Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Zero Hour

I really need to write a poem
in time for the zero hour assault

An officer shot a man dead in Detroit's west side--
he fit the description of a burglar
by ten o'clock tonight
he was dead, but still a suspect
it is said that he struggled--
was fleeing toward a crowd
I imagine he struggled;
some blame the cop for this,
but I bet
the trigger weighed as much as the man

A war is being prosecuted
to use anothers' resources
before we use up our own
then leave them to feed their masses
moon pies and hanging chads
surplus rifles
and tiny american flags
that children burn on TV

I still need to write a poem
midnight will kill me for this

She swims through the hazy layers
of smoke, and asks me to tell her
what she means and who I am tonight
and I'm dying to read her something
so beautiful the walls will crumble to dust
Maybe we'll just be as we were
before bombs took 100 souls
to meet their maker tonight
on the other side of the world;
that would be OK, I hope

Me and midnight
will roll through the front grass
past one, two and three
seven and seven
as wild fires consume everything
people own--the war grinds on
another struggle and shooting rips the night
freeing one and tormenting another

Children hold each other hostage
for 200,000 dollars. A ten and a twelve year old
with a one year old waiting for a helicopter
the oldest holding a gun
in the same hand she eats gumdrops with
only minutes before

A woman was stabbed five times at a gas station
five witnesses stepped over her to fill their tanks
and pay before driving away without a word

Hiding in the shadows are stalkers applying ointment
to the walnut sized blisters inflicted through self-abuse
Somebody needs help.

I need
midnight to settle down around me
I need one last smoke signal
and one last drink
and one last fuck
or one last boot in the face
before the apocalypse--

but that means nothing
It's zero hour minus one
we still live, dark lady
and I still need to write a poem--

dollars to datamines, you think
I must be out of my fucking mind

and of course, anything is possible
when the zero hour passes discreet
with care to stay in shadow
and a poem is about to be born
into all of this


singleton said...

"I need
midnight to settle down around me
I need one last smoke signal
and one last drink
and one last fuck
or one last boot in the face
before the apocalypse--
or the morning after that
one minute past zero hour
and we're still alive, dark lady"

It's so hard to let go of the day,
when it hasn't been enough,
to x it off your life altogether,
or even when it's been so much,
that you just want more. Or at least....

Peace on the morning after...

Morning, friend~

eric313 said...

Good thing all the recent days have been great for me. I have a lot to write about these days.

It's been some fun. Thanks for dropping by and you know I'll talk to you when you wake up in a while. See you later, friend.

Behind Blue Eyes said...

You aren't involved in music in any way are you? Your poetry would make good song lyrics too. Very well put. A lot of the things I think about. Why I hate to read the news.

eric313 said...

I play guitar and have been in four different bands. We wrote originals and did covers. I love music. Thanks for making the connection between my stuff and the musice that I hear in my head. It's always one of my few inspirations.

Thanks, BBE. See you around, friend.

Enemy of the Republic said...

The trigger weighed as much as the man...what a great line! Dude, you get it.

I sent Bardouble a different poem; the other isn't ready.

Damn, you write well!

Princess Pointful said...

I love the sense of urgency, and the line "so beautiful the walls will crumble to dust".
While I always enjoy the tone of your poems, I especially like those few lines that reach out and grab you (the trigger one did, as well).

benjibopper said...

"But one fine day
all our problems will be solved
Bang Bang Bang
We'll shoot him down"
-tracy chapman

something about that midnight hour
not just heavy but also
well balanced, snaps
shifts the shifters
nocturnals come alive
tumbling down with babies
shifts the shifted
waiting for the fall

skinnylittleblonde said...

I need
midnight to settle down around me
I need one last smoke signal
and one last drink
and one last fuck
or one last boot in the face
before the apocalypse--

and just when we think it's over & done with, we realize that it's just beginning.

singleton said...

hey! It's dead cowboy time, and you're where? At an interview!

Crashdummie said...

it's a mad world and ppl seemed to be consumed by their ignorance & denial...

.. but I'm glad that there are ppl like you who opens ppls eyes to see the reality as it is.

eric313 said...

Glad you all made it. It is a generally beautifull day across North America. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks. Sometimes one line can be all you need to really get people pulled into the piece. Thanks goes to my prof who taught me to cultivate the eye for good lines. And I'll check that poem out very soon.

The lines that grab you need to be there, so the rest of the gibberish dance works its steps out for you. I'm glad it worked, really, there are many times I don't know what to expect when I throw this stuff out there.

Trully, poetry is a wild form. Anything can be made from it's freedom. Thank you both for your compliments.

eric313 said...


Ah! You see it! Tracy summed it up perfectly.

And answering in the occasional poem--or the frequent poem, as in my case--helps to build that poetic voice so much, providing practice and a target idea you are expressing, which is way better that writing a poem when you don't know what you want to write about. I've been there, it's not good. Every poem needs to tell a story or express an idea. I used to be so imagistic that nobody could figure out what I was talking about in any poem.

Midnight is the balance, the pendulum swinging from one end to the next. It's the end and the begining, av very much used idea, but cool to use all the same. It's all been done, so we are free.

You and sister Singleton have the love connection! You both like the same line. The beginning and end are one, and so they cancel each other out. Peace, friend

Peace on the morning after the big ending. It's bittersweet, that's for sure. At least the beginning has already began to roll.

And were are you?
Not at the back porch!

eric313 said...

This stuff is sad, but it its nothing that couldn't be found on the nightly news. You know how sad the world is; it's good to let it go sometimes, like the other day, and again right now. The world provides us with an endless supply of material.

Flannery O'Connor, the American writer, said 'anybody who survived to the age of ten has enough material to last their whole writing lifetime'.

Roughly, she said that. You are the quote master, so you might know it better than I do. But yeah, she was talking about what we see everyday, happy or sad. That's a good one to keep in mind, friend. Glad to see you today! I'll be by your blog in soon.
thanks and peace out my friend

MyUtopia said...

That was really powerful! You did a great job with this one. I agree this would make great lyrics to a song. Hope you had a good weekend.

I am feeling much better today. Still very tired. I haven't been sleeping.

eric313 said...

Well, rest as best you can, friend. Glad to hear from you anytime. And thanks for the compliment! It got a lot better recently. It didn't have a good ending this morning. Now it's much smoother. And it is very urban and angry, and would rock with a beat. Thank you.

Susan Miller said...

Great stuff as usual, Eric.

Living to the fullest till the zero hour!

neko said...

feeling ineffectual

captain corky said...

The world is so dreadful sometimes.

the walking man said...

"An officer shot a man dead in Detroit's west side--
he fit the description of a burglar
by ten o'clock tonight
he was dead, but still a suspect
it is said that he struggled--
was fleeing toward a crowd
I imagine he struggled;
some blame the cop for this,
but I bet
the trigger weighed as much as the man"

Good verse but not exactly factual

The suspects fit the description, car included, in an armed robbery(a gun was found in the car) while one cop was cuffing one suspect the other was having trouble because his suspect was fighting him, not fleeing toward a crowd, the suspect went for the cops gun so his partner who had his suspect under control, Glocked the other in the ten ring.

Shit happens Eric, I just don't believe in romanticizing or playing with the facts.

Personally if the two did do the robbery and one was resisting arrest, under probable cause, the Po-PO had the duty to stop and check them out,then the trigger was much lighter than the suspect and easier to control.

Rather a dead thug than a dead cop, but as you know in Detroit this is the last we'll hear of this story until the little angels family files a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city, a family already complaining about the "beating the dead man took from the cop." A cop who was fighting the suspect to retain his weapon. Which was still holstered.

Crashdummie said...

But that’s reality for you – the truth is raw, liberating and pure, no matter what. But sometimes, it just get too much too handle. But then you shouldn’t blame the truth for it, but the people who turns the nightmares into reality and lures out the darkness..

Hmm, not quite sure where I’m going with this but thought you wanted to know. If not, well, too bad.. hehehe

Blogg ya later

karma lennon said...

The world can be mighty depressing, huh?

Blancodeviosa said...

dollars to datamines, you think
I must be out of my fucking mind

... i like that

eric313 said...

"It's all the same fuckin' day, man..."
Janice Joplin, Bobby Mcgee Live at the ? My friends know! Tell me!

Susan Miller
Thank you so much for you compliment. Live a thousand lives in one lifetime. Midnight, new years, apocalypse, zodiac precession--it's not in how we divide time, it's how we spend it.

And me? I write poetry with it, begining to bloody end. And I'm glad people write and even just let me know that they are there.
Thanks, Susan.

Right! You get it, as always. We live in certain degrees of our own perceived and actaul hells. You can try to make poetry of it, but you can't because things happen that punctuate the bubble of individual existence. We are connected with every event around us, so get the hell out of the way, write it out and move on. That was all there, but really, I didn't have it this fleshed out.

Thanks for you words, you always quantify the logic so simply. Human logic, the great paradox.

Captain Corky
Congratulations on Corky jr!

It's that dread we need to cope with somehow, through familly, love, our arts or other release. Better than ignoring it, and if you can bundle it all up in a bunch of lines, do it and write a poem. See you around.

eric313 said...


"some blame the cop for this,
but I bet
the trigger weighed as much as the man"

These words imply a grave decision was made. These words do not rush to judgment of any side. Most got that.

Don't key on the distractions of life or poetry, bro.

Don't be so negative and insulting when speaking to me in the future, as you have recently been in forms of print. Don't be a bully, that's what you sound like to many people. I get emails about deleting you, but I won't do that to anyone, ever.

You talk about civility and act uncivil toward people in your own print, dated and timestamped. More eyes read you acting this way than you know. Don't get mad at me for telling you to stop stepping on my shoes. I don't need more bluster in my life.

I thank you for updating me on the case. But this was taken of facts known at that specific moment. Do note the publication time. I begrudge our law enforcement nothing. Many do a splendid job.

Beginnings, endings, it's all the same day. I had to write from the moment.

Peace and understanding

Peace and understanding, my friend. Thanks for the shout. In the moments of panic--panic over my perceived inability to write, and the generally blocked out one of a world of gun carrying people of all stripes, law officers and criminals alike, right outside.

This is the road to compassion, friend. You understand. And I'll listen to you anytime. It's the friends around the world tour.

Thanks for being the bomb, girl!

eric313 said...

Yes it is, but we can't let that get in the way of eriting. Writing helps turn all negatives into positives. Unless its sucky writing.

Thanks for the comment and talk to you later.

Unleash your inner crazy on the page!

Let it fly high! Let it tell you the words, don't second guess it, just write! Nobody has to see it but you.

Datamining. They won't even let a man quit smoking without sending you free smoke coupons, tracking everything in our lives. It is so common, too. Yeah, crazy line and I hoped somebody would like it.


the walking man said...

"Don't be so negative and insulting when speaking to me in the future, as you have recently been in forms of print. Don't be a bully, that's what you sound like to many people. I get emails about deleting you, but I won't do that to anyone, ever."

Sometimes Eric you are so full of shit that your eyes are brown

now that is an insult and now you know the difference between an insult and a criticism.


Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

"I bet the trigger weighed as much as the man"

I liked this line especially

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Oh, and the walking man needs to stop for a while and think.

I don't think he can multi-task.

Hasn't he ever heard of poetic license?

skinnylittleblonde said... really got some folks thinking about all kinds of things on this one! That is wonderful & not everyone can achieve such a feat.
You are a poet, my dear, not a journalist or news reporter. Artists & entertainers of all types(poets, painters, dancers, comedians, musicians & even talk radio hosts) find their inspiration and motivation in everyday life as well as things that they simply dream up. Thank Goodness! For if not, we would not be able to enjoy things such as the Moulin Rouge, Picasso, Stephen King, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Jeff Foxworthy. If someone perceives you to be romanticizing the facts, then fine should take it for the good it is worth. I have read your other poems & I too perceive you to be a romantic ;) Nothing wrong with that, my man!

Your line .... "the trigger weighed as much as the man" seems to have really impacted a lot of people & in a variety of ways, as everyone has their own set of eyes with which they see. IMHO, it simply implies that pulling a trigger is not something to be taken lightly, but again that's just my opinion. Sometimes when things are getting heavy, the words weigh more than the man. And sometimes, the words are like kites. You just let it fly baby!

singleton said...

If you evoke a thought, an emotion, a rush of've set the world a fire! Hats off to you, on this one!

Peace,love, and dead cowboys!

eric313 said...

Walking Man:

You are an old child.

piss in your own cheerios

my guests don't eat your waste.

I deleted your third comment,

which was to Ultra Toast Mosha God--you need to remember not to talk out your ass where your friends read, I saved you one indignity. I didn't even read the comment. I don't know what it said and don't care to.

I don't compete with you; I am above your level of competition, and you prove why with all of your diatribes.

Sir, you have earned an unwelcome in my presence. Have your last word whenever you want it and prove to your friends that you can let it go.

These will sit, as a warning to you, but your words will be eliminated in any future capacity after this breach of your own code of conduct.

Good day, sir.

Susan Miller said...

Aw man...not you and Mark. Come one now. I just love you guys.

Crashdummie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crashdummie said...

"Thanks for being the bomb, girl!"


the walking man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
benjibopper said...

Bono said it succinctly: "midnight is where the day begins," a chronistic irony.

I don't know that every poem must have a story though, or even a point for that matter. Sometimes it's more about rhythm, rhyme, and suchlike.

Happy Tuesday.

SpongyBones said...

Damn man this is good stuff. You should set this to a tune! Hell this is great!

Cheri said...

Through respect for others I will only say this:

Eric, this is the internet. You'll probably never see Mark again in the "real world" as most of us call it. Let it go. Live your life however you choose to live it and leave the lives of others alone. Karma, Eric, is a strong thing.

eric313 said...

"Karma, Eric, is a strong thing"

Exactly. Sounds like your friend talking, and not you.

eric313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric313 said...

Thanks for the word and having my back, stranger; I hate to come home and see myself piled on. He's a poet, not a critic.

But you don't have to do that, anymore. I would've just deleted everything he said and left his first response and mine to him. That said it all.

Like how everything here on this response board acted out why I percieve the world as crazy?

Art=Life A blank canvas to a great poem. Thank you.

He can appologize anytime, and I will accept it, but he needs to take what he dishes out and leave it be. That's the sad part; He's how old and I'm teaching him?

I know you love us both, and I'm glad to have that love and hope to God I don't lose it. But he knows he's wrong; that's why the strong reaction. He needs to leave me alone forever. It's just that way, he called it weeks ago. Tell him to tell his side. Thaks for coming by and trying so hard and writing so well.

I was telling my teacher how great you all have been for me. Thank you for the reafirmation; that's what she said as well, so you think on a level that I am very familliar with. That would explain why we create so easily, you and Sing and I. To the art will will make, my friend. Party soon! Peace~Love


I have set the blaze
that saw the world burn
I am the fireman
I pull the trigger
and take the shots
I am the flame
I burn nightly
Hear the savages howl
in bitter impotence
faced with my heat*

*any resemblance to real life is purely coincidental.

Ba ba Boom, baby! :) I'm still alive!

I only try to have a story going on most of the time; that's one layer, then the rhythym and words--one needs great lines and ideas.

You're right; there are no rules. It's all been done, so lets all have a ball. Glad to see you back.

Thanks for dropping by. The place is a mess, but I'm working on it! You'll read more like this, that's for sure. Maybe not now, but writng from them moment was the best thing I could have done.

eric313 said...

Mark, of course I deleted my own response. I forgot, seing as I was trying to forget, something you tell people I can't do. I don't expect you to ever understand me. I do expect peole to not send me more emails about a bullying presence that offends them. It was all three times from woman. Toast is just got in your way, and you bullied him. Twice.


I feel like you want me to quit this and it bothers me. Now you are quiting. I suppose you will continue to blame me for this. Karma knows who is at fault; People who can read and read my site know this as well. I rest easy knowing that my heart is in Karma's grasp. So is yours; you are not always this way, I know. But I will not beg a stalwart bully to visit my website. I left your "funny comments" for eveyone to read.

I wish this was amusing. Please, no more of this fighting.

eric313 said...

And don't stalk my readers and post the evidence! I hoped you would find that. I had to appologize to him somehow. You only want to assert yourslef on people who can't stand you.

He's a stranger who is nicer than you are capable of being.

He proved it.

I had to laugh with him on the level of comrades. You let me twist in the wind. That's how I knew what was up with you when it started. You have some people fooled.

singleton said...

post tonight.
you have it in you

the walking man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cheri said...


I have my own beliefs in Karma. And please do not be snide with me because I despise drama and I do not want to become "brash" as you say that I am.

Whatever set you both off is none of my concern but it bothers me that Mark deleted his blog because of it. You both have your own unique talents and indeed you are a wonderful poet, for I could never put words together like that. So is Mark. It seems like a pissing contest that you're both keeping alive, a "my dick is bigger than your dick" type of thing. If he left comments to someone else, he is entitled to do so. No one "owns " the internet (except for maybe Al Gore, who thinks he also invented pants) and yes they may be your readers of your blog, but they have the free will to read other people's as well. They do not belong exclusively to you.

Again, I am not bashing you, but I'd like you to see that keeping saying things and trying to prove whatever point is just going to become futile and redundant. So for the sake of everyone else, just let it go, that's all that I asked. I don't care who's dick is bigger, who can pee farther and who gets more chicks. Hell, I probably get more women than most! (bada bing)

Anyways, other than all that crap, how have you been?

eric313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neko said...


your praises should go to someone more qualified than i.

but, thank you all the same.

i enjoy your writing. it's poignant. and beautifully so.

eric313 said...

It's all good! My pains-taking editing jobs make me appear smarter than I actually am.

You are perfectly qualified for that level of praise, friend. Be well.

just me said...

Its been a long, long time since I read poetry that brought tears to my eyes. Think Robert Frost, or Archibald MacLeish, and you are their voice in this world today. Not the same of course, unique, vibrant, but I believe you stand among them. Shoulder to shoulder.

What a gift you have.

eric1313 said...

Just me

Thanks for your visits, I miss you and wish you'd come around more often.

Then again, maybe I should visit you more often. I will.

Thanks for the words.

Princess Pointful said...

Seems only fitting that I leave a secret message on this post, does it not?
I have thought about bringing these communications to email, but I kind of like this skulking secret form of communication. It may not be convenient, but I'm a little attached to it. Plus, I kind of like how it is attached to the theme of whatever post we are commenting on.

Yes, I was by earlier, to peruse this post. Unfortunately, time is a little tight these days, as I've had fewer days to prepare for my return to real life than I would have liked due to the little airline fiasco, so I had to return a little later.

I commented before the drama ensued on this poem, so that would explain my obliviousness. I find the entire notion of attacking people via this forum so strange... if anything, I like this venue for friendships because it seems so far beyond that. And for a man to start playing various people behind the scenes against each other? So very sad. Even sadder for someone to fall into those games, and to try to turn your writing, your very soul, against you. I'm glad you've been able to set yourself free, and continue with the beautiful words, unfettered.

Yes, the Duke and I did have a similar experience, of someone in real life using her blog (ironically, with a different address than usual, so we wouldn't know the lies she was spreading, though it was easy enough to figure out) to slander us. The automatic response is to defend yourself, and God knows I had post after post in my draft folder detailing the lies she told. But I decided the stronger thing would be to just hit delete, and not give into the game, because no good could come of continuing this cycle, and the last thing an interpersonal conflict needs is an audience.

It still irks me that someone believes those lies, though, as it must you.

But, yes, I am thankfully home now, after the bus trip from hell (apparently the fitting end to a chaotic trip). Now my life is preoccupied with unpacking and preparation, with perhaps a little romance thrown in the mix to keep me motivated-- separation over the holidays can be a little difficult.

Best wishes, Eric.
And watch out for those lower lips of love- lol!!!