|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 09/24/2004 : 18:16:26
I sit in the dark in the back of the saloon...
What is between my table and the dusty
street is twenty feet that is
on the very edge of Hell...
The townspeople say they are sinners: the townspeople say they are evil...
The reality is that they are just Cowboys and
they are very much alive and much of the
rest of this town has already died... I talk to
the Lord and I Know what is Evil
and what is not,
which is why I hold services here and
not in a church....
These men make a decision
every time they put the whiskey to their
lips, every time they put the
tobacco to their mouths....
They make a decision between a
longer, duller life or the life
that they are choosing to live....
Yet I can see the desperation in
their eyes; I can see
that for every year that they age,
they remove themselves another year from their
childhood and their youthful dreams...
I can see that the only time
They will smell the
fragrance of a lady is
when they choose to pay for her...
I can see that they care not a
bit about Eternity, but only for today...
But, that is Just Alright
with me and the Lord
If everybody went to heaven they'd run out of room.... Rev Buckman
|20 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 09/24/2021 : 15:17:10
On the third day the snow is black and the ceiling is leaking. There's a ragged hole in the bathroom wall and a scratching sound behind it. I'm afraid to close my eyes in the shower. I give away what I can to make the leaving easier. What I can carry in two hands. He strokes his brow and the thought there. "I need you to write it all down for me," he says. "Stop wasting time," she says. "Come to me now. Into the drift. Your two hands on my shoulders. Heart beating through your palms."
||Posted - 09/24/2021 : 14:58:08
And later... "...something so wrong with a girl like you!" Sister's words in the Chapel. Starched white habit around her face so cold I want to slap her. Light leaking over the Harbor. The ship preparing to sail. Its cargo of ghosts swaying in their grey tunics.
||Posted - 09/24/2021 : 14:50:32
...the hotel with its maze of hydrangea I know by heart. The laundry's lavender plot. Leprechauns in the fountain with pots of gold. High doors and ornate mirrors. The secret room behind the Bar. My mother pins up her hair with tortoise shell combs to look older. Like the one you found at Batiquitos Lagoon. "No accident," you said. Under linen-draped banquet tables I have a knee-high view of it all. Slow-motion guests in the Ballroom. Clouds of cologne. Candlelight makes the scene seem like it's melting.
||Posted - 09/24/2021 : 14:32:38
Tall weeds and dirt down to Two Tracks at Trestles. Thunder clapping. Electric sky. Summer rain miles away moving closer. Moving fast. They wait it out under the old rickety bridge. Newspaper over their heads. Folly. "The train conductors brought me cheese sandwiches and cartons of milk," she laughs. He says, "I could get a knife outta my pocket quicker that you can say switchblade." "Let's make a run through the channel," she says. He says, "We don't know what's under the water."
||Posted - 09/17/2021 : 02:59:21
I smelled the vanilla
Before I felt her touch.
She had come to me in the darkened room
While I lay alone thinking of a new poem.
I said that I had gotten so tired of not hearing a voice that
I had been talking to myself for three days.
I said that I had decided that every poet is a warrior and
Every warrior a poet.
And she shook out her black hair
And looked at me with those black eyes
that I would have died to look into
Just once and said..
Shuttup, Preacher; Lie down and please,
Just shut up.
As Carmelita silently settled on top of me, she said
Feels like home, eh, Preacher?
Another poem lost forever to a woman...
||Posted - 09/16/2021 : 13:21:17
One Heart Breaking
Martina asked me if you could hear the sound of
One heart breaking
If there was no one there to care.
I said that the movement of the air from
One hand clapping could cause a
Hurricane on the other side of
What little mind you had left
When I first met you
Has gone totally mad, hasn't it?
I said, Yes, I've noticed,
But it's the only charming quality
I still have...
||Posted - 09/14/2021 : 17:21:51
Floating into the produce section, my nomadic neighbor's face glows. She's wearing a paisley turban and tucks her groceries in a CHP tote. "Have you ever considered a Séance?" she says instead of hello. I like her. She's interesting and forthcoming. Has a peat mix that makes dead flowers grow. She lived in countries of superstition where Travellers and Gypsies roam. She holds up a bottle of Merlot, "...and I have a round table," she laughs.
||Posted - 09/14/2021 : 17:14:16
The last time I rode with a policeman I thought he was trying to save me. Too many machines and wires in his car. Too much noise to try to talk over. "Is it always like this with you?" he shouted. "Just stare at your shoes and don't answer." I was never caught after that last episode. It was Autumn and I went to New York.
||Posted - 09/14/2021 : 17:10:14
I didn't know what to call her. The woman who sat with a book in her lap while waves crashed against the seawall. Rocks trucked in from the quarry after Labor Day every September. A foil against nor'easters. When everything changed, I tried to think of a word to go back. An open sesame word. But it never came and I fell asleep in a late April snow that left whirls of salt on the window.
||Posted - 09/14/2021 : 16:54:46
Reunion. Anniversary of my father-in-law's death. He had many toddler great-grandchildren. They were allowed to climb up on the casket. They played with his Rosary beads and patted his hair. Their peachy legs swinging over the edge. Little feet in patent leather and ribbon and lace-trim socks. My mother-in-law held court in a quiet corner. Her sons bringing her what they could. A bearable image.
||Posted - 09/13/2021 : 10:13:13
Congratulations, "extra small" Petey! West Highland terrier and Surf Dog Champion. Surfing since he was eight months old. A clean ride and big smile all the way in. Air 76, water 69.
||Posted - 09/11/2021 : 09:11:45
"Wouldn't it be wonderful...if we could go into each other's minds and take pain away...make it easier...share it..."
||Posted - 09/11/2021 : 04:52:37
Dear Barbra G. Please, respectfully, keep politics off this page. This page has continued for twenty years without politics or your opinions, You can find the way out, I’m sure. Thank you for your participation.
||Posted - 09/11/2021 : 04:45:47
The Bravest and the Finest - Written 9/12/2001
What were 110 stories once,
Are three thousand stories now.
All those numbers were somebodys
Who were loved someway, somehow.
The Bravest and the Finest
The City had to give
Charged the stairs and the danger
Never more to live.
Lost in all the smoke and stone
Were lives stopped in the middle
Like a painting only halfway done
Leaving nothing but a riddle.
Some were lost while going up
And some were heading down,
But each one had a family,
Each one had a town.
So sing their songs, you singers,
Let us leave no mystery,
Speak always of the fallen,
And assure their History.
For tho' when that day started,
They seemed like all the rest,
It's Heroes now that they've become,
And All their Souls are Blessed......
Hank Beukema 09/12/2001
||Posted - 09/10/2021 : 17:57:06
Late Autumn night. Candles burning the house down in Mexico. "...long drive with gate at the end. Two gates. One for cars, one for people," she says. "Dark floors and high ceilings. Locked doors that echo when they swing closed. Persistent hand on my shoulder. No pets allowed. No loud laughter. Bus line a mile away. I step on every crack in the sidewalk. Next time I stick my thumb out right away." Feverish Saints and switchblades. Their stories rapid and true. "I'm surprised we didn't get arrested!" he laughs with his head thrown back.
||Posted - 09/10/2021 : 17:49:17
In an alleyway off Revolución the Virgen of Guadalupe sits in a tiny shop window wrapped in her mantle of stars. "¿No estoy yo aqui que soy tu madre?" needlepoint canvas half-finished in her lap. The view through paper banners casts illusory light on the scene. She holds the cloth up close to her face. Fine lines and tiny flowers. Dust motes caught in the stitches. A radiance through the needle. Out on the Avenue tourists bargain for sweets and embroidered blouses. Pottery and piñatas. Dia De Los Muertos eternal companions.
||Posted - 09/02/2021 : 09:53:12
Stars fall like kindergarten glitter. Sift down to outline the ship. The ship shines through the trees. Fog backs up beyond the breakwater. A streak of crimson cuts the night sky letting the blood rush in. His sudden arrival. His face up close.
||Posted - 08/31/2021 : 17:38:15
Single file. Their heads nodding in conversation. She stops when he grabs hold of her wrist. The path is steep. She goes carefully. Holding onto low branches to keep from sliding. Halfway down, the trail widens. She sees what's not visible from the top. The cliff undercut with a series of connected caves. Unstable where the sand whispers and plots. She can't climb back. Must wait for the tide to rise. She'll have to swim out into June's faithful fog. The first Summer he's here.
||Posted - 08/31/2021 : 17:31:01
Mile High Cafe. Clock pushing time over the cigarette vending machine. Down on the Interstate semis fly by. She can't see the parking lot from the counter. Every time the door opens the temperature drops two degrees. Minutes pass. Now it's the next day and she's shivering. The cook pours a refill and puts on another pot. A sudden shiver of energy fills the room. Snow in his hair and on his shoulders.
||Posted - 08/21/2021 : 17:26:51
Tracy's old man was by. Fred hadn't seen the place since
it was renovated and reopened. He was surprised to know
the old building had been saved, that it was going
to be a music place, have a little dance floor too.
"We need those," he said, "even if young people don't
dance the same as we used to."
Tracy used to show me dance tickets that Fred had kept
from the long-gone Temple Gardens. Imagine that.
Temple Gardens was famous for its spring-loaded dance floor,
a balcony that swooped down to both the sides of the stage
via curved ramps. Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong
played there back in its heyday. Glenn Miller too.
Tracy's dad took her mom there on their first date.
While Fred was visiting, two more elders came in
to have a look-see, Miko Petrescue and his wife Gladys.
They all got talking. Miko mentioned that Tom T. Hall
had just died. He looked at Fred and said, "Do you
remember that night Tom T. Hall played here? It was
only one song, but he played here, before it closed.
He came in near closing time and got up on stage..."
Fred's eyebrows climbed up. "The drunk who sang that
'watermelon wine' song was Tom T. Hall?" Miko nodded.
"I remember him," Fred said. "It was a long time ago,
but I remember him. I didn't realize it was the guy
who made a hit song out of it. That makes it even
more special this place got rescued."
After Tracy had seen them all off, she came back in.
She was smiling. We finished helping with the cleaning,
then turned off the lights and locked the place up.
On the drive home, we were quiet the first few minutes.
Passing under a street light I could see she was teared up.
"I'm glad dad came down and saw the place. He was happy.
He doesn't show happy much, not since his stroke, not since
mom died, but listening to him I could tell."