Guest Poetry of Mike Klumpp

a song accompanied by a dissonant long and dreary whistle:

what silent pain have i -
electroshock ambrosia
pain which makes the skin sing
a fiber being drawn slowly out of the cloth drapes
rusty red gingham with white gone dull yellow
these old curtains hanging on this cheap rod in this wooden window frame
(i cannot bring myself to look through the glass)

so deep, bitch
so deep - Ache!
it is life you are losing
it is life

with each beat of your...
(that would be too easy)
draw this thread slowly
like sex with a skilled lover slow yessss
sooo ssslowww almost pain almost pleasure
at one with the slow tug of the tide and the lapping of the salt sea
against the hard rock shore of your loverís thigh
braced in the rock and roll of clouds over
the earthís crimson and blue sigh
feel the ripple of each muscle of his bowed back
this ride of fury slow and hot
sweat rolls down from your knee tracing inside your spread legs
crest - foam - recede - sift - sand - wash up - withdraw - crest - foam -

the voice of strings light drizzle through cold grey fog
we are making love to death

what is the cry of anarchy
what is her sweet moan
her painted finger
draws you forward
though your feet are frozen
like a blade in a breeze
you dance
drawn hypnotized
by her red nail
donít move
donít look
this darkness is forever
this void is not peace
it is void
dark eyes which disappear
when the myth becomes real
is just nothing
i cannot fly across Kansas
i cannot move as a train across Oklahoma plains
i am no iron horse
and these are not gods of travel or geography
they are territories
they deserve no capitalization
no civilization
no poetry
it is land
touching land
highways from ocean to ocean
water from land to land
earth from sky to sky
an expanse
to divide the waters below from the waters above
light from darkness to dusk
dark from dawn to darkness
creation from chaos to perfection
earth water fire
we are the space between
we are the moan of lovers at night
the exhale of time in climax
uttered and forgotten
remembered in old age
feeble and vague
as a drum beat
in the arms of our mother
from birth to death
in silence
out of the cradle endlessly rocking
feet beneath grass in quiet graves
aboard this sepulcher
standing as one blade
rocking in the hypnotic rhythm
of her finger wooing

it is not so-
it is not so-
let there be light
let the veil be lifted
shake off this curse
shake off this madness
drink no more
the silent pain
of black ambrosia
wash out your mouth
and howl
rid yourself of this venom
bleed through your tongue
sweat this infection
cough up this poison
vomit this bile
fight for sight and vision
cling to light
hope upon dreams of your salvation
and live this life renewed
plant this soil with solid seed
turn in this rich earth
rise up from death
and sing
sing in tongues of angels
a life of passion
sing the strong song of life -
shake off the wind
and break free of this dissonant long and dreary whistle -

to be

"esse quam videre"
to be rather than to seem
and yet
it seems to me
that my mother
who once breathed this fresh air
and combed the soft curls of my hair
while i slept at her breast
was more alive in seeming than being

an old woman
had been
this young woman
had been a mother
had been
a lover
had been
a vessel
for life

and i do not remember her face
or the touch of her hand
or the soft smile and tears which filler her eyes
when leaving was evident
and return was
uncalled for

this life
which absorbs time and breath
like an endless hole in the fabric of sympathy
and compassion
which seems to paw at being
questioning without answers
answering unasked questions
is yet
the only life we have

and yet
to be
rather than to seem
is to smell the frost once again
or stare into an open sky of wonder
waving to the stars
hoping she's there somewhere
and perhaps not)
but to be
and not to seem
for yet one night more
to drink this cup with vigor
to savour the taste of lips which quiver
at the thought of a touch
to see the ocean ebb and slide upon the wind and salt
to be and somehow not be forgotten
even if i must forget
and forgive this body
which will dissipate over time
like water upon rock
in the face of a morning sun

to my mother and all the saints who proceed her
to being and seeming
(which seem to me too much alike)
a chant and a cup
raised to the skies which hold you now

i will live
and live some more
and remember you
until you remember me
amen -

ghost of buddy holly

i have met the ghost of buddy holly possessed by the spirit of neal cassidy
he slapped me in the face with japanese money
i gave him ten dollars to drink a beer with me
he went to the ballet in california while making love in the grass to a woman who gave him a baguette
all hollywood lay before him
celebrating this thing this life which God gives which God takes away
and now i have in the window
a japanese paper wallet holding memories worth more than money
driving in the darkness on a bridge in a swamp
coastal moonlight silhouetted cypress
shadows of nature
pacifying with some primal caress
ah yes, this old world travels in the dark
streaking down dark pathways
one headlight out
black smoke trailing
and madness
buying panties out the window

we do not live in death
we are not enslaved to darkness
we are alive

a flare burning
see me in this dark night
see my mad eyes
reflected in the black rimmed glass of buddy hollyís glasses
his laugh curling onto my lips
his crazy rocking energy
-the spirit of neal cassidy-
enters my body
i rock in madness and laughter stars twinkling
in the solid black velvet night
roaring down some road
rocketing forward
i too am madness and
and on the highway roadside saying goodbye
i vow never to be silent again
never to be motionless
never to be still
to embrace life and God
to burn in space
fury and energy

before i was out of sight
he had another ride

breath deep new man
taste life on the back of your pallet
sense the night and the highway
turning in space
deciding what to do
tapping out rhythms
and waiting to speak the madness of life.

this is your highway
and the story of our coffee black java night
cypress and swamp
primal energy lapsed into modern technology
breath deep
and savor every drop.

(to read a wonderful response poem to Mike's above Buddy Holly poem, click HERE)

Dean Moriarty on Tolstoy's beard:

It's out there man
        beyond the skin
       it's life
          God is in there, man.

                  the beard, man.
               containing life
                       and madness
                            and God
                                 and where is it , man?
                                      on his face!

reunion on the border:

in the greygreen light
of this lizard moon
drinking tequila and sotol
into the fire
watching sparks rise
a guitar
and bent Mexian melodies
hardened in the cool desert night
warmed in the lush green liquor
rising in the blood
like the red line on the thermometer
in the humid heat of a Miami sun
i saw God passing
holding hands with kerouk
exchanging glances with burroughs
in discussion with ginsburg
and racing to catch Cassidy

the clouds drifted with them
their voices lost in the whisper of the wind
and though i sat on an upturned bucket
in the copper hue of a wood plank fire
surrounded by Mexican bootleggers and toothless friends
i traveled to the thrown room of God
and walked the gold streets of His heavens
boarding an old school bus
and roaring of to meet keats and whitman
in a sunday night revival
under a fair tent of stars.

preach it, brother-

All poetry by Mike Klumpp
copyrighted and not to be reproduced without his permission

Dean Moriarty on Tolstoy's beard 'is taken from the chap book "The question is Tolstoy's Beard'


Mike Klumpp is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, currently living in exile
in Dripping Springs, Texas. Mike has been away from the poetry scene since
1998 when he was touring with Tolstoy's Beard doing improved music to spoken
word across the Southwest. Poetry accomplishments include placing in several
national and regional poetry contests, being turned down repeatedly by the
Sewanee Review, doing a night of reading and poetry celebration at Dallas'
Stork Club with Allen Ginsberg and several Dallas Poets and having his poetry
included as part of a course in Creative Writing at the University of
Victoria, Victoria, Canada. Mike teaches each year in Altensteig, Germany
doing symposiums on written word and text at Vijual, an international school
of graphic arts. Mike currently writes for a division of Random House and
runs two karate schools. Given the favor of the Olympians, he will die and
be buried in New Orleans or be cremated and have his ashes spread over Chef
Paul Prudhome.

Mike just nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Awards in Poetry for the
year 2003! An honor just to be nominated. 

Art: Establishment, by Itzhak Ben-ariel, a wonderful artist who has appeared on
  my pages before. Visit his site by clicking his name. See more by clicking HERE.
Photograph is copyrighted and used with permission

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