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Archive for the ‘F. N. Wright’ Category

Two Poems by F.N. Wright

JOHNNY

one of my best
friends
from diapers
to levis
both of us being
scouted by major
league scouts

me a hard throwing lefty
with a nasty curveball
& johnny who had all
the five tools they
look for
especially speed

fastest mother fucker
I ever saw

small town politics
got me kicked off
the american legion
baseball team
just before our junior
year of high school

I forced my mother’s hand
& made her sign the papers
so I could enlist in the marines
on my seventeenth birthday

when johnny graduated
from high school he had
a baseball scholarship offer
from a major university
& a decent bonus to sign
with the cardinals

I was in nam when I received
his letter asking what I thought
he should do & first chance I had
I wrote & urged him to go to college
or he could get his ass drafted
before he ever saw busch stadium

stupid fucker did what I would’ve done
& signed with the cardinals &
had moved up to triple a ball

when he was drafted & I was
in nam for my second tour

I was back in Tennessee
when johnny came home
but he wasn’t marching

he couldn’t because he’d lost
both legs to a mine in nam

& I’d left most of my sanity
over there but hid it well

when we first met at a bar for beers
I said, “what are you going to
do now? you sure as hell ain’t
playin’ anymore baseball, you
stupid asshole.”

He laughed & said, “I’m learning
to run the bases on my hands.”

he killed himself opening day
of the following season.

____________________

UPTOWN MAN

(blues poem 1)

I got a sharkskin suit
pocket watch & fob
alligator skin shoes
& a fancy fedora cocked
real low over one eye

I carry a straight razor
cross my path or mess
with my women
cut you real quick

got a million dollar smile
drives women wild &
knocks ‘em to their knees

don’t need no fancy car
got a long limo & driver
at my beck & call

got enough money in my wallet
to burn the Big Easy down
& build her back up again

got a private jet
to fly us on up to Harlem
back down to the Big Easy
when she’s breathin’ again

I got a pistol in my pocket
one hand high on your thigh
my pistol’s cocked & fully loaded
& it has a long barrel

they call me King
all over town
but tonight, baby
gonna lay you down
fill you full of bullets
show you a real good time

when the morning light
comes up over the ground
gonna reload my gun
& show you another good time

’cause you my fine-ass woman
& I’m your uptown man.

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on the bed beside me
waiting for a ring
for me to pick it up
dial a number
any number
lover
ex-lover
a friend
anyone
it doesn’t matter
to my phone
like me it misses
the sound of a human
voice
especially a caring voice
or the sound of one
that once loved me
but no one calls
there is no one I can call
I have no lovers
my exes have forgotten
my number
I have no friends
the loneliness of my phone
hurts me deeply
fills me with guilt
loneliness is a sad thing
I pick up the phone
dial 411.

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OUTSIDE by F.N. Wright

(FOR LUCINDA)

outside my windows
a symphony played
all day & into the night

soft rain with some thunder
throughout the day
ending as night brought stars
dancing across the skies
where lightning had played
until the last rumble of thunder
played its final note

as if on cue
a bullfrog began playing
stand-up bass

the sound of crickets
joined him with the sweet
sound of their violins

in a tree outside my
bedroom window
a mockingbird began
singing a medley of songs

it was the most unusual
yet beautiful symphony
I have heard in my life

sadly, there was no one here
to share it with.

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THE BLACK CAT by F.N. Wright

there is a black cat
she’s a feral that has
taken up residence
outside my bathroom window

suns herself on a long
unused work out bench
rusting away like an
abandoned pickup truck
in some farmer’s back forty

low crawls her sway-back ass
when on the prowl
green eyes as sexy as any
woman’s I’ve ever known

trusts me up to a point
but keeps her distance
if I come too close to her

I rigged her up a dry spot
between the two sheds
behind the bench
lined it with some old clothes
put a porch of of sorts on it
to keep the milk I set out
for her every afternoon
from the rain

one day she will disappear
like all the women in my
life have done or crawl off & die
without me knowing it
instead of dying in my arms
like dogs I’ve loved have

I will miss her & continue
to pour her afternoon milk
out of habit when that
day comes

but there will be one thing
different than losing a woman
you love or a dog who
curled up in your heart one day
made it his or her home
then died or was killed by one
of life’s bad hands she deals
on a daily basis

no heartache or tears
just a lonesome feeling
that will fade as the milk
sours.

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I returned from Nam
& my wife divorced me
so I bought a “hog”
& somehow ended upside
down in Tucson
living with a Mexican girl
who was trying to teach
me Spanish while I drove
a taxi in Tucson

the girl & I smoked
Bull Durham & cheap
Mexican weed, drank
mucho tequila &
fornicated every chance
we got in the back
of my cab

I never did learn Spanish
& though I had 3 poems published
in English in 1968 I didn’t claim
to be a poet

I was just a Nam vet
driving a taxi in Tucson
while living with a Mexican
girl who was trying to teach
me Spanish

then I heard some illiterate
editors were going to publish
a book of my poetry
& I still didn’t claim
to be a poet

the Mexican girl got pregnant
& against my wishes (I wanted
to be a part of bringing life
into the world after taking
it away in Nam)
insisted on going down
to Nogales for an abortion

So once again I mounted
my “hog” & headed north
until I reached Frisco
where I continued
to write & publish poetry
but I still don’t claim
to be a poet

& I never will until I discover
where all these words come from.

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ZEN POUND DOG by F.N. Wright

he sits in the back
of his cage
an inscrutable smile
upon his dog face
as he contemplates
his navel
the serenity of his aura
permeates throughout
the animal shelter
& beyond
“does master walk dog
or does dog walk master?”
a miniature hotei sits
peacefully in a nearby garden
smiling.

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the sounds of a song
brings back painful memories
I try to shut out
but I can’t
 
the feeling of complete
sadness
 
reliving the past
as I try to pave
over it
 
the sun falls off
the edge of my life
 
I run after it
but can’t catch it
 
I hear the familiar sound
of a lonesome whistle
 
did I really escape
the bloodhounds
their trackers
& sadistic guards
in the swamps &
bayous?
 
Angola Prison
no place for a man
to be
 
I hop the train
as it races to
a destination
unknown to me
 
did I really kill
that man over in
New Orleans?
 
darkness claims
the life of another
day & wraps me
in it’s cold arms
 
taking me deep inside
the clammy coffins
where so many try
to sleep
 
cemeteries of lost souls
who have no recollection
of their past journeys
 
Angola Prison
a place so bad
the devil won’t go
near it
 
another day creeps in
& plucks the stars
from the moonless night
 
as a hard rain
begins to fall
driving me into
the abyss
 
a borrowed dime
spinning in the air
 
heads or tails?

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