Saturday, June 29, 2013


Between all the teenage angst, tears, sweat and underwear, and my various endeavors with "Fully Clothed Women" , "Crashingly Beautiful" and the latest album I havent ruined yet "This is my Favorite Song", and the many silly things which have  been the focus of my attention lately, I may not have mentioned that I have my own place again, having been on the road, renting rooms the last 21 months.
All my possesions and mineral resources have been in storage all this time.
I'm doing some unpacking and have reached a severe impasse.
The plan was to get rid of any book I would never read again. I can't do it. I've never been able to "let go".
I need a new plan, one that is possible.
And all these out-of-focus sunspot old and mildewed pictures.
What do you do with those? If you say "throw them away", then I don't think there is anything else I care to hear you talk about.
So, there.

Having said that I will list some of the books that can be scavenged from my front porch.
No Charge.
"Love in the Time of Cholera" ( sorry Oprah, never got past page 100. I really did try)

"Ordeal By Sea:The tragedy of the USS Indianapolis"
"The Great Gatsby"... I just opened it and found I have passages highlighted, and so I will have to keep this one. No, lets not. 

"The Stand"(its a paperback, and the print is finer than a silver needle. And the story sucks)

"Dr. Wayne Dyer: Pulling Your Own Strings" (He lost all his credo to me when he came out on PBS in a Dojo and sandals, and talked about selling all his worldly possessions and moving to a small island in the Pacific. Maui, to be exact. How spare could it be?"

"Dylan: An intimate Biography" Really?

"The Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes" (Teaser: "I dont believe in superstition. It brings bad luck." Gone, gone, gone.)

"Life of Pi" (The movie sucked too)

"Message in a Bottle" ( Oh, God, I remember the night I picked this one up at the Tom Thumb, 3 am, raining and freezing. It was a lousy year)

"Parenting Teens With Love and Logic" (still in wrapper)

What did I keep? 
"The Number of the Beast", "The Way of the Sufi", "The Fellowship of the Ring", "Waiting for Godot", "The Sun Also Rises", Asimov's "Foundation", The Fountainhead", Lonesome Dove"  and one well worn Larrouse Gastronomique.

We have a few boxes to go.

And for any of you who may have stuck with this post this far, please give me and my Higher Power a thought as I will be sharing my story at the Valley of Hope in Grapevine tomorrow morning.
Thank you. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Here are some parts of a spider some people might find attractive:


Reminds me of the story about the scientists that took a new tractor to a farmer who had always pulled his plow with mules. They showed him how to start it, how to put gas in it, how to lower the plow , turn the steering wheel, apply the brake, everything, then asked if he had any questions.

‘Just one” he says “Where do I hook up the mule?”

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Hiding in a Drop of Water"

It is early morning, and death has forgotten us for
a while. Darkness owns the house, but I am alive.
I am ready to praise all the great musicians.
Whatever happens to me will also happen to you.
Surely you must have realized this from hearing
the way the strings cry out no matter who hits them.
From the great oak trees in the yard in October,
leaves fall for hours each day. Every night
a thousand wrinkled faces look up at the stars.
Still we know that at any second the soul can stand
up and start across the desert, as when Rabia ended up
riding on a resurrected donkey toward the Meeting.
It is this reaching toward the Kaaba that keeps us glad.
It is this way of hiding inside a drop of water
that lets the hidden face become visible to everyone.
Gautama said that when the Great Ferris Wheel
stops turning, you will still be way up
there, swinging in your seat and laughing.
- Robert Bly, Hiding in a Drop of Water  
My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy

Friday, June 14, 2013


I was talking with my ex last Friday night. Actually, she was talking to a group of our friends at a big party.
 She says “Do you want to see the difference between men and women?”
Of course, everyone said “Yes”, and she turns to me and asks “Steve, what is the date of our divorce?”
“I don’t know” I said “I took no note of it”
And everybody laughs.
“That’s right” she says “You didn’t even show up in court”
“Sure didn’t “ I said.
And everybody laughs.
Then she asks “Steve, how many years were we married?”
“Oh, That’s easy…thirteen years”
“Nope. Fourteen years 2 months and 12 days”

And everybody laughs and looks at me.

I think about it a minute and say:
“She’s right. I’m counting time from the day we got married to the day I got booted out of the house for good. I knew it was for good. I knew there wouldn’t  be any coming back. I’d used all those up. She had made up her mind. And there is nothing as unwavering as a woman when she ‘s already made up her mind. She’s counting to the day of the divorce. Bastille Day.”

And everybody nods their head, and I look at her, and she's pleased as can be with herself.
"And that" she says "Is the difference between men and women!"
But I'm not going to let it go that easy.
"She is right. But its important to note that like Alexanders ashes, I am still Alexander"

I don't know if anybody got it but me. I just think its cool we can talk about it like that.


Sillage (n.)- a scent that lingers in the air; the trail left in the water; the impression made in space after someone has been and gone; the trace of someone’s perfume.

My friend SL @ Assorted says that the french don't say "I miss you", they say something that more closely resembles "You are missing from me".

Goes well with LIGHT BLUE... from earlier this year.

I was going to buy you some perfume.
But I decided I was trying too hard,
Holding on too tight
So I got this card instead.

I can remember the smell of you
And your perfume
The way it would linger for days
I’d pass you in the hall
And at the bottom of the stairs
And it was like you were still there
A spirit lover.
I’d smell you as I brushed my teeth ,
and put on my shirt…

I loved you so much then and I still do
I never stopped.

I’d put on my shirt and find my shoes
And I’d just feel so homeless and lost
Only your lovely scent to guide me out the door
I believe the whole world becomes a marvelous place
A marvelous place for everyone in it
When you are with me.

I step outside, you fill my empty world as
The clear sky turns light blue and full of love.

bulletholes 4/2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


“'ll fall in love with me all over again."
"Hell," I said, "I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?"
"Yes. I want to ruin you."
"Good," I said. "That's what I want too.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Previously unreleased, having not made the cut for "Blood on the Tracks", this almost seems to be a sister piece to ""Shelter From the Storm". Lyrically, this seems to be more personal, and I love the tenderness in the last lines, a tenderness for something that seemed to have gone so wrong and took a long time to resolve. Its so rich I can't single out a favorite verse.
I've lived this song more than once now.

Everything went from bad to worse, money never changed a thing,

Death kept followin', trackin' us down, at least I heard your bluebird sing.
Now somebody's got to show their hand, time is an enemy,
I know you're long gone,
I guess it must be up to me.

If I'd thought about it I never would've done it, I guess I would've let it slide,
If I'd paid attention to what others were thinkin', the heart inside me would've died.
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,
Someone had to reach for the risin' star,
I guess it was up to me.

Oh, the Union Central is pullin' out, the orchids are in bloom,
I've only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume.
In fourteen months I've only smiled once and I didn't do it consciously,
Somebody's got to find your trail,
I guess it's gonna be up to me.

It was like a revelation when you betrayed me with your touch,
I'd just about convinced myself nothin' had changed that much.
The old Rounder in the iron mask, he slipped me the master key,
Somebody had to unlock your heart,
He said it was up to me.

Well, I watched you slowly disappear down into the officers' club,
I would've followed you in the door but I didn't have a ticket stub.
So I waited all night 'til the break of day, hopin' one of us could get free,
When the dawn came over the river bridge,
I knew it was up to me.

Oh, the only decent thing I did when I worked as a postal clerk
Was to haul your picture down off the wall near the cage where I used to work.
Was I a fool or not to protect your real identity?
You looked a little burned out, my friend,
I thought it might be up to me.

I met somebody face to face, I had to remove my hat.
She's everything I need in love but I can't be swayed by that.
It frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be.
But she ain't gonna make a move,
I guess it must be up to me.

Now we heard the Sermon on the Mount and I knew it was too complex,
It didn't amount to anything more than what the broken glass reflects.
When you bite off more than you can chew you gotta pay the penalty,
Somebody's got to tell the tale,
I guess it must be up to me.

Dupree came in pimpin' tonight to the Thunderbird Cafe,
Crystal wanted to talk to him, I had to look the other way.
Now I just can't rest without your love, I need your company.
You ain't gonna cross the line,
I guess it must be up to me.

There's a note left in the bottle, you can give it to Estelle,
She's the one you been wond'rin' about, but there's really nothin' much to tell.
We both heard voices for a while, now the rest is history,
Somebody's got to cry some tears,
I guess it must be up to me.

So go on, boys, play your hands, life is a pantomime,
The ringleaders from the county seat say you don't have all that much time.
And the girl with me behind the shades, she ain't my property,
One of us has got to hit the road,
I guess it must be up to me.

If we never meet again, baby, remember me,
How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody.
And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free,
No one else could play that tune,
You know it was up to me.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


Continued from "ALTO, TEXAS", a Mothers Day post---

I passed through Tyler, the Rose Capitol of the World, and all the roses in planters for sale at the side of the road. They made me think of all my lost loves.
I guess I've been lucky.
I bought a small rose for planting, for momma.  It wont  live, it wont last long down there, but I wanted to do it just the same.

Apparently Tyler is also the Psychic Capitol of the world too. I must have passed 10 places I could go  inside and have my cards read, my fortune told. I wondered what interesting things they might say. I wondered whose face these psychics could conjure when they looked into my eyes, if Madame Cassandra might know where she is, if she could see us naked in her minds eye, if she would know.

If she would know.

It made me think about “The Wizard of OZ” and how Dorothy had run away from home and happened upon  Professor Marvel.  He invites her into his trailer and is going to read her fortune. He has her close her eyes,  in order to be “better in tune with the infinite".
He says " We cant do these things without reaching into the infinite”

And while her eyes are closed he reaches into her purse, and finds the picture of Auntie Em. He tells Dorothy that somewhere there is a woman who is worried, with a broken heart, because she has lost something.  Professor Marvel  may be a shyster and a hustler, but he is a very kind man, smart too, and is just trying to do the right thing like any good psychic in tune with the infinite might. And Dorothy realizes he is talking about her Aunt Emily, and takes Toto and runs home to Auntie Em.
Anyway, this was my day dream as I left Tyler, still not knowing what the future might bring. Us humans, we always want to skip to the end of the story, but it just doesn’t work that way. We have to go along, a day at time, a breath at a time, a pain at a time.

And the psychics and rose dealers do it that way too.

I got to Alto where I found a man mowing in front of what had been  Aunt  Verda’s  house.  He said that Mary and Junior were living in Mama’s old property, and that their sons were living across the street now.  I had not expected to find kin there, but I did, 2nd and 3rd cousins.  I took a picture of an old shed that a cousin and I had thrown every potato from good-sized stack of new potatoes at, watching them splat against the wood, delighted. It almost killed Uncle Carroll to see what we had done with his hard work, and Uncle Jack was liable to have killed us if it weren’t for Aunt Laura.

Walking up to the house, I passed where  the root cellar had been. There was no longer a trace. I passed a giant pecan, and there was a big hunk of metal grown into the bark, and I wondered how long it had been there, and which of us cousins might have done the tree this injustice. I put my hand on it, and it felt good to touch this tree that had overseen many a summer day of my youth. In fact it felt kind of like reaching into the infinite, as though the vibrations of every conversation at the family place might be in the vibration of old pecans memory, like the way traces of every meal lay in the metal of a cast iron skillet..

I stepped to the back porch, and my 90 year old cousin Mary came to the door. She had seen me coming up .We recognized each other instantly and we both held each other and I just cried and cried and cried. She said she had been thinking of me just that morning. We sat and looked at pictures for an hour, and then something interesting happened .  Her son came in, a third cousin I had never met. He is only a few years older than I but somehow we never crossed paths.

He sat down after introductions. We told a few stories back and forth and then he had a question for me.  It was one of those questions it takes five minutes to ask and boiled down to this:

“Have you secured eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

I told him that I had not, that I was a recovering drug addict, and had only recently learned to pray again, and that I was growing closer to a god of my understanding through prayers and meditation, and I was very grateful to God for helping me stay clean, but  that I would leave eternity to my God, and just try to follow my program.

Of course, he doesn’t recognize a god of my understanding, my understanding having failed me most of my life, and I get that point. It didn’t turn into a religious argument, and I’m glad my program has helped me to be tolerant of other peoples views. I assured him that many addicts do find a deeper faith outside of the program, and that I would remain open-minded as my program has taught me to try to be. We closed with a prayer and then the next interesting thing happened.

As we stood up, I took his hand, and I leaned in to hug him. I was surprised to find that this man, full of Jesus love, my third cousin, took a step back in order not to receive my hug. All Gods Childrens is different I guess.

Then  I went for the real reason I was there. I stood next to mom and dad at their grave, and for the first time in forty years I stood next to them clean and sober, involved in a spiritual program that shapes my life as best as I will let it, keeps me striving not so much for eternal salvation, but just to have the strength and courage to do the next right thing one day at a time, and it felt good. It just sure felt good.
I think mom and dad would like that very much.

Me,   I’ll have to leave the infinite for my God and the psychics.

Oh, for those of you who read Part One....yes, Kevins rustic handmade horse training pen is still there, fashioned to gether from 1000 saplings and held together with baling wire, god knows what and Kevins cowboy spirit.
It is a sight to behold. The picture does not do it justice.


There was a point in our lives

where if I slit my throat, it was you who would bleed.
You say goodbye too often in autumn.
Tonight the last leaf fell off the tree beyond my bedroom window,

and I could hear the sound of branches aching for love to wrap

around their leaves like limbs.
It was three a.m. in the last stretch of May.

Springtime calls for heartbeat symphonies

and when we pressed our bodies together they coincided like

chords, like staccatos when I ran my hand down

your spine.
Fog is one of the top reasons that drivers get killed each year.
In the backseat of my car we almost caused

the hundredth casualty,

but all I got were bruises in the shape of apologies

along my thighs.
There are certain people who leave scars when they go.
Tonight I cut my thumb while I was peeling an apple.

I thought of you.
— “A Rendition of Autumn,” by Shinji Moon

Gathered at Dissections, where she says its a "poem you never get tired of reading"