leaving home 3images (19)

CHECKING OUT

And then the door slammed
and he stood there
in the middle of the room
looking toward the finality,
as if he could see the tracers
of her striding angry,
furiously from him.
“Fuck this!”
she had said,
and the shock
of those two ugly words
echoed inside his foggy brain,
already confused
and struggling
to make sense
of what had happened.
The coins and the change bowl
and paperbacks and pens
she had swept with an angry arm
off the top of the bookshelf
lay scattered on the floor.
In his hand he clutched
the orange she’d thrown
at his head.
“Is this it?” he wondered.
“Is it finally over?
Or is this some new torture,
the start of some new
chapter in this confusing mystery?”
Outside, an engine started and revved
and the peel of rubber told him
another non-supporting
character had just exited
stage left.

By David Allen

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

Cover

ACCEPTANCE

Flying over the pacific
is never peaceful –
I return to the problems
I left behind when I fled
to the East.

The woman sitting next to me
strikes up a conversation,
she’s the mother of a Marine
assigned to Okinawa
and is returning after a visit
to her first granddaughter.
“She is healthy,
God bless,” she declares.
And this woman’s husband
has a successful electrical business
in St. Louis — “God Bless!” — and life,
“Praise the Lord!”
Is good.

Somewhere in the conversation
I mention I am going to Indiana
for the birth of my second grandchild
and a brief trek to New York
to tout my new book of poetry.

She asks to look at the book
and I find one in my bag,
and, as she reads, I watch
out of the corner of my eye,
pretending to read a magazine
while trying to fathom
her reaction to my poems.
My blood is all over the pages.

I spot her reading
the one about another flight
and the religious Filipina
and scientific Japanese student
sitting next to me, the dirty old man poet
reading Bukowski and dreaming
of smooth, creamy white thighs,
and I wonder what my new seatmate
is thinking.

When she is finished
she mentions the poems are
“interesting,” and handing
the book back asks –
“Have you accepted Jesus
as your personal savior?”

I smile, realizing the conversation is
about to end and answer,
“I tried several times
but he never accepted me.”

And we slept in silence
the rest of the flight.
                                              by David Allen

 

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

 

images (5)

 

AMERICA REVISTED
By David Allen 

America, I’ve given you all and now I’m something
America, nineteen dollars and twenty seven cents June 27, 2014.
Inflation fried my mind
America, when will we end the Islamic wars?
Go fuck yourself with your drone bombs.
I feel good now, follow me
I write my poems when I’m in my right mind
America, when will you be Humanist?
When will you take off your masks?
When will you look at yourself in the mirror?
When will you be worthy of your pacifists?
America, why are your schools full of fear?
 America, when will you feed your poor?
I’m sick of your insanity.
When can I go to the supermarket and buy what I
Need without fear of poison?
America, after all it is you and I who exist now,
Not in some next world.
Your capitalism is destroying us.
You make me want to be Canadian.
There must be some other way to settle this debate.
If I could travel to Japan I don’t think I’d come back.
Are you really serious or is this some kind of reality TV series?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my freedom.
America, stop tapping my phone and internet.
America, your poll numbers are falling.
I read the newspapers every day
And every day somebody goes to prison for drug possession
While the mega-thieves on Wall Street get new tax breaks.
America, I feel sentimental about Carter.
America, I read Ayn Rand when I was a kid
I’m now sorry.
If I could, I’d smoke marijuana all the time.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the news on TV.
I stayed at the Roach Motel and never got saved.
My mind is made up, there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Bukowski.
My Muse insists I must write more.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer at Al-anon meetings.
I have crazy thoughts that bleed into poetry.
America, I still haven’t told you what you did to our
Soldiers after they came back from Iraq.

 

NOTE: This was a “challenge”poem for The Last Stanza Poetry Association, a group of poets that meet regularly in Elwood, Indiana. The challenge was to write a poem that answers or was inspired by a famous poem. I chose Allen Ginsbergs’ “America.” I used just the first stanza. Here it is:

AMERICA 
by Allen Ginsberg

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January
17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I
need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not
the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back
it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical
joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday
somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid
I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses
in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle
Max after he came over from Russia.

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 
 
 

MIRROR IMAGE

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

DSC00017

Me and my Muse, Okinawa 2000

MIRROR IMAGE

He looked into the mirror
and wondered where
the smile had gone.
It was there once,
long ago, on another
face, in another
place. The one he
loved then called it
his “crooked-assed” grin
and there are pictures,
scattered memories,
of sailors hoisting
beers, buddy shots
on liberty and, later,
posing with loves and
dancing at love-ins and,
much later, family
shots before the
break-ups and
the scatterings;
long-ago joy shown
by a wide, toothy grin.
Decades passed –
laugh lines hidden
by a beard and lips
that learned to hide
broken teeth.

Staring at his mirror
image, he attempted what
he imagined to be a smile
and the mirror reflected
a scrunched up face,
closed lips curled
slightly upwards,
puffy cheeks,
just as the now love
wandered by.
“What are you doing?”
she asked.
“Trying to find my smile,”
he said, turning toward her.
“I seem to have lost it.”
“Don’t be silly,” she said,
kissing his cheek.
“You are a smile.”
 

By David Allen

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

Women dancing by Paul Cumes
 

 AS THE MOON MAKES ITS CIRCUIT IN THE SKY

 As the moon makes its circuit in the sky
I’m stalking my memory,
reviewing my history
trapping photos where they lie,
stills of how life used to be,
then suddenly they move towards me.

I see Gayle rise from her coffin bed,
as Mona smiles in innocence
love letters burn a harsh incense
as someone hurls a hammer at my head.
Sukie grasps a cock in her bloody hand,
waving it like some magician’s wand,
while Janie Jukebox dances gracelessly
and the wand’s waved in my face.

As the moon makes its circuit through the sky
frozen fingers at the typewriter
can’t track words across the white,
ruins of  lives before me lie
and writhe and come to life.

Diane is running for the coast
as D.C. Jane shouts angrily
at the illusions of love’s ghost,
screaming, “you should have loved me the most!’
Susie dead and buried long ago,
ties a ribbon in her hair,
Norma helps her with the bow,
turns to me and says what I should have known.
“You were okay in your time,
but Susie’s mine,  I love
the little girls in their prime.”

As the moon makes its circuit in the sky,
defenseless, I stand my ground,
I’ve forgotten how to run.
My weary eyes refuse to close
though I know I’m seeing lies.

Loraine positions boys along the wall
telling sister Shirley to choose her mate
with a good squeeze to his balls.
They laugh as I limp away, try to flee
shouting school yard obscentieies.

As the moon makes its circuit in the sky,
matted hair dripping beads of sweat,
I’m afraid it’s not over yet,
as clearer, closer figures focus in my eyes.

Anne says platonic love’s the way to go,
and we’ve got “Old Friends” to show
for all the years we spent close
never taking off our clothes.
A kiss and hug was as far as we could ever go.
And Jackie, sexy, small, with voice that’s hoarse,
we shared some other kind of intercourse
all on the dance hall  floor.
Carrot diet stained fingers drove me away,
she was too healthy for my own good that day.

As the moon makes its circuit in the sky
furrows crease my brow,
I’m really in for it now,
as Nora calls on radio beams, it seems
our motel dreams were all we had.
When it came to the end, we remained friends
and she stayed with her boy and his dad.

As the moon makes its circuit in the sky,
I long for the sunrise, I await
for the final surprise as more shadows stalk my way.
Cathy was a conduit for the kids,
seven years, seven months
seven days were enough,
divorce was the thing
for a marriage sans rings
and a passionless love.

Other shadows come close,
but the one I love most,
I don’t have to dream.
When I awake she’ll be there,
I’m aware this is not what it seems.

As the moon cedes the sky to the sun
the players step out of their roles,
laugh as they bow and start to sing –
“As the moon circuits the sky,
you are just our memory,
and we are more than happy to be
the shades of your strange dream.
We are wandering lives that crossed yours once
as the moon made its ride through the sky.”

                                                            By David Allen

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

MISC PIX 2 011

 

BIG BUT BENIGN
by David Allen

It’s interesting to watch
the blood and pus drip
into the plastic bottle,
the “grenade” pinned
to my chest like some
live purple heart,
attached to a tube that wraps
over my shoulder and into a hole
in my back, draining the cavity
where the cyst existed.
It was huge but harmless,
my doctor declared.
It had been there for years,
attached to the spine like cement.
It took him more than three hours
to carefully gut it out.
It was a part of me
but, as the Buddha’d say,
like so much in life,
totally unnecessary,
extra baggage just growing
there until, concerned, my love
pushed me to see the doctor,
or she’d start calling me Quasimodo.

“Big but benign,”
the doctor diagnosed.
Of course,
why would I want
to harm myself?

 

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

courtroom artb y Goa Streets

 

 TRIAL OF THE MADMAN

The madman stands, he’s set to face the charges
From his chambers walks the Judge, so fat and old
The Spectators start to sing the Rock of Ages
The Jury’s busy counting bribes of gold.
            (and all the while the Press is cutting paper dolls of death
            to hang around the madman’s neck and wrists
            and all the while the Undertaker’s busy sawing wood
            as the midnight fog swirls in a ghostly mist.) 

The Prosecutor smiles and damns the madman
The first Witness is the Teacher from the school
The madman’s Lawyer’s busy reading Perry Mason
While the Witness cites the madman as a fool.
            (for after all, the madman never understood the rules
            he tried to find the answers different ways
            we told him that he must achieve to prove that he was good
            instead, he walked around us in a daze.) 

The Judge is laughing, farting, burping, picking at his teeth
The Prosecutor kisses his wide ass
The Spectators drink the wine and eat the host provided by the Priest
The Jury’s busy sniffing laughing gas.
            (and all the while the Press is playing word games on the sly
            Hangman’s the game that they all like the best
            and all the while the Undertaker’s carving on a stone
            as the midnight fog swirls in a ghostly mist.) 

The next Witness is the Lover from a past spring
The one the madman once wrote poems to
She recites one, barely holding back her laughter
The madman cries aloud, “I still love you!”
            (the Judge is nibbling at her ear while she just smiles,
            she understands an action more than words,
            the Jury’s busy feeling up each other just for fun,
            the Prosecutor shouts out ,”Love’s absurd!”) 

The third Witness is the friend of a long lifetime
The one the madman once helped through hard times
He damns the madman for his condescension
The Judge shouts, “Friendship is another crime!”
            (and all the while the Press is painting yellow paragraphs to sell
            the Reading Public has to feed its face,
            and all the while the Undertaker makes a flower wreath
            as the midnight fog swirls in a ghostly mist.) 

“Does anyone else wish to damn the madman?”
Asks the Judge while leafing through a book of porn
The madman’s Lawyer stands and says, “No witness”
The Bailiff, Judge and Jury stifle yawns.
            (the madman knows the end’s in sight, he anxiously looks ‘round
            the Spectators break out in a drinking song
            the Priest and Undertaker are busy talking shop
            passing ‘round a pipe and getting stoned.) 

“Argument’s denied!” the Judge says laughing,
He has to meet his Mistress after tea
“I release the Jury, hurry there’s not much time.”
The Foreman stands and shouts a loud, “Guilty!”
            (and all the while the Press is busy interviewing friends
            death enters from the side door for her kiss
            and all the while the Undertaker prepares for the end
            as the midnight fog swirls in a ghostly mist.) 

“Madman, stand,” the Bailiff barks, his voice hoarse
“You’ve been found guilty!” says the Judge with glee.
“Here comes death for her gallant hero
You must pay for your humanity.”
            (the madman stares in disbelief as Death offers her hand
            he starts to scream, but calms with her soft touch,
            he smiles, full knowing that he’s finally free,
            before the trial he only guessed as much.) 

Chaos lays her warped claim upon the courtroom
The Spectators demand the madman’s blood
But the body’s being eaten by the Jury
As the Priest drinks deep from his loving cup.
            (and all the while the Press is beating deadlines by the score
            as Agents in the corner make new lists,
            and all the while the Undertaker shakes his head in awe
            as the madman’s soul swirls in a ghostly mist.) 

    By David Allen

                                   

 Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

drug-overdose

SHOCKING NEWS

It could have been my son,
I thought, as I read the front page story.
Police had arrested a woman in Chesterfield
For murder in the overdose death of a friend.
The cops said the 19 year-old woman
Invited the young man to her home
For a party with booze and pills
And a recently bought stash of heroin.
Their night of unbridled ecstasy ended
With him shaking on the living room floor.

Cops said the young woman
Was too scared to call for help,
Waiting until her friend was still
Before calling 911,
Hoping, I suppose, no one
Would hold her responsible.
But evidence uncovered in the next few weeks
Unveiled email messages in which
She bragged she had just scored some smack
And invited her friend over to party.

Wow, I thought,
That could have been my son.
Then I got a phone call.
“Hey, Dad,” my daughter said,
“Did you read today’s paper?
That girl, she used to live with Matt.”

Jeez, I thought, and read the story again.
Hailee, the girl’s name was Hailee.
I remember seeing her once when
I stopped at the house where I had let my son
Crash as he attempted to get back on his feet.
“That’s Hailee,” Matt said,
Pointing to a lump under a blanket
On a stained couch in the filthy living room.
He told me he was just helping her 
And another roommate kick drugs.
When he saw me glance at an empty vodka bottle
Sitting on the kitchen floor,
He quickly added, “Oh yeah,
All we do now is a little drinking.”

A few weeks later, I checked Matt into a halfway house
After he was attacked by the other roommate,
An ex-con skinhead, during a night of drugs and booze.
He threw a TV at my son and was later arrested
For assault and parole violation.
The next day Matt decided to burn and cut himself
Just to see if he could feel something real.
He’d finally hit his bottom.

Hailee moved out while Matt detoxed
And we closed up the house.
I  hadn’t thought of her
Until the news of her arrest.
The homicide happened a month
After my son got straight and,
As I read the story for the third time,
My phone rang again.

“Dad, did you see the paper?”
My son asked when I answered.
“Damn, that could’ve been me.”

                                                 By David Allen

 

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

drinking alone 1

THE TIPPLER

At 8 am,
As the sun shoos
Away the morning mist,
She sits alone
In the backyard
Reading a book
About alcoholism
And addiction,
Pausing momentarily
To raise a glass
Of wine to her lips.

By David Allen

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

David L. Allen 1946

STANDING UP

The first time I overcame
My fear of my father
Was when I was 16
And he had just threatened
To take his belt off
To me again.

He was coming down
The stairs from the john
And he was making a motion
To take off that thick, ass-ripping
Garrison belt and I found something
Inside I never knew was there and yelled,
“Stop it! Just stop it!”
And he surprised me
By stopping and looked
At me with a question
In his eyes.

His oldest son had never talked back
Like that before. I’d always
Just meekly accepted the punishment.
I pushed the hate way down, thinking
I must have been bad to deserve this.
Not this time. I stood my ground.
“You know, I don’t respect you any more!”
I shouted.

It hung him up.
I don’t think he ever
Considered his kids
Should respect him,
Just obey.
This was a new concept.
“I don’t respect you!”
I yelled. “And I’m not
Going to listen to you any more!”

About 25 years later
My kid brother Rick and I
Coaxed him out of his bed tomb
And had him sit at the dining room table.
We told him we wanted to talk to him,
We wanted to hear the story of his life –
What was it like growing up on Long Island
During the Great Depression?
How was it to be a high school sports hero?
How did he feel when he had to give up college
Because his National Guard unit had been called up?
We wanted to hear about the war
And the struggle with too many kids,
Numerous jobs, and too much booze.
We wanted to get it all down
Before it was too late,
So we could share it with our children.

We wanted to listen
And he didn’t have anything
To say.

By David Allen