Outlaw Poetry


Our lives are defined by moments. These moments shape us into the people we become. They remind us of the people we used to be and the people we could have been. These moments, however, do not hold the reins to our lives. Our lives are defined more by our reactions to these moments than to the moments themselves. How we handle ourselves under great joy and great loss and great hardship is a declaration to the world and to ourselves of our true character. These moments should be cherished.

Our lives are divided into chapters by the transitions we take. Divided by great chasms that form that forever separate our lives into before and after. Whether it’s a new job, a new girlfriend or a new car, these transitions are our attempts at redefining ourselves by reshaping our outside world. Sometimes these transitions are uncontrollable. They come in the form of death, new birth and betrayal. Sometimes they are even too painful to write about.

This collection of poetry was written during one of these transitions and contains many of these moments. These pages are a poetic diary detailing a chapter in my life. They are a personal recreation of events and thoughts. If by some faint coincidence someone else can relate to the words I’ve written then perhaps my experiences will be that much richer. And if another’s eyes never meet these words then may they help me to remember the life I’ve lead.

Excerpts from Outlaw Poetry:


This is not for those who bottle their souls
And never follow the cold wind to the unpaved roads
Or the unsaved souls still searching for streets paved with gold
This is for the cocktail drinkers and everyday thinkers
Those who never linger or wander around the same town twice
The curious never content with an unspent life
This is not the poetry of perfumed dormroom kegstand colleges
This is the garage grease garbage whitetrash call knowledge
The Ben Sawyer drawbridge we passed to meet Ginsberg
Reciting the exciting topless lines of lightning
In a room with poor lighting and sweet smelling bodies
Supple young breasts flick tongues to mens necks
Grabbing lapdance lovehandles in palms of soft flesh
And in the light of white candles we listened to Frost ramble
On the nights in soft flannel trading stories and scandals
With the screen door shut next to sand covered sandals
We listened to rain cut through the night like vandals
And away they stole to the dunes and crabholes
Under the moon got hassled with Poe by assholes
We drank bottled rotgut and covered crab with Tabasco
Til the cops popped up suddenly in hopped up Fords
Hoping they hadn’t stopped up just to pop the back doors
Asking the Why and What-For, still we couldn’t respond
Downtown with Whitman when all the money was gone
The streets were lovely at dawn as the sun soaked the sky
The roots were too deep that linked you and I
Our boots clinked down the street to retreat from our lives
We saw the world through dead eyes that night, but not knowingly
And were granted new life through Outlaw Poetry

2308 Myrtle Avenue

We lions of youth and of summer
     Of endless invention
     Of doubt and skepticism
     Who conquered the waves
     Crashing on our salty beaches
     And built the dunes
     Pockmarked by crabholes
We tailors of exuberance and boundless energy
     Who hemmed Huck Finn’s trousers
     And took in colorful summer blouses
     Cupping meaty young bosoms
     With pale skin and even paler expectations
We sons of excess and privelege
     Who placed dirty glass bottles to our lips
     While house tequila burnt our virgin throats
     In the shadows of restaurant trashcans
     And grease traps and recycle bins
We firecrackers exploding from complacency
     Into a world of exploration
     Discovering moist crotches
     And new-growth pubic hair
     On the beaches of foreign lips

We nymphs hardened by summer winds
     Who buck-up unflinching
     To stouter souls than ours
     Unafraid of conmen or consequences
     Having never heard the hype
We browned Titans of pubescent sunrise
     Who defend our beaches with grit
     Til advancing waves fall back
     In Olympic splendor
     Crashing upon themselves instead
We dirt covered mongrels roaming waywardly
     Pawing through sand and expectations
     Thru piles of panties and A-Cup bras
     In amazed wonderment eyes flashing
     And tails swaying happily
We who hovered lazily under the age of consent
     Smoking Basic cigarettes and cheap skunk
     Jerking to garage kept Playboys
     Dreaming of bit tits and big cities
     Under big moons and black skies

We Vikings of schoolyard brawls
     Pillaging soccer balls and egos
     Plundering poorly thought out
     Cigarette displays in corner stores
     And local gas station candy bar aisles
We dolphins of dampened trousers
     Circling hulls and mermaid figureheads
     Carved from oak and painted
     Bright with floral patterns
     And green scales and rosebuds
We sailors of unseen waters
     And uneasy apprehension
     With periscopes extended
     For the next cheap glance
     Of palmetto trees and bikini tops
We feathered engines of perpetual motion
     Paddling our canoes in the thick brush
     Of bamboo and uncertainty
     Of snakes hanging from tree branches
     Of adulthood waiting to ambush

We captains of self, but little else
     Of youth and of summer
     Of destiny manifested
     Thru decisions and actions
     Upon the tide of adolescence
We breakers of commandments and promises
     Of legs and arms and ribs
     Of neighbors windows
     Of countless floorboards
     As we stomp to the tune of life
We pilgrims of hot asphalt and sandspurs
     Pulled like teeth from bare feet
     Grinning thru smeared blood
     On our way to reach Delphi, Jerusalem
     Or perhaps somewhere closer to home
We sons of Poseidon and Heracles and dock workers
     Pulling our cast nets from the mud
     And from the Sirens and from Hydra
     And more earthly creatures, too
     Like oyster beds and drift wood

We backyard rebels and dinnertime madmen
     Running full speed past side tables
     Closed drawers and family Bibles
     Propped pictures of old men
     With fedoras and big noses
We cavalry of large dogs and bicycles
     Dismissing good advice and strong sun block
     Embracing tan lines and sunburns and aloe
     Smoothed over acne-pocked shoulders
     And noses and cheeks and foreheads
We nine o’clock hobos homeward bound
     Hopped up on mulligan stew and nicotine
     With torn jeans and dirty faces
     Homesick but only whispered
     To our eight o’clock curfews
We kin to good manners and good mothers
     Parched so from the summer sun
     Drank the sea with a swig
     Til the saltwater stuck to the roof
     Of our mouths like peanut butter

We warriors of wooded paths cut spider webs
     With arms flailing forwardly
     And feet trailing and kicking up
     Dust clouds for pursuing packs
     Of neighborhood hound dogs
We princes from blood let to drip downward
     Trickled through floorboards
     Celebrating tonight on crumbs
     That we caught like raindrops
     From the mouths of gods and grandparents
We thankful few eyes fixed ferociously on tomorrow
     And pathways and poorly paved roads
     Stretched over Island grass and sandspurs
     Canopied by palmetto trees and bikini tops
     Loose ties that bind indeed
We young lions of backstreets and alleyways
     Where even unearthed roots break free
     From poorly paved streets and concrete
     Fractured sidewalks we travel down
     That splinter crookedly towards home
     Perched somewhere along the banks
     Of Station 23 and Myrtle Avenue.

When We Were Bulls

More than bread our families ate
When we were bulls
Butchers put pride upon our plates
When we were bulls
We seldom spoke a foolish word
When we were bulls
Though many more we heard
When we were bulls
We were not easily provoked
When we were bulls
Though the aim was for the throat
When we were bulls
Our neighbors never starved
When we were bulls
We hung our hats upon the stars
When we were bulls

When we were bulls
We were something to behold
Never ones to be told twice
That death before dishonor conquers life
We understood the weight that honor pulled
When we were bulls

52 pages/ 24 poems