for:  Virgil Earp

I never wanted to be
On the wrong side of the law
That's why I became
City Marshall of Tombstone

I wanted to be a poet
Writing words to inspire
Tell my story
Share my feelings
But it was something
Difficult to accomplish
With a Colt 45 on my hip

Drawn too many times
Searching for a meaning
In life and death
How I wish I could replace
That gun with a pen

Write sonnets like Shakespeare
About love and understanding
Wyatt was my brother
Doc Holiday an acquaintance
Never liked the son of a bitch
Always gambling and drinking
Fucking things up

But I will be misunderstood
In my life
As those buried on Boot Hill
Can testify
I am not a poet
Just a gunfighter
One of the Earp boys


She worked the night shift
Winding her life
Down a dusty Wyoming road
She was a numbers person
You are Wyoming 4-23k4
It was the license plate number
On my car

Never could remember my name

I am not interested in names
She would say
I am a numbers girl

I told her
Numbers are for mathematicians
And mechanical engineers
She laughed and said
They do not understand numbers
Always trying to solve problems
I keep my numbers simple
Always looking toward the future

She would dance
And whisper numbers
Keeping rhythm with the music
I valued the seconds
The minutes
And hours
We spent together
Don’t worry
She would say
Time is only a number

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

Sam lived on a ranch
In northern Wyoming with his father
Went to war in ‘65
Fought with the infantry
Came back wounded, shell shocked
A hero

Used to lead the Veteran’s Day parade
Called him Uncle Sam now
We used to fish on his property
Chase a few squirrels

After the war he put up
A no trespassing sign
We used to sneak in
Billy and I
Hide in the willows

Catch a few brook trout
Maybe a pound or pound and a half

One day he caught us
Ran us off with a gun
Said something about “fucking communists”
We stayed away for a while
Then went back fishing

Uncle Sam came down screaming obscenities
Billy and I ran
Billy dropped a brookie
Two pounds maybe
A nice catch

Stopped to pick it up
Billy caught a shell in his back
While going over the fence
A brook trout wiggling
In his now still hand

Uncle Sam’s in an institution now
Tells other patients about the war
And how he killed a prisoner
Trying to escape over a fence
Says that war is hell
But someone has to fight it

Einstein Said

Einstein said
That the amount of stress
In a situation is equal to
The amount of effort
And energy
Exerted in the situation
Divided by the
Amount of satisfaction
Gained or lost
By the results
Of the situation
Einstein never said that
I did
I felt smart for a minute
I guess every minute counts

Tabasco Sauce

She was from
South of the border
A raving brunette
With dark mysterious eyes

I am like Tabasco Sauce
She would say
I will burn all night
And you will
Think of me
Long after I am gone

Heat comes in stages
I am the main stage
The fire in my eyes
Is only a flash
Of what you will find inside me

The deeper you go
The hotter it gets
Tabasco Sauce goes with everything
Take a deep breath
And enjoy

She Changed

It wasn’t a different sunset
It was the same colors
The same beauty
The same image
 Across the sky

But she saw it differently today
The beauty lifted her spirits
Filled her heart and soul
Until she was overflowing
With emotion

She looked at him and said
“I’ve changed”
He said, “What are you talking about”
“You look the same”
She said, “It is not in how I look”
“I’ve changed on the inside”

He said, “Inside?”
She said, “I am complete and
I can dance!”
He said, “You always could dance.”
She said, “But now I can
hear the music”

He said, “What music?”

She said, “You can’t hear it!”
As she went out the door!
He thought
And said “What the fuck” to himself
As she drove away


Wild Child

She was always too rough

For me to reach 

Out and touch

The darkness of her tan

Followed her

Like a shadow

And her eyes saw

Through so many

Restless visions

I found it hard

To communicate with a girl

Who didn’t hesitate

To say fuck

Or talk about her

Orgasm last night

When she was

Home alone



She was silk





that is all

I Have a Friend a Tree

I have a friend

It is a tree

With branches that reach

Toward the sky

It has strong roots

Can withstand storms

The perils of man

I talk to it

Tell it things

That I cannot tell 

Anyone else

It listens

Never gives advice

Sometimes when the wind

Blows it talks back to me

But it has issues too

"Too many birds build

Their nests thinking

They own the tree

The bees placed

A beehive in the tree"

It bothered the tree

"Fucking bees they have

No right to be in my branches

And the birds shit all over me

The dogs piss on me

Cats climb all over me

Squirrels think they own me

A tree's life

can be pretty fucked up

That wind tore one of my 

Branches down

It hurt like hell

God damn broken branch

Fucking wind anyway"

I always feel better

After talking to my

Good friend the tree

Kick Ass Poems

For: Hank (Charles Bukowski)

There are times when poetry

Is sweet and smooth

Like a swallow of Southern Comfort

You hold it in your mouth

Let it slide down

Warm and calm

Other times I want poetry

To kick my ass

Knock me down

Like moonshine whiskey

Fresh from the still

Spit on me

That’s when I pick up Bukowski

Read what the old man is doing

He knocks me down

Steps on me

With his wild tales

Of living and dying

In bed

On the floor

In the kitchen sink

I wake up with a hangover

And swear

I’ll never read his poetry again

Give me T.S. Eliot

Or EE Cummings 

At least until the lights go out

And my head stops aching from the sun

Or from the poetry of the night before

Hank had a little lamb

As white as fucking snow

More Than a Book


To Whom It May Concern:

I read too many books

finding knowledge in sentences

ending in question marks

Writing too many poems 

and losing myself in the works

of Hesse, Brautigan and Snyder

I needed to experience life

away from the pages of a book

     feel it

          smell it

              taste it

I wanted the reality of life

Suddenly you opened the door

And my life would never be the same

I remember your lips

    your caress

        your breasts

Eyes looking through me

The way you took my breath away

It was more than a song

by Simon and Garfuncel

It was more than a character

from The Graduate

It was the reality of you

being there within my reach

My senses came alive

and my mind world never be the same

You gave me a dream

and a memory

I will remember 


Lost Poem

This poem is no longer a mystery

It was found in a Goodwill Store

For 50% off

It originally began its journey

In a Costco 

With a hotdog and coke

Found its way to Wyoming

Where it skied down Teton Pass

Rolled into Jackson Hole

Where it was picked up for

Indecent exposure

In the middle of winter

The judge gave it probation

And an ankle bracelet

It left Wyoming for Kentucky

But got lost along the way

Found in Tulsa, Oklahoma

It was misplaced in the U.S. Post Office

If it only had a stamp

It would have found its destination

Instead it ended up in a Goodwill Store

Now we wonder if it will

Ever get to Lexington

Where it will be delivered

To an address that has been

Forgotten in time

For a Soldier Returning Home


He fought too many battles

Some on the battlefield

Others in his mind

Returning home

No one recognized him

Everything changed

His wife left him

All his friends were too busy

Trying to get rich

While he was defending the country

Shitting in a hole

Chasing down rice paddies

Fucking girls he didn’t know

For pleasure

Or was it all for pain

Before returning home

Forgotten in time