A Country Western Song, 90 Miles Inland

I saw you come and fell to my knees,
waves opened and mermaids sang,
Oh, Lord, this boy’s in love.

You opened your mouth,
and my tongue swam in,
church bells rang
about living in sin,
Oh, Lord, this boy’s in love.

At the altar somewhat late,
the flowers turned to wine.
Suit and tie, to work on time,
Oh, Lord, this boy’s in love.

For old anxiety, my love,
for old anxiety,
we’ll meet again
on time’s back porch
for old anxiety.

I was reading the latest
self-help book, “How to Breathe
in Public.” Chapter Three
was particularly helpful:
“Breathing with Others
at a Garden Party.”

Anonymous breaths
if anyone was breathing
no one seemed to notice
almost like being homeless
breathless with others.

Bar up to the belly and down
dancing eels in the grass
when down at the heels
one flights with one’s heels
giddy the best betrayal
their emerald anxiety.

In an air of gnats the breasts
pair off, pretending not
to anticipate any boast
guests wait & snip & go.

In the end, but
it doesn’t end here
comes another crop,
one “a retired drunk,”
the stinger deposited
with baby’s breath
to question any
of breathing with others.

With merit the bobbers go
to static like a radio
that won’t tune in clearly
breaths of static.

As David Tutor replied
to John Cage, when
asked why he didn’t
join the others:
“I haven’t left;
this is the way I keep you

Just so, the well wrought
snub, quick merciless wit bit,
the sidewalk flight of poems,
the thick porcelain
urinals as big as steamboats
sharing a pissy river,
the old cigarettes,
the stale ale,
the slow morning snores,
tugboats pulling from shore.

We begin to envision
an end to retail
as we now know it.
Nothing to buy,
no place to go,
we gather in a garden
and learn to breathe


  1. I really like this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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