I live in the house I was raised in, located in Fullerton, California, with my Wife, Jana, four cats and a small dog. I have been a professional Blues & Rock musician since 1965, performing and recording in Victoria, British Columbia and Southern California. From early 1969 to 1975 I was a landed resident in Canada due to my opposition to war in Vietnam and the draft. Begining to seriously write poetry and short stories in the late 1970’s, I’ve been published in Electrum, Voices International, Big Smoke and Streetlight Press. As well, I had a short non-fiction article published in Splash of Red Magazine.
I've named him Frank. He sits on a bus bench Near Chapman and Raymond. He reads some book, Maybe a Tom Clancy paperback From the Armory book rack. He sleeps and showers At the Armory, And dreams of his daughter Who lives with her Husband In Colorado. It is always a good dream, Full of greens, and a blue sky That is spinkled with Pure white clouds That change shapes As they meander Into the horizon. Frank, sometimes Sets his book down. Slowly gazing At the passing cars and box trucks. He thinks about Chosin, The Chinese soldier, Already frozen dead in a crouch That he shot in the chest, How the shards of ice flew like broken glass, How his buddies kidded him About wasting ammo. on the dead. It is a sunny day, And the morning chill Is filtered away. The Salvation Army Washed his clothes. They are firm with cleanliness,. It makes him feel new. I drive past Frank Every week, The long way home, just to sneak into his moment, His contentment Of what is present. I drive past Frank Just to share His perfect dream.
The Saxaphone Guy
Like me, Most sons think of Mother’s memories As an baby wren To be instantly protected, As if it might be starlight disappearing Into the cup Of a full moon. So, there was this snapshot; The two-tone shoes guy; His rascal-slouch stance; The snarky grin, That photographic pose. My guess pegged him As the saxophone player, Hailing from Cleveland, via Akron. My Mother told me about him Near the end of her life, Perhaps, because it was okay, At this point, To talk about this guy, Because, just maybe His hands went too far with her On a Saturday evening, A humid, small-town summer night, When the crickets sat still Beside a country road.
Pete hands me a warm stubbie, Old Style, And says, “We drink it warm here”, And everyone smiles. It’s not completely true, but They have waited for this provincial moment, The rush of my wary confusion, This off-handed baptism, As I feel exile in its best way; The comradeship of beer.