ode to a tinhorn

rock and clay and sand and sea

at first were all there was to be

and there was nothing there to feel

there was nothing - just the real

then i’s born somewhere along

a freelance gig and a union song

from ancient nothin and makin haste

to a station where i was laid to waste

and i hid my skin somewhere between

the boys of summer and casino queen

and dress’d in rags and silky threads

like an old book smell in a hotel bed

and then some vapors could i feel

but they were nothin against the real

and as i grew into the world

and dipped my toes into the maw

and tried to learn each river’s bend

and when i couldn’t, found a friend

who from a barren path unfurled

a company of things, i saw

there now was love that i could feel

but all uncertain against the real

and when i sought my spirit to raise

to planes of art and beauty’s gaze

and build my soul from rock to rock

but as all things are against the clock

so everything that i could feel

it all felt fake in the face of the real

and still the damn train shook on

my child’sh overcoat was gone

and left with canvases and masks

that kept me looking through my glass

that showed all things delicate inside

because the mirror is made of time

with beauty thats apart from me

and love in forms that might not be

and i dont know if i know what i know

but i know what i feel

and thats all that i got so t’hell with the real

but you, champion who mistakes his youth

for certainty, has found a truth

in beauty,

and a luxury,

and all the vapors there to feel

are interwoven with the real

they’re tossed and mangled in the air

those poachers of reality

but can a thing be really there

and born inside mentality

shooting out to make the world

or taking in to feel its edge

the real is all that i can know

yet what i know, the real cant get

and so the stringer cased his bow

and strained to feel last more his pain

and in the strangeness of his bed

his narrow room, his ghosting shed

he sang to mute the dirging toll

and ease the maelstrom’s deathly gain

and to his final hour rolled

a noteless melody to feel

the emptiness inside the real

(the beauty that usurped the real)

and he spoke a poem, known to him

as ‘the inventory of the soul’:

as a child there is a superstition

or a game to play in cars

to hold your breath

as you pass a graveyard

but the boundaries of the breath depend

entirely upon your angle passing

so a single grave

and the whole world must choose

to hold it’s breath or sing.