Sunday, July 30, 2006

I am Fabular The Magnifilous, or, Rectum? Dang near killed 'em

In the winter, at least in the early '80's, Virginia Beach closed down. Even McDonalds went dark for the off season. But the lounge in the Va. Beach Hilton, Laverne's it was called, stayed open. We hung out there every night. It was close to where we were stationed in Dam Neck. Dam Neck was, but is no longer, in the middle of nowhere. Anyhow, the house band was The Snard Brothers. We knew their set by heart. When the last song of each set came up, me and O.D. Gamble (I don't usually use real names but... I mean, what a cool name!) would head out to Bobby Snard's Nissan 240Z and roll a number. About three and a half minutes later, the band would come out and burn it with us. I don't know if we were groupies or roadies. I don't think groupies. We never threw our drawers up on stage.

(This DOES relate. It spells out SNARD)

Plants will suffer any amount of indignities, and do so quietly. Serenely. I find hair clips in the parking lot all the time. Little white bows...little pink or yellow flowers..simple red bars. I clip each and every one artisticly on the landscaping ferns. I am an artist.

It has been my experience that Zoloft don't really do much if you're already pretty mellow.

Kick the Cat (Unfinished Start Version)

First thing I did when I got h
I kicked the cat for being slow

I kicked him high. I kicked him low
I kicked him just to let him know

I ain't said yes, I ain't said no

But pussy comes, and pussy goes

They asked me, "What's your favorite food?" I said, "Bromeliads." "Bromeliads?" "Yep" "You can eat those?" "No." "But you said..." "I like Bromliads." And just like that, the conversation ground to a halt.

I belong to a small, obscure cult. Tolerant Baptists. Ba-dum-dum

Sarah came in, and she was looking fine. She was in civilian clothes, not her bank clothes. I was thinking that if I was younger, better looking, wealthier and didn't smell so funny from standing in the sun all day, she'd be mine.

Stephanie was going on and on and on about this new Will Smith movie she'd seen a trailer for on AOL. Stephanie is as sweet as can be. About 22 going on 16. When she paused to take a breath, I asked, matter of factly, "Will Smith, huh? Does he play a black guy in this movie?" "Yeah!! He does. See, he's a father without much money who..." If Kiera hadn't cracked up, Stephanie would have completely missed it.

I think when God said he made man in his own image, he meant on the inside, not on the outside. It just stands to reason.

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

I am thinking about having YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE tattooed on my chest.

I am the armed guard outside the Brandon Blvd branch of Bank Atlantic. My job, as I understand it, is to be a visual detergent.

Anybody know my favorite candy? They're called Cow Tails. They're caramel with powdered sugar in the middle. Yikes!, they're delicious. They're American made by Goetz.

He was in the State Prison, down river at Ball Point, in Carver County. No really. He was in the Ball Point Pen.

Those who have read my writing know this to be true. I am The king of Comma-dy.

Today's GamePlease provide....

1. ANY animal (rabbit, centuar, liger, moose, ANY real or imagined animal)
2. ANY place (a city, state, the ocean, a nebulous formation, middle earth, etc.)

3. ANY activity (frolicking, shoe repair, singing, prostelyzing, begging)

4. ANY name for a country (Me Land, Glory Lucious, Hooterstein, whatever. Be creative)

5. ANY two things (bee butts and tube socks, car polish and flower petals, Bea Authur and laminate flooring)

That'll get me started. I have a bit more, but it's better to burn out than to fade to black. Rust never sleeps. Yada,yada, yada.

My recently thought of poem:

Think About It All 23 & 29 July 2006

It's Saturday evening but the July sun

Just keeps hanging around

There's thunder off in the distance some

But no rain hitting the ground
Dark clouds rolling in from the south

Don't always turn to rain

Just like you swore til death we part

But that didn't mean a thing

So if you're thinking of calling me up

Making my telephone ring

If you're thinking of calling my bluff

Remember about the rain

How it didn't fall

Think about it all

I was a man. You were a woman
And we had things to do

We tossed our dreams all in together

Tried to make 'em true

You weren't willing to share no more

Than you were willing to try

We split up over something stupid

It wasn't a pretty goodbye

If you're thinking of pointing your finger

And putting the blame on me

If you're thinking of making excuses
For all your wicked deeds
Both big and small

Yeah, think about them all

You lit your Lucky from a dying candle

On the table by your chair

Said, "They say these things'll kill you dead

But sometimes I just don't care

Some days the weight's too heavy

Some days are just too tough

Some days the Devil gets me good

Sometimes I'm just fucked up"

I'm sorry, Darlin', that's the way of the world

Things become confused

You finally get a handle on it

And the handle comes unglued

You either walk or crawl
Think about it all

Take a moment, Honey, try and

Pull your thoughts up tight

Kick your shoes off by the door

Got no place to be tonight

I'll pour two fingers bourbon

Hell, I'll pour two fingers more

I'll pour all night, won't be the first time

I've slept on the floor

If it comes up, we'll talk about
Your lying and running around

Back then it used to tear me up
But it's nothing to me now

When the rain don't fall

Think about it all

All these things that happen, happen

I don't try to make much sense

Our lives get told the way they go

Not some future perfect tense
I've got no clue where it's going
This here "story of my life"

If you want to add a chapter, girl

Just pick up your pen and write

Yeah, I used to give a rat's ass

But the rat was not amused

And what we had in commom was

We both kept getting used

Every time you called

Think about it all

It's Saturday evening but the July sun

Just keeps hanging around

Brandon Blvd.

When you started you had nothing and you're proud that you're a self made man, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Can't do love, but let's do lunch

Once I had a girl that I liked a lot so I called it love. I loved the idea of being in love. I loved the idea of being in love so much, in fact, that I wrote some pretty good love songs. Although, even as I was writing them I was thinking to myself, "Really??" Well, as time goes on, my ability to write a love song, or really, to even have the desire to write a love song, diminishes more and more.

In a not so grand experiment, I gave it a whirl over three successive nights. For my trouble I got one that does not seem complete, one that is definately not complete, and one I could never even get started. Apparently, Ramblin' Ed don't do love.

Here are the results of the experiment. Nothing none too satisfying today, fer sure. But they are words, and should not be spilled in vain.

The (Unremitted) Love Section

The Sun
14 July, 2006

I'd do anything that it takes
To see that her heart never breaks
Lift her when she's fallen
Hold her when she's blue

I'd pack what I needed tonight
And be on a long distance flight
If I knew that she needs me
That's how far I'd go

I've seen her cry
Mistreated and left all alone
One day her sadness
Will carry her too far from home

I'd follow her into the sun
If that's where her heart chose to run
And rising through the ashes
The embers of my love

Brandon Blvd.

Time Is A Woman 17 July, 2006

Far too many friends going wrong
Losing themselves in wine and song
Chasing the lights
They find so bright and pretty

But scratch behind the painted smiles and find
Just beneath the surface every time
What they're tryin' to hide
Another cold, hard city

Come sit beside me in the firelight
The flames will dance and warm our souls
Come hold me close against the dark night
I'll always be there for you when we're old

Into each life some change will blow
In on the wind, so soft, so low
Come take my hand
The journey's long and twisting

Into each world creeps shades of gray
off in the corners, tucked away
How can we dream
When all our color's missing?

Come sit beside me in the firelight
The flames will dance and warm our souls
Come hold me close against the dark night
I'll always be there for you when we're old

Time is a woman come to call
Enter the Spring and leave as Fall
And in between
She lives her life so loudly

Two can be one, and one is fine
One holds a place, one holds a time
One's not alone
It's you and me together

Come sit beside me in the firelight
The flames will dance and warm our souls
Come hold me close against the dark night
I'll always be there for you when we're old


Brandon Blvd.

A Game

This was fun and can go on forever because it's done for the fun of the words and does not involve a real story. I wish I could include a sound clip, but am too lazy to figure it out. Anyway, real slow and soulful like, you take the tune of Ain't No Sunshine and make up new verses. The rules are simple. 5 lines to a verse. I give you the 1st and 5th lines. Line 2 has to always rhyme with the word jam. So, that leaves you free to do anything for lines 3 and 4. Go wild. I have, of course, given examples. It sounds better if sung, not read. And as a reminder: Slowly... soulfully. Slur the words. Warble. Be the song, dammit.

Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.
That's what made me who I am
I got both when I was blue
Knew I had to get over you
Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.

Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.
Keeps me out of Satan's plans
Idle hands will lead you wrong
But instead I wrote this song
Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.

So good.So good.So good.So good.
So good.So good.So good.So good.
So good.So good.So good.So good.
So good.So good.So good.So good.
Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.
Keeps me out of Satan's plans
Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.

Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.
Like heaven right here where I stand
I can't help it, makes me dance
Like I got no underpants
Good grape jelly. Good grape jam.

What's good for the goose is part of the gander, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pickup Trucker

Drove 9 July, 2006

We always give a little money to Jamie
Because now she depends on us
Since her old man died when two county sheriffs
Fucked up a simple marijuana bust

Curtis cooks crystal in the barn out back
That he booby-trapped with Frank and me
He said, "They might storm in tryin' to shut us all down
But it isn't coming none too cheap."

What you think your life is worth around here
It's cheaper than you might expect
A sideways glance and about a hundred dollars
Nobody ever sees you again

My brother done two years parole in Lou'siana
He was always kinda hard and mean
They thought they had him for taking down a bank in Cotton Valley
But the witness never saw a thing

Now I wouldn't go messing with swamp bred people
They're tighter than the people you know
You might not see it but you'd best believe
That the law is just an inside joke

You're thinking, "That ain't the way we done it up north."
Well, it probably ain't, you know
Brother, did you notice this ain't "up north"?
Change comes around here real slow

I wouldn't shine light on the dirty little secrets
The people 'round here keep hid
Well, they might smile quickly but you'll find out why
Like that other young fella did

He was asking how Curtis made his living
Asking how Marty got by
Asking how a fella might find a little action
Well... I reckon he found it right

I wouldn't shine light on the dirty little secrets
The people 'round here keep hid
Well, they might smile quickly but you'll find out why
And you ain't gonna like it, kid

Brandon Blvd.

(These dudes are on MY HOUSE!)
A little lizard lovin', out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Seven Years 12 July, 2006

Seven years and fourteen days
Maybe less, if I behave
Yeah, I know it's all my fault
Just couldn't take you walking off

There's thunder rumbling through the yard
I guess the storms aren't off too far
The air is thick with sultry heat
That brings regrets, but not relief

Now should you ask me how I've fared
The gavel fell. The time was fair
That man took what I thought was mine
But that don't change I watched him die

Came found you in his arms that night
A rage tore through me at the sight
But now I think you had a plan
And to take the fall, one jealous man

Fourteen days and seven years
Thanks for conjuring the tears
The day they locked me up inside
A new young lover dried your eyes

Now should you ask me how I've fared
The gavel fell. The time was fair
Like a dog I watched him die
Behind stone walls I do my time

A crime of passion's still a crime
In these cold walls, I do my time

Brandon Blvd.

We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cat in a dress

I feel pretty.... I feel pretty.... I feel pretty, and witty, and w-i-i-i-se...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I will say, by way of explaination, that I've gotta see a dude about a thing

Girls in cars driving by yell at me while I am on duty. I am pretty easy on myself, and still I do not fool myself that my hotness is evoking squeals of delight from the girl folk. I just chalk it up to youthful exuberance and arms that are not strong enough to smash mailboxes with bats. Or... I am hot. No. Definately it's the spindly arms thing.

A lady came in wearing a concert T for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Tsk tsk," I thought, "And at her age. Yoohoo... time to grow up lady." Old people in rock t-shirts.

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story. As she was walking off towards the service counter, but after I had already thought the above thought, I realized that she was about my age. Damn!! Now I gotta rethink me my baggy shorts.

I apologize like I sweat: Profusely and for no reason.

The guy and the girl got off of the bus. He walked to the front and removed a bicycle from the carrier while she stood patiently by, waiting. He got on the bike and steadied himself. Then he nodded to her. She shouldered her backpack, which immediately became a facepack, for him, when she hopped up onto the handlebars. They took off down the sidewalk, slowly and unsteadily at first, and then gradually gaining momentum. I had to laugh. She was smiling, the wind in her face. He was looking down her shirt as he pedaled.
This is the studio in TAD's house. If you have heard some of the songs of ours that I've posted, they came from here. It is a newer keyboard now. We hope to turn FAVORS and WHEN YOU'RE DRINKING (I should change that second title probably) into something really special and to update some of the older stuff. Hopefully I can put linkage to some of them into a future post. Hopefully.

I find coins that people have dropped in the parking lot all the time. I pick them up, but it really pisses me off, because I know they have folding money, too. Drop some of that.

A woman drove up with a Dominican Republic flag on her front plate. I smiled inwardly, while remaining outwardly stoic. I nodded politely and opened the bank door for her. I felt the kinship and I think maybe she did, too. She smiled back anyway. Hard to judge if it was kinship or manners. It's like that for us latin people. She's Dominican. I'm Dominican. We just have... wait. D'oh!. I'm Republican, not Dominican. My bad.

Still got Thailand, PI, and Louisiana stories to relate. They are just gonna take a while. Got my list o' topics pared down today, and those are all that remain. Except, of course, the new stuff I think of between now and next post.

It's difficult to write standing up. But I can do it. The last 2 poems I posted were written in a pocket notepad whilst standing. This next one is the same. Chicken scratched in a pocket notepad, on a muggy, muggy night that had me pouring sweat from, and into, every orofice I owned. Sometimes I can't even read what I wrote once I get it home and you end up with a new line. Anyway, what do you care? New poem follows. Then a closing song quote. Then my signature, such as it is. Then a bunch of little crap that blogger puts in automatically. Bye, peeps.

Favors 7 July 2006

A gun with nine bullets

And fired maybe seven

So what does that leave you and me?

One each for hope, maybe

One each for promises
One each to see if we'll bleed

The rain isn't gentle

It sure is not cleansing

It glistens with sins from our past
And I'd walk a mile

If you'd walk a mile, too

But you stood in the door and you laughed

You ain't never done me no favors
I offer the same in return

The only warmth we'll find together

A candle that's already burned

Just like in the evening
The fire slowly dying

So cold when the embers go dead
Long shadows of lonliness
Colors of silence

It's cold when you lay down your head

You ain't never done me no favors

I offer the same in return

The only warmth we'll find together

A candle that's already burned

I don't recall asking
How things might be going

Leave all that bullshit behind

Don't want no old pieces

Of your broken down dreams

I've got some just like them of mine

You ain't never done me no favors

I offer the same in return
The only warmth we'll find together

A candle that's already burned


Brandon Blvd.

I heard the Burritos out in California could fly higher than the Byrds, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Katia muse

Disclaimer: The third verse is, to me anyway, the best thing I have written in a long, long time.

When You're Drinking 3 July,2006

How're you doing?

What brings you here tonight

You don't come around much

It seems like for such a long, long time
I've been wondering if I might miss you

Or if I even have the right

That's why it crossed my mind to wonder

What brings you here tonight

So, how's the new guy

Things all working like you planned?

I'm happy for you

Don't laugh, I think I really am

For a while there, you know it hurt me

When you said I would never be your man

If I might ask you, how's it going?

Is it all working out as planned?

How've you been feeling

Just loose? Or fancy free?

No, it don't matter

But that question always gets the best of me

I know I was never what you wanted

But I was still just who I had to be

Like an ache, and, a sad mistake, and

When you're drinking, think of me

How're you doing, baby

And what brings you here tonight

You don't come around here much

Seems like for such a long, long time

And I was wonderin', if I might miss you

Or do I even got that right?

It crossed my mind, so yeah, I wonder

Who you doing here tonight?

It crossed my mind, so yeah, I wonder

Who you doing here tonight?

Brandon Blvd.

That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia, out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Shore Patrol

It was hot in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. It was always hot. The kind of hot that drips down your back and off the end of your nose. The kind of hot that makes nylon shorts seem OK. And it was the other kind of hot. The frenzied hot. The heavy bass lines of the giant, neon clad rock and roll clubs pulsing down Magsaysay Drive kind of hot. Lipstick and short shorts kind of hot. San Miguel. Mojo. Grasshoppers and Red Horses. People pressed upon people, spilling out of, and then back into, every nook and cranny of Olongapo City. It was always one giant party when the fleet was in. And it was always hot.

Old timers would tell you, "You'll eat a big dinner, find a girl, get wasted, and wake up with a bunch of stupid t-shirts. And can't hardly spend $20 doing it." That was pretty close to true... kinda. It was a skill you had to learn though. And you didn't learn it on your first visit. The local population would likely have you headed back to the ship dizzy, spent, and relieved of your whole paycheck. In a single night. And you'd be grinning like the fool you were as you crossed the quarterdeck, rendering a salute that was more to prove that you were still able to keep upright than it was professional and respectful. The watchstander just sighs and waves you on. He wishes that was him.

Fast forward a dozen visits to Subic. Now I am that old timer. I know how to ride the jeepneys. "Suklee ko!!, driver. The ride is only 75 centavos. I gave you a peso." I know my way around, "(Rapping on the jeepney roof with my knucles) Bayedo. Mah-ma. Bayedo." I want to get off. I brushed off the street vendors, as respectfully as you can treat an insistent street vendor with a curt, "No. Station dito." I live here. A lie, but close enough. I was an old timer and couldn't be bothered. I was on my way to the record store. If you know who to look for, there in the back, is a guy who gives you a much better currency exchange rate than any of the official institutions lining the boulevard. Black market...Schmack market. More money is always better when you got this much living to get done in such a short amount of time.

One night I have shore patrol. Not in Olongapo, though. That's good. Olongapo is full of rowdy drunks. Mouthy fellas routinely getting their heads whapped upasideof by the Provost Marshalls and thrown in the back of the wagon. The PM's got little tolerance for mouthy, drunk squids. They'll tell you something once. You agree or you get smacked and cuffed. A simple situation, really. Even a drunk can come to understand it. Some drunks more quickly than others.

I also don't have the Subic City patrol. Subic City was where you went, if you didn't want too many prying navy eyes. It was a lot more laid back. It was a lot cheaper. And whatever you just asked is OK, as long as you've got "peso-nality". Yeah, I love you, no shit, but you'd better be able to pay. The biggest downside to Subic City was, if you crossed the line, they called the police, the guys who were already routinely shaking you down, instead of shore patrol. Then it got kinda ugly for the poor sap what got the police called on him. They were going to take him to jail, no question. They didn't care what he did so much as they knew he'd pay dearly to get out. We left dude after dude behind as the ship sailed. They was in a province jail, and what could we do about that? We'd eventually see them again in Guam, or Korea, or Pearl Harbor, or San Diego. This much I know. If you got put in the PI jail, it sucked to be you.

I had Shore Patrol in Barrio Baretta. A quiet oasis on the dirt road between frenzied Olongapo and the wild west town of Subic City. Baretta had no bands, only jukeboxes. My favorite place had a dirt floor and an old jukebox with David Allan Coe on it. As soon as I'd step off of the jeepney, a girl of about 9 would spot me and run over to the counter girl for a cold beer and a big peso. The new, smaller pesos wouldn't work in the jukebox. She'd throw the peso, a big one, in the juke box, press the buttons for my favorite DAC song, and meet me at the entry (no walls, so it wasn't really a doorway). With a giant grin she'd hand me the San Miguel while crooning along with Dave, in her endearing Philippine-Southern drawl (think corn pone meets fish sauce), "Dronnk. And toh-tahlly drained..." Good times.

So, I had shore Patrol in the Barrio that night. And it was boring. The place had as many resturants as bars, which most of the young squids on a mission saw as a waste and therefore didn't bother to stop. Fine by me. Don't need the hassle. I shore Patrolled for a while, but it was just me and a few others walking up and down a dirt road, in our dress whites, doing nothing. I thunk up a plan in the quiet boredom of that hot, sticky night. I put it into play after my next break, because I knew that a) it would be suspicious if I didn't show up for my break, and b) I knew I'd have 55 full minutes before they were expecting me back again.

I finished my break and moseyed easily down my side of the street, slowly making my way to the far end of the small barrio. I stuck my head into one quiet place where all the girls were sitting around playing cards and talking. Baretta was like that, real quiet. I stepped in, pulled out my wallet and bought ladies drinks all around. That got their attention. Then I handed one of them a small tip and said to her, "Sit outside and let me know if you see any Shore Patrol." She looked at the 20 Peso bill and then back at me. Then back at the bill. She cocked her head. "Ummm... you ARE Shore Patrol." Good point. So I told her, "Good point. Tell me if you see any other Shore Patrol, OK?" "Sure. OK." And, with her tasking now clear to her, she took a seat outside.

I wasn't stupid. I wasn't going to try to sneak a drink on duty. There was plenty of time for doing too much of that anyway. And I didn't want to be on restriction for something stupid like that. If you were restricted to the ship back in the day, before it became quite so pansy as it is now, the navy ships I was on would only count the days the ship was in port as days of restriction. They figured, rightly so, that when the ship was at sea nobody could leave, so it couldn't count as your punishment. That was a killer bad deal for you if you got put on restriction because, in order to burn off your 45 days of restriction could literally take you 4 to 6 months, depending how much we were underway. I wanted no part of that foolishness. But if i got caught in a dark corner, smooching up on a pretty lady when I was supposed to be patrolling a dead dirt road beat... well, slap him on the wrist and give him another night of Shore Patrol. Heh heh, boys'll be boys. What you gonna do?

OK, this went long. More stories later. I have them writ down so I won't forget.

I love you no shit, buy me a helicopter, out
Ramblin' Ed