rules of the road

August 26, 2012 § 2 Comments

rules of the road

there’s nothing in the rule book
that says you can’t
go on an endless walk

yet, somehow this has
been denigrated by history
the nomadic
the transient
the wanderers
all, it’s been taught,
have no place in a world
that thrives on
sedentary existence

look at them dying without
purpose, look at them
with nothing to offer us

the drifting isn’t
what kills the drifter
no, the bloodied hands
are those of
all the non drifters
occupying his room
with all of their misunderstanding
of his ways
filling his air with smog of
settling and anchoring
high tone talk of
social norms and responsibility

and though his room is
bigger than most
without walls, he can’t
get a peaceful survey
of his world under his belt
without being forced
to answer to
the interrogators

2012 Fred Whiteheaad

imagining what was in his head while walking by his door

August 24, 2012 § 4 Comments

my adrenaline well
dried up about the time I lost hope
of waltzing out of
the armed doors
to be among the
creatures so wonderfully rendered
in marble and scattered about
the landscaped perfection
of the grounds

even my occasional hobby of
measuring my degree of decrepitude
against that of the other residents
holds little interest
for me anymore

so I wait with
tenacious grasp
on the tether
for the man in the
starched smock to
pronounce soul blind
that the lives of my
children are now

but, levitation is another matter
at times, when all I can hear is
a room alarm blaring unanswered
in another part of the building

I float out of this bed
take my fishing gear down from
the garage wall
and stand knee deep
in a creek
my wife not ten yards away
in a straw hat and fashionable
sun glasses
reading the book
she was
reading the month
she left us

2012 Fred Whitehead

in case you’re looking

August 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

he can be found
in pool of mud morning
trying to suppress the experience
of becoming quadrupedal
with the help of tequila

or he can be found
laying at the bottom
of the sea of love
like a eunuch eel
bloating himself on
on endless bland diet
of disinterest

or he can be found
measuring the gap in-between
his front teeth to see if it is
wide enough for all of his
borrowed books to get through

or he can be found
elbow deep in the brine
of his brain fishing for thoughts
he set aside for greater things
now that those greater things
have died like fleas in a blizzard

or he can be found anywhere
that’s not here
now that here has become
somewhere he wants not to be

2012 Fred Whitehead

well, that’s eleven so far

August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

from behind the table of
unsold books I look out
at the sea of illiterati
swaying drunk on
the lawn in front of
The Casino Building
as it is known

my only entertainment
is provided by an ill designed
step leading to
where we hapless
merchants languish in
our assigned area

this nefarious riser
is, by my reckoning,
a good two and an eighth inches
taller than the others before it

giving the hootenanny set
just enough time to get
comfortable with
their inebrious navigation upward

then I watch over the rim
of my reading glasses
as one after
another goes down
eyes wide
mouths open in preparation
for cursing the world

plastic glasses of beer
and an occasional hot dog
jettisoned from hands that
are instinctively
repositioned for impact

it’s not a long or a hard fall
for any of them
the only thing facing damage
would have been pride
had it not been drowned three
beers ago

no, they get up, all
and stagger off
leaving me to lick the tip
of my pencil as would
any good accountant
before making another hash mark
on the napkin in front of me

I guess we’ll stay

August 18, 2012 § 5 Comments

now that the children have
taken root
all around her yard
and have sent shoots
out of their own

she has become


August 18, 2012 § 4 Comments

no door to slam
in the face of the twisted
my window is without
sill or sash and
the crazies are constantly
peering in at me as if
I’m the demented
maybe I am
or will be
the night is self producing
it’s offspring run their
talons down my
as I try to read their lips
now that I’ve shut my
ears to
their diatribe of dread
but it’s still the same
unintelligible fear
the dark gets deeper
their lips never stop

2012 Fred Whitehead


August 17, 2012 § 4 Comments

I have laid
my thumb open
the jagged edge

of a can of
I opened

desiring tropical lunch

but, now I’m
and search for
a bandage
as a widow
my age
opens a package
of figs
near Carthage

but, of course,
of her
I am unaware
as I
open the window
for air

and abandon
the can of pineapple
on the counter
near the kitchen

Kids universal

August 15, 2012 § 7 Comments

the absolute persistence
of the Crescent Moon
its’ back arched
as it tugs at the leash
held by Venus
who keeps pulling
him toward Jupiter

who has run ahead,
hurrying for no reason
across the eastern sky

it’s not stubbornness
on the Moons part really
as much as it is curiosity,

for Mercury is tagging
behind the rest
filling pockets
with treasures
and teasing him
with something shiny

something shiny
with a long crystal tail

son of the system

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

oh, rapture!
this cubicle of concrete
this glory
this grey womb
this cocoon with chrysalis in
extant suspension
hold me, I beg, in your
razored arms hold me close
to your hard dry bosom
let me dissolve
into a silver stream
of nothing
rock me into endless sleep
stone me with your institution eyes
shroud me in your docket leaves
educate me
with your sweet bludgeons
feed me on rations of shame
clothe me in castoff flags
remind me with
your distance
that I am
your son

2012 Fred Whitehead

he knows only the rain

August 12, 2012 § 4 Comments

July blinked awake,
like a retiree coming out
of a nap,
to the low end
bellow of a bullfrog

singing to the cycle,
evoking the ancestors
to explain

what it was
that moved him
in this controlled forward fall

through the zodiacal
display of fireflies
above his boggy territory

and what it was
about the rain that
always made him take to
the road with others

like himself
dodging rolling beasts
in the downpour

leaving the young behind
to lose their tails
and break the surface

he may well hear their
chorus of longing the
next time the sky
resets its signs

but for now
he knows only the rain
and how
it keeps him moving

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