we square off
just outside the bar

this all started when
he looked me dead in
the eyes and said:
“what the fuck are you
looking at, motherfucker?”

he outweighs me by fifty pounds
and stands six inches taller

I’m hopping up and down in place
and he’s still trying to get
his jacket off, while his
old lady is screaming at him
to kick my ass.

he is watching the swelling crowd
taking in all their bullshit
and believing it, when
he should be watching

I’m jumping out of my
seeing everything
so clearly that the edges
of my vision
threaten to grate
against each other
and crack into a million

“fuck it” i think
and for a second, i swear to god that
i love this half drunk red-neck and
his half tore up old lady.
i throw up a half dozen
ghost punches
1 2 3
1 2 3
light as air

a secret heart of
lies at the center
of all men.

his arms struggle free
of his jacket
and i watch it flutter to
the ground
for a second it becomes
a pure wave
in the strong wind.

when it hits the ground
i am moving in.
light on my feet.
ready for pain.

my fists feel
like lightning.


[b]Cricket Music[/b]

stoned on a
hill top in

when suddenly
the band struck up

a cacophony
a blitzkrieg
an orchestra

ten million crickets
banging away like
on ten million little
and tambourines

angry little jazz

we were
a little bit

[b]Country music[/b]

steel guitars
and banjos
and clanging

the sweet
that sound like
you’ve heard them
all your life,
and you have,
you can still remember
your mother doing
a little two step
across the kitchen
floor one day
while you were
still hanging
low in her
just think back far enough.

if you’ve ever smoked
a joint and
listened to willie nelson
hum magic
or jerry jeff
tell us how he got it all wrong
or hank snow
mourn for frauline…
well, then you feel it.

cause in the end
they tell us that he
is from the south
and that she finally
left him,
and that he is drunk again,
and that his heart is
and will never heal
and that even this
is beautiful.

by Joel Abel
([email]cricketbomb [at] yahoo [dot] com[/email])

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