las vegas/bernal/santa fe

april 28-29-30-2006



outlaw poet apprehension

eluding capture in poor

rainwhipped las vegas

new mexico badland rendezvous

medicine bags fingered

n counted in minds-eye

silver bullet, wolf claw, fire opal

piece of rickrack

from the lady’s hem

quest honest outside law

.22 for her

trained between crooked eyes

snuff out the blindness there

for her…



dillinger brings busted glass

n count yrself lucky

that these reloaders

n hipshooters didn’t call down

harder rain

in stormy american night

dying dreams

flickering projection lamps

lines spoken onto screens

silver blue n red as

hard panhandle dawn

& the wound

that seeps words

and will not mend…



but we attend—

2 ladies help w/ ganja

n smiles in a dark dry car

sitting lone now sippin tecate

silent w/in outsider

chatter n mythos jokes

n invocations

todd n yama, s.a. conjure

shakespeare nightmare academic

uncertainty principle laid down

n laughed off as somehow


the bard’s outlaw shadow

played by strother martin

in another classic

bit part…




giving a lift

quest for kell pure

it dawns on the driver

indian spread flaps

careless across jagged hole

rear window

o’keefe sunlight

n white billows

done run thunderheads

back over the divide

johnny cash fills the van

“no I won’t back down”

“I’ll be what I am”

“gonna stand my ground”

“a solitary man”

poets appreciate converging

in silence of song

wander looking for lost legend

for danger

n for soul

for laughs

to mount desperation

n not get throwed

too many blue gates

n third hand directions

but coltrane to steady the wheel

from central park west

up to kell’s beat hank hilltop

the critters of now

roam historical repository

& the caretaker principal

conspirator inspirator ornery

cuss kitten lovin clarity voice


76 years old next week

drinks malt liquor from stained cup

rolls tops smokes em up

regales w/ wild tales

the 3 who converge—

dorsey from toledo

s.a. from l.a.

jimi from denver

until santa fe calls em back

down that rocky road…



museum calling itself a gallery

within the turquoise city

presents polite outlaws

dressed for dinner w/ the schoolmarm

guns checked at the door

armed w/ pastoral allusion

arguments for common sanity

art is god is love

save the prairie whales


n s.a. crooning

no uncertain revolt


n frankie

reminding cities

crawling w/ junkies

n forced blowjobs

when outlaws lose even

their most trusted




a bowl on a rough stone patio

stainless blameless receptacle of light

receive our lines for tony and the lady

may you keep them burning bright

climb arroyo to a place for poets

a cross, a writing machine struck dumb

blasted by ignorant gods mid-line

can never turn back the poets to come…



thanks to john & annie for the place & the pulse


Jimi Bernath


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