Wednesday Night Poetry and Whatnot Essay

Good evening all (especially to the hundreds who signed up today).

It is a cool night in the Philly suburbs. The lights are low and my eyes are tired, but I feel the need to post.

Down below, I will share some poetry, some youtube clips and the like (some my own, some of others).

Please share in the comments something of your own, something that makes you laugh, think, all the whatnot.

First up, one of my own…

Don’t listen to lying cowboys

we skipped stones over muddy waters
fishing for sunnies with stale white bread
while an evil Empire cast long shadows
over the world
with fear in the form of mushroom clouds
but, the skies were blue
over the muddy waters
of the lake
a turtle, a snapper,
breaks the surface
and quickly disappears
and our president
was a former cowboy
but only in the movies
and my bobber
cast trailing ripples
over the surface
nudged by a sunfish
nibbling on bread
and the specter of
nuclear war
cast trailing ripples
over a child’s mind
because the cowboy
told him
to be

darrell gahm

and now, a video of mine, called “American Music”…

and here is one from Bukowski, quite possibly my favorite of his poems…

the strongest of the strange

  you wont see them often
for wherever the crowds are
are not.

  these odd ones, not
but from them
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books

and other

  and from the
best of the
strange ones

  they are
their own
their own
their own
their own

  sometimes i think
i see
them- say
a certain old
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain

a quick face
going the other
in a passing

there’s a certain motion
of the hands
of a bag-boy or a bag-
while packing

it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
you will notice
lightning quick
never seen
from them

you will only note
some months
some years
after they are

  i remember
such a
he was about
20 years old
drunk at
10 a.m.
staring into
a cracked
new orleans

  face dreaming
against the
walls of
the world

did i

  -charles bukowski.

here is a pretty cool video someone made to a recording of Buke reading the above poem…

and finally,  a recent and relevant piece by Lawrence Ferlinghetti…

go with peace,


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  1. do not watch “Ghost Hunters” while sitting alone in the dark…

    • on September 13, 2007 at 04:25
  2. who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away”

    “My country tears of thee, Sweet Land of Liberty”

    Oh thank you, thank you for having found and shared that Larry. That is the best vid I’ve ever seen of him reading and it has made me cry.


    I’ll find a poem to post in a minute. I have to take a few deep breaths and find some kleenex.

  3. Not what you might think, and it’s pretty damn amazing…

  4. Tonight, when the wind was cool
    after days of steam heat,
    Izzy and I hung out downtown,
    had dinner, then walked to
    sit on the benches in
    Union Square Park,
    talking dharmas of
    attachments and liberation.

    She pointed to my left,
    noting a fellow in fantastic costume,
    construction paper dreadlocks
    and flowing robes, he walked
    up to us and offered us french fries
    from a paper cone, we declined,
    having just had dinner.

    I said to him, as he walked way,
    “Groove on,” and he quickly turned
    and came back to me, saying “I had
    to come back, I don’t let anyone
    tell me what to do!”

    I looked into his eyes, he was
    wearing tiny reading glasses
    with wire frames, I said, “what do you mean?
    I didn’t tell you what to do!”
    He said, “well you said ‘move on!'”

    I laughed and replied, “oh no, no,
    I said groove on!”
    His whole face changed, relaxed
    into a radiant smile, he leaned
    down, kissed me on the cheek,
    swung around, sauntering his way
    through the park
    on such a lovely
    breezy night.

    • Caneel on September 13, 2007 at 05:19

    Love “Don’t listen to lying cowboys.”

    Since you brought up Bukowski, here’s one of mine:

    Saturday With Bukowski

    Awake at 7, disciplined, the day decided,
    trailing the scent of a fresh, new book to shoo
    the fog of waking up

    Bukowski speaking
    to me.

    The stored urgency still begged my brain,
    I got up for a Diet Coke,
    weighed those THINGS TO DO,
    and returned to Bukowski,

    who was, after all,

  5. so russia made the father of all bombs
    but don’t worry
    we’ve got a new one in the works
    the drunken step father of all bombs.

    • Robyn on September 13, 2007 at 05:47

    …now nobody will get up in the morning.


  6. theres sugar then theres sweet
    theres filet mignon and then theres meat
    theres bagels and then theres wheat
    with old tin cup rattling at feet

    no dime to spare
    nor time to care
    gotta run
    on my way
    can’t stop now

    im heavily gelled
    man in a half shell
    trimmed with silver
    and destined for hell

    im a mighty rover
    a deal closer
    a one night stand in Peru
    before you think its over

    a black tie white plate
    hurry up and wait
    snorting lines off the limo seat
    studly kind of date

    no dime to spare
    nor time to care
    gotta run
    on my way
    can’t stop now

    • DWG on September 13, 2007 at 12:14

    I found him in college, bought every book, and felt lost when he died.  Thanks for the reminder, Darrell.

    • fatdave on September 15, 2007 at 02:51

    The Rain Upon the Roof

    Listen. It is the rain upon the roof
    Telling of who you loved but not enough,
    Whispering of what is otherwise elsewhere.

    It would be sweet on such a night to die,
    Kissing another’s lips, touching darkly,
    Hearing the soft rain falling everywhere.

    Save that the rain has voices which complain
    You never loved enough, you were unkind,
    You ran away, you left your heart nowhere.

    Come back! Come back! The rain’s regret may cease
    But I will love you till my dying breath,
    And after, if there’s after anywhere.

    – Robert Nye.

    I read it on a train. The last verse evoked something better invoked in private – if at all. I sobbed and they all looked.

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