AUSTIN, TX: 7th and CONGRESS                                       

                            THE ESSENCE OF COOL

                                              Just look at that bird

                                                 sitting all blue and pretty
                                               alone on a wire
                                                     gazing at the dawn
                                               tooting away 
                                                       a lonesome lazy yearning
                                                 while the slow vague glow
                                                               goes indigo
                                                                             and burgundy
                                           While the reels of industry wake and turn
                                                              and grind away at the waking
                                                  The clock storming down the freeway
                                                        combing his hair with one hand
                                                   eating a McGriddle with the other
                                                                      all freaked out on time
                                                        steering with his knee
                                          And all the while
                                                     that big blue bird just don't give a fuck
                                                 He's lost in swirls of glowing gold
                                                                     deep wet pink
                                                      Tooting away
                                                            amazed at heaven


My first day in Austin I set up on 4th and Lavaca.  The Willie Nelson statue was irresistible.  Lot's of restaurant and shop traffic.  A fella eating lunch on the near patio, jumped up from his table and came to request a poem about WordPress (the biggest blog site on the internet).  I asked him his affiliation to WordPress, and he replied, "I'm one of the founders." His name is Matt Mullenburg and he is The Founder.  He is also one of the humblest and kindest guys I've met.

And he gave me a hundred dollar tip.

I'm looking forward to switching to WordPress as soon as I find the assistance. 



            Open source
              anybody can dip their cup down and swoop up a bit
                                          quench their voice
                                                  and let the word be heard
                      "In the beginning was the Word."
                                          that is impressive
                     before anything was the Word

             If a word is uttered 
                        and there is nobody to hear it
                     does it make a sound?

              If you have something to say
                          and there's no place to say it
                                     do you sleep?

                 Like everything truly alive
                                 the mind is an ecology
                           thriving off diversity and interaction
           creative adaptation is very much an open source sort of party
                 Dip in
                        Join the great conversation of Now
                               Throw down your voice
                                       be heard
                            a part of the online evolution

This poem represents a magic moment.  Having given up smoking for Lent, I arrived in Austin one month clean of tobacco and ganga.  The first three days there I stayed good to that.  Then I realized I had to break the fast if I was going to work as much as I intended.  Not having smoked in so long, I got perfectly stoned, and set up on the corner of Seventh and Congress.  

My first request, "The Buffalo Lounge", came from the four folks in the photo below.  The Buffalo Lounge is an art collective from Oklahoma City.  Their passion and love for their collective was obvious in their telling.  I have to say I loved, very much, the picture they were painting of the collective.  I dream of being part of some such community some day.

So I started composing. Without me realizing, a fella walked up behind me to watch me work.  When the guy with the short black hair, David, noticed him, he says, "Doesn't he look like the guy with the Buffalo Tattoo?"  So I look up to watch this guy lift his elbow to the sky, revealing a buffalo tattoo on the inside of his triceps.  They all freaked out!

Turns out, I think it was the black haired guy, David, who designed the buffalo as a logo for the Lounge.  This man apparently love the lounge, and/or the logo and got it tattooed.  They had never met the man before, they'd only seen a photo of him online.  

There was a lot of angel love in the air.  I sort of knew right there that 7th and Congress was my spot.


Out in the center
the bread basket
Who doesn't love fresh bread
The smell simplifies your joy 
Down home comfort
Out in the center
where nobody is looking
a herd of rascals 
are rising up like dough
Lot's of time and space
Howdys and hospitalities
Heart and soul
Leave you mirrors at home 
You see yourself everywhere in this glow
Out here you can see for miles and miles
Simpilicty is so big
there's room for everyone
You won't believe what love can grow
Everybody holding everybody up
anthing can happen

It's that simple

A young women walks up and says, "Can you do a poem with a dog, a river, and this text?".  The text on her phone read, "If you give me a blowjob, while Bobbys' girlfriend gives him a blowjob, then you have a place to stay."

                                  A DOG, A RIVER, AND A TEXT

                 That text

                     the one with the offer
                         with the trading card sensibility
                  "One Mickey Mantle is worth three Reggie Jacksons.
                                                          What ah ya say?
                                                              Text me and let me know."

                That text makes me miss having my dog

                               with a warm river breeze
                     I'd rather pick up dog shit in a plastic bag
                                 then give you one of my Jacksons
                       though you know I love Mickey Mantle
                                             What a bat!

                But your an asshole

                                   and it makes me miss my dog

   These two ladies are a duet from Germany: Boy.  They didn't tell me anything about their music, about themselves, or the name they choose.  So the poem doesn't reflect any of that.  It's just me riffing on Boy, which is what they wanted.



                                  Running barefoot
                                         tire swings under forts
                                     capers and secret codes
                                   The imagination of the boy
                                       will kill you with a stick
                                            and bring you back to life
                                          with the wave of a hand
                                        King of the mountain
                                            surrounded by smoke
                                                 artillary fire
                                          the sounds of men wounded
                                             and girls crying through the flames
                                        but he's all big chested
                                                  shouting commands
                                             demanding the assured victory

                                  Those guys grow up 
                                      to power chord the fuck out of a place
                                             shake the walls
                                     and make all the kids go crazy

     Just a few weeks ago I was having a beer with some friends here in Boulder.   These two ladies were in Boulder to perform at Etown.  They had been to japan, Europe, etc., performing, since I written them this poem.  They recognized me and came over, all gleeful with serendipity.  The light haired angel showed me her date book with the poem in it.  She loved it so much she'd been carrying it all over the world with her.  I went to see them play at Etown.  I fell in love.



This man was a music journalist (if I remember correctly), at South by Southwest; a working vacation.  He wanted a poem for his beautiful wife at home. 


                         All the way from Texas, God dam it!
                                            Yippie Hi Ho!
                                and a hay na nanny!

                        Living it up without you
                          is not quiet living it up
                                            but it anit bad
                           Music  music  music
                               a face of every sort of happy
                             wholesome hyjinks here in Austin
                          and I just keep thinking of you
                              I keep inserting you into every room I enter
                          There you are
                                in every conversation lull
                                         at every apex of music
                                 when I open menus
                                             there you are

                         Your such beautiful company

   This poem's was one of those tearjerkers.  I loved these two right away.  Their love was so deep and easy.  They left their children at home in Delaware, and came to Austin to celebrate their tenth anniversary.  We were all moved by the reading.       

                                                  Ten Years

 I'm thinking of giggles
                            some golden coo feeling in the belly
                                                            with the little ones
                         those moments when it's clear they're angels

                      How many kisses in ten years

                                how many times entwined
                          beautiful knots
                                  like a Celtic tapestry
                            something that wrapped the queen
                                   when the valley was full of peace

                        You can never separate those curves and corners
                                                           that is one music
                                           one angel of a kiss

So this is an example of Poem Guy willingness.  I was just setting up, its about noon, which is terribly early for me and poems, and I haven't even sipped my coffee yet.  As Im pulling out my typewriter, this Latino women saw my sign and stopped.  She didn't speak English very well, so with the help of the young women with her, she asked for a poem for her brother.  Their four year old child was dying of leukemia.  He will die any time, today, tonight, tomorrow, soon. 
She wanted the poem for the parents.

I started drinking my coffee.

My first poem of the day is, typically, exactly that, a stretching and yawning poem, in search of circulation; so this was a real wake up call.


                              At a time like this
                                    when the fragility of life is so clear
                                that love is strong enough to lift a car
                                      but Gods' love is stronger
                                   is it questionable
                                        that love is in his hands
                                                            like a cradle

                               Whose heart is not torn open
                                       has love ever felt more real
                                               and more terrible
                                       then to say good-bye
                                                     so so soon
                                               no life more angelic
                                         precious child
                                                raised on love
                                            now raised with love
                                             by his hand

                                                          MY TRIP

                      I worship at the chruch of Holy Fucking Shit  
                          You go there and you go wow
                                         completely alive
                         A big DNA barn dance
                             from somewhere a caller is rambling out dance calls
                                                                              like Neil Cassidy
                                         and all the dancers dance like Starling
                                                                     like Minnows
                        like the whole dam thing with borders is an absurdity

                                            At the church of Holy Fucking Shit
                                      the square dance is anything but square
                                  All the DNA have let themselves go
                                               stripped to near naked
                                      Fluttering around like a silk scarf
                                              set sail on the breeze
                                                 a gracious chaos 
                                                     so free


I want to sink
something warm as quicksand
I want to forget everything I know
and meet you in the garden
all Adam and Eve naked
like nothing else mattered
when passion was an innocent fire
nothing to hold back the raging glow
the maddening torrent
lost in you
and we 
lost in light
Before we were ever blind
before the cruel jealous claw
the brutal murder
that left my heart broken bone bloodied

Just one night is what I want
and I can wash away an eternity

                               WHITE GUMMY BEARS

                                 There is some sort of pleasure

                                      in eating the little polar bears
                                            all gummy and saliva ridden
                                       the chew that makes you want more
                                  It's like all of a sudden
                                                    the mouth is talking loud
                                        I mean loud and clear
                                    that the only thing that matters
                                                  is just one more polar cub
                                           they're so teddy bear cute
                                                                        and innocent
                                  getting crushed, pulverized 
                                                               by the blind craving
                                           for just one more


           That is what being human is all about
               I'm convinced we played music before we spoke
                      Yes before the word was the groove
                It is what made the rest make sense
                    how else would a jungle of funky monkeys
                                         come together 
                              and want to work it out?
                    How else could they have discovered 
                            the one spirit that they all were
                       the One Heart
                 How else could they have made sense
                           of how they could need each other

                    made them want to speak
            to say things like 
                   "Holy fucking shit"
                       "We're so lucky"
               "I'm so glad your here"

But thank you Austin.  You are a beautiful soul.

                            I love this man's pazaz.  He is wearing shorts, by the way.

1 comment:

  1. We will always remember this magic moment! Truly was meant to happen! Poems While You Wait is a must do experience!

    Found this video and posted it for you mr. Bill Keys!