Archive for June, 2014

Women dancing by Paul Cumes


 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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017


MISC PIX 2 011


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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017


courtroom artb y Goa Streets



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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017




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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

drinking alone 1


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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

David L. Allen 1946


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



It’s Friday the Thirteenth
A time to celebrate
We gather for a party
When we reach this date.

We’re the Thirteen Club
No Friggatriskaideka-phobics we
We eat at salt covered tables
And light our smokes by threes.

We hail the Norse goddess
For whom this day is named
We cross two knives at our table
And won’t let chopsticks be blamed

By standing straight up in the rice bowl
(That’s an Asian myth, you know)
And we love walking under ladders
Smashing mirrors as we go.

At home, when we get ready
Trimming our nails before we go,
We leave hats on beds and shoes on tables
Crossing off those obscure no-nos.

On the way to the bash we make sure
We let a black cat cross our path
And opening umbrellas indoors
Always makes us laugh.

We never go out doors that we come in
And pass graveyards at a walk
We chase each other with brooms
And engage in heretical talk.

We all hail the doomed Judas
The 13th guest at Christ’s last sup
And make note Christ was killed on Friday
Did he know his number was up?

It’s the day some say Eve gave Adam the apple
And you know what that act meant
The superstitious say this omen
Meant our good luck is all spent.

Well, we’ve sung this ditty
(Singing at the table’s one more taboo)
And no lightning bolt has struck us
We wish the same good luck to you.

By David Allen
13 June 2014

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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

NotebookEngrish (1)


I love Japanese notebooks
They always contain Zen-like messages in English.
For instance, a small notebook I found in my drawer last night
States on its cover that,“You can write down anything you want.”
I think I will.

I examine the other notebooks bought at 100-Yen stores
And brought to my new Indiana home.
“This is the most comfortable notebook
You have ever run into,” one states.
“You will feel like writing with it all the time.”
I did.

I also filled the one that had frolicking
Yellow bush hogs on the cover.
“Hey, come together!” they said.
“Let’s all play together.
What kind of play do you like?
Everyone likes playing more than
Anything else. Don’t go far away!
Who is crying? No one can
Keep quiet at all.”
I can’t.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
This writing, called Japlish,
Also appears on T-shirts, store signs,
And almost everything printed in English
In Japan. They often say more than they are meant to.
“SCRIBBLE” another notebook shouts.
“This notebook for scribbling the flash.”
Sounds like writing poetry.

I once asked a Japanese friend
About this fractured English.
She said the Japanese are fascinated
By English. It’s trendy to use
But no one cares about accuracy,
And apparently no native English speaker
Has ever been hired to edit the sayings.

“We wish that your life
Is going to be fabulously enjoyable,”
Another notebook proclaimed.
I used it while sitting at a picnic table
On a beach on the East China Sea.
My life at that moment was certainly
Fabulously enjoyable.

I don’t buy my friend’s description
Of the Japlish found on these covers.
For me, they are some kind of
Warped Zen lessons, their meaning
Akin to the convoluted answers the Masters give
To curious students searching for the truth.

“Let’s enjoy your life,”
One crimson colored notebook suggests.
“Sometimes you can do it only with lovely color.”
Oh yeah, catch that rainbow.
“I’m a favorite of this circus,” another brags.
“I’m very happy in this showtimes.”
I am, too.

The next notebook pulled from the drawer states,
“BE FREE! Let’s get happiness!”
I try, and laugh at the next title,
“For you, I always think of your thing.”
And what is your thing?

The next book answers:
“What can you do on Sunday
If you can ride a cloud?
A slow hour passes while having
A loose wind have been blown.
By the way, please, teach it somewhere.”
I’ll try.

Another book tells me:
“Aiming high is much valuable
Through one’s life.”
Or, as the last book announces,
“We’re having a spell of mind weather.”

And I don’t mind.

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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017


Posted: June 10, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , ,



Some people laud suicide
As the perfect ending
To life’s tragic story.
But my life’s more
Like some comedy,
A serial with chapter endings
That keep me anxious
To read on,
Wondering just what
In the world
Will happen next.

                                          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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017



DSCF0013 MISC PIX 2 069




The paycheck stub
says use or lose
so, I choose
vacation —
This is how it went.

Day One:

I read poems
and the earth moves.
Miles below us
the earth rocks —
no connection.
“The crowd was
pretty silent,” I say,
returning to my seat.
“We were all wondering
whether to run,” Ruth Ellen answers.
Again, no connection.

Day Two:

rain followed by rain
with a little more rain,
a drowsy, kind of
sleep in day to make
the transition to vacation.
Pizza Man,
up to his ankles in water,
braving the flood,
delivering the meatrageous.
Diets be damned,
we’re on vacation!

Day Three:

Rain at dawn;
what a surprise!
It rains cats and dogs,
fish and frogs;
it pours in buckets,
falls straight in sheets,
it rains blankets —
hell, it rains the whole damn mattress.
We shop for last
minute things and buy
what impulse brings.

Day Four:

Off for the fair shores of Okuma,
North island mountains,
sandy seashore. We’re off
to bathe ourselves in sunshine.
But first, we must survive the rain.
It rains so hard
we can’t tell sea from sky
and the road is a river
of water looking
for an open drain.
Kadena Circle is a fog of spray
cars fishtail, wipers
futilely beat at the rain
slapping time to
a Buffett refrain.
At the Kina slaughterhouse
and restaurant someone
painted the pig’s balls blue.
An omen, ‘cause just outside
of Nago the blue sky
breaks through.
Mountains steamy,
wisps of clouds play
in and out the window
through the folds.
Salvador Dali slopes,
cement slabs slide
down the mountainside —
no falling rocks here.


The road narrows,
double lanes hug the coast.
Shioya Bridge, it pleases me
to drive through your bright red arches
before your featureless brother
takes your place.

And then — Okuma!
“No bottled beverages
allowed in this facility.”
Quick, hide
the long-necked Becks.

Ruth Ellen, trusted
navigator, willing scribe,
says the poem’s taking
epic proportions:

By the shores of great Okuma
I bit deep into my burger,
burger smothered rich with mushrooms
covered with a coat of cheese.
I bit deep into my burger
and let out a moan of pleasure,
startling my lunch companion
who said, “Well, I see you’re pleased.
You never moan so loud when we’re together
doing the dance of mare and stallion;
(Oh, the pickle and the onion)
No, you never moan so loud
on the nights we roll in bed.”
I could only nod my head,
for I was no Indian brave,
and it was the Cheeseburger in Paradise
that I had craved
since before the trip began.

Day Five:

Inaccuweather calls for
scattered showers
interrupted by torrents.
During a sun break, we
try snorkeling, but
Mother Ocean’s strong current
threatens to carry us away.
“Not yet, not today!”
we shout, as we leave Robinson Crusoe
footprints in the sand.
“There’s adventure ahead.
We’re on vacation, dammit!”

The way to beat the clouds
is to drive into them.
Cross Highway 58,
past the turnoff to Higa Falls,
and up, up, up
the snaking mountain road
that twists and turns
like a woman’s body,
caressing the curves,
finessing them with convex
mirrors, we drive through
the clouds forming
in the valleys below.


Mile, after mile
and not another soul.
At spots the jungle threatens
to reclaim the road,
eliminate all trace of the
concrete ribbon rising
up, up, up
and around and down
and up again.
A little traveled trail,
a patchy asphalt one-lane
almost-path branches
off, beckons.
Dare we take it?
Dare we not?

Our Honda Shuttle
was not made for such
adventure, but handles
well the trail, so unused
that at parts vast spider
webs — spider condos —
block our passage.
Rain droplets, like diamonds,
hang from the silk.
Ruth Ellen gently
brushes them aside
with a big stick.
Hard work,
the intricate webs
are strongly anchored
and she is sprung back
a few attempts
before she clears a path.
“I didn’t want to ruin
such art,” she says
as we roll onward,
ever upward, under
the canopy of trees.

Suddenly, bright yellow posts
mark the edge of the trail.
“USMC,” they are stamped.
We wonder what that means.
But no one said “Keep Out.”
So we continue our climb.
Beside us, steep drops
down the rocky, jungle slopes.
We stop and stand at the edge
and all we see is a
carpet of green, mile after
mile of mountain,
We stand, and with
upraised arms we shout,
“Top O’ the world, Ma!
Top O’ the World!”

The trail ends abruptly,
an anticlimax at
a barbwired U.S.
Army enclosure,
a microwave tower,
concrete and steel
monstrosity, way out
of place here in Heaven.

Reluctantly, we turn and trek
back down the trail
of the banana spiders.
On the main road,
on a rare straight stretch,
a sign in kanji and English shouts:
“Speed Down!”
Of course!
Speed down!
There is no incessant voice
from Tokyo, some editor
demanding 10 more inches
of copy in 15 minutes.
There’s no newshole
for the newswhores to fill.
Speed Down! and smell the —
well, hibiscus and pineapple
will have to substitute for the
fabled roses.
Speed Down!
and smell the ocean.
“Speed Down!” it shouts,
(“You’re on vacation.”)

Day Six:
A bad body day means spending the time
inside, reading to my soulmate as she
fights the phantom pain the disease insists
is the price for a few pain-less, or rather
less pain-filled days.
(Pain and fatigue play
their game upon the field
that is her body;
sometimes, like soccer,
scoreless, some sweet succor,
sometimes running up the score.
They are in double digits today.)

Yet, she still serves me a grimace
with a smile chaser as I
read her to sleep —
“I six nonlectures,”
A book borrowed from
a new young poet friend
just discovering his muse
(how I envy the paths he has yet to tread,
the poems and books yet to be read).

And in the reading,
‘ while she dozes and wakes,
drifts in and out of painfullness
I discover ee cummings’
nonlecture on what
a poet is:

“If you wish to follow
even at a distance,
the poet’s calling…
you’ve got to come out
of the measurable doing universe
into the unmeasurable house of being.
If poetry is your goal
you’ve got to forget
all about punishments and
all about rewards and
all about selfstyled obligations
and duties and responsibilities
etcetra ad infinitum
and remember one thing only —
that it’s you, nobody else, who
determines your destiny and decides your fate.
Nobody else can live for you,
nor can you live for anyone else.”

And so, I read to my wife,
my muse, my partner in
life’s discourse and spend
the most pleasurable day
of my vacation.


At night, dinner with a sunset for dessert.
The thing I like about sunsets best
is, just as the leading lady leaves the stage,
the whole sky explodes in colorfullness,
an ovation for another day well done.
My love loves best
this dimming of the day
when all cares and pain
like butter melt away
and, like an old friend,
the night comes to cloak our nakedness
with a fine silk robe.

Day Seven:

On the Seventh Day I wish
I could say we rested,
but instead we drove
as the sun shone strong
back home to where our worries
and cares waited, pouting children
mad we didn’t take them along.


By David Allen
Okuma, Okinawa
October 1998

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 ( in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending$10 to:
David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 4603