Sunday, April 30, 2006

Irene Cunningham...

today I bow my head. my grandmother, Irene Cunningham, passed away today around noon. she was 90 years old. I went to Tennessee to visit her yesterday with one of my sisters. she was resting. my mother and father were there, some of her friends. I sat with her and held her hand. she was not in any pain. I held her hand and read her a poem I'd just written for her. I couldn't get thru it. I will miss her. my heart aches for my father; he lost his mother. I am glad I knew her, glad I got to see her one last time, glad that she is at peace.

I write here because I have to write something.

birds outside

it is sunday morning.
the sun is shining.
it is
streaming thru the big picture window
flooding over the chairs,
the sofa,
the pebbled surface of the walls.

the birds outside are singing.
blue jay
a tiny yellow finch
a group of morning doves
sparrows chirping over a small patch
of seed.
a big crow
in the narrow driveway
leading up to the
little green house.

chicken salad and sawmill gravy
baseball games and Tiger Woods
photos of children

long life.

and St. Francis
sowing seed
for the birds

upon the pebbled sunlit wall.

for my grandmother, my Ma-Maw, Irene Cunningham

Saturday, April 29, 2006

sometimes things are right with the world...

Friday, April 28, 2006

ahh, compassion...

from C&L: bitch

there are those on the right who use these instances, as well as those such as the post below "WTF????," in order to give full voice to the foulest, dankest, darkest sewage pit recessess of their ugly and stinking hearts. and worse, there is a veil that has descended over the eyes of the average American that somehow prohibits their speaking out to shout down these psychopathic morons, no one wants to be branded unpatriotic, no one wants to be branded a terrorist, no one dares question the 'christian' who spews such black horror, no matter the sick and glaring hypocracy of such madness. where is the real compassion? where is the concern for the AMERICAN POOR? where is the drive to feed the AMERICAN HUNGRY? how can we stomach Barbara Bush's "...beautiful mind" without a terrible revolution rushing the gilded metal of their gated world?

the CLASSISM of the WHITE REPUBLICAN MINORITY is sickening. the POWER for change lies in the hands of the working class, the middle class, the poor, the hungry, we all have the power in OUR HANDS to DEMAND these fuckers heads on PIKES (metaphorically speaking, of course). it will take OUTRAGE heaped on their doorsteps, it will take ATTENTION TO EVENTS, it will take INFORMATION seized from the Memory Hole and broadcast far and wide, over and over, a counterbalance to the propaganda, real truth to refute the Ministry of Truth, we must insist that this is OUR world, a world of honesty, community, poetry and truth. a world that won't abide perversity and murder, atrocity and obstruction, crimes and violence and evil. a world of humanity and not corporations, a world of art and not heartless commerce, a world where empathy isn't punished.

a world where no one's "beautiful mind" needs to be soiled by the misery we humans are capable of generating.

"bury the rag deep in your face
now is the time for your tears..."

B. Dylan

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

fifty percent...

at least if half of our representatives understand that they work for us, it will take longer for the apocalypse.

watch this video.


how do you defeat THESE PSYCHO FUCKS?

it's the end of times people. there is simply NO DEBATE to be had with those types of disgusting lunatics.

there are only slitted eyes and loaded pistols for anyone who would threaten *tears welling in eyes* A FUCKING HONEST CHILD SPEAKING THE TRUTH. and you know these assholes think of themselves as CHRISTIANS.

I am puking on myself in old fashioned fear and loathing.

I love language...

I love how the AP and others in the MSM love to use words that shade and propagandize the news, that slant it AWAY from the so-called left. just read this bullshit (first of all, how interesting that the oil prices rising allow the preznit to FURTHER ERODE OUR ENVIRONMENT...disgusting.) here. note specifically the idea that Dems are trying to GET the preznit on THE BAD SHIT HE IS REALLY DOING. "Democrats sought to turn gas prices - like Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war - into an issue that hurts Bush's standing with voters..." WHAT? TURN IT INTO AN ISSUE? this shit is the ONLY ISSUE: the criminal horrorshow going on in Washingtion. these aren't ISSUES, these are REALITIES. these aren't TALKING POINTS these are AMERICANS DYING FOR A LIE. this isn't about elections (though it is) it is about the agenda of some sick motherfuckers who have long waited for an opportunity to eviscerate all PROGRESSIVE policies, they seek the repeal of all NEW DEAL CREATIONS, and they are ZEALOTS making decisions with the help of the ALMIGHTY.

what the fuck. we must stop the bastards. here is a very good take on the real problem with oil and gas prices in general.

movement on some books...

my publisher at sunnyoutside and I have fixed on a title for my new book due out in late spring/early summer 2006: Flowers In The Shadow Of The Storm. this book is all new poems, more than 2/3 writtten specifically for this book, and revolves around the theme of 'storms;' the storm as metaphor, the storm as ominous presence, the storm as it rumbles thru the uneasy guts in the dead of night, etc. it should be a beautiful book with some original paintwork on the cover and fairly wide distribution for a small press publication.

my other publisher over at Bottle of Smoke Press is finalizing poem selection on my forthcoming book called And Still The Night Left To Go: Poems and Letters also due out this year. but first he is issuing a broadside of one of the poems in the collection, words like terror. look for it very soon.

support the small press. support poetry. it is the bloody painting on the cave wall.

more soon...

Monday, April 24, 2006

oh shit...

poetry infects us sometimes...

here is where I 'heard' the bit about our mind's delay inre: information processing:

a matter of a second

neuroscientists have
discovered that it takes a
human brain about
a second to process

which means that
we are perpetually living
in the past.

events that we perceive
as being in the
here and now have,
in all actuality,
occurred a full
second ago.

this means that
i will get over you
a second quicker
than even i
will be aware

and you will forget
about me a
second quicker
than you


buy some of his work here at Bottle of Smoke Press.

maybe poetry won't be cost effective...

or better yet, maybe it will be in a price tier that we poets won't even be able to afford. what the hell am I talking about? net neutrality. it's a big issue and it means the difference between maintaining one of the last venues where REAL FREE SPEECH (or what remains of it in an increasingly privatized world) can be found, where the voices of REGULAR PEOPLE can be heard, and the gated pay to play world of corporate consolidation where everything is sectioned off and the best parcels are sold for the most money to the wealthiest among us and the dregs (or basic cable) left to the rest of us.

now I don't even have cable but I do have a fast internet connection and I enjoy the freedom to discuss WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT with WHOMEVER THE FUCK I WANT (I deliberately used FUCK because that might be a word that gets you banned or arrested or diverted or whatever will eventually happen if this SHIT happens) and do not want to see it taken away, or worse, made completely unaffordable by any except the wealthiest.

go to this site for all the info: here

write, call or email and tell these sleepy thieves in congress that WE are paying attention.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

fresh off the typewriter...

I've been thinking about inevitability. about whatever it may be that we have no control over. the deep vicious southern thunderstorms. the tumbling of one season into another. how dawn always means more night just over the horizon. and as I was reminded recently, each moment we live is actually a moment already past. the delay from the signals our senses receive in transmission to our feeble and fragile human brains, the instant of translation into conciousness, means we are consigned to living in memory. forever trying to catch up to ourselves, hurrying from one second to the next. impossible to slow down. inevitable. and racing towards the edge of the dark forest that waits for us all. there is only what's next. we do what we can.

blue mouse

the footprint
of a ghost,
of blue smoke
around itself

in the pinestraw
and acorns.

pearls of dew
reflect the grey dawn.

the air is very still.

over damp earth
hawk's shadow

the precision
of time.

this space
here and there.

small deaths

a circle



a gallon. makes driving a pleasure.

thanks preznit bush. the neocon gospel prewar was all about CHEAPER OIL, GUARANTEED. how's $75 per barrel fit in with that again?

anyway, maybe blowing up some shit in Iran will get the oil flowing. read what a good blog writer has to say here at billmon.

good luck. hope food is cheap where you live.

and nearby.

Friday, April 21, 2006

a review...

the new Naked Knuckle is out and they've a review of my latest book. I reprint it here for any who would like to support Joe and Jerry at Nerve Cowboy and in so doing, support the small press where art goes to LIVE.

Nothing comes easily in Christopher Cunningham's Thru the Heart of This Animal Life, A measure of Impossible Humor. This is a world where "we are/all damned/to this same/hell," but also where life's small joys and victories teach us to "celebrate" our daily struggles. In "it gets too cold," Cunnngham writes, "I am/satisfied/with/this fabric/I have/woven," and well he should be.
Thru the Heart is a very fine, cohesive collection of accessible, compelling poems that deserves a wide readership.

The poems here are peopled with "the/ones who've/come just short," the kid on the Little League bench, "a bum/in dirty grey pants/and sweat ringed tshirt," and the "old divorced mini skirt" who all, Cunningham explains, are "laboring/under/the/best/of/delusions." However, even in the rather bleak existence of these characters, the poet offers moments of tantalizing redemption. The early morning "man/in a wheelchair" is "rolling the hell/out of his chair" and, most importantly, "smiling." A dead spider helps a couple understand the nature of their "love" in a poem called "how it is." We see in these poems that "it is up to us to make our colors/dance/in this bright grey world," and that there is "no absolution/except that which/we give ourselves."

My favorite poem in this collection is entitled "the lateness of the hour." After seeing some teenagers turned down attempting to buy a bottle of wine in a typical grocery store, we read that "nothing/is/going/to go/exactly/as/you'd like," but even in this world of thwarted desire, the poem ends by noting "the limes/were/beautiful in the light." Herein lies the "measure/of/impossible/humor" that Cunningham reminds us always to maintain.

Thru the Heart concludes appropriately with the existential "the hours that matter," a poem about "how/to remain/upright" despite the "time/spent pushing/against/the stone." It concludes with Cunningham urging us ever so softly to "rejoice," and, yes, Thru the Heart, in its wise and hopeful voice, gives us reasons, however slim, to do just that. These are, like Cunningham's "hours," poems "that matter."

Order your copy here: Nerve Cowboy, P.O. Box 4973 Austin, TX 78765, $6.00

D. Thompson, Naked Knuckle reviewer, Issue #6
211 Rowland Ave.
Modesto, CA 95354

The new Knuckle also features work from Hosho McCreesh (a personal favorite), Don Winter, Michael Estabrook and others. as always, Greg Edwards does a fine job with the presentation, with a great drawing on the cover by Allen Passalaqua. check it out.

more soon...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


storm clouds threaten, the air is thick and heavy, pressing down here at the compound. the dog romps in the shadows, patrolling the outskirts of the grounds, one eye on the gathering turmoil above. I watch from dirty windowpanes, look out over the dimming purple evening.

as the rain begins I head out and call the dog inside. I stand for a moment and watch the fat drops fall. thunder crawls across the greyblack cloudscape. ragged lightning erupts in splinters above pine and oak, above the new green growth suddenly illuminated by the pink stroke of fire in the sky. the dog growls low.

then we are back inside, sheltered from the downpour. for now.

who knows how long this violence will last?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

hope you're unlisted...

some students protesting military recruitment on a college campus in Santa Cruz got what they deserved according to the whore who posted their phone numbers on her rightwingnut blog, and then REFUSED to take them down after the students began receiving DEATH THREATS, predictably, from her psycho readers/deluded sickos. this is a good read on the whole matter from a sane person.

700 tons...

is 1.5 million pounds of ammonium nitrate detonated below the Nevada desert on June 2, 90 miles outside of Las Vegas. it is called Divine Strake and it is gonna be disturbing. what is it for? to test the destructive power of our bunker busting nukes? it is too big to carry on ANY aircraft that exists ANYWHERE. they want to be sure they can destroy Natanz (along with all the auxillary targets that must be hit to insure that planes won't be shot down, tracked, etc. plus all military targets that would rise to the defense of Iran,etc.) but they can't EVEN GET IT THERE. so what is it for?

is it like this?

fear and loathing in las vegas redux, people.

I got it bad right here in Atlanta.


Rolling Stone has this little bit about our dear prez...

makes you wonder where the outrage is. I mean, I know where MINE is, but where is all of America's disgust with the horrorshow going on in Washington? I understand that the media is an ugly wasteland controlled by huge multinational conglomerates that have profit as their whole goddamned raison d'etre and therefore no interest whatsoever in furthering discourse, maintaining a healty democracy, healing partisan wounds, revealing TRUTH, exposing HYPOCRASY, demanding accountability, etc. etc. but SHIT. what the hell is going on here? how did the fog ever get so thick?

anyway, this is funny from in PA...

by Dan Gross | Tony S. likes 'Sanatorium'
SEN. RICK Santorum and HBO's fictional mob boss Tony Soprano have a lot in common.

On Sunday night's episode of "The Sopranos," Tony (James Gandolfini) told his shrink Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) that when it comes to homosexuality, he agrees with "that Sen. Sanatorium, who says if we let this stuff go too far, pretty soon we'll be f---ing dogs." Santorum, several years back, made similar remarks, only he used more delicate language than Tony did.

We called Santorum's office yesterday to ask if he was flattered about getting a shout-out on a popular show.

Apparently not.

"We're not gonna dignify that comment by commenting on it," said Santorum communications director Rob Traynham.

There also was a reference to Santorum on a recent "Veronica Mars" episode on UPN, in which a student blackmailing gay students used the alias "Rick Santorum."

Possibly the longest-lasting pop-culture reference to Santorum is that of sex columnist Dan Savage(carried here in Philadelphia Weekly), who started what's become a popular campaign to use the senator's surname to describe a byproduct of anal sex.

I don't know the proper use of the term, but it looks like our Crime Boss President has a bit of Santorum on his face.

more later...

Monday, April 17, 2006

ts eliot, not as hopeful as h.m...

"After such knowledge, what forgiveness? think now
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
Guides us by vanities...
Think neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues
Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree..."

T.S. Eliot

a dry season indeed...

ol' henry sez...

"it may be that we are doomed, that there is no hope for us, any of us, but if that is so then let us set up a last agonizing, blood curdling howl, a screech of defiance, a war whoop! away with lamentation! away with elegies and dirges! away with biographies and histories, and libraries and museums! let the dead eat the dead. let us living ones dance about the rim of the crater, a last expiring dance.

but a dance!"

Henry Miller

Saturday, April 15, 2006

and now...

...we are at war with Iran? when the nuke falls on Natanz we will become pariahs in the eyes of the world. we will have become the very thing we pretend we are not here in America, Inc.: a Fascist Rogue State. Imperial Demons. nothing will stop us. the ripples will be a long time being felt. and we will continue to swing our Imperial Iron Fist at all comers.

let's hope the generals and the soldiers have the guts to stand up for what's right in the face of all the other stinking lies and murderous miscalculations from the Bush Crime Family. let's hope average Americans won't stand for any more lies and misdirection, let's hope the truth is finally let go like a deluge drowning the propaganda machine that seeks its damnation. let's hope there will be an ENOUGH that is ENOUGH. finally.

but in the meantime it's decent Bordeaux, Chateau L'Haut Beausejour 2002, good old Bobby Dylan moaning (listen) and a toast to the coming of the new rising sun.

good luck with all of it.

the valley below...

"one more cup of coffee for the road
one more cup of coffee 'fore I go
to the valley below..."
Bob Dylan

it stretches out before us, deep, filled with smoke and haze. a hard road tumbles forth from beneath our feet. the wind is strong. it blows hot upon our weathered faces. and there is no going back.

we are here. there is a road. it is the only way. and the way is down into the terrible valley where murderers and rabid beasts roam. down into the valley where the food is poison and the water is boiling venom. down into a landscape made desolate by the grubbing claws of something huge and dark and foul. down into the yawning maw of uncertainty, into the menacing void.

so we slug back a cup of cold black coffee. we tighten our bootlaces. we write a poem and smile. then a cough and into the sickening wind.

down there we will discover the nature of our souls.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

tired tonight...

sitting by a broken window, facing the darkness. the dull buzz of insects ebbs and then swells to near madness then silence. then the steady building of sound again.

I am tired tonight. but not a terrible tired. and while these may be the suicide days, the last gasp from the corpse of the American Dream, while my bones ache in my skin and my mind pulses against my skull with the beating of my heart, while my feet are for the moment too tired to run, I am not completely defeated.

I hold a paintbrush and smear vivid watercolor paint on thick torn paper. blue bleeds into gold into emerald into burgundy. the colors beat back the misery, they shine and reflect against the sweating walls, illuminate a small patch of darkness. they remind me that it is the attempt to live each day as your last that is the best kind of art. that sitting here painting in the midst of a world holding its breath awaiting the whims and machinations of evil, tiny eyed demon men with their glinting bloodstained teeth is as good a way to pass the time as any. writing a poem. reading a Henry Miller book. throwing a shredded ball to the panting dog by the light of a pale grey moon. sitting quietly in the silence.

tossing a gasoline soaked rag onto the remains of hope,
striking a match against your bootheel
laughing with honest joy
watching the colors dance in the
bright light
of the

I am tired but not beaten. it is important that we continue to live;

now go do something worthless and beautiful.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

is it 1984?...

okay. are they really crazy? now, I'm no longer certain about the Rovian angle. it may be armageddon people. Sy Hersh thinks so. also, how about this guy: Whiskey Bar. and what about this GW and the End Times. and now...who knows?

get some duct tape, plastic and bottled water ready.

a new poem...

this is quite recent and unpublished...yet. enjoy, maybe it offsets the doom a bit.

cold coffee before sunrise

she quotes Bob Dylan and
reads Hemingway and Fante.

she draws with charcoal and
sculpts with wire.

she curls and snaps and
sparks like fire,
she climbs into the air
of the night.

she laughs and the sound
is fragile thunder.

she decorates her suffering with jewels
of glass.

she manufactures hope
out of
cobwebs and dark alleys.

she brings me
cold coffee before sunrise.

I smile

drink deeply.

cunningham 06

fast one...

how bout this: the republican party is split on immigration. some want to shoot the mexicans and toss their poor corpses back across the border and damn their kids to hell. some realize that businesses in america make a SHITLOAD of money on the backs of immigrant labor, and they are not gonna give up the perks that come with passing legislation that greases the wheels for big campaign contributors. and business will not give up record profits by losing their slave labor.

(and it is bullshit that americans won't do these jobs. they just NEED TO MAKE A LIVING AT IT by getting appropriate wages. not ridiculous pay like the right would have you believe with their anti-union propaganda, etc., (all you have to do is compare the percentage increase in CEO salaries versus hourly wages...) but a LIVING WAGE like the REPUBLICAN Roosevelt pay somebody '$50 an hour' like that lackey McCain suggested for picking lettuce and EVERYBODY will beat the farm doors down to get at those jobs...) (I'll do it for $30/hr right now...)

back to the topic: so, how does Rove get the party reelected in 06? he needs something...hmmmm ...something so big the rift in the party will be overshadowed. something huge and terrifying that will cow the already fear ridden populace into staying with the Criminal in Chief and his current spate of cronies and bout NUCLEAR WAR? that do it? I think so. and it is SUCH posturing. though they are capable of anything, I don't think the generals will let it happen. I don't think they REALLY want to touch off world war three, and I don't believe that Bush is such an evangelical (he doesn't really believe that shit, if he did he would be terrified for his eternal SOUL at this point with all the bodies, lies, etc...) that he is trying to hasten the end of the know, Israel has to be destroyed for jesus to come back on his magic carpet and toss salvation cookies to the docile idiots who gave so much and ignored so many and hurt so many and helped so few. and made so

and one more thing: I vomit with fear and loathing when I think of the Prez vowing to find the leaker in the Plame case, knowing KNOWING that HE was the leaker. KNOWING. sickening.

who knows? bombs or butterflies. either way, as robert hunter from the Dead put it, "nothing left to do but smile smile smile."


Sunday, April 09, 2006


another sunday night. cool outside, the rain has blown through leaving a blue evening to descend upon the dirty walls of the compound. the dog gnaws on a bone and the coffee is brewing.

in lit news, Bottle of Smoke Press is reading around 60 or 70 poems and a handful of letters for a forthcoming two volume chapbook set. this should be a beautiful work of art as Bill Roberts is a genius with the printed word. the title is and still the night left to go: poems and letters. also, check out the new Bottle #4, an all broadside magazine, each one individually letterpressed onto beautiful stock, it features around 20 poets including Charles Bukowski, justin.barrett, Alan Catlin, A.D. Winans and myself among others from good publisher Roberts. also, the book from sunnyoutside is moving right along, and should be titled very soon. david michael mcnamara is a true believer in the poem. he just put out William Taylor Jr's new book So Much Is Burning, which should be a good read. storms on the horizon, my friends... and I am working on a proper webpage that will include links to purchase older books, etc. look for it soon.

and can anybody believe our president and the Bush crime family?? jesus... how much of a hypocritical liar can anyone be and STILL have ANY credibility with ANYONE? I mean, when you "piss down our backs and tell us it's raining" and we smile and say THANK YOU, where do we go from here? it is insane. leaks from on high, stolen elections, illegal wiretaps, constitutional abuses par excellence, scandal, racketeering, the destruction of the middle and working classes, the rape of the religious right for politcal advancement, the consolidation of executive power, the giveaways to big corpocracies, the evisceration of the mainstream media, the high dollar propaganda, the deaths of 100,00 Iraqis and the deaths of thousands of american heroes, the rotting unconcern for the victims on the Gulf Coast, the demolition of all govt aid, the carelessness with which our vets are being treated, and all the other general skullfuckery. but as another famous crime family asserted:

"it's only business..."

and until we stand up and say NO MORE, it will continue no matter who is running the show because it's about CLASS people. it's about money. it's about power. it's about THE RING, the precious ring. it's about control.

reread 1984 and watch your backs.