Lost Highway - A Blues Poetry Anthology

RD Armstrong, the editor, wants everyone to know how much he's enjoyed putting this collection together; and how he appreciates the patience of all involved. He claims he's always been a blues man at heart. He's been muttering this sentence for years. "It's all about the TONE - not the pigment, the vibration!"

Special thanks to the poets: Jim "Jazz" Chandler, David Crittendon, Clabe Hangan, Linda Lerner, John Macker, Errol Miller, Tony Moffeit, Todd Moore, Val Sigstendt, Jimmy Smith, Rick Smith, Scott Wannberg, Lawrence Welsh, and A.D. Winans, Yazoota...and old RD, himself.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Publishor: Lummox Press 2000

World rights reserved -- Use only with publishor's written permission

Little Red Book Vol. 28

ISBN 1-929878-29-X

Pages: 48

Cost: Six Dollars (includes Postage & Handling)



EXCERPTS FROM LOST HIGHWAY

the poem by Todd Moore

was shit
but the
guy backing
the poet
was playing
a sweet
quitar
riff that
had me
searching
for robert
johnson
i knew
the color
of death
in a glass
of bourbon
& swam
in the
black rain
bow of a
colt 32



The Blues Name Their Daughter Ursula by John Macker

Miles glares at me with those October 
eyes from the kitchen wall, holds a pink 
baby in his thin fingers, seems to be 
saying as I put on my boots, a second cup 
of breakfast tea, "Random is not a function" 
followed, I think, by a North Atlantic expletive. 

As I float down the highway in a flood of yellow 
light, the continent retreating out from under me 
the space between mesa-edge & mist 
looks like a thin-lipped smile. The news 
says due to drought the bears are coming down 
this year & at that point I feel more than a 
simple affinity with them, both of us 
hanging white-knuckled from the same 
civilization 	less than holy 
but more than innocent. 

The radio astrologer then says 
"Taureans, if you were born today, you 
are kind of blue, you won't hit a half- 
starved black bear with your 
Mitsubishi but someone in time & 
space will & the moon with all of 
its pink houses 
will still rise. full."



Twenty Notes Gone South by RD Armstrong

remember those beer-stained nights
of rompin', out-of-focus blues
when couples squeezed onto crowded dance floors
to dance the crazy-legged be-bop & jive, or 
jumpin' at the woodside, or
doin' the crosstown, las' chance fo' romance-
closing-time boogie. 
remember the band hittin' the ninth refrain  runnin' 
like a roundhouse haymaker findin' its mark 
sweating under red and blue lights
while everyone was hypnotized by 
the big man on the mic,
always dressed in a suit, Chicago-style
hair slicked back
remember how the big man never took off the shades
even at night, even as he slept, perhaps. 
remember how he worked so hard 
hunched over 
cupping his instrument
pulling it into himself
grunting and shouting 
sweat pouring off his brow
blowing his soul into and through
ten-holes
turning twenty notes into a
vocabulary of sighs and moans
like a mile-long, south-bound freight 
pulling its tired load of joy and sorrow
over Breakheart Pass. 
remember the big man driven
onwards 
always 

William Clarke is dead
twenty notes gone south, gone
home to rest

let us pause and remember


RAMON'S by Lawrence Welsh

strip off the names 
like buick 8 
or chrysler king 
and hide on 
peidras stretch 

some shade 
is visor low 
or 22 caliber 
spider holes 

up the drag 
the cinco puntos 
travails 
to central el paso 
blue 

but back 
a rolling door 
a pot of joe 
a crescent wrench 
to turn 


 the night singing in her nerves  by Tony Moffeit

        coyotes drank the shadows
        while she moved
        that was her secret
        all she had to do
        was feel the blues

        she sought the outlaw
        on nights when the
        moon howled and a
        drumbeat pulsed 
        in her veins

        she sat in the corner
        booth in the back
        of the saloon in the
        wildness of her silence
        in the ghost dance
        of her disappearance

        the leaves shook
        outside the window
        the darkness became
        her blood the roadhouse
        jumped with her rhythm

        coyotes drank the shadows
        while she moved
        that was her secret
        all she had to do
        was feel the blues








RD "Raindog" Armstrong

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LUMMOX Productions c/o PO Box 5301
San Pedro, CA 90733-5301
United States