UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
D.B.COX

puzzle box

again
it might be night
& it is
drunk here
in this room
too small to contain
my loneliness
mind gray
& vacant
searching the solitude
for clues
that might unlock
this chinese
fucking puzzle box
slow movement
forward
through another day
nothing left to say
that doesn’t sound
like nonsense
quiet anguish
as my imaginary
rushmore crumbles
& falls away-
how long
has this dust
been descending


have you seen bessie

leaning
on the bar
moaning low
notes darker
than a clarksdale
juke joint
ma rainey
approved
blue tones
painted
with smoke & whiskey

have you heard bessie
singing
songs shaped
in tragic grace
snapshots
of human hurt
framed in black
packaged & sold
like dirty photos
in plain-wrapped
envelopes of pain

have you seen bessie
racing
hell-bent
along mississippi
backroads
wheels humming
to the tune
of late-night radio
indigo empress
rolling
toward a place
where the highway ends


midnight falls on the cool

mind-enhanced masses
in barroom
communion
raise empty glasses
in half-assed salute
to karaoke jesus
with his new
crown-of-thorns
tattoo
singing the crucifixion
blues
over the simulated
pinfall of emulated
bowling alleys
while a reality show
rolls on a muted TV
modern art masterpiece
hanging from
a faux-brick wall
midnight falls
on the cool
me watching you
five fingers shaking
by a silver cellphone
praying
your connection
will call back soon


good saint shane
…for Shane McGowan


holding tight
to a mic stand
lifeline-
cigarette smoke
rising
from a shaky
right hand
pushing perfect songs
past a death-rattle
diaphragm
good saint shane
stumbling
toward grace
pissing
in the face
of the “everyday”
half-burnt brain cells
still flaring
across that magic
black box
half-cocked laugh
crackling
like static
from a broken radio
rock & roll water walker
playing out
the implications
of his holy part
peter pan poet
with a metronome heart
that keeps on beating
because it can


DB Cox can be found in the early-morning hours, bent over a Fender
Stratocaster, in roadhouses and juke joints throughout the south. He
describes his playing style as “a look at life through drunken, godless
eyes” To quiet his tortured soul, he writes. Two of his short stories, "Road
Like A River" and "Before Tomorrow" have been nominated for Pushcart
Prizes. He has published four books of poetry. His first chapbook is
entitled “Passing For Blue”, and is available from Rank Stranger Press. Two
other chapbooks, “Lowdown” and “Ordinary Sorrows”, are available from
Pudding House Publications. His latest collection called “Empty Frames” can
be picked up on-line at Main Street Rag Publishing.







© 2008 Underground Voices