The City Has Become Too Safe: Remembering The Axiom in Verse

axiomreunion1On November 23rd, 24th, and 25th of this past year, heroes and icons of the Houston scene of yore came back together up at Fitzgerald’s to reunite and remember some of that past awesomeness, with sets from folks like Pain Teens, Dresden 45, Toho Ehio, and a whole lot more.

And in between the bands, there was an added bonus: spoken-word/poetry performances from some of H-town’s brightest from back in the day. SCR is privileged to be able to publish some of those poems here, by Salvador Macias, David Yammer (of Academy Black), aka Kommando Poet, Alex Wukman, and Plastic Clown, aka Al-Gene Pennison III, with David Yammer providing some introductory thoughts. Enjoy.


 

Recently, while waiting around at Fitzgerald’s for sound check before the Axiom reunion, I had an unearthly feeling. As I wandered around the old club, I felt like a ghost and I could see the shadows of crowds and bands who I had seen there before. I saw familiar, unforgotten faces, old friends, family. Visiting silhouettes, lingering like the Greek notion of the shades. My own self being one, as well, mingling as I moved about in The Now. I moved between the planes, just watching. Later, at the show, dozens of bands and hundreds of fans celebrated Us. “We are alive!,” we proclaimed, with a punkrock sneer and singalong gang vocals and a happy pit of people goin’ at it and cheering. Who are we? We are the We who We now be. And that fantastical time that we were reviving, if only temporarily, that dear, garish light and beautiful noise that helped to bring us to be the vibrant beings that we now be. Yet there were others there, brought out by the light of the fire that we set burning bright. I saw Joe C., Wade L., Damon O’Banion, The Great Bobosa, Ames World, John, Pepe, Russell Alex, Ryxmyth, Red, Indian, Sam Jackson, Stoner… You saw them, too, and others whose names maybe I couldn’t remember right then. No, you didn’t shake their hands or give them a big hug, but you did embrace them as sure as we all held each other, and they welcomed us to leave our present state and revisit a fond place in time and space when we wore a more childlike face. We were reborn. We danced, we sang, we laughed, we cried. We brought our own children and showed them that glorious racket, that high glow, that loud hum, that brilliant gleam that illuminated the shadows of our youth. We brought them so they, too, could be saved by what it was that had once saved all of us. Yes, even those who dwell here no more found some salvation within these doors, and they wave, smiling as we come back to The Now, knowing that we bring them back with us as we return with that radiance to the reality that we all call our current day-to-day. Yes, I saw you, and you saw me but, also, we caught sight of Joe, Wade, Damon O’Banion, Bobosa, Amy, John, Pepe, Russell, Ryxmyth, Red, Indian, Old Sam, Stoner, and a host of other shades brought back out of the shadows by our everlasting light.


 

axiom1Degradation City
by Salvador Macias

Tomorrow becomes yesterday when we get lost searching for today
Without remorse the world around changes hyphenated to abbreviated
Cell phone towers..celluloid billboards and pock marked teenage riot freeways becomes an abstract painting dripping at the corner of mouths
The majority of humanus erectus
Will rarely see such beauty
Such death rectal revolving doors
Ever changing no one knows you
No one gives a _____
The city breaths diesel fume crack black exhaust and pisses petrol wine
40oz enthusiasm progress is fisted up, over, and through the middle class
And the poor?
Well they aren’t even on the radar
Some will put up a fight while most accept the foreclosure move aside for a 30% brighter, faster cheaply built tomorrow loan
Wide eyed young professionals wait for your childhood memories
They wait for Third Ward
They wait for the East End
They wait for the Northside Cumbia record to end
Adios paisano because everything has a tax and every man has a price that become just too much to compete with Sometimes,
Today goes by fast when you hold on to when you hold onto yesterday.
White smiles, tan oxford loafers with Gucci handbags multiply and builds its army a dozen success stories at a time. Mom and dad watch with pride safely locked away in a T.V. pop rocks anal fed suburbia
Beloved street dreamers, street preachers, where have you gone? Gone the way of colorful prostitutes, gone the way of outlaw artist with spray can now with solo show, big money, immortality hijacker urinating down every oil slick street
High-rise cancer sticks
Cigarette ash bike trails pump red light
Get the fuck out of town neon Signs
This city has become too safe yet no one dares to look you in the eyes
The fear comes on strong with anti-anxiety pills, low fat opiate suppositories
Lock your doors, hide your children
Hold on tight to your wallet
Because of you a homeless man hold a sign “will commit self emulsion for food”
eyelids burnt black
Radiated cockroaches dance to the drunk lament in your heart and no one witnesses a single tear all your cherished memories are bulldozed. once there was a happy ending
But a used car lot resides in its wake.
Cotton candy angels jerk off Acid rain
Little joy, tomorrow becomes yesterday and today never existed
Cryptic language
Secret handshake
Success is a subjective mule
And it is always just within reach
Centrifugal force, the heart weakens from our time in heaven
DEGRADATION CITY!
DEGRADATION CITY!
DEGRADATION CITY!
With a smile on its face, tickles the flesh with Texas house flies, peacock feather and bullwhip
Privatize the soul workin’ 16 hour shifts at rotten rice factories feeding the dead masses
With no outlet access road
No U-turn
Wrong way
One way to a comfortable hell
If you can afford 72 virgins crying with swollen pussies
“O YEAH PAPIE VEN PA CA CULO” buy them!
Infrastructure fractured bones
Economic detention
Chlamydia burns with the sulfites of every glass of wine
The middle class
Is bread and water
The middle class is sweat upon stinging sweat
The middle class
The muzzle has its tight grip
Coming loose
Loose tongue
Loose virtues
Pack of wild dogs
Bark into the safest of once ghetto streets
Yesterday is remembered
And YES! It did happen
Yesterday stabs the gut with V8 engine
Prophylactic wheels
Abstract vision obstructs the veins of this city as it eats itself
Until nothing is left but a bleached bone
Drying in the sun
Weeping children distended bellies
The tapeworm whispers
“This is all you get; this is all you will ever become”
Lullaby sinister rattle
The science of death is shit running down a frightened leg
Where are you going?
The Ferris Wheel creaks
With rusted baby powdered hot shot the junkie Christ dies for you and I
Mothers, pray for your children
With their hopes of a greener tomorrow
But tomorrow becomes yesterday while you wait for today to happen unemployment lines run past the vanishing point and into the arms of dead sailors with their siren song
Red and blue flashing lights
Our father and our fathers fathers
Fight among shadows
And mirrors
Among their regrets
Among no chance
Among the men their mothers and country wanted them to be.
Forced in county and state jails to sit out their remainder of their children’s lives
But this is the way it is
Black raven
Brown sparrow
White dove
Poisoned with the nectar
Of desire shot down with the arrow of pride
Trampled by the hoofs of Rejection
Bleached white smiles
And spray on tans
Oxford shoes
And designer bags
Builds its army a dozen success stories at a time
Evicting us to where the trees divide invisible county lines
There is no need for guns
No need for a majority vote
No Need for a Bill of Right on to the exit of humanity
All we need is more flat screen TVs
More Facebook time
More beer
More sex
With someone smarter than you
Because this is new
Sex with someone who can out smoke you
Because this is new
Sex with someone who swallows your bitter cum
Because this is what’s left
Drooling
Passive
Imbeciles
Patiently waiting for the circus to arrive


 

I Swing Iron, I Spit Fire
by Kommando Poet

I swing iron, I spit fire
And I sweat blood,
But from the flood my fears retire
Nevertheless, I would be hard pressed
(Even, almost, a liar)
To profess me to be
Some sort of Prometheus
Or answer as Atlas if so addressed
I know that I
Do not hold up the sky
And my world would not be well if
I were nailed to some distant cliff
I mean, do the other billions of earthling ears
Really need to hear me talk?
Would the world wish
To weigh down my walk,
My shoulders with boulders burdened?
Well, my words of wistful wisdom
Have occasion to be heard
My feet move, going mostly where I place them
So, no, nature has no want to bring me hurt
Moreover, my eyes are ever upward lifted
And my skies never inert
Even though the axis has now shifted
Its new tilt is an arrow leaning east
My poles have drifted by a few degrees
It might be best if I refocus my eyes west
I chase the orbs, I race the storms
I call the clouds to yield rain
I’ve got scorpion venom
Swimming the course of my veins
Yet, you can bet
My spirit has withstood the test
My path has been blessed
With this new power which I have found
It seems to me
That even chasing the evening sun
Can sometimes
Bring one all the way back around
Still, It can seem so mysterious
That small spot where light and dark split
And I must resist the call
To crawl and hide inside of it
For, I must endure like Odysseus
Even without his strength or wit
To adventure further, to persist
To ensure that I never quit
Verily I say to thee
That you ain’t gonna find me in Isaiah 53:3
Nor the victim in poor old Job’s story
The sorrow is only sometimes
Probably tomorrow comes some glory
And I will shine, glowing with cadence and rhyme
My pulse in near perfect time
Somewhere, somewhere I will find my rhythm
Even if I must bring my hammer to bear
On this old earth’s hollow bones
And for my own music beat them
Crafting new tempos and tones
Tuning the notes to something much higher
Although I know I sing alone
You should know:
I swing iron, I spit fire!


 

The Wind is a Wolf in this Ward
by Kommando Poet

In this ward the wind is a wolf.
Outside my Axiom home
it is awake and prowling.
This old hotel’s neighborhood
has been haunted by the howlings
which roam about, running.
Directed down the darker alleys.
Shrieking up the valley
of the shadow. Lurking
up live Oak Road.
Pawsing momentarily
near McKinney Street
where the two cross like a T.

Long after the coyote-like
laughter leaves me, I am
left wandering, always stalwart,
through the alleyways of the galaxies.
This city is some kind of
weathered, wind torn canyon.
Here where storms get whipped
into wild abandon. All
while lupine outlines recline
up on Alpine high concrete ledges.
The wind runs rife over rooftops,
buffeting rough brick edges.
Buttresses fly, as rusty struts
are rushed over by the gale’s gusts.

The wind haunts this old hotel.
This third ward ghetto is
lousy with ghosts that float
in the shadows like shades.
We, being the wolf and me,
stop and look around patiently.
We listen to the church bells
chiming from their towers.
In our part of hell they are
the only way to tell the hour
The voice of the wolf calls out with
a moonlit bark. I sit in the dark
in a convulsive fit. I fidget about
wondering what is going on
outside of my boarded-up windows.
Only this ancient edifice knows
how the motion of my pictures flow.
These silent walls act as canvas
catching what the camera throws.
I’m caught in this creepy keep.
These hallways are always
crawling with nocturnal vermin.
This is why the wind wants in.
The wolf is why I must get out
to jog in the streets, join the dogs
until the wolf comes back around
with the wind to wail through downtown.
Outlaw Angel at the Axiom

I sit behind the bar like a lone, lawless angel
Hanging around downtown posing as a punk rock ranger
An unlikely avenging avatar at the service of the scene
Soaking up the sex, drugs, delinquency and danger
In the debauched war zone that now surrounds me
Working the ghetto clubs for nothing much more
Than free beer, tips, phone numbers and lost metaphors
Lotsa’ assholes, miscreants, misanthropes and mottled whores
Move marauding through the midnight, sinister and stalking
And the cranked-up rock bands are never long silent
This booze fueled fight and flight is loud and rocking
Sometimes my partying patrons may become violent
At any moment there’s a chance of taking or giving a beating
I gotta go for my equalizer, reach for my heater
I got old, beat-up brass for knuckles knocking
And a brand new, black six battery police mag light
In case of needed illumination but, I keep it outta sight
An almost broken switch-blade knife smuggled here from Mexico
And a .25 caliber, pearl handled automatic tucked away
Somewhere hidden in a place that no cop would go
It seems, for now, that I may do just exactly as I please
Without those heavy burdens of fear, remorse or dread
And the pretty day of the painful, penitent payment
May never actually be allowed to finally arrive
Maybe infatuated Fate won’t tire of delivering up to me
Some perverse pleasure from down on her knees
Or pop up, punitive, and stop performing perfect head
Achieving multiple drunken orgasms before I am dead
No libra bowls of restraint for me, only doled out liberties
No need for real signs of sentiment or sincerity
In my powerful state it takes a lot to bring me to pity
Such as a broken beer bottle, or when the bar’s floor is wet
Or the faulty flicker of this current club’s electricity
Only these type of mild irritants move me
I continue to consume the carnal offerings that are set
Freely, in abundance, out in front of me
For now immediate satisfaction may be all that I get
And fortunately for me, for now, that’s all I need


 

Not-a-love-poem (with some stage directions)
by Alex Wukman, 11/2012

I love you (softly, sweetly)
I don’t mean I love you (body shape)
I mean, I love you (exploding thoughts)
Don’t get me wrong, I love you (sketch body shape) too

Your Rocky-Mountain-cheekbones, Lake-Michigan-in-winter-eyes,
Gowanus-Canal-brown-hair, climbed- to-the-top-of-El-Capitan-thighs
Your body is a language I want to learn to read
Decipher the coded messages in your sighs
Your smile is a riff, turning me into a song with just one note
Move Closer (step towards)
Feel the electric current of skin against skin [hand-on-hand]
Pick you up broken in my mouth
Try to break the membrane separating me from you
Your laugh is a tinkling bell explosion
Calling out for me to pull your hair back, bend you like a bow (bend body back) and arc arrows from your spine (bow shooting motion)
Chase them down the cave of your neck (rub collar bone) until we are both lost

But, I love you (hand to forehead) more
The secret you, special you, soul shard, divine spark
Animating that prison of rotting flesh
I want to crack your skull and feel your thoughts pour into my brain
Like flood waters through a burst levee
Soaking and spreading (arms out) into every thought canal and emotion channel
Until there’s no difference between me and you

I’m sorry, (hand to chest) what I meant to say
My name is hunger (hand to stomach)
Can you feed me
My name is thirst (hand to throat)
Can you sate me
My name is Now (hand to ground))
Can I marry your mind?


 

axiom3Down and Out at the In n’ Out Mart
by Alex Wukman, 5/2004

if home is where the heart is
then my heart is scattered across the city
with the blown out tires
used condoms
cigarette butts
broken beer bottles

it’s powderized
blows through downtown
on the winds of five
o’ clock car exhaust

it’s pulverized fed
to pigeons at the zoo
by fat sweaty tourists with fat sweaty children
who stand slackjawed
gaping staring
at the barbiturate bears
and lithium lions

it’s sliced and sold
by the pound at wal-mart delis
to be taken home by exhausted mothers
the crow’s feet carving maps of heartaches and hard lives
across their temples

my heart flows with the gravel cement and water
poured into potholes along main street
it hides behind the counter at liquor stores
seductively begging to be shotgunned
by 14-year-olds with lawn mowing money
it curls up with the cockroaches in nursing home walls
biding time waiting
for the lights to go out
and the staff to sulk off to their cars

it bleeds swampy brown leaden blood
from the faucets of cheap motels
where hookers fight in the pre-dawn light of passing headlights
over who gets the cash from the last trick
it mixes with bleach and soap
sloshes and spills in hallways
trickles back into the janitor’s $5.15 an hour mop water
with the day’s dirt and the night’s dreams

it drip drip drips from plastic bags in the ambulance’s i.v.
as paramedics beat on a 12-year-old boy’s chest
and a mother prays to god
that the neighborhood won’t take her baby away
it shoots 50 150 250 feet in the air
burning with the benzene from the refineries smokestacks
painting bedroom walls
apocalypse red &
nagasaki orange

my heart glimmers with the desperation of the vietnam vet standing on the corner
with a sign that reads
homeless hungry anything will help
and remembering the hell of the tet offensive
and the chaos of saigon in the spring of 75

it spills from leaky pipes
seeps into ground water
is drank by families
struggling to live the american dream
it slowly works its way down
through the body
with each
ba-bump
ba-bump
ba-bump of life
eroding tissues and turning gonads
and ovaries into nodes
of cancer & pain

it shriek-shouts out of fourth floor apartment windows
just before the crash-bang
of pots-n-pans flying against pavement
after a few too many drinks
and too few tries to find a way out
of the endlessly repeating loops of life

it’s the broken mirrors
tin covered windows
burnt bulbs in the
down-the-street tweeker’s house
the foam pouring from the mouth of the
biker who just mainlined antifreeze the 16-year-old blonde girl
curled up in the back of the bar crashing
after 2 sleepless adderol days the grandmal DT seizures
that twist drunk’s hands into useless claws
and try to wring every last drop
of cheap whiskey from their bodies it drags

out of bed every morning before dawn
to stand on street corners with day laborers
stare expectantly at every car that drives past
& hope that the next one will be the one
the one that will open the plush leather lined door to a better life

if home is where the heart is then why is there no heart here at home


 

The Beauty of Burning
by Plastic Clown

As we climb on to an alter of fire
Together
Secretly swaying to the beat of bliss
together
& then separately
as we find our places on stage
& dip our feet into the river
of domesticity
& kill motherfuckers
we don’t likekill motherfuckers we don’t like
& then
sing the songs
that make everything better
for everyone left
[awaiting the assault of desire]
master of the universe
(tv spot)
I want to hold the chubby goth girl’s hand
As I walk into another bar-room (story)
& another redneck calls me a fag
too proper, I was…the big words
you know me, right?
Too proper? (for yr sister maybe)
I don’t understand
& my immediate response
(that I hold in)
is why don’t you shut the fuck up
or I’ll fuck you in the ass
till you’re dead
Don’t I want these people
To think I’m the most fucked-up
Thing they’ve ever seen?
Don’t I want to be
One of the most fucked-up things
That anyone who can really see
Has ever seen?
Jumbo size my orgasms
Let my diseased flippers
Respond pleasurably
To the shared caress
On desires most distant shoreDancing to the Cure
Our hands held
Nike’s unintended offspring
Positive senses of self
Like sudden weight-loss
Programs
Un-contemplated
Suddenly ubiquitous
(& thinner)
like I’ll never pay for parking
at the center
of yr attention
ever
again
self-esteem is like crack
for me
once I get a little
I’m willing to pay full price
Until I’m full & comfortable
& I swear this time
I will love you right
Sans the usual inappropriate
Costumes
Infrequent dialogue
Brusque & undecipherable
Am I sticking my meaning
Out at you
In such a way
That it looks
Erect?
Does any body remember comfortable?
Please don’t call it rape anymore
I won’t call mine rape
If you won’t call yours rape
& we’ll blame God
when we’re not busy doing other things
& have you seen my other things
bit o fresh paint
& a new crowd
paint over the bad
part of the story
Hotline Helen & the 23 dwarves
Are dragging my self-esteem
Through the mud
& who can blame them?
As I’ll splash my blood & guts
On yr high-school
(restroom walls)
stories of monuments
hidden in mists
immune to young girls
puerile splather
the hope of blood-drench
massacre
the extermination of fairy tales
the falter of my tongue
in lark’s aspic
and which Yes song is this?
And everywhere
Seems gone
(everywhere safe)
and I try not to hide it in my speech
a squeal a scream
with a deep bass beat
sing a glass entreaty
against never
with whiskey chaser
the Viking sweat of my racism
spill these high school secrets
but protest as we all should
against amassed tokens of self-disgust
to spit out like expectoration
is the route to salvation
& hope like fuck
somehow you care

(C) & (P) Al-Gene Pennison III


 

Outlaw Angel at the Axiom
by Kommando Poet (Not recited)

I sit behind the bar like a lone, lawless angel
Hanging around downtown posing as a punk rock ranger
An unlikely avenging avatar at the service of the scene
Soaking up the sex, drugs, delinquency and danger
In the debauched war zone that now surrounds me
Working the ghetto clubs for nothing much more
Than free beer, tips, phone numbers and lost metaphors
Lotsa’ assholes, miscreants, misanthropes and mottled whores
Move marauding through the midnight, sinister and stalking
And the cranked-up rock bands are never long silent
This booze fueled fight and flight is loud and rocking
Sometimes my partying patrons may become violent
At any moment there’s a chance of taking or giving a beating
I gotta go for my equalizer, reach for my heater
I got old, beat-up brass for knuckles knockin
And a brand new, black six battery police mag light
In case of needed illumination but, I keep it outta sight
An almost broken switch-blade knife smuggled here from Mexico
And a .25 caliber, pearl handled automatic tucked away
Somewhere hidden in a place that no cop would go
It seems, for now, that I may do just exactly as I please
Without those heavy burdens of fear, remorse or dread
And the pretty day of the painful, penitent payment
May never actually be allowed to finally arrive
Maybe infatuated Fate won’t tire of delivering up to me
Some perverse pleasure from down on her knees
Or pop up, punitive, and stop performing perfect head
Achieving multiple drunken orgasms before I am dead
No libra bowls of restraint for me, only doled out liberties
No need for real signs of sentiment or sincerity
In my powerful state it takes a lot to bring me to pity
Such as a broken beer bottle, or when the bar’s floor is wet
Or the faulty flicker of this current club’s electricity
Only these type of mild irritants move me
I continue to consume the carnal offerings that are set
Freely, in abundance, out in front of me
For now immediate satisfaction may be all that I get
And fortunately for me, for now, that’s all I need


 

Dark Decade
by Kommando Poet (Not recited)

Ten years I lived
My life without sunlight
And now, today, I find that
It is more brilliant than bright
It burns the day with radiation
It lays one bear and sterilizes
It focuses, revealing as it rises
I’m struggling to stand upright in it
To live a well lit life
Although here I did not begin it
Here I try to survive

Sometimes I think back through time
To our Houston ghettos at night
And how all the elderly colored folks
Hanging out at the corner Chat’n’Chew
Or the Big F Lounge further down
Seemed, in some ways,
To be otherworldly to me
Almost like a part of the shadows
Not just because the hue of their skin
Allowed them to melt into mottled
Corners, alleys or doorways
But, because, they are often aged
And almost always silent

Those old locals seemed to know more
Than me and all of those with us
We were simple suburbanite adventurers
Hopeless interlopers just flirting
With the notion of the ghetto
The natives of those neighborhoods
Started there and would end there
That stark degenerating wasteland was home
They had their dark hangouts, hidden dens,
I’m not even sure that it was
Dismal or dangerous to them
Just home.

My fellow searchers and I
Were there to see where it was that we
Could all end up as opposed to the
Estates in Memorial and River Oaks
And all those uptight, uptown, rich folks
We were descended from
The grand old American Middle Class
We had fear of failure and had high hopes
Delusions of grandeur and the ghettos
We had gone to live in
Were only virtual picture shows
Living silhouettes of who we could be
Echoing the despair that we sometimes
Felt way deep down on the inside
Motherless and fatherless in a world
That was rapidly turning out to be
A real motherfucker

All of us were orphaned
Through death, divorce, drug addiction, disease
Or just emotional distance and detachment
We were all alone together
And the bare bones of the barrios
Were closer to hell for us
Almost as squalid as sewers
As hopeless as a mental ward
As deadly as a death wish
As old as the city, as time, maybe,
And now forgotten, condemned and rotting
The clay feet of the metropolitan idol
The ghetto was lonely and acted as a mirror
To a bunch of scared, curious kids
With souls that, though so youthful still
Seemed to reflect the ghetto
Yet, I still wonder what it is that those
Timeless, old locals know


 

axiom2Weeble Wobble
by Kommando Poet (Not recited)

Lemme tell ya’
Old Weeble Wobble was an old black man
-And this was back during the Axiom days and
Those days was like the Wild West!-
Anyhow, he stood stout at about five five
Five nine with the hard hat on
He often wore it even when inside
He patrolled the warehouse district
Scoutin’ out scrap metal, and such, to pick
Loading it into his wobbly grocery basket
Then wheeling it back for salvage
At the yard across from the backstage door
They made racket all day
While those of us who worked at the club
Tried to get some sleeping done
Well, Ol’Weeble would get himself some
Scratch from the scrap that he sold
Then go back home for some rest
In those slanted tenements
Leaning up against us
He come back after dark to hang out
With all the punk rockers and metal heads
He was given his name because
He could stagger through the slam pit
From one side to another and back around
“Weebles wobble but, they don’t fall down
Sometimes he would sport a sharp fedora
And hold an empty plastic cup at me
A gleam in his eye, his lips moving inaudibly
I’d fill his empty cup up
Hollering some congenial shit over the music
Now and then he would offer me a handle full of change
It was really scrap metal and sweat
I’d refill him and he’d totter off
One time he came up to the front door
And in his hands he had a shotgun
– I told ya’, like the wild west!-
It was all cool and he didn’t stumble (much)
One time he looked at me,
Lips moving motioning me closer
I leaned in and he said:
“Hey, boy, can you hear me?”
I nodded and he continued,
“I know you can understand me
And I know everything that’s around me.”
He added with a wise wink, I think
I drew back locked in his gifted gaze
Although not showing it, just a little amazed
I topped his cheap draft beer off
He sipped then he weeble wobbled off
To go mumble sweet nothings
To a few off-duty tipsy strippers


 

Out About and Groovin’
(Random Phantom Fantasy)

by Kommando Poet (Not recited)

Moving through midnight.
Touring around downtown blight
Trucking toward the dreaded/
beloved Maggot Colony Studio squat.

Grooving through vision view,
crystal clear, nighttime
thriving atmosphere.

Going slow in low gear.
On past closed comatose shops,
shuddered storefronts,
And corner crack rock stops

Traveling away from
skyscraper zip codes.
Zooming through
moonscape ghettos
Where we are
Only the wind knows

Driving up near
some unknown, dark projects.
Apparently abandoned except
for a huge pack
of feral dogs
that we see
standing guard
in the street and the yard
as a nuptial couple of canines
first fight, then fuck.
Madly mating muzzle to muzzle,
then butt to butt

Cruising slowly.
We u-turn around
to see what was up.
We saw the what
that was going down.

Rushing into the street,
the rest of the pack is in a rage.
The two dogs doing it
all over the road disengage
from their coital stage.
They join the others
In attacking our car.
Rattling our cage.

Accelerating, we do not wait.
Honking the horn hard
Wondering where the hell
we are and how the hell
we managed to get this far.

Go! Speed green
from this grisly scene
through a red stoplight.
Continuing on into the night.

Wandering as we were
around a twilight zone
A land of random phantoms.

Riding inside the cover
of a horror novel.
There were only two
other humans who
were out about and groovin’
during our cinematic trek.

Pushing a limping grocery cart
was a noisy, mystic
kinda garbage picker.
Leaving behind a slow leak
Distributing jetsam of litter,
junk, gore and debris

Jaywalking the intersection
the other shadowy figure
was a junkie out searching
or maybe a dream dealer.

Drifting along out here
both of them
could have been lycanthropes.
Each bearing gifts
along with inhuman hopes.
The pair were probably
zombies or ghouls or ghosts.
Because the street dogs
would have killed off most
other errant pedestrians.
Giving death to the living
then devouring the dead.
Thereby allowing the evil
to begin to evenly spread.

Fleeing the scene fast
with some fear of looking back
we drive on through the black
arriving at the Colony at last


 

A List of Things the Poet Don’t Need
by Kommando Poet (Not recited)

Poet don’t need words of wisdom or warning
Or wishes drawn in like fishes in nets
Poet don’t need dewdrops in the morning
Or someone with whom to share atomic sunsets
These things the poet don’t need yet
Poet don’t need fancy clothes to be handsome
Or raggedy clothes to be holy and pure
Poet don’t need proof of how odd it all can get
Poet don’t need to be sound and sure
Poet don’t need telegraph, printing press or stone tablets
No need for support from neither royalty nor rabble
Don’t need to be in tight, in tune, in touch,
Or other such technology driven psychobabble
Don’t no poet need hope for good luck
Dabble in magic, establish his own tragic
Don’t need none of these things
(At least not too much)
Poet don’t need you or y’all, them, they, us or we
Poet makes do with I and me
No need to wipe tears from his eyes
Poet don’t have no need to weep
Poet don’t need to be no go getter
No need to get a University Degree
No corduroy jacket or turtleneck sweater
No need to smoke a smugly lit pipe
(but if you got something, though,
with which to pack a bowl
that, I suppose , would be fine)
Poet don’t need to write good prose
Poet don’t need to paint no rose
Hell, poet don’t even need poetry
Poet don’t need no hand to hold
No trick or talisman to ward off failure
No tonic or spell against growing old
Poet don’t need to hold the Holy Grail near
Or to own the Philosopher’s Stone
No need to roll the omen bones
Poet don’t need the healing elixirs of life
Poet don’t heed death knocking at his door
Poet don’t need it- now or before
But, what poet has got
As is his birthright, his life’s lot
Poet has got
All of these things and many more


 

There are Mysteries in the Alleyways
by Kommando Poet (Not recited)

The city herself
Is both whore and whoremonger
Wanton, worldly abandon run amuck
And everyone fucks
Everyone gets fucked
By blind desire and plain bad, dumb luck
(Pardon the harsh language
It seems sometimes the truth sucks)
… But, what of Median Man
camping on a Montrose esplanade,
and Lonny Fatboy strumming
his flaming six string in the street
or Old One-Arm finding leisure behind
Lucky Seven grocery in the shade, also
DreadHeaded MoMo: shirtless,
pissing off the corner of Preston and Main,
dripping in the grey downtown rain?
Every one of them is John the Baptist
Wild monks in the wilderness
Yogis who have yielded
To the joys of the spiritual
Becoming sponges soaking up signals
They are the conduit to the mystical
In this jumbled urban jungle
Like holy men in holey clothes
Breathing only when the wind blows
Forming words for silent sermons
In a land of never ending nighttime
Yet, without true, pure darkness
(Just deep, dingy, lingering dark)
And only in the deep dens
Of every denizen’s soul
Is anything in the city
Ever close to being whole
Not that always fragmented distraction
Like bits of colored shrapnel, refracted
Torn apart, distorted, demented
Like tortured art snarling
Concrete skyscraping resentment
Incessant surges of sensation
And always a flood of information
Cresting in despair and confusion
Rare is the cessation, rare the abatement
And no way to close the floodgates
There is mystery in the alleyways
And around every corner doom waits
And with the dim possibilities it brings
Uncertainty is the only sure thing
…But what of Median Man, and Lonny Fatboy
Old One-Arm and DreadHeaded MoMo?

END

(Photos [top to bottom]: David Yammer aka Kommando Poet; Malcolm; Malcolm. All photos by Richard Tomcala.)


Live review by . Live review posted Wednesday, January 9th, 2013. Filed under Features, Live Reviews.

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2 Responses to “The City Has Become Too Safe: Remembering The Axiom in Verse”

  1. Kate Lynn Morris on January 24th, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Blast me out. What a voice. I can’t get the full effect, ’cause I am squinting.
    One of the lenses fell out of my glasses. Got tha feeling going, man. Makes me wanna write more. I love takin’ classes for the discipline. And the A. Yeah. I’m pretty good,
    too. Catalina la Beatnik. That’s pretty good.

  2. jaket gaul on August 4th, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.

    I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

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