Highways and Hierophants

Oddly fitting that this is the blog's 100th post. I self-published a volume of poetry called Highways and Hierophants. Most of the poems, excluding the 17-page capstone of Suburban Sprawl, can be found on this blog. If you're interested in supporting my poetry, you can purchase either a paperback book for $7.98 or a PDF download for $1.25. Having received a copy of the book for review, I can say that it is beautifully formatted and printed, and I encourage anyone who is interested to purchase a copy. The online store is here.

If you read my book, feel free to send me an e-mail and let me know what you think of it. My e-mail address is located on the publication information page.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Indentured Attitude

The grandfather clock is shouting syllogistic headroom warnings
Telling all the ghosts within to hold their head up high
Because he knows that wisdom matters and upon the window splatters
Little bits of joy with every bird that can be fooled

Yes, city-stationed sisters sit in silence as they pray to pockets
Hoping in their highway hemlock to have a happy time
But as they mix their lifeboat lemons with a lingering decision
They soon realize that everything they hold dear is simply dull

Catatonic cosmic cronies crooning chronic cryptic calls
Are crossing Jesus on the Friday at Golgotha
If only adversary wishes and the aspect dinner dishes
Of Martha and of Mary could be harnessed for such good

Yes, believing diamond dagger dreams are destined for epitome
That level-headed leisure languishes those who know to bluff
Never-handled autocrats with orators and deaf mallrats
Even Cesare Borgia knows it is neither papal nor is pure

Corrupted catcalls coming from a copious cavemen crew
Who sit upon the stew of sentenced subway cars
They wait for form and formulas that prove their holy worth
Standing at the birth of both banal bundled bores

Imagine all the nightmares of the daylight crawling through
Your open dead-end tomb that sits beneath the plotted plain
As unknown cards and paper priests provide the happy hymn
A dirge awakened bursting from the flames that never die

Maybe it's not your fault

I remember looking out of the window
Beads of sweat were rolling on the glass
Through the open screen, a breeze rolled in
Smelling of the summer days we had

I had learned to hate you, my heart simply froze
My tears became the salt of an ocean of loathing
I forgot about your smile, your gentle touch,
I forgot about the nights that meant so much

I blamed you for my downfall, we both played a part
I won't excuse your lies or say you're not at fault
But I heard a tinkling music box that reminded me of you
And I feel my tides a-changing from red to blue

The Crimes of Egypt

Hello again, familiar friend,
Worker of the pyramid,
Hebrew slave of Ramses' will,
Lover of a single god

The whip, the lash, the snake, the staff!
What miracles your Moses brings
Your God commands the Angel now
To kill my son, or kill the sun?

Horus, perched upon the sun,
The Nile and parched prisoners,
A sea, once parted, never healed,
A wound between our people

Goodbye for now, my foreign friend,
Who worked upon the pyramid,
Hebrew slave of Yahweh's will,
Lover of the single god.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Passing triumph, horns that fade
The armies march,
And march,
And march,
In service to Julius Caesar.

Beloved, rich, great, and kind;
Cruel, beguiling, winsome, wise,
Praised, the heir of Venus pure,
Golden-crowned and blood-assured

Beasts so brazen, Vercingetorix,
Cursed slaves and Gaels to spare,
Triumph now, beloved Caesar,
For tyrants never are eternal

Brutus rising, soldiers paid
The armies march,
And march,
And march,
In absence of Julius Caesar


Fingers slash across my pane
Streaking blood across the glass
Shrieking schoolboys left in pain
Driven from their corpse-like class

I see my gaunt and shadowed face
Reflected in the window pane
Haunting me with morbid grace
Grasping at my marble cane

As my nose begins to bleed
The floorboards warp beneath me
Calloused claws crawl on my feet
And wrap around my knee

That which lays in fallow fields
The tawny work of peasants
Seeks revenge for silence sealed
Beneath the crows and pheasants

And as the banshee wails in fright
I see my face within the light.

The Empty Shell

Beneath the oak trees 'round my tomb,
Inside the Sacred Mother's womb,
Beside the sordid sister's call,
Hallowed by the will of all,
I see the Empty Shell.

A seed unplanted, stripped and bare,
A child ne'er to breathe the air,
Familiar forlorn horns of hope,
Lost beneath the peddler's dope,
I see the Empty Shell.

A curious magician's trunk,
Filled with all his useless junk,
A top hat pulled from underneath
His cape, with fingers of the thief,
I see the Empty Shell.

Leaves across my open grave,
I am the autumn's brilliant slave,
Aristocrat, née Plato's form,
Those that keep the dead so warm,
I am the Empty Shell.


This swelling ache beneath my chest,
My welling eyes and heaving breast,
A crawling chill within my spine,
My face so creased with heavy lines,

My skull resounds with great fear
I feel as though my death is near
I know the reaper's bony hand
I shall not see the Promised Land

Hark! The angel harried close,
On Archimedes and the Ghost,
The lamb's is smeared upon the door
So that the Pharaoh wages war.

And I know my death is nigh
I am but a speck, a fly,
I am the priest whose fate is sealed
I am the locust in the field

Coming soon to an online retailer near you

The Mystery of the Guttersnipe

Tonight, a poet died
Just above a sewer grate
Smelling of the gutter,
A whiskey bottle in his hand
A bullet in his pocket,
And a piano key hanging
from his neck
Swinging, sharp and flat
A needle in his arm,
His shoes untied and floating free,
His face bloated from rain,
And mottled, worn, and empty,
Washed into the gravel,
A playing card between
his thumb and index finger:
The King of Hearts.

A scarlet notebook, wet and ruined,
Was tucked into his breast pocket,
Tied shut for none to see,
And filled with shorthand stories,
and sketches,
Obscure, illegible, and somehow
I was an intruder into
this dead man's mind,
and so, with sorrow,
I closed the book,
And set out with one thought:
Who has killed the poet?

The singer-songwriter was last
to see the poet alive and well,
and so I besieged him with
a myriad of questions:
How did you know him?
"He was my mentor."
Where were you last?
"The coffee shop."
What were you doing?
"Discussing his latest poem."
What was it about?
"His wife, the noblewoman."
And where was she?
"Dead, so very long ago."
I took my broad-brimmed hat,
My amber cane,
And my wired glasses,
And I vanished from the
singer's loft.

The publisher would take no blame,
He had only ever loved the poet
Royalties? That all was settled,
Money would not be a motive
His rounded jowls, raspy laugh,
His fattened pocketbook,
And his poster of the poet
Hanging ideally on the wall, he
Cannot, could not, won't believe
That the poet is truly dead!
But there was a hint of glee;
For now the poet's sales
would triple.

Dredged from the sewers,
Stinking of the refuse
of a city full of personas,
empty masks,
empty lives,
and among this trash and filth,
the poet's mode of death;
a pistol,
held only by one man--

Who has killed the poet?
Why, he has killed himself.


Daylight licks her tears away
As stars laugh sweetly at her jokes
Clouds swirl and smile to her
And she splashes my days with
shades of white. of life.

Can painters or poets or beauty
Survive in the world of daggers?
Lurking, dismal, sword-toothed,
Shadows seek to paint with
shades of black. of death.

Wind slices my tears away
As gravestones weep at my dirge
Storm clouds march at my heed
And I swipe her sign with
shades of grey remembrance.

Islands of Absolution

It is the end of time!
We're out of time.
Time has simply run out, I'm afraid.
Everything must be abolished or absolved
or impartially liquidated so that it may
be undone by the appropriate agents of nothingness.

Do you understand?
Not now, not then, iron is gas, time is lava,
the cosmos themselves are ambient liquid being poured
into a half-empty sieve of timelessness,
one giant hourglass funnel of Death and Undeath
and everything before and after the end of all things.

The drum-major of this farcical epilogue
is watching the wraiths of his band slowly evaporate
and vanish into the hungry claws of entropy,
where the open vortex eagerly gobbles everything and then itself,
reopening sporadically to consume what
Was and what Is and providing for maddening singularity,
one point in space-time that is neither and both simultaneously,
withering and corroding the bonds of morality
and atoms and all such point-less matters of matter

Archibald at the Terminus

Garbed in a uniform of blue
Dappled with a hint of gold
And, grinning with his asphalt teeth,
(Saliva, a liquid dynamite)
Cyan quivers, shaking rage
Bold and twinned with chaos
The order-general Archibald
Stands, gazing at the gates
Of entropy.

"What madness!" he says,
Enraged and distressed at the
Swirling-grey curtains of light
Soured and knowledged in
The arts of destruction
Archibald, with rhythm-quaver
Syncopated sideways into

Giving form to senselessness
And sprawling forth from chaos,
Became a singularity
Expressed as a wave-length
And burnt through history

Out of the Hands of the Gods

I live in the global capitol of hubris
A dilapidated ruin of culture, commerce
Consumerism in lieu of thought
A television set drilling faux-facts
instead of teaching Ideas, Ideals
we are broadcast Ideologies
Systems of handling ideas
Bereft of all form and purpose
And left, like the channels we
have not paid for
like static
in the minds of children
of all ages.

What causes such malaise?
That boredom enters hearts of men?
is this that lurks within
my mind?
The wonders of the world!
Such are prescribed by doctors
as an opiate for the masses
Or else, you live, like
savages, relying on the
like Fortuna who is known
to be unkind and
Accept not your lot!
Dominate animal
Dominate plant
Dominate the very earth
Bereave her of her essence
Extract her life-blood
Murder her children
And take from her
Her dignity

"But now we conquer fate
and now we conquer nature
and now we conquer all that
preys upon our psyche"

You have taken yourselves- no
We have taken ourselves
Out of the hands of the gods
And, thrust into the arms of men,
found ourselves wanting.
Whom shall we blame
when no one is left
to point to?

Highway Blues

Well, I saw the ghost of Robert Johnson
on Highway 61
The devil's breath stank on his shoes
beneath the winter sun
Silence screaming in the wind
a shrill murder of crows
A guitar note and somber tune
so the murmur goes

Longing Road

I'm trapped in a city with a million broken clocks
Everybody stands still and then nobody talks
"We ain't goin' nowhere" the street sign says
I see a sad ghost looking just like Joan Baez
She's dressed in a gown but she can't seem to find
The groom that she wanted because she's gone blind

I sit with the junkies on their yellowed picnic bench
I can't say I like their taste or care for their stench
But still, they can't judge me, and I enjoy that
Their brains pour out from the back of their hat
And then this girl turns to me, "Hey, I'm Leah,
You don't seem like a person, you're just an idea"

I'm gliding on my anger, I'm through with dismay
All the church bells are ringing, it's only Saturday
The night is gray and I'm lost in a sea of gold
The cornstalks brush against me as I'm bundled and sold
I feel no shame, I'm listless like a lamb
I wish I had a purpose, I wish I had a plan

Santiago Serenades

I was sitting at a dinner table with an open bottle of wine
A woman came up and she had asked me if I had the time
"Why yes," I nodded quickly, "it's just a quarter past nine..."
She looked like she was waiting in line for a victimless crime

"Have a seat," I offered loudly, hoping to relieve her stress
She flashed her teeth, looking hurried and a little vexed
She lowered the straps of her tiny black and white striped dress
And said, "My date, he left me, and it has me so very perplexed..."

We talked for an hour as she told me all about her day
I felt as though I knew her though I never even asked her name
And as soon as she remembered, she asked me if I would like to stay
With her or by myself, and we left from the way she came

She changed as we had entered her cozy cul-de-sac-bound house
She kissed me on the cheek as she started to unbutton her blouse
I saw a picture on the mantle and wondered if she had a spouse...
I saw her diamond-ring finger and my hope was so quickly doused

"What's the matter?" she had asked, her lips curled into a sneer
"If you already have a husband then why'd you bring me here?"
She looked to the ground and said, "He's been dead since last year..."
And feeling quite embarrassed, I pulled her so close and near

There was the hint of passion and a yearning hidden on her lips
And every time she moved there was a certain sway in her hips
I felt my senses fading and I could not seem to come to grips...
With her or myself as the sun and moon kissed and eclipsed

As the minutes turned to hours, I was feeling jubilant but sore
I could barely move but she was calling out to me for more
But then there came this loud knock over from the door...
She said, "You have to leave," and I said, "Baby, what for?"

"My husband is home," she told me and began to cry
I could tell she wasn't kidding and I looked right into her eye
"You mean to tell me that all of this was a lie..."
"Well, yes," she responded as she offered up an angry sigh

The door flung open as I hopped outside the window frame
It was a second-story room and I fell onto the ground in pain
I ran down the street so that I wouldn't be the one to blame...
And when I went to the doctor he told me to walk with a cane

So now I wander aimlessly, misguided by the loss of lust
The only love I knew had betrayed me just to steal my trust
And as my cold heart is buried beneath a vast sea of dust...
I remind myself daily that the world is neither fair nor just


Shadows wreathe the ravens as they fly into the light
They are stolen from my sight
Unbound from all delight
What fright they have and give to all the people

You look as though you've seen yourself
A ghost outside of time
Throw your matchbook and resign
Can't you see, you're nothing without

The capsules holding happiness
Devoured by your breath
And still yearning for your death
Your tresses, without feeling, are withdrawing

Fountains flow within your eyes
As your hands wave in the sky
With freedom sailing high
What could I persuade you to
Give me

And sitting on the spinning wheel
That jumps along the road
The tongue, the scarlet toad
This episode still wishing and misleading

What could the caves of sighing trees
The weeping sound of tyranny
Abstaining from all melody
Could you be alone and still not truly

Together in the fields of pine
Our heart-strings will entwine
Searching for a sign
As everyone is visiting the circus

Elephants and acrobats
And a dozen twisting tents
Hidden deep within the hints
What danger lies within your fields of

What Shutter Shipyards Should Have Said

In my crossroad travel book I found a distant land
Entangled in a field of corn, owned by the river hand
The captain corpses of the army marched along the streets
As heartbreak handsome heralds hopped upon the mayor's feet
Women built from portal posts and pathway ponder pasts
Were risen from the stellar sleighs and put upon the masts
So that the lighthouse cryptic duke could call a violet face
Upon the telephone he wore in the hope of fashion taste
For who could say what men in fear would do to Camelot
When cast upon the open rocks of haves and of have-nots

A lava-tongued aristocrat of the bold and bland brigade
Approached me with his man-at-arms and holding both grenades
Proceeded with his other arm that grew out from his chest
To steal my water and tell me that this was for the best
My empty canteen wishful thinking ceded simple sighs
As the railway worker men approached me from all sides
Telling me in velvet words that they had lost their jobs
Because of my own carelessness and my phony mobs
And as I tried to tell them I was not their wooly goat
They began to pour concrete into my open throat

The cackling history of faith and the hopeful hierophant
Expect me then to scrub their ears and hold their hollow chant
I asked them in my letters if they sought some form of trade
But life inside their decade minds was only a charade
So poised was I inside the halls of commerce to convince
The castle-creeks of cancelled freaks that I was their lost prince
That, in a haze of mist and maze, I told them a blue lie
About their center-village square and my silent silken tie
But as soon as they discovered that my top hat was a fake
I knew that even coming there had been my own mistake

The road away was humbling, not pleasant in the least
I soon became a servant boy, a peasant and a priest
So that I could evade the tiger-truth of pumpkin fists
That followed me to where I went and played my tragic lists
As though they were biography, a blemished banal bore
The carnival of all my dreams with clowns and clones and more
So maligned were these all these freaks I took a greasy pen
And drew faces on their empty heads and truth upon their skin
I promised then I would destroy that awful travel book
And never return to the place that God himself forsook