Monday, July 7, 2008

My Literary Offenses: Two Poems

Here are two of my poems that I have recently unearthed from the vaults. One was written during my days as an undergraduate; the other one is about them. Enjoy.

Poem #1
The Ballad of the Biker Knight,
The Incident at “The Hideaway” Bar

A Tribute to John Keats*

Astride his suicide machine,
The Biker Knight appeared.
He parked the bike beside the bar,
Dust billowed from his beard.

His cracked black leather jacket creaked
As he got off his bike.
An old man sat three yards from him,
Who asked, “You got a light?”

The knight, who wore his visor down,
Replied, “No, I don’t smoke.”
The old man grinned a mossy grin
And while he grinned he spoke:

“Sir Knight,” said he, “I do not ask
Thee for a light for me.
But rather, sir, I ask if thou
Dost have a light for thee.”

The Biker Knight ignored the man,
Confused by what he’d said.
“Your words, old man, ain’t making sense
Inside this Biker’s head.”

Despite the chill of this rebuke,
The old man still kept on.
He grabbed the Biker by the boot
And yelled, “Good Knight, HOLD ON!”

In rage the Biker grabbed the man
and pulled him to his feet.
He shook the old fart violently
Then knocked him to his seat.

The Biker watched the old man writhe
In pain and agony.
He turned to venture in the bar,
But stopped to hear this plea:

“Strong Knight,” the old man whispered faint,
“This warning I give thee:
“Beware the maid with wild eyes--
That Dame is sans merci!”

The Biker smirked, “What do you know
Of women—at your age!”
With that he kicked the man away
And entered in “The Hideaway”
To spend his Biker’s wage.

Inside the bar he heard the sound
Of Country music’s twang.
No one was there except himself.
The Biker snorted, “Dang!”

But just before he turned to leave
He saw a fairy’s child--
At least that’s how she seemed to him—
Her eyes were dark and Wild.

“Are you the tender of this bar?”
He asked, his visor raised.
She nodded “yes” and kissed his lips;
The Biker liked her ways.

“I’d like a shot of whiskey, doll,”
He said with knightly charm
The Fairy’s Child poured the shot—
The Biker saw no harm.

The drink complete, they left the bar
To breathed the outside air.
He placed his helmet on her head—
A garland for her hair.

“Let’s take a ride,” the Biker said.
“This ride’s one of a kind.”
Agreed, she sat in front of him;
He held her from behind.

The Fairy’s Child steered the bike—
Her lover had no clue:
His eyes were fixed on her alone.
He cried, “I love thee true.”

Those words he cried a thousand times
Until he could not peep.
His Biker’s brain turned into mush;
He fell into a sleep.

And as he slept he had a dream,
He saw a wrinkled face!
It was the old man he had met
Who’d warned about that place.

The old man’s eyes were empty holes;
His skin as pale as death!
He cried, “Dull Knight, thou foolish sap,
That dame hath poison breath!”

And then the ancient eyeless man
Displayed a savage sight:
“Behold the ruined men and boys
She used as nothing more than toys
To feed her appetite!”

The Biker Knight looked up and saw
Upon a frozen hill
Frail Biker Kings and Asphalt Dukes—
The victims of her will.

The ghostly roadside royalty
Reached out to touch the Knight.
A Biker King screamed out the words,
“Hey mister, got a light?”

‘Twas then the Biker Knight recalled
The words the old man spoke
Outside that bar called “Hideaway”—
He thought they’d been a joke.

The Biker Knight wept tears of grief,
And as he wept he heard
The old man’s voice condemning him
With fire in each word:

“Without the light that wisdom brings
You had no chance at all!”
I warned thee Knight about that Dame
Now she has thee in thrall!”

And then the Biker Knight awoke
Upon a cold hill’s height.
He was alone—his bike was gone—
The dame had taken flight.

He roams the world on two feet now
Across the Asphalt Sea.
In vain he seeks for solace from
That Dame who’s sans merci.

*And perhaps Brandon, too, now that he has purchased a suicide machine of his own.

Poem #2

We have never met, but once I spent
the better part of an evening with the phone
pressed against my ear, my finger dialing
your number over and over again.

I had no good reason to call, no story
to tell, no particular request. My heart
had not been broken, was not bleeding.
I was just eighteen

and it was dark outside my window.
The red numbers on my radio never burned
so dimly, your voice never seemed
so far away.


  1. Interesting poems - I do take issue with one word - I'm glad that you were using your time wisely while at school!

  2. I've always loved the Delilah one. It's funny because I was fifteen and probably doing the exact same thing every night! Love you!

  3. "His cracked black leather jacket creaked" too many "k" sounds. Otherwise it was great! Anytime you want to ride on my suicide machine just let me know.