Saturday, April 30, 2011

Race Day

Race Day
By: James Dubeau

When the race
First began
There was shouting
And cheering
And bands
But soon I
Fell into the groove
And nothing but silence
Over labored breaths
Rounding the corner
Down the street
Drunken frat boys
Cheer on their feet
But the event
Had just begun
And there was no support
Not really
Soon the cheers were behind me
And silence crept back in
As I labored on
Trying to make progress
I could finish
I knew I could
But it reminding
Of that important fact
Over and over and over
As I kept moving
Making my way
Only pausing slightly
At the rest break
But still pushing forward
Faster than I expected
Still keeping momentum
Even after all this time
Rounding the last corner
End is in sight
I sprit for the finish
And hop on all right

Friday, April 29, 2011

Unfinished Ballad

Unfinished Ballad
By: James Dubeau

The cold had a frigid bit
As snow fell throughout the night
Down through the bombed out roof
Of the beloved Boar’s Red Hoof

Coughing Zack reached for a smoke
And mumbled a dry bad joke
Quinn smiled and tried to ignore
The crimson blood upon the floor

They sure got me good back there
Zack had said and then did swear
Why the hell did those bombs fall
He had lost it all and began to bawl

We are here and that matters
Humanity maybe tatters
We will still be fighting on
Until the last of them are gone

Quinn then passed a whiskey jar
You will have a wicked scar
Zack did laugh and then he winced
His fate was sealed Quinn was convinced

Crash! Bomb! The wall exploded
Giant beast then unloaded
Shells and bullets then did fly
Under a red evil eye

Quinn did duck behind the bar
Zack was not behind by far
Or so she thought when she did move
But he had something left to prove

I’m not going without a fight
Zack had stood, his rifle tight
Returning fire on that night
It sure was quite the sight

The metal beast, it did glare
It did not move, just stood there
Bullets hit silver skin
As sweat rolled off Zack’s poor chin

Get out of here Zack did shout
It’s closing time without a doubt
This mother is going down
So you should get out of town

Quinn did duck and she did weave
Zack pulled grenades from his sleeve
The metal monster kept firing
Trying to stop the conspiring

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Black Sea

Black Sea
By: James Dubeau

My eyes rest upon
Light reflecting off the water
Rolling across the dark sea
With the white capped waves in
Ivan Ayvazovskiy’s
The Black Sea
The crashing waves
Bring my mind back
To my native homeland
Of the Main shoreline
Where I would have been
Looking out across the ocean
Watching the tide roll in
Under heavy cloud cover
Of looming storms
On a cold early morning
Where only the hope
Of the rising sun
To burn the dreary night away
Can bring a smile to my
Old and weary eyes

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Winter That Could Have Been

The Winter That Could Have Been
By: James Dubeau

The poem I’d never write
Would have been about a time
Which was to be
Full of joy and romance

A winter which would have began
With a night watching the lunar eclipse
Or a drive through the festival of lights
As snow fell on a starlit night

Then there was to be days
Full of outdoors fun
Such as
Snow skiing
Ice Skating
And even sledding
On these Wisconsin hills and ponds

Then we would have
Tried to stay warm
Drinking mugs of hot chocolate
While attacking each other
With freezer cold feet
Under the cover
Of warm heavy blankets

Cuddling together
Sharing bodily warmth
Through cold winter nights
All the way to the morning
Waking up to breakfast
Which I love to cook
Of eggs and bacon
And coffee or tea

And then there would have been
The handful of holidays
Trading gifts by the tree
While laughing hysterically
At our tacky sweaters
Or sipping champagne
While the ball would have dropped
Sharing a kiss
From those first fireworks
Until cupid buzzed
About our heads

But those events
Never did happen
In the winter
That could have been
And the poem
About that time
And about that girl
Shall always remain
The poem I’d never write

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fairy-Tale High

Fairy-Tale High
By: James Dubeau

Ever live a
Fairy-tale high?
Beautiful crystalline
A new divide
Beyond the olde!

Monday, April 25, 2011


By: James Dubeau

When the weather is
No where near up to snuff
And my mind isn’t around
To put ink to paper
I like to sit and watch movies
And wonder why
Max loves pistachios so much
When the weather is
Where I like it to be
I’ll go on long walks
Picking up interesting pebbles
As I make my way
Through the countryside
While sucking the varnish
Off those little hard candies

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Man’s Distrust of Destiny

Man’s Distrust of Destiny
By: James Dubeau

Purple ring

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Running Body

Running Body
By: James Dubeau

It’s true that fresh air is good for the body
Especially when running on city streets
Pounding feet against burning concrete
Gasping breaths are the only reprieve
For this exhausted body
My mind and soul scream
This is our body

Friday, April 22, 2011

Foxy In Blue

Foxy In Blue
By: James Dubeau

From the day
We first met
I was in love
With your boxy frame
And angled curves
Some may disagree
But to me
You were a fox
In the way
You wore that blue
And that shine
Upon your grill

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Future – Remix

Future – Remix
By: James Dubeau

Brown sunshine
Will be washing
I can motion away
For change
Plans cannot
Need uselessness
Before time
Can pass fully
Things are
Not from waiting
This week
Not another bag
Of paper
Sitting happy
Yet idle
Glad to be loose
In which
I let the Plans
Be just

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stair Game

Stair Game
By: James Dubeau

I remember that day
When you held me
In your arms
At the base of the stairs
In the old house
Back in Maine
I couldn’t have been
Any older than two
Maybe three
At the most
You held me
In your arms
I held Snoopy
In my arms
We had played a game
Since Snoopy was big
As big as me
Where I would scamper
Up the stairs
Then you would toss him
To my waiting arms
But that night
You said to me
How about I toss you
Up the stairs
Filled my brain
As I shouted
Wiggled free
To scamper up those stairs
For you to toss
Up to me

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Laundered Words

Laundered Words
By: James Dubeau

I see you
Sitting there
Spilling over the edges
Of your basket
Waiting to be worked on
Waiting to be finished
Waiting to be cleaned up
Until I have a free moment
Enough time to spend
Dealing with you
After work
Or on the weekend
When no one else is around
And nothing better is going on
Other than sitting around
Drinking all the beer
Cleaning you up
Removing all the stains
Making you presentable
To show off in public
Too bad
No one will even notice
The hard work
It took
To clean you up
To straighten you out
To make you

Monday, April 18, 2011

First Day

First Day
By: James Dubeau

What can I say on this fine day
When I’m sitting around with anxieties abound
My heart beats faster with fears I can’t master
This new job so far away from Bob
But I think I can for I am the man
Who has the gall to conquer all
Weather it be a new job or activity or raising a new kitty
Or so I keep saying to keep it from weighing
Carving out a hole deep upon my soul
These few words aren’t just for the birds
But to keep an even keep I must expound how I feel
Say good bye and let these butterflies fly

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Killer Mime

Killer Mime
By: James Dubeau

Once upon a time
There was a mime
Who dropped a dime
On poor old Clementine

She didn’t know
If it was her old foe
Or it was her beau
But it was only Moe

He did sail
After the whale
That was named Dale
Who was out on bail

But those were the days
When he drank into a haze
To be lost in the maze
Until the next phase

When Dale was found dead
Lost in his bed
Where he had been bled
And Clementine’s hands were red

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fall Of 2003

Fall Of 2003
By: James Dubeau

I had carried
The Things They Carried
By Tim O’Brien
Back in the Fall
Of 2003
To my mattress
In my barren room

I had carried
Thoughts and feelings
Grief and pain
In that time
Of my life
As I tried to figure out
What I wanted
Where I was going

I had carried
The book home from class
In a bag too heavy for its straps
Weighted down
With my homework
My books
My pride
My shame
As a returning student
Back to school
After being away
For oh so long

I had carried
My fears of a life well wasted
In my back pocket
The girlfriend at the time
Did not appreciate
That I was aimless
Adrift at sea
With no guidance
Or school in me
So I re-upped
Returning to that which might
If the cards played out just right
Lead to a better future

I had carried
Of better times
Better futures
With the girlfriend
But these things
Would never come to pass
I knew this
Even though
My foolish heart
Remained hopeful

I had carried
Upon my arms
Scars of failure
Seeping to the lows
Just to survive
To feel the pain
Of life and death
Just scraping by
Selling plasma
And my soul
That fall of 2003

I had carried
That book of poetry
Assigned to me
By my Freshman English class
And it in turn
Carried me
Back to Vietnam
With those men
Who lived and died
In that foreign jungle
In that foreign land

I had carried
A bottle of whiskey
And case of cola
To bed with me
That fall afternoon
Where I sat
Upon my mattress
Upon the floor
Back against the wall
Pouring drink after drink
While I read those pages
Living those lives
Of the men fighting
In the late 60s

I had carried
A lonely dark place
In the corner of my soul
While I sat there
Drinking whiskey
Reading poetry
Thinking about the life
Which I had led
Life which produced
The man I was
The man I am
That day I may have drank
To remember
To forget
To fight back the tears
No longer do I remember
The exact reason
But I do know
That day
I did drink

I had carried
A sense of duty
A sense of pride
In working long hours
Every other weekend
Hours which lasted forever
By the end of each late night
My vision would be clouded over
Spots and glares
From the lights
And cleaning supplies
Of my aisle
In the grocery store

I had carried
A sense of shame
In what I had become
Too poor to be an alcoholic
Too depressed to be more
The girl had cautioned
Before leaving our apartment
That I shouldn’t be drinking
Not that much
Not alone
I had enjoyed the drink
The sweet caramel taste
Of the liquor and cola
Swirling about my mouth
Not to become intoxicated
Not to lose control
I could hold my liquor
And I had said so
I don’t think she believed me

I had carried
Perverse amusement
When I sat down
Book and whiskey
In my hands
Nothing like poems
Straight out of Vietnam
Too cheer me up
On a bright Saturday afternoon
I had said out loud
Little did I know
Just how engrossing
Those stories and poems
Would be for me
I could only muster the strength
To look away
Just long enough
To pour another drink
Before being sucked back into
The eyes of a poet
Living and fighting and killing
In Vietnam

I had carried
A belly full of whiskey
When the sun grew heavy
And the bottle was empty
And the book was finished
While my mind was well fed
My body was not
So I walked off
In search of sustenance
A sandwich
Some space
Some time
To decompress
All that I had read
I had walked
Far down University
As evening turned to night
Clouds covered over
The endless sky
Sending me into hiding
From the rain
From the dark of night
At a park pavilion
Filled with rambunctious
Lively high schoolers
High on pot and beer and E

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Today the writing prompt for the 30 Day Challenge was to post a poem that you love. I was going to post "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien from the book of the same name. However I do not feel comfortable with posting the poem in its entirety onto the internet. As a creative person I have strong beliefs on Intellectual Property rights and Copyright laws and common respect for other artists. For those reasons I only posted the first two paragraphs. I hope it is enough to wet your appetite and leave you wanting more.

For your convenience here is a link to where you can buy the same edition I own.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack. In the late afternoon, after a day's march, he would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of fight pretending. He would imagine romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He would sometimes taste the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there. More than anything, he wanted Martha to love him as he loved her, but the letters were mostly chatty, elusive on the matter of love. She was a virgin, he was almost sure. She was an English major at Mount Sebastian, and she wrote beautifully about her professors and roommates and midterm exams, about her respect for Chaucer and her great affection for Virginia Woolf. She often quoted lines .of poetry; she never mentioned the war, except to say, Jimmy, take care of yourself. The letters weighed ten ounces. They were signed "Love, Martha," but Lieutenant Cross understood that Love was only a way of signing and did not mean what he sometimes pretended it meant. At dusk, he would carefully return the letters to his rucksack. Slowly, a bit distracted, he would get up and move among his men, checking the perimeter, then at full dark he would return to his hole and watch the night and wonder if Martha was a virgin.

The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wrist watches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water. Together, these items weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds, depending upon a man's habits or rate of metabolism. Henry Dobbins, who was a big man, carried extra rations; he was especially fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup over pound cake. Dave Jensen, who practiced field hygiene, carried a toothbrush, dental floss, and several hotel-size bars of soap he'd stolen on R&R in Sydney, Australia. Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April. By necessity, and because it was SOP, they all carried steel helmets that weighed five pounds including the liner aid camouflage cover. They carried the standard fatigue jackets and trousers. Very few carried underwear. On their feet they carried jungle boots-2.1 pounds - and Dave Jensen carried three pairs of socks and a can of Dr. Scholl's foot powder as a precaution against trench foot. Until he was shot, Ted Lavender carried six or seven ounces of premium dope, which for him was 2 necessity. Mitchell Sanders, the RT0, carried condoms. Norman Bowker carried a diary. Rat Kiley carried comic books. Kiowa, a devout Baptist, Carried an illustrated New Testament that had been presented to him by his father, who taught Sunday school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a hedge against bad times, however, Kiowa also carried his grandmother's distrust of the white man, his grandfather's old hunting hatchet. Necessity dictated. Because the land was mined and booby-trapped, it was SOP for each man to carry a steel-centered, nylon-covered flak jacket, which weighed 6.7 pounds, but which on hot days seemed much heavier. Because you could die so quickly, each man carried at least one large compress bandage, usually in the helmet band for easy access. Because the nights were cold, and because the monsoons were wet, each carried a green plastic poncho that could be used as a raincoat or groundsheet or makeshift tent. With its quilted liner, the poncho weighed almost two pounds, but it was worth every ounce. In April, for instance, when Ted Lavender was shot, they used his poncho to wrap him up, then to carry him across the paddy, then to lift him into the chopper that took him away.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


By: James Dubeau

The day is bright
But I am dark
My soul should soar
But it is dark
Where have they all gone?
When it is so dark
My friends left me
In the dark
My parents left me
In the dark
Everything has left me
In the dark
There can be no other
In the dark
Only my poems
Can light the dark
For me to be happy
With the dark
In the

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


By: James Dubeau

On the brain
Will soon
Be eaten
All night

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life In Six

Life In Six
By: James Dubeau

Mad for

Monday, April 11, 2011


By: James Dubeau







Sunday, April 10, 2011


By: James Dubeau

Epigraph from Clint Eastwood
By: Gorillaz

I ain't happy,
I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine in a bag
I'm useless but
Not for long
The future is coming on

For time to pass
I cannot be happy
Not fully
Not yet
I can be glad
Things will change
Plans are in motion
Plans which need
Just another week
Of fermentation
Before this sunshine
Can be let loose
From the brown paper bag
Washing away
Idle uselessness

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Om Noms

Om Noms
By: James Dubeau

Om Noms
Is the place to be
If you want
Fizzle in your pop
And a vermillion gumball
Or maybe a double-decker
Shot-put sized
Rhinoceros cheeseburger
On a chlorophyll colored bun
But if that is too square
For your rhythmical adrenaline
Then muddle your way
Through our abstract menu
Which will vilify
All others
That have come before
Take the time
To circumspect our
Emblazoned walls
While a bespectacled waitress
Asks you to integrate
Into the booths
Just remember
Are for the kids to ride
There will be no

Friday, April 08, 2011

Driven Mad

Driven Mad
By: James Dubeau

Flashing computer screen
Will make me certifiable

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Little Old Tree

Little Old Tree
By: James Dubeau

Little old tree
Out in the yard
Standing by your lonesome
Not expected to live
Not expected to survive
Not given a chance
Not like the rest
Which dot the yard
You are alone
Fighting the world
With no help
No support
No nothing
You are surviving

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


By: James Dubeau

As I lie still
My brain is awake
Going over
The instant
It all went bad
I'm sorry
I wasn’t there for you
I’m sorry
I wasn’t your friend
When you needed one
I’m sorry
My shoulder wasn’t there
For your eyes to weep upon
I’m sorry
I laughed and poked fun
When you were hurt
I’m sorry
All that I did
Was selfish
I did not know
What had been done
I deserve the hate
Wound up
Inside of you
Target me with it
If you would like
I deserve it
I want it
Go ahead
Don't hold back
You should not hesitate
To give me what I have coming
I know you are just as tired
Of all this as I am
But there are no more reasons
To lose sleep
When we can
Get it out
Into the open
And close this rift
It looks like
This may take some time
While we sort
Everything out
But that will be time
What we need to do
In order to get
Everything back
To where
It once was
To where
We can be friends
Once again
I will be waiting
And writing
My thoughts
And feelings
Until that time
Is here

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


By: James Dubeau

There are times I hate
When you roll out of place
From the shelf next to the limes

Monday, April 04, 2011

Marathon Haiku

Marathon Haiku
By: James Dubeau

Legs are churning hard
Just one more mile to go
You can finish it

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Goblins Dance

Goblins Dance
By: James Dubeau

Goblins dance
About a cold fire
With the fury
Of a worm’s
Contempt for life
Awaking the spirits
In the trees
In the rocks
In the air
Demanding strength
Upon their domain
To bury
Hawkwing’s passions
Away for good
For time
To scatter

Saturday, April 02, 2011


By: James Dubeau

Was the last time
We went out
For all you can eat
Steak fries

Friday, April 01, 2011


By: James Dubeau

Jumping for cover
Armed to the teeth
Minutemen must die
Embracing their fate
Saving this land