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I want a black limo
With windows dyed black
Doesn't have to be
a Mercee B.

Gonna open a store
In a cool dry place
Come have a seat
Hear the Mersey Beat.

The store will be guarded
By a knight without horse
With a steel-capped knee
And a mercen'ry pee.

There'll be honey and milk
For the hungr- and thirsty
Provided for free
By a mercy bee.

My days will be lazy.
I'll paint the sky blue,
Sell veggies and meat,
Maybe mardis gras beet.

Pick you up in the limo
Gonna give you a ride.
Come in, come and see,
Have some daffodil tea,
eat a mercury pea.





Drip, drop: thawtime.
Is it artillery fire
or does the ice crack on the river?
Southern winds: call of the wild.
Avalanches down the roof-slope:
slip-sliding away.

The river rattles his shores.
He wants to break free,
Free from his bed,
he's so self satisfied
he don't need it
He wants to break free, yeahah.

And drowns the orchard,
As every year. The little bridge
Floats away to God knows where.





Within Days

Within days of my arrival, as uaual, I caught a cold
restless heartbeat echoes in empty belly
headache renders heart like belly: empty
The clock did its tricks:
de-toc, tic-tic-tic

First repaired the hammock
then repaired to the hammock
Do you think it's too early for beer?
In three hours, they caught one little fish.
Come Sunday, we'll have a fine bouillabaisse.

There are more kinds of berries here
than words for snow in eskimo.
We stole some from the raspy elders.
Sweating under long sleeves and tough trousers
protection against the stinged squadron
(the distand chuckle of the clerk in that shop
where we bought an alleged insect repellant -
why's that cartoon mosquito on the bottle grinning?)

I'll gladly turn the other cheek
and let mosquitoes sup their last supper: my blood.
A million flies and bees and bugs and wasps
hissing and humming, a constant drone
a summernight's mantra,


Just another

Tequila Sun rises later these days.
He puts his boots on - black snakeskin.
The wild agave sting's still in his single eye;
his spirit burns but with a trace
of Aztec Gold maturity.
He kept a limp from when the thunder struck.
It was back then that he quit smoking lightning.

He goes about his day with the old vigour:
burns the grass, scorches woods
and beats on dusty crewcut fields.
Only sometimes, when his hot breath whirls
the sand on beaten tracks to clouds that hide his stare
his eyelid closes, and he hesitates,
his heart missing a beat, he listens:

What's the buzz? It's in the orchard
The black-and-yellow pirate-gang
W.A.S.P. and the Hungry Hornets
Taking their toll among the ranks of ranking fruit
More than ripe, ready for the press: Cidreman!
What's the rumble? Combine harvesters harvesting rye
Potatoes tumbling into wheelbarrows
Whisky and vodka will warm wintertime

Tequila Sun listens: the swish of bird-wings
Beating their way south. Axe blades splitting wood.
A silent hum: maybe the silken strings that spiders spin
Or Indian Summer's Native American
Crooning a First National Anthem
Splish, splash: a last skinnydip, goosebumping
Into the shallow lake Tequila Sun drank out of.
Clink, clank: bottles of beer and dandelion wine.

Tequila Sun on his well-trodden beat
Knows by the sound and the smell
Knows by the colour of beets
Knows by the time and place of his set-time
That he's lost his desperado beat
Knows that his summertime blues has reached bar 12
Knows he's beaten.




Caiprinha Traffic Jam

Traffic light blushes. Slow to a stop.
The sun beats samba rhythms on steel.
Bare feet in sandals, thighs in short skirts.
Sweaty palms scorched by a hot steering wheel.

Colours ablaze. Cars in a jam.
Exhaust perfume and asphalt smells.
Tanned skin and gold chains round ankles and necks.
Sideway glances. Rubber melts.

Eight-cylinder convertible bass boom-ba-doom.
Blue eyes behind sunglasses: "Watch out, they have seen ya!"
Twinkle in navel. A glimpse of a bra.
Traffic light turns capirinha.




Plumblossom Eve

There was Sun.
There was Rain.
There was a slow green explosion.

On the eve of plumblossom
we chainsawmassacred some trees
to build a new shed for firewood.
We fought a losing battle
against the nettles and the thorns.
We found a dead beaver
by the bare mountain
while some butthead watched telly.

A shwallow tunnel crossed the road
where a mole had fled the flood.
I rode on bikeback
up to the axis in mud.
When I reached the river
there was Russia on the other side.
I made love to the forest
until I heard the birds sing.

The nettles will grow again by the shithouse.
The thorns will bear fruit, black and blue.
The beaver will rot by the river,
and we'll fill the new shed with firewood
that'll maybe keep us warm
in winter.




Crystal Ball

A cardboard mug
Maxpax leaf tea floats in the wind
circles and spirals over the graveyard
and comes to the ground
near the place where a blackbird is hunting
for the worms that creep from the tombs.

A cat
black as the bird
lurks behind the stone of one
who died somehwere in Poland
sometime after '39
the grave is probably empty.

A David's star is sprayed in bright yellow
on the stone
and on the moss that partly covers it
a crooked cross in black

The cat
regardless of it all
sneaks round the stone
leaps at the bird
devours it.

A Holocaust is over




Beat is gone

The beat is gone
the pot is smoked
the drug-stained needles
are back in the haystack
and the holy trinity
Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac
look back in anger
nostalgia in their glassy eyes
look back in sorrow
on nights with angel boys in San Francisco
on money spent in Mexican brothels
while Charlie Parker plays the Funeral March

... this poem was "answered" thus by Juules:

the grandchildren saying
"lets get fucked up"
the reality is all fucked up
the TV is all fucked up
The reasons are all fucked up
the school is all fucked up
the question is all fucked up
the answer is all fucked up
so? unfuckit?

... which in turn was spun on by Judih:

Be Be Bop Beat ta
take a fast gulp
back at cha
honed down gone

no way
to go
but beat

beat on
beat up
dat be be beat up
down da days
of what wuz
it can't wont
can't so play it

be beats
zap em beat em
throw tha be be
bop beat
throw it past
the be bops
that wuz
we izzzzzz
i izzzzz be

... which elicited another reply by Juules:

du bububaba
des bubuubadaBA
dibbbby duba (nearly did dubya!!!)
now he deserves a beatin...heheheheh
dubba de dat dat dat....
and de beeet go own




Short Poem for John

John: You wonder if I can
imagine no possessions.
I have to say I can't,
and I wonder why -
brainwash, I imagine.




John Keatsí Last Journey

To Rome
under red sails
coughing up blood
the blood of queens and kings
ghost voices whispering
languishing for skies Italian
caught by the family disease
where thruth isnít beauty
and beauty isnít always true

To Rome
the poet travels
coughing up blood
his verses suffocated
by fear of life and love
his quill buried alive
in the narrow hammock
as the red sails
fade away behind the horizon

the compass pointing toward death
the peppered red wine spilled
the hours oozing under ardent eyes
that will not see his love no more
heíll die in Rome
as one whose name was writ in water




Another of those

Another of these lonely night-time journeys home
the rain on heated asphalt casts a misty spell
and throws a veil of fog over this suddenly estrangéd world
the headlights of the other cars the bushes by the autobahn
my well-known car itself semm ghostly odd extraneous
the switches for the windshield wipers and for the lights have swapped their places
the guy in front of me is cursing me because I blind him by mistake
I watch the fields of light change shape and fade away
while cars turn up and disappear from nowhere and back again

Love Stories on the radio
a show where men and women strip their harmless lives
and vary boy meets girl the millionth time
few of them are tragedies, the comedies prevail
I picture the presenter in the studio, sitting by the phone
and her assistant, telling her
'on 5 there is another man who loves his best friend's wife
line 7 is a teenage girl whose boyfriend's 35
the woman on line 8 just got divorced
(her husband is on 4)'

I arrive at home and try to park my car
the sixth attempt turns out to be successful
I pour myself a whisky (the atmosphere just calls for it)
pretend to be a macho-man, my head is playin' the Blues

before I go to bed and hug my teddy-bear
who lonely as I am
has waited for me
will always be true to me
and is very cuddly and cute



Sun, sinking

Now look at this: I wrote a poem
when I just wished to talk
about taking a walk
and about how the fields
are still covered with hoar-frost
in the sunny late-autmun afternoon
how the puddles in shady places
are covered with a thin layer of ice
that cracks beneath my steps
and how on the very hilltop
on the grasscovered wall of the hillfort
fogdrops are caught in cobwebs
which iridesce brightly in evenings
when sunrays hover obliquily
and the horizon tinges itself
with iceblue blueblue
before the sun, sinking,
kindles his orangeredpink play of colours
in front of which the dark skeletons of trees
stripped of their leaves by eastern winds
stand as black silhouettes
from which surprised swarms of ravens fly
and frighten the tired wanderer



Sonne, sinkend

Jetzt hab' ich doch glatt ein Gedicht geschrieben
dabei wollt' ich nur
vom Spazierngeh'n erzählen
und davon wie die Felder
auch am spätherbstlich-sonnigen Nachmittag
noch mit Reif bedeckt 
an schattigen Stellen die Pfützen
mit dünnem Eis überzogen sind
das unter meinen Schritten kracht
und wie sich ganz oben auf dem Hügel
am grasbedeckten Wall der prähistorischen Veste
in Spinnenweben Tropfen fangen
die auch des Abends leuchtend schillern
wenn schräg die Sonnenstrahlen schweben
und der Horizont sich färbt
in jenem eisigblauen Blaublau
bevor die Sonne, sinkend,
ihr orangerotrosa Farbenspiel entspinnt
vor dem diedunklen Skelette der Bäume
vom Ostwind ihres Laubs entblößt
als schwarze Scherenschnitte stehen
aus denen überraschte Rabenschwärme steigen
und den müden Wandrer schrecken.



Artwork by Volker Schmidt. Model: Gitana.