madly backwards

sirens sing
junkies to sleep
on the stairway
of the sunset hotel

old hopes fade
& dance away
madly backwards

rain reclaims
worn tire tracks
of piss-yellow cabs
pointed cross town

by gypsy hacks --
insomniacs from new york,
new jersey, new delhi
chasing american dreams

down empty streets --
red, white & blue illusions
slipping into the darkness
of rearview mirrors

lost in the shadows
of sacred skyscrapers
that sigh & bend
in the wind

old myths fade
& dance away
madly backwards

stories to tell

“so don’t tell me to shut up about the war or I might pull
something from my head, from my head, from my head that you
wouldn’t want to see, and whoever the people are, might be
offended…” – Bruce Weigl, “Apparition Of The Exile”

in the “world”
with stories to tell

about things
he’s seen
brutal, frightening

sometimes beautiful
things in vivid
heartbreaking detail

but as silence
walks him down easy
hometown streets

the tales die
inside his heart --
irrelevant recollections

that once burned
in the dark

cold as the ghosts
who breathed them

& he begins
to comprehend
how these shapes

into his soul
are only words

& understands
how truly alone
he is


pushed too hard
we’ve got what
they paid for

babyface terminators
bent by a common

traveling, strapped,
across school yards –
attack dogs

shaped by hungry
beasts of prey
who have always
stalked hallways

of lower learning
while helpless

in the glass
of classroom windows
keep turning pages –

the answer
that might slow
this crazy breakdown
will show itself soon

D.B. Cox is a blues musician/poet, originally from South Carolina. After graduating
from high school in 1966, he did a four year stint with the U.S. Marines, then moved
to Boston to attend the Berklee School of Music, where he eventually found the blues
circuit. He loves writing for the same reason he loves playing the guitar-a way to
communicate how he feels at a given time, on a given day. He now resides in
Watertown, Massachusetts. His writing has been published online in Zygote In My
Coffee, Remark, Underground Voices, Dubliner Quarterly and others, and in print in
Aesthetica, Snow Monkey, My Favorite Bullet and Open Wide Magazine.

© 2005 Underground Voices