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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 - 07/28/2021 : 17:00:01
Summer fading quickly. Autumn coming on strong. His cramped slant letters. Pages and pages. "Keep me with you," he says. 'Dear Sir,' she writes.
Ailinn Posted - 07/28/2021 : 16:57:23
"Talk to me," he says, "Jus' think out loud." His high-bridge nose and charcoal-smudge eyebrows. His winsome one-beat look. White wicker chairs. Blue-stripe cushions. The garden beyond in bloom.
Ailinn Posted - 07/28/2021 : 16:53:46
Breakfast in the dirt-floor cantina carried from the house. Heavy platter with huevos and shredded beef. Pico on the side.
Ailinn Posted - 07/28/2021 : 16:43:34
Sunrise. Wave's foam and glitter at the highway's edge. Gulls overhead in a crown. Tapestried alcoves built into cliff walls. Christ in crimson, on brown hills looking down. Filigreed castles in pillows of fog. Garish and sublime. "...an' all that water out there, he laughs, caught in the spell of the journey. Further down the coast, roadside nichos and shrines. Small grottos of granito. A child's tricycle mounted to a horseshoe cross. Pierced metal hearts in the wheels. Paper flowers in coffee cans. "The wonder," he says. "The wonder..." Daystars in his eyes. Opal. Tourmaline.
buckman Posted - 07/25/2021 : 09:50:53

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.

Ailinn Posted - 07/23/2021 : 17:43:55
"Once upon a time takes years," he says. Sun setting through layered clouds. Sky on sky. Peach to salmon. Branches disappearing one by one. "Shiny or shining?" he says.
buckman Posted - 07/23/2021 : 02:35:28

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 - 07/17/2021 : 17:04:12
New wine in the granite-strewn Valle. Chimes in the arches. Sunset flush on the sky. Quail with their tippy caps coming home. He's bent over the old iron table cataloging history's narrow escapes. Sun flecks in his hair. His shoulders burned from August. "Playing dress-up," he laughs. "What were you thinking then?" "I wasn't thinking," she says. "Jus' doin' the days," he says. "Riding the subways," she says. "Ads the length of the cars. Drink Coke. Smoke Luckies. Buy Bonds. Black Jack Gum... Everyone rushing. Anonymously intent. Souls in flux. The stories there." "No blank pages," he says. "Too many worlds have already disappeared."
Ailinn Posted - 07/17/2021 : 16:46:12
It only rains on one side of the street. Bright on the other side. Grass shining. "Miracles?" she says. He glances up from the easel, "I'm listenin'," he says. Small town Post Office on Main. Kettle-top water tower. A lake nearby. Short walk to everywhere. She knows the names of most of the streets now. This green edge. This Eden.
buckman Posted - 07/17/2021 : 07:52:57
Secrets We Keep from Ourselves

We sat on Betty’s back porch
drinking coffee waiting for
twilight and the grass to grow thru the dust.

She said, You know, we made love once,
all those years ago.

I said, Well now,
You'd think I'd remember a thing like that.
Seems I was so shy or drunk,
I barely spoke to you.

She said, You were laying in your room,
barely conscious, mumbling about poems
and making love to a green bottle in the dark.
I crept in wearing nothing
but Carmelita's vanilla, never said a word
got aboard for awhile, then snuck out.

I said,
Jesus, What else did you keep to yourself
all this time?

Never looking up,
She whispered,
a sound like a butterfly sighing,
Have you looked closely at my
daughter’s eyes?

From The Journals of Rev Buckman
buckman Posted - 07/16/2021 : 12:03:32

As we walked down the dirt street
together, we passed the Cafe Lupe.

I said, Are you still working there?
Betty said, No, I give piano lessons now.

As her daughter tagged behind, I whispered,
Does she know about the dance-hall-girl days?
She said, I was a widow, left out here in the West alone
and I swore I wasn't going to
make a living laying on my back.

I did it with who I wanted,
when I wanted
and not for money.
I was a dancer.
I had fun.

I said, Who's that supposed to
make feel better, me or you?

It was quiet for a spell after that....
Ailinn Posted - 07/12/2021 : 16:38:11
...and later. Sepia color. Two people in dusty traveling clothes waiting on the platform for the train to arrive.

I see you're keeping company with the Muse again.

Blessings to you too, Reverend B.

buckman Posted - 07/11/2021 : 21:00:15
the first new Buckman one in many years. For you, Roison. Blessings.
buckman Posted - 07/11/2021 : 09:30:39


As I stepped off the train
I saw the old depot and
beyond it the dusty street that
led to the saloon where so many years
had been spent practicing my, um, craft.
Funny how different it looked
with clear, sober eyes in the light of day.

The pretty brunette was holding the
young girl that had gotten off the train behind me.
I noticed her eyes thru the tears and
how they still changed colors with the light.
She had been here in the whiskey years
but something [besides Carmelita]
had kept me from ever approaching her.
I never knew if it was the pain or the
intelligence in her face,
but every time I started to talk to her
it just came out as mumbles.

She said, I heard you gave up the
whiskey and the preaching,
so what do you do now?
I said, I try to make things right.
She said, It's a big world, why here?

I looked at her face and her eyes,
still changing, but slowly now, and said,
Gotta start somewhere, and besides,
It kinda feels like home.

2021
buckman Posted - 07/10/2021 : 16:23:53
A Pilgrim’s Regress?

Has all the fun gone out of me?
Or is it still bubbling along inside, just deeply buried.
This getting old stuff is not for the feint of heart,
Is it?

I am thrilled to have a partner with me
that I love, to go forward with and support
each other’s joys and pains.
But there is only so much another can do,
isn’t there? No matter how good they are
or how hard they try.
Or how much love there is.

When my legs work (a little) and my insides
don’t hurt (too much), I even make an effort
to shake my dimness into something
resembling the old spark; the almost unbearable
nostalgia for the laughing boy that once was.

Like everybody on the planet, I suppose,
it is a work in progress.
But I can only speak for me;
It seems like every damn day we have to learn
how to live all over again.
And it’s taking forever…
buckman Posted - 07/07/2021 : 22:10:48
The old church made me sweat, thinking of my
teenaged dad shovelling coal into the furnace
during the depression, helping his dad,
who had lost everything except their little farm and his
janitors job at the church.

Now my dad was the preacher at the little church
in New Jersey. Mom would play the piano
and I would play my cornet while the little crowd sang
Great is Thy Faithfulness.

It was the Fifties, but I saw it all in color.
It definitely wasn’t in black and white.

buckman Posted - 07/07/2021 : 22:08:18
The missing apostrophes are driving me crazy.
It wasn’t a long drive.

But,
Tomorrow’s world, that’s where interests lay now
Not the past.

**** your apostrophes, your commas,
your periods. **** your and you’re and
they’re and their.
Yo momma. Yo, Old man with the stupid grey ponytail.
It’s not your father’s ****in Pontiac
Anymore.

Get over it.
buckman Posted - 07/06/2021 : 16:30:22


Long-haired chinchillas at the feet of
Ineffective-looking shootists
living their memories in the here and now.
She said, “‘Hold your breath,
the statute of limitations is almost
out of sight.’”

Snow-topped peaks glistening
with the strong lure of
high mysterious frozen places.

Dramatic revelations from outside sources.
Scramble the plot heading for the grand finale.
A shaft of light from my memory;
From the top of my head to the end of the line.
buckman Posted - 07/03/2021 : 08:17:16
Awaiting events.

Audacious little fiddles in curtained booths.
Porkpie hats easing through the back door.
Hat-check girl with eyes of midnite.
Leather and lead sap in my left pocket,
Artillery in the right.

Slapstick thugs from a bad movie,
staring at me.
I tried hard to look human.
The plot persisted in thickening.

Serenity, peace and contentment
were for suckers;
I opened the door marked Keep Out.
The room spun once and began to fade.

Nearer my God to thee flashed in neon.
Everything went black…
buckman Posted - 07/02/2021 : 13:43:31
A waiting room just outside of limbo.

To be repeatedly forgiven destroys the soul,
the devouring anxiety of the insecure,
damaging everyone in it’s path.

Fuzzily inefficient demon kings,
making what best we can of our
imperfect evolution.

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