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T O P I C    R E V I E W
buckman Posted - 09/24/2004 : 18:16:26
I sit in the dark in the back of the saloon...
What is between my table and the dusty
street is twenty feet that is
on the very edge of Hell...
The townspeople say they are sinners: the townspeople say they are evil...
The reality is that they are just Cowboys and
they are very much alive and much of the
rest of this town has already died... I talk to
the Lord and I Know what is Evil
and what is not,
which is why I hold services here and
not in a church....
These men make a decision
every time they put the whiskey to their
lips, every time they put the
tobacco to their mouths....
They make a decision between a
longer, duller life or the life
that they are choosing to live....
Yet I can see the desperation in
their eyes; I can see
that for every year that they age,
they remove themselves another year from their
childhood and their youthful dreams...
I can see that the only time
They will smell the
fragrance of a lady is
when they choose to pay for her...
I can see that they care not a
bit about Eternity, but only for today...
But, that is Just Alright
with me and the Lord


If everybody went to heaven they'd run out of room.... Rev Buckman


20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Ailinn Posted - 09/19/2020 : 17:25:28
On the second day he's stippling the ground in patches. Paint smears on his raveled shirt. "Shadow shadows..." he says. "What's happening under the trees." It's Summer. Long days. Warm oranges. La Migra in the eucalyptus groves. Blown-silk skies leaning over the valley. Runnels of gold in the sand.
Ailinn Posted - 09/19/2020 : 17:20:22
"I worked in the kitchen. Sprinkled water on stale bread. Trays and trays of it into warm ovens. Comes out just like fresh," she says. "Later, cash at the window. No work permit. No social. Kodak even let me keep the clothes. I ordered room service. Two kinds of toast. Chilled butter. A silver basket with berry jam." He's laughing, shaking his head. Opening and closing his eyes unaware of his power. "Hot as hell nights. Fightin' streets," he says. "High towers an' overpasses. Freeways. Tracks at both ends. Too many unanswered questions..."
Ailinn Posted - 08/28/2020 : 16:40:37
Pistol on the table. "Gunshots?" she says. "It happens," he says. He draws the shades and locks the door.
Ailinn Posted - 08/28/2020 : 16:38:25
Fifty miles on is the town. Liquor on four corners. One hundred kinds of tequila. Beautiful angel on a bottle of Centenario. Bilingual parrots. The lantern place, she calls it. "Because she gave you that crate of candles," he says. Sage and rock. Dust devils. "Candle-rich," she says. He laughs, "...just a stop along the way."
Ailinn Posted - 08/28/2020 : 16:32:41
Weeks later. A long dirt road. Pastel-colored house. Bright-cushion chair on the porch. Hand-crafted stone wall studded with glass. Unruly bougainvillea. A man in a fringed leather vest leans on a hoe. The woman beside him shades her eyes.
Ailinn Posted - 08/28/2020 : 16:28:26
The puddled parking lot. Turn of fate. Looking back. Who takes the first step? Éist! Not a word. His hand on her shoulder walking back to the car. Sudden fusillade of stars. Two ships in the harbor floating bounty.
Ailinn Posted - 08/26/2020 : 19:16:09
...and... "Red is a bigger color."
Ailinn Posted - 08/26/2020 : 19:14:01
Ricochet vision. Fortress of fog. Drift fence whipping along the channel. Lightning spiking the clouds. Red flag. Small craft warning. "I put it away for you..." he says. Their story. The asterisk in the telling. "No blank pages," he says.
Ailinn Posted - 08/26/2020 : 19:08:47
Moon a slow fade in the park at the top of Laurel. Down the steep hill sails glint on the bay. Loud tables off India with the old tuna men's tales. His heart alive in a city he's grown used to.
Ailinn Posted - 08/26/2020 : 19:06:03
Wayside shrines. Crayola colors. Scant grass and dusty crossroads. Granite mountains mineral light. Big red Coca-Cola rushing by. Sun in his hair. Warm grapes in her hand. Edge of the vineyard.
Ailinn Posted - 08/26/2020 : 19:01:44
Fortress-built door. Arched alcoves and mosaic tile floor. Crucifix in a niche in the wall. The bullfighter's widow in white above Ensenada Harbor. Santiago with wine from the Valle.
buckman Posted - 08/26/2020 : 07:48:24
They stopped at the river.
She knew it was where I hid the moon...

The horse skittered, she danced,
Oh, how Carmelita loved when a horse danced.
And
She loved when she found one of my secret places.

So many places still to find,,,,
She has yet to find where I hid the sun...



Ailinn Posted - 08/16/2020 : 16:25:34
These pictures:

-Sun ticking down. Cliff leaning over an ocean. Three flat sandy miles to Moonlight.

-The step-up room with two easels. Hallowed light leaping the walls.

-Keys in a jar on the counter. The glass too hot to touch.

-"Blue earth. ...for the most part. Just imagine..." he says. Many thresholds. His stop-your-heart point of view.

-First light. New birds alive in the trees. Yard still full of stars when he opens his eyes and the room slowly floats into focus. His heart awake in two worlds.

-Time-stalled panorama of dreams. The Valley's revolving warm door. Vineyards and flagrant flowers. There's a washing machine but no dryer. Sack of clothespins hung on the pole. Seventeen steps to the courtyard fountain where she's fading in pieces.

-"Alright then..." he says. An edict. His mouth full of smoke. Her blood moving too fast.

-"Somethin' to keep in your mind," he says. "This...this..." he pauses. "This what...?" she says.

-The world tilts a little. A crease in the Universe. "You... You..." she says. "Never did. Never did," he says laughing.
buckman Posted - 08/10/2020 : 07:19:39

I sit in the dark in the back of the saloon...

What is between my table and the dusty
street is twenty feet that is
on the very edge of Hell.

The townspeople say they are sinners;
the townspeople say they are evil.
The reality is that they are just Cowboys and
they are very much alive and much of the
rest of this town has already died.

I talk to the Lord and I Know what is Evil
and what is not,
which is why I hold services here and
not in a church.

These men make a decision
every time they put the whiskey to their
lips, every time they put the
tobacco to their mouths.
They make a decision between a
longer, duller life or the life
that they are choosing to live.

Yet I can see the desperation in
their eyes; I can see
that for every year that they age,
they remove themselves another year from their
childhood and their youthful dreams.
I can see that the only time
They will smell the
fragrance of a lady is
when they choose to pay for her.

I can see that they care not a
bit about Eternity, but only for today...

But, that is Just Alright
with me and the Lord;

If everybody went to heaven
they'd run out of room.



Ailinn Posted - 08/09/2020 : 17:15:56
...the waiters musical laughter after sunset. Their nightmare tales close to my face. Their falling dark hair and fierce pointing fingers, "...and the hungry bone-eater under your bed!" When I cry or shiver they wrap their warm waistcoats around me.

A child in a world without children. A short stint behind cloistered walls. A long hall of tall unwashed windows. Winter evening under a bridge. Streetlamp floating in fog. I run but I don't cry out. I hold my hand over my mouth. Afraid he might hear me breathing. So many silent alleyways in that part of town. I don't tell Sister Catherine because I'll loose my outdoor privilege. Later I run in a bigger city through turnstiles underground.

"...bent line or a straight one...?" he says. Clock on the wall in its fourth dimension. His covenant with time. He's barefoot at the easel with the blanket over his shoulders. She's perched on the high wooden stool. "Some stories should be longer," he says, sweeping Cerulean across the sky. Baffling brush strokes. His fingerprints touching the sun. Dew on the grass. A dazzle. Breeze from the open window. Eucalyptus with its sharp coughdrop smell.
Ailinn Posted - 07/31/2020 : 17:02:32
Uneventful gradual climb. Cedar Mesa near Mexican Hat. Shortly before rounding a curve, PAVED ROAD ENDS sign. No warning. No chance to turn around. Suddenly airborne on a shimmering ledge. Valley of the Gods and upside-down semi beneath them. The Moki Dugway. A sand and gravel road. Switchbacks and 11% grade carved into the face of the cliff. No guardrails. Folks with cold drinks and binoculars watching the show from the valley floor. "No guardrails," he laughs.
Ailinn Posted - 07/31/2020 : 16:42:01
Pines to Palms. SR 74. Choose your world junction at Anza. Idyllwild to the left. Pinecones big as cantaloupe. Palm Desert to the right. Equally beautiful flips of the coin. Dangerous Lampblack nights. Ghostly apparitions. Hooves flight into the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa. Lightning doesn't strike twice here, but three times. Black and blue shine in the morning.
Ailinn Posted - 07/29/2020 : 18:09:04
The car finds the tiny beacon of light in the high desert dark. He takes her into the LADIES and washes her face with cold water and scratchy brown paper towels. Blood on his shirt where she holds him. Bewilderment fading. Cracked windshield. BIG HORN SHEEP CROSSING NEXT 23 MILES. Salton Sea in the distance. Its eerie prediction. Beef pockets and gravy. Praline pie. Sugarloaf Café. Redemptive CA 74.
buckman Posted - 07/26/2020 : 13:21:32
The Painted Moon

Sitting in New York eating fried rice, alone,
and remembering San Francisco
Almost fifty years ago.

Cigarettes were a quarter a pack,
Gas was 30 cents a gallon.
We were so poor that we split
The fifty cent rice bowl at the
Moon Cafe on Arguello Blvd.
I remember thinking that if
I chewed it more that it might fill
Me up and maybe last longer.

So we sat there chewing and listening to Mrs Moon
Screaming in the kitchen like she was
Being murdered and looked at the
moon stencilled on the front window...

Nothing else mattered but us.

H Beukema 2020


Ailinn Posted - 07/25/2020 : 20:16:33
"Eiffel's father," he calls the Border Patrol agent whose son wants only to travel. Flinty light stroking down on granite boulders in Guadalupe. Ornate grillwork in the courtyard. Sleeping votives along the loggia wall. "Biscuits an' gravy," he says. Cast iron pan on the stove. Kitchen warm and trancy. Pinch of nutmeg when he's not looking. "No plan..." he says grinning, "...that's the plan." So many lit candles in his mind. Water rushing against the foothills.

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