Monday, April 30, 2012

James McMurtry

I got to see my big favorite a few weeks back at a place in Dallas called Poor David’s Pub. James McMurtry left his band at home and did a solo show.

It was outstanding! As great as his lyrics are, he has a really unique way with a guitar.
He opened his show with “Down Across the Delaware” off of his “Where’d You Hide the Body” album from 1995.
I was living that song when it first came out, and I lived it a number of years, all the way through to the last verse:

I heard a voice today I swore I knew
From somewhere down in the southern sticks
I turned around to see some ragged stranger
Bummin’ change on the outbound six
And I froze like a stone…
Could I ever get that low?
Turned my face to the window
There by the grace of God I go
Where the garden state gives way to the real world
Falls away in the rear view mirror
I’ll mend my wounds and wait out the winter
Down across the Delaware

So I got to meet him after the show, and shake his hand.
I told him that I had a blog out there that I had stolen a line from “Too Long in the Wasteland” for the title.
“That’s OK” he assured me.
“I call myself “Bulletholes in the Mailbox”; isn’t that a great name for a blog?” but he just shrugged and turned to the camera.
I don’t think he was all that impressed.

Heres another nice one, from the same album, where James demonstrates his own unique sound. I love the simple guitar work here. I don't think anybody else sounds quite like this.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


--I don't know what to call it, she said
--Call it your friend
--My friend.
She held it, not as tightly as he wanted
--God, it looks so archaic, she said.

l. cohen, from the energy of slaves

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I had this poster when I was in the 6th grade. Bought it from a friend of mine for 2 dollars. I hung it on my wall. Thirty minutes later my mother made me take it down. I sold it to another buddy for 3 dollars. Not bad for a days work.


We had an Arts Festival in Fort Worth last weekend. We have it every year and its grown to be one of the largest in the country.

There was a collage artist from Toronto, a really foxy gal, and I stopped and talked to her.
 "I have a blog friend in New Hampshire that does collages” I said.
“A blog friend?”
“Yeah, her name is Anita NH, and she does all sorts of crafts and stuff, she has her own shop out in the middle of nowhere, and collages are her specialty.”
Anita in New Hampshire?” she repeats, and gives me this great smile.
And now I’m really excited because I think maybe she knows Nita (I call her Nita).
“YES! Anita in New Hampshire” I scream. “She’s been on TV and written books and anyone that knows anything about collages knows Nita! Do you know her?”
She laughed and looked at me real kindly and said she didn’t. But I’m still excited because she is really cute and I said “But Toronto is really close to New Hampshire isn’t it? You must know her!” and she thought that was pretty funny.

She asked how I knew Nita, and I said because we are blog friends and she thought that was funny too, and then I got to looking at one of her collages.
It was pretty good.
It had this 50’s looking housewife, just her head on the right side, and then on the left there was a sequence of smaller pictures of this same woman having baked and iced a cake. The last picture in the sequence she was holding the cake up like a trophy or something. It was real June Cleaver/ Betty Crockerish, done in red and pink with a Frigidaire and GE Oven and I think somewhere in the collage was an old Rambler station wagon, a bolo bouncer and probably a Dan Draper looking man with a pipe reading the paper..
I said “Hey that’s pretty good. You know what it needs?”
“What?” she said, only she seemed to have lost her pretty smile.
“It needs like a Nuclear Warhead over here by the oven.”

She didn’t smile but turned and started helping a real customer.
I shouldn’t have said that.
I was too ashamed to ask for a card or anything, and just kind of slinked away..
If you know her, Nita, please tell her I’m sorry.

Anita has about 6 blogs going. I usually visit her "Temporary Blog" which is less art and more personal story. But if you are into quilts and crafts and such, she is a good one to know.

Here is a samlple of Nita's work....I don't think it needs anything at all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Here’s me and my daughter, doing a little slow dance at a Buddy Whittington show. We had so much fun that night. We rocked that place inside out. When she was a little girl we used to dance. She would run little circles around me, flailing her arms around, and squealing. Then for the slow songs I’d glide her along perched on top of my feet.

She’s a big girl now, and dances very cooly, and looks so good doing it.

My friend Gary told me a while back that I didn’t dance the same as I did a year ago.
“You are not nearly as flamboyant” he said, and wondered if I was tired of dancing or depressed or something.
“No Gary, I just seem to wear out quick these days” I had said. “And all these FACEBOOK Jokers that want to video-tape me doing my knee-jerk shuffle and post it has me a little shy.”
“You? Shy?” he asked.
“Nah, I don’t care. But I do wear out awful quick these days.”

And that shouldn’t be a surprise, what with my diabetes, high blood pressure and low testosterone.
But I got the bronchitis last week and went to the doctor. They did some tests and have determined I have COPD as well. They gave me anti-biotics and some kind of inhaler.
And a prescription for something called a “Rescue Inhaler”
That’s great. All of a sudden I’ve crossed some kind of line and need a rescue inhaler.
I told the doctor I didn’t think I needed one.

But I’ve been thinking about it, and before the next Buddy show, think I better go get one of those rescue inhalers. I have been accused of all things, being less flamboyant than usual.
And no wonder.
I just can’t get any air.
Dancin’ days are here again!

Monday, April 23, 2012


For all the words on this blog I’ve written about Lily, I can’t believe I didn’t post this update a few years ago. Jan Martijn over at UF Mikes reminded me of it, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted it before.
This was the last time I tried to hustle Lily, if thats what you want to call it, back about the 4th July, 2008.

"Lily, why don’t we go watch the fireworks at the Boys Ranch tonight. Its the fourth of July"
"Aw, you're so sweet, but it looks like it’s going to rain."
"Well, then maybe we can just go to dinner somewhere"
"I can't eat. I'm too fat!"
"I don't think so Lily, but then maybe we can go to a movie?"
"Aw, I would, but I'm tired of being indoors."
“Lily, you know I have friends that sometimes we meet in person, and do stuff, and it’s fun”
“I don’t want to give you the wrong idea.”
“But Lily, you called me!”

I used to would get a call from Lily about twice a year, and she always had some kind of disaster going, and a story that didn’t quite add up. But anytime I suggested we actually get together, the way friends sometimes do, was met with cock-blocking of magnificent proportions, as exemplified above.

Over on Facebook, she comes around every now and then and leaves nostalgic comments about what good friends we used to be, and seems to want to publicly demonstrate how close we are, or were, once upon a time.
I think she misses me.

Friday, April 20, 2012


"For some moments in life there are no words"
W. Wonka

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Branch Davidian complex in Waco, 4/19/1993.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Back in 1969 Three Dog Night had a huge success with a Nillson song, simply titled “One”.
“One is the loneliest number” they had said, and I had the 45 record of it. Everybody in my sixth grade class was singing this song.

One day I decided to check out the song on the flipside. It was called ‘Chest Fever”, and had this heavy heavy organ chord going, and lyrics I couldn’t understand because they were sung like “Louie, Louie” was sung, that is to say unintelligibly, so I figured it had to be a dirty song, just like they said if you ever did hear a word from “Louie, Louie” it was going to be dirty.
I didn’t know it then because it would be 5 years before I knew what the lyrics were.

What I did know then was that that organ really got its hooks in me, right down to the bones.

It took 5 years to find that it wasn’t Three Dog Night that wrote the song, but a guy named Levon Helm and The Band
All my friends were listening to “One” and “Hang On Sloopy” and “Sugar, Sugar”, completely oblivious to songs like “Chest Fever”
Chest Fever was heavy. It was maybe the first really heavy tune I discovered all by myself.

I can still see dads Hi-fi stereo I would play it on. There was no 45 adapter for the spindle, and I would have to center it manually. I play those chords in my head every now and then, and it takes me back to that summer and fall of ’69 when I would walk down the street hoping to see Cathy or Jerri that lived on my block. But instead of humming “Hang on Sloopy” on those walks, I was humming “Chest Fever”.
Like I'm hummin' them now.

I know she's a tracker, any scarlet would back her
They say she's a chooser, but I just can't refuse her
She was just there, but then she can't be here no more
And as my mind unweaves, I feel the freeze down in my knees
But just before she leaves, she receives

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



April has come and Spring erupts for this half of the globe; those even in cooler climes note the irrepressible budding of the new and the young bursting pollinated feeling in the wind. The soil groaning has given way to sprout and shoot and leaf.
Nature trumps in spades, and early everywhere this year.
Ostara fills her nesting place, Persephone rules and ritual abounds.
Spring Fever. You see the signs everywhere.

Here in Texas we have Grackles; they are like inbred redneck Ravens and no one loves them. They are unwanted. Homely and squawky looking, they congregate in great undesired numbers with their ugly selves.

City officials use dynamite and shotguns to scare them from commercial areas. Mesh drop cloths can be seen hanging suspended from trees in posh parking lots in protection of Beamers and Porsches parked outside upscale salons and such.

They are quite the nuisance, though I doubt they realize it. I am sure that among their Bird-fellows they are proud and trust wholly their Collective Unconscious in total disregard for these busy noisy ugly humans. To a Grackle I imagine we Humans seem to be a dirty and wasteful creature, congregating in great numbers, busy, building, biting, burning and greedy with far too many devices.
They see all the signs.
But still, Grackle has his own Ritual to attend to.

Take note of the males with mud colored feathers all puffed and wings suggestively splayed trying to impress their female counterparts. These homely males imagine themselves handsome birds. They are tireless in their advances, taking on several of the females at any one time. They dance and strut about.

Every Grackle in Tarrant County is makin’ like Elvis Presley in feathers, so showy, so suave, and so confident.
They be All Shook Up, yet I do sense a bit of desperation especially as the season progresses.
It is hard to tell if the females are horrified at this behavior, or if they are just being coy.
I have yet to have any visual confirmation that these tactics have been successful, other than the supreme preponderance of Grackles.....and I am thankful for that.

Perhaps it is best that we only see signs of the workings of this world, and are spared the full force shock of spring.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"It's been quite a week, there was a drive-by shooting in Lake Wobegon."

I've waited about 20 years for Greg to come to play somewhere here in Fort Worth. I finally get my wish next month.

Lets do one more shall we? I posted the lyrics to this one a long time ago.


great image from westtexasinsomniac


Ok...I have to add to this from yesterday.
From the Just For Today Daily meditation:

"All spiritual awakenings have some things in common. Common elements include an end to loneliness and a sense of direction in our lives."
Basic Text, p. 50

Some kinds of spiritual experiences take place when we confront something larger than we are. We suspect that forces beyond our understanding are operating. We see a fleeting glimpse of the big picture and find humility in that moment.

Our journey through the Twelve Steps will bring about a spiritual experience of the same nature, only more profound and lasting. We undergo a continual process of ego-deflation, while at the same time we become more conscious of the larger perspective. Our view of the world expands to the point where we no longer possess an exaggerated sense of our own importance.

Through our new awareness, we no longer feel isolated from the rest of the human race. We may not understand why the world is the way it is or why people sometimes treat one another so savagely. But we do understand suffering and, in recovery, we can do our best to alleviate it. When our individual contribution is combined with others, we become an essential part of a grand design. We are connected at last.

Just for Today: I am but one person in the entire scheme of things. I humbly accept my place in the big picture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"A Spring Wind blew my list of things to do away"


Last Saturday night I drove my truck off the Hurstview bridge. I landed smack dab in the construction zone, where they have the old 6 lane 121A highway scoured out for ten miles to make way for the expanded 16 lane 183 Freeway. My truck was OK, it’s a ’75 Chevy. “Like a Rock” baby, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore, and other than being upside down, she didn’t look to much the worse for the wear after taking a 30 foot fall.

All I needed was someone to help me turn her right-side-up and I could be on my merry way.

So I started climbing up the sheer face by the bridge, making my way up to Hurstview. I got almost to the top, using all my rock climbing skills. Up until then I had been completely unaware of having any rock climbing skills. I looked down into the canyon of the construction zone and I could see a few of the workers, wearing their hardhats and bright orange safety vests and I thought to myself “They probably wouldn’t much like me being up here like this”.

I turned back to my climbing, i was close to the top now, but a rock lodged in the side of this cliff gave way, tumbling down into the construction zone.
I tried to scramble the last few feet to the top and grabbed another rock, and it gave way as well, and a few pebbles too, and then the next thing I knew I was coming down the mountain in an avalanche of rocks and dirt that had lay undisturbed since the Pleistocene era, and the workers looked up to me and hollered ‘Hey, you get down from there!” but it was too late…

And from all the way out from I-35, clear to Euless Westpark Way, the entire 183/820 Expansion project collapsed in on itself.

I woke up, and I was tearing at my sheets, hanging upside down off of my bed

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


found at lotus feet~
photographer ladislav postupa

Monday, April 09, 2012


I go in the kitchen in the morning and there is coffee made. She has already been up and had a cup and is out the door on her way to work. I pour myself a cup, and put in a little Splenda, and a little hazelnut creamer and look to see what Angel Eyes has stirred her coffee with this morning and left there next to the coffee ring on the counter.

It could be a spoon (though unlikely), or a butter knife, or maybe a salad fork, it doesn’t matter, because Angel Eyes just reaches in the drawer and whatever she happens to grab is what we will stir our coffee with today.
Today it was a steak knife.
That’s what I like about Angel Eyes.
I thought I was the only person in the world to do such a thing.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


We were lined up at the starting line when the man fired the pistol.
I took off clean, then fell and scuffed my knee in my little Easter shorts, ripping my jacket as well. I thought my chances were slim, but I recovered and ran like a deer, scooping up candy and eggs into my basket like Deon Sanders on a loose ball.
Before long I was way out in front of everybody.
There was a line of trees in front of me.
Then I found it! The Grand Prize of the Easter Egg Hunt! The worlds biggest Chocolate Bunny! It must have been 2 feet tall.
It came with $20 and I got my picture made with the Governor and Miss Texas, 1961. I looked out over the crowd from on the stage, all those kids out there with their little Easter Baskets and sad envious looks on their faces. They were all looking at me.
I’d have gladly given that Chocolate Bunny away.
It seemed like all the kids hated me forever after that.

SIN, 1962
That Easter of 1961 was the first time I truly felt separated from other people.
And it was all because I found that damned Grand Prize Bunny.
I can still see the pouty little envious faces of all the kids there that day.
I can still feel the anger and resentment of all those little child hearts as I stood between the Governor and Miss Texas, holding 4 pounds of Chocolate Rabbit, getting my picture taken.

Make no mistake about it, us humans learn to hate and resent and despise at a very early age.
We also learn to feel separated, isolated and alone.

Anyway, over the years Easter did not get much better for me.

The next year, in 1962, my little sister got a little baby chick that the Easter Bunny brought for her. It was dyed pink and I do not know what future it may have had if me and the big kid from across the street had not got a hold of it. His name was Dan, and he and I took an Axe and cut the little birds head off and buried it in the front yard. Later that evening, when the chick came up missing, I lied and said I knew nothing about the whereabouts of my sisters little pink chicky.
It was a mystery, but mystery’s never last too long in my life.
The very next day my dad pulled out a Rototillerto prepare the yard for sod found that little chick , headless and buried in the front yard.
I got a whuppin’ all right, even though it had not been my idea, nor had I held the axe, or dug the hole or placed the little chicky in its grave.
No, I had not done any of that, but I understood fully that I had been a most willing and delighted accomplice to this macabre little episode.

What I did not understand at the time was that I would never really ever get away with anything my whole life long.

Yes, Easter has been a tough holiday for me.
The year after Dan and I murdered my sisters little Easter Chick, my family moved to Detroit. In 1966 we flew to Texas for vacation at Easter time. Our return flight back to Detroit was late in the day on Easter Sunday.
My little sister, who 4 years prior had lost that poor little chick, was about to pay me back for the vile deed.
Early Easter morning she went to the little nest that our mom and dad always had us make to find what the Easter Bunny had left.
There was a huge yellow Easter Basket, about 4 feet tall, with all that fake green grass spilling out, and all those marshmallow peeps, chocolate rabbits, and Candy Eggs, stuffed bunnies, with little feathered bird-toys going all around the handle, all wrapped in clear-green cellophane.
It was enormous, totally cute and bigger than she was.

It could not be checked as baggage, and it was way too big for my sister to carry.
Do you know what that meant?
It was time to atone for the murder of that Baby Chick 4 years earlier.
I had to carry that Basket through the Dallas Love Field Airport and onto the plane!
I was 10 years old, all boy, and I’d rather have died a thousand deaths than to carry that very gay and bright pastel pink and yellow nightmare.
I was embarrassed, I was pissed, and what I found was that if I tilted that basket the wrong way, music would play right out of one of those stuffed bunnies arses.

“Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Easters on its way”

I was daggers!

Women and little girls in line to board would compliment me on what a nice Easter Basket I had.
It seemed like the whole Airport was smiling and pointing at me.
I would scowl. I was almost in tears. I wanted to kill somebody.
And when I looked to my Mother, she would just give me that look like I better not say a thing.
I could not wait for this plane to hippity-hoppity off the ground and land in Detroit.
But that would prove to be too good to be true.
What I found, as part of my atonement for the sins of Easter Past, was that we had a three-hour layover in the lobby at Chicago O’Hare!

It was the worse day of my life.

Friday, April 06, 2012


Back in 1974, my girlfriend and I had had been to see Brian de Palmas 1974 film “Phantom of the Paradise” which starred Paul Williams and some band called ‘The Juicy Fruits”.
It was a huge flop unless you were 17 and clueless.
The plot was a combination of “Phantom of the Opera”, “Dorian Gray” and relied heavy on the “Faust” theme. Paul Williams, all 4 foot ten inches of him, was miscast as the devil. The scene that barely sticks out in the deepest parts of my memory is...well....I can't remember a fucking thing about it except when we left the theater that night we wished we could go to a rock concert that was like the movie we had just seen.

Our appetites were wet for some theatrical rock. I had missed Alice Cooper (he cancelled) the year before, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show was still on the cutting room floor, and we had never heard of Riff-Raff or Time Warps or  Meatloaf except for what mom served up on Sunday nights.
They said The Who's "Tommy" was supposed to be a Rock Opera, but I hadn't seen it, and there were only like two songs on the album I liked anyway.


I saw Genesis at, of all places "The Will Rogers Auditorium" in 1975. I had seen them on 'American Bandstand " or something, and the song they did featured Peter Gabriel crushing the rest of the band with a big mallet, one like you would imagine Thor carrying, and he had a deranged look on his face and this appealed very strongly to me, being 17 and all.

So I got tickets to go to see Genesis, and I told my girlfriend it was like real Rock Opera, but when we got there he didn't have the big mallet, and no one was crushed, he just stood there in a weird hat and a one-piece bathing suit with his arms hanging straight down his side.
It was very un-operatic.
They didn't do a single song that anybody knew what the hell it was, and I don't really remember much except that the music sucked big-time at the Will Rogers Auditorium that night, and the entire crowd took to hollerin' out 'Aa-rrrriiibbbbbaaa" as loud as we could between songs.
That was the best part.


Thursday, April 05, 2012


The killers that run
the other countries
are trying to get us
to overthrow the killers
that run our own
I for one
prefer the rule
of our native killers
I am convinced
the foreign killer
will kill more of us
than the old familiar killer does
Frankly I don't believe
anyone out there
really wants us to solve
our social problems
I base this all on how I feel
about the man next door
I just hope he doesn't
get any uglier
Therefore I am a patriot
I don't like to see
a burning flag
because it excites
the killers on either side
to unfortunate excess
which goes on gaily
quite unchecked
until everyone is dead

Leonard Cohen from "The Energy of Slaves"

Interesting article on Stuxnet.


Wednesday, April 04, 2012


For Gillian
Vote for Gillian as the Worlds Sexiest Vegan


I have had to withdraw my offer on The Little Hoss Ranch.
During inspection we found the house had some foundation problems, and some electrical issues. I was all set to make a counter offer to the seller and maybe get all that stuff taken care of.
But when push came to shove it was my Financing that fell through. Since I have no current utility bills, and I do not have a signed lease contract between my landlord and myself, my credit rating is not as good as it was when I had those things going for me. final approval was going to take some time, and it looked like the best thing to do was withdraw the offer. Too many caveats.

I was surprised as hell last summer anyway, when they said a lowlife no count no credit bankrupcy foreclosure ex-doper slacker with bad teeth and knock-knees could get a loan and buy a house. After everything the country went through in 2008, did they not learn a thing?
 I feared for my country, that they would want to loan me $80,000.

In fact, they have about 4 bankers on it right now, staying up all hours trying to hatch a plan to get me a home loan.

So  I’m still in the game, waiting on new approval on some new scam to get Bulletholes $80,000 and in the meantime I am safe and happy living with my friend Angel Eyes, and we have cable, a couch, a stove and a pool, and I get up in the morning and the coffee is made and the birds are chirping and there is money in the bank baby, the money just keeps rolling in, and I get out of the shower I start singing because that’s what like to do in the morning….

“Sweet Caroline (bom-bom-bom)
Good times never seemed so good!
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would”

And part of the reason I like that song is because I’m never quite sure what it means. What exactly is the singer inclined to believe? What good time never seemed so good? Good as what? When was that?
He don’t say and I can’t tell.
I kind of have an idea, but I just can’t tell for sure. Maybe you know. Maybe you think you know something for certain.
And that would be your first mistake!

All I know is it ain't over until the last brick falls

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Monday, April 02, 2012


found at ordinary finds

Sunday, April 01, 2012


I left a comment on an old TYWKIWDBI post about the funeral pyre of the poet Shelley. I was delighted to find that such a great blog as TY's would actually use my comment to add to a continuing post today. I don't know how many visits he gets a day, but its a lot more than my little piece of ether here at Bulletholes.

Anyway, I used the funeral of Shelley as inspiration on a story back 5 years ago. Its a great story, though not as good as Treylawneys, and the best part is that the story is more true than not. True enough i had to change the names somewhat  to protect the not guilty. It ended up becoming a 5 part series I titled "The Chronicles of Fighting Joe Jarmack". Follow the link to see the original and the comments (CLICK HERE), or just read the text supplied below.

"Down here we had the Womacks, all big trouble and notoriously violent, with the eldest of the three brothers, Joe, being the most badass'd. One night Little Panama comes running into the local Foosers Hut and hollers that Fightin' Joe Womack has barricaded himself in the old abandoned Boys Ranch House for Orphans and that anyone going in there gets thrown out the second floor window.
Of Course the place empties out, and a caravan forms up to journey down Devils Backbone, a twisting turning roller coaster road that dead ends into the Boys Ranch where a crowd has gathered in the dark outside of the dilapidated two story wood structure.
Its pure Hugo without the hunchback, unless you want to count Cross Eyed Myra, who seemed to be everywhere all the time, just lookin' for a little lovin'.
Big Panama goes rumnning into the darkness of the ranchhouse and in like 20 seconds you hear a scream and *WHOOSH* here he comes flying out the second story window. Same thing happens to Zigger-zoo, Cherokee, Tubby and the Strackman. Then Truck-Bob hollers "torch the place" and someone comes up with a gallon of gas, its once for the Devil and once for the Christ, and the next thing you know this weatherbeaten old Ranchhouse is in flames, lighting up the hot August night. The crowd went wild!
No one ever saw Fighting Joe again, but the next morning his Saint Christopher medal was sifted from the ashes, still glowing red hot like Shelley's Heart and did not cool until it were dunked, hissing and steaming into the Boys Ranch Pond.
Today it is the site of the nicest little park and community center you would ever want to see. Its been deemed a State Historical Site because of the Old Boys Ranch for Orphans. But there is not one whit in tribute to the night that Fightin' Joe went down in a blaze of glory. The legend is that he still wanders the Park and surrounding neighborhoods, looking for his old girlfriend Mi-Mi.
When the wind is out of the southwest, breathing its way down Devils Backbone and blowing through the willows by the waters edge, you can hear ol' Fightin Joe howling for his lost love."
See also The Scariest House, The Continuing Chronicles of Fighting Joe, and Purcell's Treehouse, for more of this story. It remains largely unfinished, I guess.