29 April 2011

The Boy in The Moon

The moon hung low and large - so close he could nearly touch it. He was mesmerized by its great golden face. There really was a man in the moon and he was smiling at him. He was following him. Every step he took the moon kept pace with him. He turned to the left, he turned to the right. He walked quickly, he walked slowly, but the moon was always right there with him as if they were connected by an invisible string. He really ought to have been hurrying home. He was terribly late. His mother would be worried and his father would be angry, but he just could not break away from the spell being cast by the magical moon. 

He'd had a wondrous day of footballing in the park and cowboys and indians in the woods. He had forged new friendships in the spirit of adventure and exploration; he made his way homeward with a heart light with the joy of living. He thought this long summer’s day would last forever, but it was getting dark now and day had turned to night.

He could feel the cool night air on his grass stained knees, the sensation roused him from his reverie and he suddenly realized he was in a world of trouble. He picked up his tempo with a curiously light gait. The faster he went - the lighter his footfalls felt, until he felt he was hardly touching the ground at all. At last he was running and all the time he never took his eyes off the moon. ‘Was this a harvest moon?’ he’d heard of that, but he didn’t know when harvest time was. He felt like he was treading on air and when he looked at his feet he realized that he was.

He was still moving, his stride was carrying him forward, but he was floating away from the ground. He felt as if he was full of helium like a balloon at the fairground. He was curiously unconcerned with this development, he felt happily detached from the earth, yet exhilarated by this new discovery. He had overcome gravity, he was a flying boy. Soon, however, he discovered that the higher he went the less forward momentum he could generate with his legs and he kept floating higher. He became afraid now that he would float away, or that he would fall back to earth with a bump. He began to panic a little, but not for long. A chilly breeze blew through his thin shirt, but he did not feel cold – his body was infused with reassuring warmth that radiated from his core. He simply let go of all his cares and drifted on the wind ever higher into the night sky.

He marveled at the houses, roads and fields that were shrinking below him and the wide world opening up around him in an ever expanding horizon, but no matter how high he climbed his friend the moon stayed with him. He never rose above it, but it did seem to grow larger. Away from the street lights of the town now far below he could make out the stars, there were so many and they were different colours, some were white, some were blue and some were red. Soon the stars above outshone the lights that criss crossed the darkened earth below him and he discovered that far from being dark, the night sky was a brilliant blue. 

The boy was floating ever higher towards the ever growing moon. He felt quite serene in his gift of flight, as if this remarkable experience was quite natural. He pondered how long it would take to fly to the moon. It felt now as if the moon was pulling him towards it as the earth had once done. He speculated that he might not be flying away from the world, but falling towards the moon. He wondered if he would ever set foot on the earth again, if would he ever see his mother and father, or brothers and sisters again, he wondered distractedly if he really cared.
Graphic by Steppenwolf

25 April 2011


All you narcoleptic monkeys can hit your snooze buttons and go back to sleep - me and Preacher got promises to keep and paths to cross where no monkeys can be led. We sojourn the highs and lows across the river valleys where the fading light has fled. We ride the soft machine through the high Sierras on crashing waves of surf music and part the oceans with our hocus focus. Never have two sinners so bruised the concept of morality as we itinerant dreadnaught bums - Preacher and me.
And Preacher says to me “Johnny, don’t you ever sleep?” I answer, “Preacher, don’t you ever wash?” We like that hard corn liquor from broken bottles and chew our cactus buttons from the cob. Those painted ladies know us by our Christian names; they call for us on the lonely nights when they need the warmth of their brother souls and the pure friendship of the lost. Those consolers of the lonely furnish us with snake oil and bathtub gin. We drink to the poor in spirit, to the meek, to the mournful, to the merciful and the pure of heart, to the blessed peacemakers who have inherited hell here on Earth. We toast every sorry sucker who was ever pinioned to his cross and every lowly leper who never felt no magic touch.
Me and preacher got no place to lay our heads, we take our rest on stony ground. The only beds we ever see come with iron walls – courtesy of the local sheriff who steals our fire water and stamps on Preacher’s rabbling tongue. He wears the wisdom of Solomon for a crown, but blows foolish flat notes from his hollow horn. We are fishers of men, we catch ‘em and let them free again to shoal in circles through their idiot oceans. No-one is redeemed without a ticket, don’t wait for no resurrection – the kingdom is within and you’ll find him there – he burned himself into the universal mind. That boy had fire coursing through his veins - he was never meek. He looked every man in the eye - that's why they killed him. If he ever felt fear, he never showed it, but if I told you he was just a man you’d split in my eye and knock me down - that’s ‘cause you don’t know what kind of stuff you’re made of.
The ancient Babylonians were confounded by a thousand tongues, but we’re fucked up by literal truths and shackled imaginations. Me and Preacher never listen to the foolishness of men; our minds and imaginations are our connections to the spirit and we must polish those connections to remain free. Our clothes are as dirty as our blaspheming mouths, but the chords that attach us to the universe are chromium shiny and reflect whatever gifts the radiance of being sends our way.
Jesus wants you for a sunbeam. Preacher and me weave into indian blankets to drape over the shoulders of the homeless and empty headed beggar billionaires bereft of thoughts or dreams. They panhandle for alms from the bonnets of black Cadillacs parked bumper to bumper on skid row. Their body servants sketch pictures for the blind and play music for the deaf while collecting dimes in golden plates. Those tax free donations build empires of dust in the districts of Columbia and buy party favours from uncrowned kings.
Me and Preacher cruise the wrong side of the tracks where he likes to listen to dead men talking from under the burden of philosopher’s stones. Those heavy words wear grooves in his psyche in patterns existential and provide the ballast he needs to stop from floating away on the breeze. I press the petals of she loves me not’s into sweet communion wine to anoint my parched throat and smoke jimson weed to muddy my still waters and lay me out in pastures green to dream big dreams about big girls.
Preacher takes his crayons to the bumper book of the Apocalypse and colours an Armageddon rainbow. “When my saviour returns” he proclaims, “the drinks will be on the house and so will the women.” Them monkeys can kill each other in the name of redemption, but Preacher and me are gonna party like it’s the end of the line. Until that day we have many rivers to cross and mountains to climb on our pilgrimage to Zion. Our forty years in the wilderness have just begun, Preacher and me voyage east of Eden where monkeys are thin on the ground; every sinner is a saint and every highway man and grave robber is your brother. When we reach our final destination we’ll keep on going, for Preacher and me this journey never ends ‘cause we have been cast out and there is no road back when you’re wearing one way shoes.

24 April 2011

Sherlock Holmes

Tired old fossils send mammograms to the land of the living – ‘Help STOP - lost my way STOP – filled my diaper STOP – where does this bus stop STOP. ‘ I pay the boy and tear up the message, “I don’t know who you are kid, but stop bringing me messages STOP” Eskimos spear fish in a barrel while headless horsemen ride in circles pretending to read Das Kapital – they are obviously faking – their books are upside down, but maybe they make more sense that way. 

I’m feeding ducks in the park - to wild dogs and drunken bums who are spitting feathers and protesting that this food is under done. One of them claims he was a passenger on the Marie Celeste, I ask him why he ain’t disappeared and he answers, “Who says I ain’t?” He asks me if I can spare a dime and I tell him I only carry hundred dollar bills, “That’s okay” he says, “I got the change.” I ask him if he’ll buy me a coffee and he replies, “Fuck off loser, get a fucking job!” Of course, the jokes on him cause I got a job, I’m a private detective. I’m only disguised as a duck feeder - I’m in the park searching for clues, as soon as I detect some privacy - I’m gonna become a recluse.

You can’t move in this park for dogs leading people. I can’t see what’s in it for ‘em – surely they can move quicker without people attached. I only took this job so I could be like my hero Sherlock Holmes. Somebody told me that he wasn’t real, but I didn’t believe him. He’s the world’s greatest detective, right? - Surely he would have worked that out! Anyway, I’m sticking with it ‘til I get my big break. Something tells me this case is about to bust wide open and all the dirty laundry will be out in the open. I guess I need a new case. I solved the vanishing duck mystery. It seems wild dogs and drunken bums were eating the ducks in the park. A clerical error meant the drunken bums were put to sleep and the wild dogs were sent to rehab, the good news is that instances of drunken wild dogs are now practically zero.

19 April 2011



They say the Kiowa people snare Moondogs in golden filaments

They wear their luminous pelts to dance in their lunar mystery rites

When the big shiny glows like a silver dollar across the wilderness

And them Moondogs hunt the dark in packs and tug Coyote tails

Their howls fill the night air eerie as spirit songs on the breezing

They paint the Joshua trees large and the Desert Lupines aquatic frost

Them Moondogs cavort like ghosts and caterwaul in the inky

Their rhythms light those blues when the sky falls on the land

And we are sunk under her mystic woven blanket of dreams

Them Moondogs chase their tails around the angles in between




11 April 2011

Empire of Broken Promises



Craters filled with dinosaur teeth

Vast archives of dusty elephant tusks

Mountains of torn old manuscripts

Broken road signs and tattered flags

Crazy paving stones leading nowhere

Fractured rainbows and sullen assent

False prophets and broken idols

Idiotic geometries of insane dimension

Incestuous romantics beating off franticly

To jungle rhythms played on thigh bones

Mutant junky baboons tapping veins

Wiping their asses with William Burroughs

Living relics of the beaten generation

This is the land of who gives a fuck

Where tomorrow never comes around

Where the streets have no shame

Whores give blowjobs for food stamps

And souls are rented by the hour

Jesus never lived in this neighbourhood

The light here comes from a darker sun

The residents await repatriation to hell

Nothing comes easy or cheap here

It’s the sleazy dark side of civilization

Spreading like a cancer across the city

Creeping like a nightmare into your room

A kingdom of have little’s and have naught’s

A filthy empire of broken promises



4 April 2011




It was one of those sunny days you dream will last forever. All time stood still and stretched into infinity beneath a limitless azure sky. Cotton puff clouds sailed gently through the air; Columbus’s fleecy white galleons drifting aimlessly in search of new worlds. Gulls spiraled effortlessly in silence on unseen thermal elevators into the blue yonder. The air buzzed with stifling hazy brilliance; bumblebees and bluebottles made hay beneath the warm radiance of our mother star. Somewhere, someone was listening to the Beach Boys and it seemed California was only a daydream away.

I sat on the doorstep drinking coffee and watching the children play in the yard. They were absorbed in sowing dreams; digging holes and carefully planting invisible beanstalk seeds. My wards for the day were my girlfriend’s kids; a ragamuffin boy with wingnut ears called Ross and his runny nosed, pouty lipped cherubim sister Kerrie. It was Kerrie who seemed to officiate over the cultivation, holding the watering can and instructing Ross in the digging of holes with a small trowel. Both were smeared in mud which had caked dry into their clothes and over their smudged faces.

Suddenly Ross stood erect and picked his way through the flower beds treading on a few sleeping bluebells and pansies on the way. He dropped his trowel and stooped to pick something up and made his way back now oblivious to the fate of the innocent flowers he crushed under his feet. He was now completely absorbed in the object he cradled in his hands, I could make out that he had found a dead bird. He approached me on the doorstep and held out a dead Starling; his black plumage reflected with green and purplish metallic sheen in the bright sunlight, his breast was spangled with small pale creamy spots, and his bill was lemon yellow. He was altogether beautiful and he was altogether dead.

“Fix him” he said. I smiled and told him regretfully that I could not. Ross had a concerned expression of deep felt compassion on his streaked and muddy face, he was not about to take no for an answer, “fix him” he implored. “I can’t” I replied, “Once a thing is dead, there is nothing can be done to fix it.” Ross was unconvinced and holding the bird out to me said, “Then take it to Kevin.” I was nonplussed, “Kevin?” I enquired. “Take it to Kevin,” repeated Ross. He expected me to take possession of the bird, which I did reluctantly. Ross knew nothing of death or of germs – I was a little ashamed of my aversion to the poor creature. I felt like I was turning into my mother. “Who is Kevin?” I enquired. Ross rolled his eyes and told me in a slightly exasperated tone what everyone else patently knew, “When you die,” he explained patiently, “You go to Kevin and he fixes you and sends you home!” I smiled and Ross did too, now that I understood it would surely only be a short time before his little friend would be restored to health and on his way home. I sat there before the expectant gaze of brother and sister at a complete loss for words.

I knelt before the grave of ‘Birdie’ - as Ross had christened him - flanked by the two solemn mourners. Ross seemed quite sad, but Kerrie appeared more curious than sad, “Will he grow again?” she asked. “Maybe,” I replied. Ross gave me a quizzical look. “Maybe his soul just flew away and he’ll be reborn as a baby bird in another nest somewhere else.” This answer seemed to cheer them and after crudely replanting some flowers on Birdie’s grave they had returned to their games having forgotten the entire episode. At least that’s what I thought, until a couple of weeks later when Ross called me excitedly outside. There on a fence post at the end of the garden a starling sat singing his heart out in the afternoon sun, “It’s Birdie,” beamed Ross, “he’s fixed.”