Ay Johnny

R)
I saw a movie one time,
it starred Gregory Peck

and your fall-by-the sword
love affair with Errol Flynn,

I said “Oh, no! no! I’ve been through
this movie before.”

O)
All I really wanna do,
(sittin’ on a barbed wire fence),

singin’ love’s praises, I sung
the song slowly.

C)
I’m on the pavement (muttering small
talk at the wall), only sighing:

I can walk around the block,
anytime.

K)
I see my light come shining,
got my back to the sun,

sick and tired of the war,
got a new pony and I’ll lie

in my bed, once again.

A)
My name it is nothing by the name of Priest;
they asked me what my name was,

his name wasn’t Henry Porter,
I said “Captain Kidd”,

but I feel just like a Jesse James.

D)
I was young when I left home,
I’ll be a long time gone

walkin’ down the line,
that long lonesome road, babe—

I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

Gliph Off

The Hirsute fam/
Minky man/
Language lamb/
Pearls all tan

Rode up blues/
Twining chords/
Dripped to war/
Courts and boards

Anon movement/
Aaron slicing/
Temples geek/
Gasm icing

Violet lavendar/
Sage lush sashay/
Spanky tailor/
Master me fay

But muse tuh/
But muscle/
Sequence hustle/
Pawn and tussle

Purple quiver/
Nipple deliver/
Royal slaver/
Governed gaver

The Bench

1.

Ayn Rand
and Babe Ruth,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Ayn says
to Babe,
“you got a funny
name, Babe.”

Babe responds
to Ayn,
“All names are
funny, Ayn.”

Ayn replies
to Babe,
“Not all names,
Babe.”

Babe smiles
at Ayn,
“Maybe not Ayn,
maybe not.”

2.

Charlie Parker
and Modigliani,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Charlie says
to Modigliani,
“Say Mo’,
how do I look
to you?”

Modigliani responds
to Charlie,
“How do I look
to you?”

Chalie replies
to Modigliani,
“How I look
to you?”

Modigliani looks
at Charlie,
“I love Salt Peanuts.”

3.

Woody Guthrie
and Chahlie Chaplin,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Woody says
to Chahlie,
“I just can’t
understand that
moustache.”

Chahlie answers
to Woody,
“I just can’t
understand that
guitar.”

Woody responds
to Chahlie,
“It’s how I save my
dinner crumbs.”

Chahlie sniffing
at Woody,
“It’s from smelling
so many bums.”

4.

Gary Snyder
and Moses Malone,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Gary says
to Moses,
something.

Moses answers
Gary
nothing.

Gary responds
to Moses,
a turning.

Moses goggles
Gary,
adjusting.

5.

Lucille Ball
and Emma Goldman,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Lucy asks
Emma
for a cigarette
or two.

Emma claims
to Lucy,
“she’s left her purse
on the trolley.”

Lucy nods
easily to Emma,
“I just found some,
join me?”

Emma exhales
towards Lucy,
“A hartziken dank,
mameleh!”

6.

Joseph Cotten
and Muddy Waters,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Joseph says
to Muddy,
“Who’s your tailor,
Muddy?”

Muddy responds
to Joseph,
“Over there,
over on Michigan.”

Joseph asks
Muddy,
“Did you ever
play with Charley?”

Muddy shrugs
at Joseph,
“Yeah, a couple-o’
times.”

7.

The Mighty Herakles
and tattooed Popeye,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

The Mighty Herakles asks
tattooed Popeye
for a bit
of Spinach.

Tattooed Popeye points
above The Mighty Herakles,
“Let me check
my pants, Mitey Hoicules.”

The Mighty Herakles warms
towards tattooed Popeye,
“Don’t I know you,
Sailor?”

Tattoed Popeye snorts
at The Mighty Herakles,
“Before me accidence,
I used to offiskiate
for a group of poets.”

8.

Hank Aaron
and Henry Roth,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Hank says
to Henry,
“Anyone ever
call you Hank?”

Henry says
to Hank,
“Sure,
when I was a kid.”

Hank says
to Henry,
“They called me Henry,
when I was a kid.”

Henry’s laugh stifles
hearing Hank,
“Sounds about right,
Henry.”

9.

Charles S. Pearce
and Geronimo,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Charles S. Pearce
reluctantly prods
Geronimo,
“What’s your
favorite number?”

Geronimo acknowledges,
and saying after
to Charles S. Pearce,
“I’ve always liked
the number ten.”

Charles S. Pearce reddens
at the reply of Geronimo,
stretches his fingers,
cracks his toes.

Geronimo adds
to Charles S. Pearce,
“I like nine,
too.”

10.

Sholem Rabinovich
and Bob Dylan,

on a city bench,
outside the park,
just before fall.

Sholem says
to Bob,
“I admire your character.”

Bob is solemn
to Sholem,
“Henry Fonda?”

Sholem dissents
with “ts-ts’s” at Bob,
“This one, without
the horse!”

Bob looks back
slowly at Sholem,
“But Sholem, the horse is yours!”