Oct/Nov 2000 Poetry

Two Poems

by J.V. Foerster


When I traveled with Billy
(To Julian West)

When I traveled with Billy
that was all I needed
when there was too much
on Tuesdays to think about and Sunday
felt like hell.

I was scrambling wild
trying to make peace
with the rattlesnakes
& dung beetles
loading up my burdens like little
shit balls, rolling,

Billy, he didnít know where
the melodies came from
(I knew it was me)
And I thought some crazy
goddess was whispering her
secret lyrics in my anxious ear.
So together town to town we made music
rocking the belladonna mushroom people
homeless, happy
and the Mexican cowboys danced
as we sang over and over the one country song we knew.

We were throwing out our livers
with savage lust
swallowing down our open throats
habeneros and tequila
beer and honey
trying to get it straight
to mix our blood up right.

The salty hot smell of desert
finally left us with a kiss
of hope to follow where the music called.
We were
strangled by the shiny road ahead.


Reversed Shaman

He was spent, left to boil in the sun
a plump snake
in the desert dust
slippery skin
caressing dry death
all around were
stark white bones
he laying between the angry
bones of her husband, the sharp bones
of her dogs,
the weeping bones of his ex-lover
looking up in horror
at her swaying
blue white skin
hollow skeletal
statue of a ghost woman
rocking their child.


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