tea steeping in an engraved mug…


With muddy water running off a light brown news boy cap
A fast moving New Mexico scattered shower
Punched its way east past the valley into the foothills
Over the Sandia Crest as dirty gutter water runs out the holes in his shoes
There is baseball on the television, rice on the stove top
Greek oregano and chives surrounding sweet cherry red peppers
Along metal trellises in the backyard.
It’s a Carl Sandburg and William Carlos Williams night

Somewhere west of here, she is reading through a pile of books
A high school memory and reconnected pen-pal
Watching Mad Men and requesting long distance poems…

Monday, September 5, 2011

Muskrat's got a heavy heart and fresh coffee with heavy cream and cinnamon powder...

 Muskrat's piecing together chemistry flashcards, a losing baseball game, bits of a bruised heart and ribs and beautiful cool rainless New Mexico September weather together into a labor day thanksgiving of maybe things will start on the up and up.  With heavy cream and black currant scones cooling on the stovetop, Muskrat’s paws wrestles the chain over his rear wheel and back into place.  Staring out towards the backyard garden and the Sandia’s over the cinderblock retaining wall, Muskrat wipes the black chain grease onto his white t-shirt and licks his coffee stained teeth.  It’s Labor Day and his arms are feeling heavy and his little paws are scraping over memories of affection and lines of poetry in tattered paperbacks.  Sam Cooke is singing on the radio, and the coffee is percolating on the stove top.  The kitchen smells like burnt coffee,  fresh scones, spilled cinnamon and frozen fish thawing on the counter for dinner over rainbow chard and basmati rice.  Arching his back he could feel his ribs protesting and a cold glass of orange juice tasted like the holiday three day weekend.  

I know it isn't much but I promise more to come soon.  Happy labor day friends
Solidarity, hope, love and butterfly kisses to all  
Ride free, live free, take care of your friends...

Friday, July 22, 2011

summer is a lonely time when its a drought...

Hello Y'all, its been a hot second or two, I know I know...
well I have a few new ones or at least two and one that has two versions, maybe drafts,
a look at the evolution of the poem in progress i guess one could say.
It's hot and dry round these parts, but my cucumbers and zucchini's are hardy little guys and my strawberries have taken over.  Muskrat's remembering to grin and bear it, growl and go.
But enough of that here are some new one's as promised... enjoy, let me know what you think.

Watering the tall green desert grass
imitation raindrops
A thumb and a garden hose
A hummingbird from the shelter
Of a purple leaf plum
Flits through the droplets
In the evening sun
Seven months and a quarter inch of rain

There is a hummingbird playing
In the fake rain created
By my thumb and a garden hose
Watering the green green tall desert grass
In my parents backyard
Taking shelter in the purple leaf plum
From the sun and an Albuquerque afternoon
Box turtles eating strawberries In the evening
Watching the gardener picking cherry tomatoes
flirting with hummingbirds and watering patio morning glories.

Wipe down the cast iron skillet with a paper towel
Bacons grease and garden fresh zucchini
Peaking out the backdoor to catch
Finches tilting the hummingbird feeder
Spilling sugar water onto dead branches
At the base of a lilac bush
Instead watch white butterflies circle red cherry pepper plants
And a few mid-day clouds carry rain away from the Rio Grande basin
North towards Colorado and east towards a never hitting the ground evaporation.

As always Solidarity Forever, ride free, ride safe, Don't be a stranger...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Muskrat makes his Blog debut appearance

Climbing out of his hole sometime around mid-morning, Muskrat sniffs at an eastbound wind and rolls a juniper twig of a cigarette.  Rubbing the match head against the wall and lighting the dangling participle of his morning inches from his whiskers, Muskrat lets out a sigh.  The bottoms of his feet are black and his fingers cracked and trying to bleed.  Muskrat  figures if it wasn't for his garden, six tomato cages, a raised bed of zucchini, a few small pepper plants, brussell sprouts and an assortment of petunia's and lavender plants, it's on that train he'd ride.  The only problem is he's isolated himself to a town without trains.  It's a town where the trains used to go.  There's a commuter train northbound and an autorack repair facility a few stumbles south but for Muskrat the air is silent and still.  He listens intently each morning to the birds chasing tail on the electric and telephone lines, listens for the overriding sensation, vibrations in the air of the old lonesome whistle and wail to pull at the heart strings and make an aging Muskrat pull up roots and ride.  But there are none.  Instead he places his nose in a crossword, nibbles at homemade blueberry scones, eyes the piling stack of dishes on the counter and settles into an Albuquerque morning.

So that's Muskrat... he's a good egg, a little miss guided and still learning like we all do all our lives.
give him some time, he may come around...
until then...

Solidarity forever... ride free, be safe and tell the people around you you love them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New poem for a coworker

I know i have been lacking in my postings as of late.  Going to try and be better about these things.
Right now I have a few new poems.  One that i composed for a coworker on demand for his last day at work.  It's kind of a work poem for the lonely barista's and the such.  I also just recently sent out a few poems to Syntax Magazine up in Denver.  A fellow Poet and friend City Mouse resides there and fingers crossed, is pitching my stuff to the editor.  Thanks brother, I owe you.

Last work poem for Brandon

Bob Dylan is singing his Visions of Johanna
over the loud speaker in the lobby
and here among the early evenings
we still pour burnt milk
for strangers
and pray for thirty mile gusts of wind
to lift patio umbrellas
into a red sports car side door
or for the girl in her black jeep
to pause and smile
write her number on a sweet and low sugar
and drive onto Montgomery
until tomorrow's caffeine
addiction brings us together
without interruptions from headsets
or twenty four minute timers
        give me a quad espresso
        Eighty fifty and hour
        Chai in my cereal
        and her number on a sweet and low packet

Later today I have some of the first of Muskrat's ramblings to share... if I never explained Muskrat to you. I will give a brief scribbling inkling of him later this afternoon.

until then god speed lil animals
I love you... ride safe. ride free and keep a song in your hearts
smell the bottoms of your tomatoes for happy thoughts

Sunday, May 15, 2011

good evening captain... good evening son... just another muleskinner blues...

So the snow peas are ripening on the vine, sweet and juicy freshly harvested
the zucchini are coming up as are my carrots
as for myself, these things are slipping out of my mind as fast as I can.
I'll take the easy way out tonight and post another poem.
Some Muskrat ramblings and other goodies to come soon I promise...

Here are two new ones from my new house and giving due to my garden.
Chasing away the lonelys with poems and digging in the dirt...

There is an almost full moon
Stuck in the dead limbs above the backyard
Chuck Berry’s singing rock and roll music
Baking powder biscuits warming in the oven
There’s a whiskey sour on the kitchen table
Nothing has grown out the back screen door
That doesn’t exist in small patches and
Different shades of tan and light browns

The almost full moon is staring down at my watered garden
In a backyard where nothing green has grown in years
Fresh tilled dirt, turned with a pick ax
Mixed with coffee grounds and bat guano
Freshly watered
The smell of life and soil and fertilizer on three-year-old blue jeans

There is a goat head stuck in my ring finger
Marrying me to the back yard and an unspoken lease
An agreement signed with toil between me and dirt
A lease signed in harvests and metallic watering cans
Obligations to roots and worms and wilting brussell sprouts.

untitled  (with apologies to ann struthers who always said that untitled poems were a sign of laziness; sorry i'm feeling lazy these days)

I wake early now
to wash other people’s dishes
from last night’s midnight dinner
leave the drying rack to be emptied
later in the afternoon and another
load of dishes to fill their place.
Needs listed in scraps of paper on the refrigerator-
potting soil
Larger gloves,
row separators for snow peas
More orange juice,
sweet and sour
And for someone to crawl into bed with
Or out from in the morning
before I wash the dishes
Thirty and alone and working a coffee shop job
I guess they are right when they say
Men grow up later in life, I guess I never got the memo
And forgot how to grow old gracefully
Or in the arms of any one else
So I button my shirt, click off the bedroom light
Think about the morning crossword
And wake alone early with the sun
Accepting of my lot in life.

once again these are rough drafts... They'll get better as time goes on

dig your fingers in the dirt in the morning when the soil is cold and damp and human like...  
Touch me make me feel human

Solidarity Forever... Work hard... Be safe... Ride Free... 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

two finals down and one more to go

just nine or so more pages to type and another semester is down.
Kind of enjoying this perma-student thing.  Not a bad way to go.
The wind is picking up outside, I can hear the dirt shifting
spring time again i guess,
Someone pointed out that this year is my golden birthday... 31 on the 31st of this month.
it is what it is...

here is a poem i spat out on demand a few months back for a fellow worker...

There’s a heaviness hanging over the Sandia’s in the early afternoon
Capped in anticipation and the southern edges of a blizzard system
Dropping blizzard conditions in Denver
Low, northern rambling clouds in Albuquerque.
There is a glare off the rim of the white coffee mug
The sun stressed and hanging in intervals between breaks in the clouds.
Breaking and stretching themselves into patchwork
Over the Rio Grande as they lose momentum heading west towards Grants
And a badlands of lava flows and mud.

He’s left post-it notes of haikus
In work break rooms
to push out algebraic formulas from his frontal lobe
To make room for music lyrics and abstract theory
Recipes for blended coffees and caloric counts of whole and non fat
Concoctions that leave you bloated and restless

His espresso is cold and the foot of his bed empty
Three wool blankets leave gaps between each other
Like the clouds over the rio grande rambling east
Towards grants and a train yard of rust and ankle sized ballast

It’s Febuary and the tree’s remain empty
Arms stretched in prayer for an early spring
A winter without moisture and the sky sinks heavy
Over the mountains with false prophets of chills and apple cider weather.

maybe the next one will be more recent maybe not...
until then keep up the good fight.
solidarity forever... ride free... be safe... ride hard, die harder

Sunday, May 8, 2011

First post and a new poem

Well Howdi
So here goes nothing
and I must say I am pretty darn good at nothing.
Welcome to Muskrat, he's small, furry, opinionated, likes his music and books and his garden and the what not...  Right now the sausage is burning on the stove top and the screen door is hanging off its hinges begging for attention but that will have to wait for another day.  As for now here's a new poem or two rather that I feel pretty satisfied with at the current moment.  But you know how it goes, what is life without constant revision.

The poets hands listening intently to Philip Glass playing six piano Etudes

Folded hands framed by creased blue jeans
Silhouetted against the darkness
Illuminated lines and veins
Fingers, three outstretched
Cross hatched charcoal shading techniques
Adopted by fingers at rest
Stark and lonesome like the faces in Walker Evans
Depression era photographs
These hands have seen the trouble
Lightning Hopkins gin soaked voice preached
And they have seen such beauty
Play piano on a Tuesday evening


An orchestra of hands collaborating between compositions
To compose a Philip Glass symphony
The musician framed in
by a stark Japanese brushstroke
a lonesome microphone stand
behind the arched back of the pianist
simple and black and linear
his arms crossing to strike a low note

I hope you enjoy and more poems, ramblings, reviews of music and ideas and books and the such to come as my mind spits them out...  

As always solidarity forever, and be safe and ride free