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J. M. Hallett

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Salida, CO, US

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Neither Wild nor Yonder, Blue

by

J. M. Hallett

Out of the blue
I ran into an old classmate
A woman, now
Whom I'd dated when she was a girl
Chance encounters are always unsettling
But we gave reminiscing a whirl
And I know we were happy to meet again
And we chatted as old friends do
We covered the weather, our families
And old times...
Just to name a few
But the whole time she was talking
I was driving myself insane
Searching the wild blue yonder
Probing cobwebbed voids in my brain
For any clue, image or notion
That might help me remember her name


Excrementia (Polite Translation: Excrement for brains)

by

J. M. Hallett

Lay open the bean
that encapsulates time
Cut away the sludge
Slice through the rind
And once you’re in
tell me what do you find
Compassionate mercy?
No, nothing of the kind
Love or sincerity?
I see no signs
The maniacal ego?
Yep, it’s everywhere
Stubbornness and greed?
Yes, they’re both in there
along with hatred,
perversion and despair
What about honesty?
None I can tell
But deceit is prolific
it permeates each cell
Well, what’s down deeper
below all that?
Hmmm_ well, as we suspected
another layer of crap!

Closing the Dharma Mall

by

J. M. Hallett

The Way, lost
And Man
So too, this planet earth
All come to naught
Obscured, erased
Obliterated
Neither on the horizon
Nor in the heavens yon
Gone
Ah, what could have been
Should have been
Had the Words been done
Words so simple they smother
"What you do not wish upon yourself
Do not extend to others"
But alas
On deaf ears, these Words fell
Was it greed?
War?
Religion?
Or another?
Matters not
Adios my sisters and brothers

Fiery Rain (A Migraine Vision)

by

J. M. Hallett

Molten shrapnel falls
Miniature flaming dodge balls
Rooftops burn
Icy lakes now churn
Except there, where the moon reflects
atop the azure lagoon
To stone, that spot doth turn
Pock marked golden orb, half submerged
Neo-evangelicals, towards Neverland, trudge
on asphalt rapidly becoming oily sludge
The Rapture is upon us, they cry
yet nary a one is lifted on high
Birds take wing, afraid to light
only to drift down like snowflakes
as their tiny hearts explode in flight
Motley mendicants swagger
now that those that had, have not
Dogmatic politicians are joyfully trampled
their soulless ethics left to rot
But all those memories are dying fast
in a cacophony of cascading screams
A song playing over a PA system is stuck on
"From every mountainside, let freedom ring"
Ghost riders gallop across a fiery sky
Burning angel’s wings foul the air
Lovers embrace as loving eyes
reflect uncertain stares
And Mount Olympus crumbles
while black dogs howl as dragons fall
and its vengeful Gods goddamn us all

Around the Bend

by

J. M. Hallett

I fly tonight, free
Away from the madness
From you
Slicing through the darkness
As the highway screams beneath me
I burn the frigid night
She holds me now
A good fit, she
Scorching midnight blue Le Mans, 1963
Together, we'll escape
Around the next bend, perhaps
Some off ramp where infatuation ends
Or further down the road
I’ll know it when I see it
Like those rest-stops where phantoms mend
Dotting the roads to Bethlehem
Escape, for all, you see, will always be
Just around the bend

Put the Cat Out

by

J. M. Hallett

Will someone put the cat out, please?
It's causing much alarm.
The neighbor set its tail on fire
And it’s heading for the barn.
With all the hay that's stored in there,
The place could go up fast.
So douse that frightened feline quick,
Then kick the neighbor’s ass!

Justicia

by

J. M. Hallett

She stood upon criticism, high
Head above the water
A maelstrom of nickel-plated fear
Swirled ‘round and gave no quarter
Deafening thunder, like a whip, bit hard
And oft times even harder
Vacuity’s acidic conservative reign
Sought her, caught her, fought her
"There's fight left in me still," cried she
"Of me nor mine, thy will not make a martyr
It's for all of you I do this, true
Every mother’s son and daughter"

No Rest for the Weary

by

J. M. Hallett

A long and bumpy road, it’s been
With many turns and twists
This day he wants to rest a while
Kick back and reminisce
He rolls along the arbor path
To sit beneath the trees
Just relax his weary bones a bit
And feel the gentle breeze
But before he even locks his wheels
His cat wakes from its nap
Climbs up on his legs to sit
And throws up in his lap

Ghost Dance

by

J. M. Hallett

Dust devils whirl
O’er the ones who stayed
Those interred few
Who couldn’t move away

The little town, itself
Long ago labeled ‘ghost’
Where once were saloons
That drained many a poke

Where a one-room school
Offered the basics, fast
To the children in town
All sharing one class

Where a hotel towered
Two stories above
Complete with a brothel
And two soiled doves

Where numerous store-fronts
And log cabins stood
The remains now recycled
Oft used as firewood

And with each passing rain
Even rubble strewn ‘round
Barely visible now
Sinks ever lower, down

The old road, though, still
Across the valley, winds
And one dusty lane
Cuts back through the pines

And up against the hills
Wide across the park
Mines still scar the land
Ever deep, ever dark

And ghosts still lament
Their dirge ever shrill
As they slow dance each night
Atop Cemetery Hill

Upon Spying an Ex

by

J. M. Hallett

He caught a glimpse of her today
Just beyond Yore’s attic door
Looking now just like she did
Some forty years before

She had not changed a single bit
In all those years gone past
As he looks into his mirror now
He certainly can’t say that

"Of course you can't," thinks he
As escapes the all-knowing groan
"Could any human e’er compare
To some ageless Kodachrome?"

The Night the Cabin Burned

by

J. M. Hallett

You see how cold, Skaoi
There upon the snow
Cold eyes, cold heart, cold hands
Icicle spears she throws
Pile on the logs, Loki
As we dream of heat, pile high
That glowing embers fly
And old hooked rugs ignite
Thaw this cabin, tall
Warm us one and all
Glorious flaming warmth
Wall to wall, to wall_

Justicia

by

J. M. Hallett

She stood upon criticism, high
Head above the water
A maelstrom of nickel-plated fear
Swirled ‘round and gave no quarter
Deafening thunder, like a whip, bit hard
And oft times even harder
Vacuity’s acidic conservative reign
Sought her, caught her, fought her
"There's fight left in me still," cried she
"Of me nor mine, thy will not make a martyr
It's for all of you I do this, true
Every mother’s son and daughter"

No Rest for the Weary

by

J. M. Hallett

A long and bumpy road, it’s been
With many turns and twists
This day he wants to rest a while
Kick back and reminisce
He rolls along the arbor path
To sit beneath the trees
Just relax his weary bones a bit
And feel the gentle breeze
But before he even locks his wheels
His cat wakes from its nap
Climbs up on his legs to sit
And throws up in his lap

Ghost Dance

by

J. M. Hallett

Dust devils whirl
O’er the ones who stayed
Those interred few
Who couldn’t move away

The little town, itself
Long ago labeled ‘ghost’
Where once were saloons
That drained many a poke

Where a one-room school
Offered the basics, fast
To the children in town
All sharing one class

Where a hotel towered
Two stories above
Complete with a brothel
And two soiled doves

Where numerous store-fronts
And log cabins stood
The remains now recycled
Oft used as firewood

And with each passing rain
Even rubble strewn ‘round
Barely visible now
Sinks ever lower, down

The old road, though, still
Across the valley, winds
And one dusty lane
Cuts back through the pines

And up against the hills
Wide across the park
Mines still scar the land
Ever deep, ever dark

And ghosts still lament
Their dirge ever shrill
As they slow dance each night
Atop Cemetery Hill

Upon Spying an Ex

by

J. M. Hallett

He caught a glimpse of her today
Just beyond Yore’s attic door
Looking now just like she did
Some forty years before

She had not changed a single bit
In all those years gone past
As he looks into his mirror now
He certainly can’t say that

"Of course you can't," thinks he
As escapes the all-knowing groan
"Could any human e’er compare
To some ageless Kodachrome?"

The Night the Cabin Burned

by

J. M. Hallett

You see how cold, Skaoi
There upon the snow
Cold eyes, cold heart, cold hands
Icicle spears she throws
Pile on the logs, Loki
As we dream of heat, pile high
That glowing embers fly
And old hooked rugs ignite
Thaw this cabin, tall
Warm us one and all
Glorious flaming warmth
Wall to wall, to wall_

Broken Hearted Retarded Love

by

J. M. Hallett

Alexis crawled through ancient lava beds
Then bled in the pools of Gylong
The pale blue waters turned crimson red
As the Lyrebird stole The Raven's song

Seems all for naught, was the love she gave
For her Retardo knew only one smile
And that was that big ol' ear-to-ear grin
That was buried 'neath Lucinda's woodpile

Detectives asked why the moon had shattered
Instead of splintering like the sun
But all her beloved Retardo would say
Was, "It was shot with a different gun"

Sagebrush and Miles of Nothing

by

J. M. Hallett

Desert princess, you run beside me
on your dried mud horse, crumbling
Black ribbon to nowhere_
To everywhere
Darkening silver cumulous sponges
threatening to explode
Please unload
Soak this sage, this vile sneeze-brush
Cleanse the air
Wash away her earthen steed
and my cares, perhaps
superficial though they may be
Desert princess
I see you hiding in your swirling funnel now
hurling tumbleweeds and dust in my direction
But I understand_
For you simply have nothing better to offer
in this your Abaddon realm
But soon you'll ride a mudslide in my rear-view
And I'll strain to see the white lines
through the heavenly deluge
Straight and true, I’ll fly
Self delusional?
Well perhaps_ but blue, so very blue
A simple, broken man in need of a fix
in need of you
A thousand miles away today
I tell myself, "Just hold on, hold on
You’ll be there soon
And she will finally play for you
her determinative healing tune"

Unbearable

by

J. M. Hallett

Unbearable, oh Lord
Almost always are we
How well this
The whole world doth know

Still, we ask you please
To grant us wisdom
That compassion
And restraint we may show

For surely the route
To cataclysmic war
Is not the sanest
Nor the wisest way to go

Yet for wisdom
We, sadly, must ask you again
For blood the world over
We've already made flow

War-Ending Promises Made

by

J. M. Hallett

Promises made
Meant not to keep
Only to deceive
To lull to sleep

Teeth shine bright
Through bloody lips
Madness cackles
Phantom fingers grip
As eyeless sockets
Black as coal
Reflect the still
Tormented souls

Too, ghastly screams
With sobs intermix
As laughter booms
From those transfixed
On crimson pools
Like mirrors, bright
That seize the moon's
Dire, spectral light

And promises made
Meant not to keep
Too late exposed
Humanity weeps

Behind Her Smile

by

J. M. Hallett

Behind her smile
Way, way in the back
There's some freaky stuff, man
Scary, like a heart attack
Cold and dark... and final
Stuff from which one cannot run
So, I'll tell you what
Let's just not go there
Whadda you say
We just keep it all out in front
With the glitz and the cameras
And the glamour and style
And not venture back there
Behind her smile

Supercilious Prig-Brain, Jane

by

J. M. Hallett

Don't close your mind to everything
Or you'll miss some wondrous jewels.
Besides, who wants to go through life
A provincial little fool?
There's a whole big world out there
That doesn't revolve around you.
So crawl from your darkened tunnel
And let your light shine true.
There are green lizard-men about,
And conspiracy theories galore.
So abandon your myopic path,
Kick open those restraining doors,
And hop aboard a silver disc
And let your psyche soar.

The Missing Part

by

J. M. Hallett

Her full-length mirror shattered
And pieces scattered
All around the floor
In one sliver, he spied an eye
In another an ear
Another, a nose
Still other shards
Held different parts
Which ran from head to toe
So piece by piece
Like a jigsaw
He began to reconstruct
But the last little bit
For the final fit
Never did show up
After searching for the part
Which held her heart
Day after day... after day
He finally quit
Packed up to split
And threw the whole mess away

The Telephone Pole Cross

by

J. M. Hallett

A blackbird drops its chalky white discontent
onto the shiny red Thunderbird parked below its
leafy perch, while its cohorts chatter in unison,
eighty-eight strong, trying and coax the loner to
the power lines and the telephone pole cross that
resembles that where Jesus of Nazareth spilled
his own discontent onto a blood-thirsty earth.

Although, then, no birds atop his cross did chatter.
Only the dry, raspy whisper of his barely audible
words, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not
what they do," could be heard, as his beloved Mary
Magdalene pleaded silently below his blood-dripping
feet for death to swiftly end his unjust misery.

"No father should put his son through this," she
screamed inside her throbbing head, as she asked
for forgiveness not.

The Decider

by

J. M. Hallett

Children once lovely
So vital, so free
Now only memories
Frozen in sleep
Loved ones, they mourned
‘Til again they could live
But they’ll never forget
They’ll never forgive

And that evil "Decider"
That sick little chief
Only pretended to pray
Never shared in their grief
That arrogant fool
So despicably vile
Soiled all their graves
With the piss of denial
That smirking little imp
Who dishonored us all
Only piled up more dead
Just to soften his fall

Love's Ghosts

by

J. M. Hallett


Funny thing, love
How falling in
Brings two so close
But how falling out
Turns them into ghosts

And funny thing, those ghosts
How some fade to memory
Soon as love shuts its door
But how others hang around
And haunt for evermore

Rumor Has It

by

J. M. Hallett

You worry too much, perhaps
About what others think
Who cares if your life’s a mess
While their lives are rosy and pink?
For, of course, theirs really aren't, you know
They're adrift in this wasteland, too
Life, it seems, is simply a maize
We all must navigate through
And some go fast
Others don't
Some will try hard
Still others won't
Many are even enlightened, somewhat
While others have not a clue
And from the latter, come the ones, it seems
Who feel they must focus on you

Mother’s Day

by

J. M. Hallett

It’s Mother’s Day,
This Sunday in May.
Many children
Going home today.
She longs for hers,
It’s been three years.
My, how she’s worried.
My, how she’s feared.
And oh how she’s prayed,
As she’s shed her tears.
But the time has come,
He’s almost home.
She was told around six
On the telephone.
It’s strange, she thinks,
That she feels so alone.
What will she do?
What will she say?
Will she hide behind laughter?
Will she voice her pain?
She decides that her faith
Will show her the way.
So she paces the floor
‘Til at last she hears
A voice outside,
As footsteps near.
She hears the screen open,
Then comes the knock,
And at last her son’s home,
In his flag draped box.

Desperation Acrostic

by

J. M. Hallett

Desperation Acrostic

Desperate, this situation
In which we are mired:
Court appointed hawks with
Kingly, covetous desires.
Cold hearted, these villains,
Hopelessly criminal, their reign.
Each new scheme so
Nasty, so completely insane.
Each one so misguided, it
Yields misery and pain.

Generous only to those
Evil like themselves.
Offering power and
Riches, yes, fabulous wealth.
Giving them our resources,
Even our forests so green,
While millions suffer and die
Beneath their war machine.
Under their iron-fisted rule, we
Surely can' survive. We MUST
Hasten to regain our will to survive.

The New Sitcom

by

J. M. Hallett

The funniest show ever
They swore ‘twould be
Packed with mirth
And hilarity
A genuine, bonafide
Can't-miss must-see
So when it debuted
I watched the TV
But the only thing funny
Seriously
Was that nothing about it
Seemed funny to me

Broken Glass

by

J. M. Hallett

A slippery glass fell from my counter, down
Shattering o’er the kitchen floor
I picked, I swept, I vacuumed, I mopped
‘Til that floor shined, door to door

Last night, an entire year later, though
While barefoot in the kitchen, dark
From hiding, a transparent sliver did shoot
Straight and true to its fleshy mark

Catch and Release

by

J. M. Hallett

Many an evening after work, he took
the path beside the old fence near his
home that led down the boulder-strewn
hill to his favorite trout pools.

Beside the turquoise waters, beneath
the pine, birch and willow trees, he
could relax and let the many layers of
his stress-filled day fall away.

Most of those evenings he would catch
and release, but on many occasions his
family did sup on freshly caught trout.

They weren’t particularly fond of them,
but they didn’t complain, for he would
be in a good mood those nights after
he fished.

His little children, on their way home
from school or play, would pray, "Dear
Lord, please let this be one of daddy’s
fishing days."

What’s Good for the Goose

by

J. M. Hallett

An Exxon executive named Lee
Drove a giant red phallic Humvee.
But it gulped so much gas
His neighbors kicked his ass,
Then turned his 'Vee' into debris.

Well ol' Lee, he sobbed and sobbed,
Said, "I feel like I've just been robbed."
But his neighbors just laughed,
And said, "Lee, we did that
'Cause you're a gluttonous, self-absorbed snob."

"Well, this is still America," whimpered he.
"So I can do as I damn well please!"
But his neighbors explained,
"That after Bush/Cheney's reign
It's no longer the land of the free."

Flawed

by

J. M. Hallett

Oft flawed, the human web
Allowing that so dark to flee
What escapes, it’s said, the evil
In us all... presumably
For the hand that tortures another
'Till walls are splattered red
Is the same that tucks so gently
The infant into bed

‘Twas Black We Was (Old Soldier’s Lament)

by

J. M. Hallett

"We rose above Ebanezer, I think, but still_
Young scalp-taking fool
He abandoned the farm and grew teeth
Shark’s teeth, in rows of three - always bloody
But sometimes just being a patriot is not enough
Besides, in those days, when it rained, it poured
No mere drizzle back then, no siree
And we were far, far beyond the red
Or the white, or the blue
When we raped and strangled the young girls
Then massacred all
When we burned those villages
‘Twas black we was - soul’s black as coal"

Desperation

by

J. M. Hallett

D esperate, this situation
I n which we are mired:
C ourt appointed hawks with
K ingly, covetous desires.
C old hearted, these villains,
H opelessly criminal, their reign.
E ach new scheme so
N asty, so completely insane.
E ach one so misguided, it
Y ields misery and pain.

G enerous only to those
E vil like themselves.
O ffering power and
R iches, yes, fabulous wealth.
G iving them our resources,
E ven our forests so green,
W hile millions suffer and die
B eneath their war machine.
U nder their iron-fisted rule, we
S urely can’t survive. We MUST
H asten to regain our will to survive.

Cheney

by

J. M. Hallett

People were always comparing
Dick Cheney with ol’ Dick Nixon
But Cheney had his Patriot Act
And his Guantanomo Bay detentions
He had his secret prisons in Europe
And his black-ops and dirty-pools
And by corrupting the Justice Department
He was assured he could break any rule
He made sure that always behind him
Was the machinery of the state
And as he wielded his demonic powers
He made Nixon look like a saint
That monster was more in a league
With Hussein or Pinochet
And how many have "disappeared," I fear
He may never be made to say

Cowards and Such

by

J. M. Hallett

Can we really call one a hero
Who would fly a plane on high
To napalm or bomb civilians
Yet ne’er even see them die
Who, as children and babies perish
In a bombardier-made hell
Would land their plane
Have a few drinks
And pretend that all is well

Monsanto’s Lice

by

J. M. Hallett

Outward they trudge
From the bowels of hell
Past thawing bergs of ice
Beneath hills and heels of corporate mandate
Through paddies and fields
Beyond domain heists
Cloaking a self-serving
Global agenda-splice
Sewing transgenic corn
And genome rice
Those genetically mutated kernels
Of ill health and strife
The bastards are bottom dealing
From a pockmarked deck
And throwing loaded dice
From the backs of seven legged laboratory mice
Mosquito smiles, belladonna nice
Sickeningly sweet, aspartamic spice
Across the pate of fate
March Monsanto's lice

NAFTA, CAFTA (And what comes afta)

by

J. M. Hallett

On the backs of starving children,
His fortune was made.
And every day he thanks God
For his little third world slaves.

Hurricane George

by

J. M. Hallett

You destroyed their hopes
With your rigged elections
You destroyed their faith
Or you tried, anyway
As you nervously, yet deliberately
Allowed the first 3,000 to perish
You used that to hold a gun to their heads
As you shackled them with fear
You stripped away their rights
As you turned neighbor against neighbor
You pummeled them with ridicule
As your fascist spies hid to watch them react
You forced them to fund your own personal
Trillion dollar wars
Then murdered untold thousands
Perhaps millions
As there can never be an accurate count
And for eight long and torturous years
You and your cohorts held the nation hostage
As you skipped like giddy school children
Across the corpses of those cut down
By war, recession and abject poverty
And you laughed all the way to the bank
And, as it turns out, your destructive force
Was a thousand times worse
For the country... for the entire planet
Than Hurricanes Osama or Sadam
Could have ever hoped to be
Even in their most horrendous hurricane dreams

On the Border Between Life and Death

by

J. M. Hallett

Life hides
When death knocks
A coyote howls
A rabbit stops
Perks her ears
Then on she hops
To a secluded spot
‘Til darkness falls
To await the piercing
Horned Owl claws

In the fading light
An immigrant hides
From the vigilante
Minuteman’s eyes
With his string of scalps
His xenophobic pride
And his 44
Strapped to his side
Still, only The Reaper
Knows who will ride
With him this night
And who will slide

Survival’s the quest
Down on the border
Between life and death

A Bell of Freedom Peals

by

J. M. Hallett

Fear keeps all but anxiety out
Its walls like armor plate
No means of entry or escape
Nary a window, door or gate

Though, know a bell of freedom peals
From yon heavens, loud above
And beyond impenetrable walls, always
Will circle hope and love

‘Mad Dog’ Jones (As told by Cpl. Byrd Leggs)

by

J. M. Hallett

It took Private Jones
about six months to make his necklace,
and he wore it with pride.
When it became time for him to muster out,
it had grown to nearly three feet long.
But when Captain Sputz
(we called him that behind his back
for he had a slight stutter)
told him he'd have to leave it behind,
he whimpered like a whipped child.
I think he pouted for a week over that.
And under his breath,
he threatened, several times, to frag ol’ Sputzie.
But listen, that fool, Mad Dog,
used to make those captured girls do unspeakable things.
And it's really strange what they would do -
just how far they would go.
I think they could see the evil,
or maybe feel it lurking, just behind his eyeballs.
Not one of them ever escaped him, though,
and few made it out of his grasp alive.
I think, deep down, he simply hated women.
He must have loved their ears, though,
for he truly cherished that grotesque necklace.
When Private Nunoz shot and killed him,
the night before he was to get his ride out,
not one of us betrayed her trust.
We all knew she had her reasons.
And besides, it was nobody's business
but hers and Mad Dogs.
His family, of course, was told he died a hero,
fighting for freedom_ and democracy and such.

Prairie Morn Awakening, 1863

by

J. M. Hallett

Dim’s the light comes shining
Through eiseny window panes
Still, that dawn’s light, amber
Makes somehow modest gains
And lights our hard-dirt floor
Lights too our dugout’s sides
Slips o’er our bed of silken straw
Like a fearful child might slide
To finally rest against thy face
And assault thine sleepy eyes

Tremors and Shakes

by

J. M. Hallett

He hoed many a row
When he was but a kid
Throughout his formative years
That’s just what he did
And planes, they oft flew low
Spraying insecticides on the crop
But never did he shed his hoe
Never did he stop
He just breathed it in
That’s simply how it was done
But perhaps that's why he shakes so now
At the age of fifty-one

Who Might Have Known Me

by

J. M. Hallett

"Who might have known me had I lived
back then," he wonders, not wanting to
be living now. "Those that know me now,
cannot, for I forbid it," he mumbles, as
he sits alone at the playground’s edge.
Although, he is known to many, and all
too well, it would seem. "Would I have
liked myself back then? Would I have
been able to defeat bullies - been able
to vanquish them handily and save fair
damsels in distress," he wonders, as he
wipes the tears from his eyes, and the
blood from his nose and his swelling lip.

Defective Fodder

by

J. M. Hallett

Another nameless Vet was he
Expendable
Chewed up and spit out by the military
Nam or Iraq One
No matter really
Paranoid
Ravaged by the Orange or the DU
Sick in body
Sick in mind
Schizophrenic at times
Alone
Living under the bridge overlooking the park
He’d seen a lot I suppose
Perhaps a lot more than anyone should
Poor soul
Police said it was kids
Gang-bangers, we’re told

Enabling the Hate-filled Lunatic Fringe

by

J. M. Hallett

Blindfolded, she faltered
Feeling the heat
Dare she risk going forward
Perhaps burning her feet?

"Just continue on
Stray not from the line"
Droned the hypnotized flock
"Everything’s fine"

And believing, of course
Their design to be higher
She moved foolishly forth
Naught but fanning their fire

Beneath the After-bloom

by

J. M. Hallett

Comes death
And its not-so-clever ending
Like water
Falling, flowing
Clinging, clawing... smothering
Our lack of knowledge
Allows others to kill
And upon each demise
Rides darkness... sneering
For all evil is born of good
Brazen at times
Flaunting
Sneaking, at others
Like a thief in the night

U.S. of A. Fantasé Café

by

J. M. Hallett

Two skinheads dine alfresco
On cheese and wine this day
Near an old Jew and a Muslim
Sharing a cod filet
Too, doth every ethnicity
And religion, too, per se
Enjoy the progressive ambiance
Of this open-air café
As do devoted couples
Several openly gay
A utopian eatery, no doubt
Might any observer say
But since conservative intolerance
Is the usual hateful sway
Could e’re Americans... anywhere
Embrace this accepting place?

The Dumbty Wall

by

J. M. Hallett

The world’s power elite
How pathetic these changelings?
Like a gang of bloated
Humpty-dumpties
chasing one another around
with giant eggbeaters
So paranoid
So dangerously inbred
So selfishly greedy
So goddamned stupid
They’re willing to scramble us all

Millions Dead... and Counting

by

J. M. Hallett

The political tyranny
Exercised by the lords
Of the petroleum industry
And their greed-fueled
Political lackeys
Corrupts our democracy
Overwhelmingly...
Completely
And it annihilates any ability
We may have had
To choose just how much
We are willing to sacrifice
In the name of prehistoric sludge

Migraine

by

J. M. Hallett

Again, she's trapped
On the far edge of the horizon
Unable to escape
Pressed tightly against
The starry darkness
This pain-riddled immobile lump
With each heartbeat
A hundred pounding brain-throbs
Each eye-blink, excruciating
Pushing, stretching
Will it rip... this blackness?
Will it spill out, this madness?
"Oh sweet relief," she moans
"Where art thou hiding now?"

One-night Stand

by

J. M. Hallett

They're trying to strike oil
Faulty pump
Dry well
He's yawning... slipping fast
Her focus is on the candle
It almost keeps her head from spinning
Three Cuervos too many
Her mind is a long, dark
Slowly revolving
Cement-mixer-like tunnel
In which, that dreadfully awful
'Your Cheatin' Heart' song
Keeps echoing somewhere in the distance

Revulsion

by

J. M. Hallett

As he is lowered into his highchair
And the tray's pushed against his belly
He stares at his mini sandwich
Where he sees a cream-like substance
The color of slightly aged ivory
Seemingly trying to escape
From the crustless edges of the bread
Spying this, he clenches his little fists
Shakes his head, like a bull seeing red
And, "No," he shouts, in rebellion
"No, No, No!" - for he hates this stuff

A strong word, hate
But as any compassionate, caring adult
Must certainly feel about, say...
The Ayran Brotherhood
The Ku Klux Klan
Or any other group as ignorant
As malicious, as despicable...
So too must this two-year-old feel
About mayonnaise
The most vile of the sandwich spreads

Millions Dead... and Counting

by

J. M. Hallett

The political tyranny
Exercised by the lords
Of the petroleum industry
And their greed-fueled
Political lackeys
Corrupts our democracy
Overwhelmingly...
Completely
And it annihilates any ability
We may have had
To choose just how much
We are willing to sacrifice
In the name of prehistoric sludge

Migraine

by

J. M. Hallett

Again, she's trapped
On the far edge of the horizon
Unable to escape
Pressed tightly against
The starry darkness
This pain-riddled immobile lump
With each heartbeat
A hundred pounding brain-throbs
Each eye-blink, excruciating
Pushing, stretching
Will it rip... this blackness?
Will it spill out, this madness?
"Oh sweet relief," she moans
"Where art thou hiding now?"

One-night Stand

by

J. M. Hallett

They're trying to strike oil
Faulty pump
Dry well
He's yawning... slipping fast
Her focus is on the candle
It almost keeps her head from spinning
Three Cuervos too many
Her mind is a long, dark
Slowly revolving
Cement-mixer-like tunnel
In which, that dreadfully awful
'Your Cheatin' Heart' song
Keeps echoing somewhere in the distance

Revulsion

by

J. M. Hallett

As he is lowered into his highchair
And the tray's pushed against his belly
He stares at his mini sandwich
Where he sees a cream-like substance
The color of slightly aged ivory
Seemingly trying to escape
From the crustless edges of the bread
Spying this, he clenches his little fists
Shakes his head, like a bull seeing red
And, "No," he shouts, in rebellion
"No, No, No!" - for he hates this stuff

A strong word, hate
But as any compassionate, caring adult
Must certainly feel about, say...
The Ayran Brotherhood
The Ku Klux Klan
Or any other group as ignorant
As malicious, as despicable...
So too must this two-year-old feel
About mayonnaise
The most vile of the sandwich spreads

The Edge

by

J. M. Hallett

A man crept over to the Edge
And gazed into the abyss
Dark it was, yet hazy... and loud
Not at all as he had guessed

He flicked in the butt of his cigarette
A small gust gave thanks with a kiss
It took him by surprise, though
And as he jerked back, it missed

He always felt had it landed square
Had he not been quite so remiss
Losing the blues might be at the bottom
Instead of the top of his list

Another Burp

by

J. M. Hallett

Thrice seven rifles fire
Then bagpipes trail
As the hopes and dreams
Of eighteen years
Are laid to rest
Another AR-15 ordered
Another ten thousand rounds
Another marble cross
Another wooden box
Another polyester flag
Another burp
For a crippled economy
Fueled by the deaths
Of the children
Of our less fortunate poor

The Hall Closet

by

J. M. Hallett

He still has nightmares
About that cave
So spooky and dark
With bones all over the floor
He could be trapped there
For hours on end
Afraid to go near the door
Too scared to uncover his ears
For fear of the Boogeyman's roar
He was often told
There'd be blood and gore
If he moved before he was freed
When he was a child of four

In the Aftermath

by

J. M. Hallett

After the armies have destroyed our city
After they've rumbled on through
Are we to hide in the ruins and watch
While next the militias descend upon us
Like buzzards... like jackals
To squabble over our food
To steal our treasures and rape our young
To contaminate our crops, our stores
Are we to hide then in the bushes along the trail
And slice the achiles tendons of the laggards
Marching by on their way to the next rubble heap
Leaving them helpless, to slowly perish
Naught but carrion for the wolves
Are we to make off with their canteens
Their knapsacks, their weapons...
To exist in the forests like feral dogs
No better perhaps then than they?

Garnering Little Applause

by

J. M. Hallett

They gazed upon their pyres back then
grinning... big ol' moronic grins, too
The way dogs or monkeys grin
when they roll their mouths
and show their gums and teeth
They really thought they had life by the tail
Of course, after they read the manual
a few years later
they realized it really had them
Still... they've persevered
Yet garnering little applause

Turd Blossom and His Bush Legacy Project

by

J. M. Hallett

I was told today that Karl Rove is writing a book
spinning George W. Bush's presidency - trying to
shine a positive light on an indisputably dark and
evil man. And in doing so, he plans on exposing all
of those that despise George W. Now, surely he
must only have a mere handful of Bush's political
enemies in mind, for to truly list all of the Bush
haters, worldwide, would no doubt deplete many,
many trees - and it would be a multi-encyclopedic
endeavor. Still, I sent him my name... just in case.

Oligarchical Nightmares

by

J. M. Hallett

There is evil in your survival
Now that hope has turned to stone
And you poke around the rubble
Picking clean the bones
Harvesting the prayers
Devouring them one and all
Every dream and aspiration
Every wish 'twas ever scrawled
Their only consolation
Those whose lives you've cycloned
Is in knowing that very soon now
You and yours shall be dethroned

Abstracted

by

J. M. Hallett

Beneath them, the bones
or the bodies, half eaten
of mariners and merchants
of slaves and of freemen
of runaways and tourists
of saints and of demons
Each clinging to the ribs
of lost vessels of seamen
Their lifelines, severed
like fishtails, now sway
cavorting with the currents
tattered and frayed
'Tis said 'neath the moon
standing watch all alone
weary sailors oft hear
their faint haunting moans
But beside the big yachts
anchored in the bays
on these, their carefree
vacation days
on tubes and on jet skis
they frolic and play
Oblivious to what's below
mere fathoms away

Sea Monkeys

by

J. M. Hallett

Above these ashen plains, we sit
O'er all their lunar grandeur
Us, having evolved from fish
Tree-climbing fish, I suppose
And, no doubt, quite dull in color
Hairy, ring tailed creatures then?
"Sea monkeys!"
We blurt in unison, then grin
While thorn bushes
Guard the entrance to our cave
And all who dwell therein

The Anthropomorphic Carving

by

J. M. Hallett

On the rock face above Gemstone Spring
There was an anthropomorphic carving
Not an ancient petroglyph, most believe
But quite old, nonetheless
Of a beautiful, full figured maiden
Nude, with angel's wings
A very soulful work of art - most serene
Sadly, though, an out-of-state church group
In search of minerals... like tourmaline
Took it upon themselves to destroy her
Citing, they believed the image obscene

Their Secret

by

J. M. Hallett

There was a secret she could not tell
Not to her mother, her friends...
Not to anyone
She scribbled it with her fat, eraserless pencil
On a pulpy page in her Big Chief tablet once
That was shortly after it happened
But that was years ago
When she was just a child
She ripped it out immediately, though, sobbing
And threw it into the fireplace

Today
She went to visit her priest on his deathbed
And she was finally able to rid herself
Of her emotionally crippling
Near-paralyzing burden
She did so by whispering to him
That he must carry her secret with him
So that it too
Could be consumed by the flames of hell

Waving Cash

by

J. M. Hallett

Slink now, away from our sight
For we cannot feed helpless babies
To vacuous, self-proclaimed angels
No matter how loud your pleas
Could not, can not
Would not, will not!
So take your golden halos
And your fiery cloaks of avarice
Out to the craggy
Point of Ravenous Conservatism
And candle there a lighthouse
That slave ships, and toxic tankers
And warships of every degree
Might find their way
To the soulless, fascist brokers
Lining our polluted shores...
Waving cash
That the world might lie in waiting
At last, to finally see

Diagnosis, Austere

by

J. M. Hallett

Don't give up just yet,
for Hope lingers, still.
She's out on the veranda now,
where she's challenged
the ol' Pale Rider himself.
They're chugging Blue Hungarians,
only mixed with special spirits.
She appears to be sliding,
ever so slowly, though,
beneath the rattan table.

The Parts Factory

by

J. M. Hallett

Engines go to die there
There, where a conscience is frightening
And where empathy's D.O.A.
Where smiles are painted on tight red lips
And the staff is cloaked in cotton-sewn indifference
Where sustenance tastes like wallpaper paste
And soiled bedsheets cover something sinister
Something glistening... something red, perhaps

Pigtown

by

J. M. Hallett

This must be where vultures come to feed
This vile town, stinking of stale beer and vomit
Of bad body odor, dump rot and raw sewage
Where cross burnings are still the norm
And lynchings are still used as a threat
Where redneck racists whirl o'er the graves
Of those murdered... and not all that long ago
Where they dance their ghoulish jig, slobbering
As they hark back upon their gory 'glory days'
While promising to whitewash this country... still

Spying an Old Friend Back Home

by

J. M. Hallett

Long neglected Goodyear
Proud winged foot of Mercury
Lifeless... Wingfootless, you hang
Beneath the aging hackberry tree
Your only rider, the wind
Bird droppings atop your rubbery skin
Hard black vulcanized skin
Dry and powdery now
Your hemp line, too, brittle and frayed
Frail as a centenarian's limb
Six lonely decades
With nary a child paying you mind
But feeling childlike and adventurous
In this, his seventieth year
He climbs aboard an old friend
Pull-line in hand
For one last exhilarating spin

Then and Now

by

J. M. Hallett

In the carefree days of your youth
You asked wary strangers for change
And with their charitable benefactions
You bought weed, food and wine
And you danced in the moonlight, content
Yet you wince as you pass today's needy
Callously ignoring their pleas

Sequacious Minions

by

J. M. Hallett

The ears are deaf now
The eyes are blind
They've become as one
Of a fascist mind
It's been all along
The supreme design
Social justice
Was so oft maligned
That humanitarianism's
Now dead on the vine

They Vacation a Lot

by

J. M. Hallett

When they were young,
they tried being hippies.
That didn't take.
After they came into money,
they became Republicans.
He slept around -
not a lot, but on occasion.
She let it slide.
Oh sure, she yelled some,
and she cried -
but what could she really do,
they had three children.
They visit their grandkids
one or two times a year now.
And they vacation a lot...
and they still eat a lot of meat.

What Would the Natives Think

by

J. M. Hallett

This Ancient creek runs foul
From the Cottonwood
To the River Red
Yellow waters
Past the factories, run
Now just a trickle
Stinging of sulfur
Of sewage... of death
Every stone
Covered with scunge
What would the natives
Think of her now
Those whose lives
Her waters sustained
Those who lived
Atop the surrounding hills
Who fished her waters
And hunted her banks
Those who left her
Pristine waters clean
What would they think
Of these modern-day fools
Who fought so dirty
And took her by force
Who choked her
And pissed all over her
Snickering
Then left her for dead
Who streamed on
In every direction
Like a human tsunami
Destroying
Laughing all the while

Dead Trout

by

J. M. Hallett

if their lives
had been a newspaper
his would have been
the comics
and the sports section
hers, the gossip
and entertainment
the rest, no doubt
simply used
to wrap dead trout

The Runaway

by

J. M. Hallett

He gazed into that shallow pool
That lavish plaza fountain
To see several hundred
Shimmering silver wishes
And one by one
He took those little dreams
And he stuffed his pockets
'Til his pants were soaked
That abused young runaway
Newly arrived in the city
Desperate, hungry and broke

At the Beach

by

J. M. Hallett

we sat on the beach
my old friend and I
drinking beer
watching girls go by
bikinied beauties
well sculpted, all
light and dark
both short and tall
girls we knew
had nothing to say
(not to us anyway)
nevertheless
still, girls on display

What Would the Natives Think

by

J. M. Hallett

This Ancient creek runs foul
From the Cottonwood
To the River Red
Yellow waters
Past the factories, run
Now just a trickle
Stinging of sulfur
Of sewage... of death
Every stone
Covered with scunge
What would the natives
Think of her now
Those whose lives
Her waters sustained
Those who lived
Atop the surrounding hills
Who fished her waters
And hunted her banks
Those who left her
Pristine waters clean
What would they think
Of these modern-day fools
Who fought so dirty
And took her by force
Who choked her
And pissed all over her
Snickering
Then left her for dead
Who streamed on
In every direction
Like a human tsunami
Destroying
Laughing all the while

Dead Trout

by

J. M. Hallett

if their lives
had been a newspaper
his would have been
the comics
and the sports section
hers, the gossip
and entertainment
the rest, no doubt
simply used
to wrap dead trout

The Runaway

by

J. M. Hallett

He gazed into that shallow pool
That lavish plaza fountain
To see several hundred
Shimmering silver wishes
And one by one
He took those little dreams
And he stuffed his pockets
'Til his pants were soaked
That abused young runaway
Newly arrived in the city
Desperate, hungry and broke

At the Beach

by

J. M. Hallett

we sat on the beach
my old friend and I
drinking beer
watching girls go by
bikinied beauties
well sculpted, all
light and dark
both short and tall
girls we knew
had nothing to say
(not to us anyway)
nevertheless
still, girls on display

What Would the Natives Think

by

J. M. Hallett

This Ancient creek runs foul
From the Cottonwood
To the River Red
Yellow waters
Past the factories, run
Now just a trickle
Stinging of sulfur
Of sewage... of death
Every stone
Covered with scunge
What would the natives
Think of her now
Those whose lives
Her waters sustained
Those who lived
Atop the surrounding hills
Who fished her waters
And hunted her banks
Those who left her
Pristine waters clean
What would they think
Of these modern-day fools
Who fought so dirty
And took her by force
Who choked her
And pissed all over her
Snickering
Then left her for dead
Who streamed on
In every direction
Like a human tsunami
Destroying
Laughing all the while

Dead Trout

by

J. M. Hallett

if their lives
had been a newspaper
his would have been
the comics
and the sports section
hers, the gossip
and entertainment
the rest, no doubt
simply used
to wrap dead trout

The Runaway

by

J. M. Hallett

He gazed into that shallow pool
That lavish plaza fountain
To see several hundred
Shimmering silver wishes
And one by one
He took those little dreams
And he stuffed his pockets
'Til his pants were soaked
That abused young runaway
Newly arrived in the city
Desperate, hungry and broke

At the Beach

by

J. M. Hallett

we sat on the beach
my old friend and I
drinking beer
watching girls go by
bikinied beauties
well sculpted, all
light and dark
both short and tall
girls we knew
had nothing to say
(not to us anyway)
nevertheless
still, girls on display