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Two cardboard TV boxes are his home,

in back of a garment factory

on 6th street. I share the bottle with him

on the lawn of the downtown library. Hes

coherent for several moments,

recalling his youngest daughter at 3 years old.


                 from;  Third Birthday by Doug Draime






     Old Homeless Man In St. Francis Hotel Lobby

     Teenage Angst

     Dream From Motel 6

     these words

     Tin Cans

      Waiting For Further Developments

      Third Birthday

      George Raft Movie

      The Suits Wont Go Away

      Time Warrior

     Spider Wisdom



1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Doug Draime


Doug Draime emerged as a presence in the small press and 'underground'

literary movement in Los Angeles in the late 1960's. Most recent books still in print: Rock 'n Roll Jizz (Propaganda Press) and Los Angeles Terminal:

Poems 1971-1980. Forthcoming, More Than The Alley, a full-length collection from Interior Noise Press. Also, two online chaps available: Speed of Light http://www.righthandpointing.com/draime/ <http://www.righthandpointing.com/draime/>

and Stoned On A Poco Stick  http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue130chapbookcover.html <http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue130chapbookcover.html>  .

Awarded PEN grants in 1987, 1991 and 1992. Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in last few years. He lives and writes in the foothills of Oregon.







                Old Homeless Man In St. Francis Hotel Lobby



                I could see

                it was all

                he could do

                to keep

                from crying

                and I

                kept expecting

                his lower lip

                to begin trembling

                and sobs

                to shake

                his bent body.

                But he was dignified,

                holding himself erect

                as he talked to the

                nightly news,

                cursing, raving

                at the television

                over the





                Teenage Angst



                When I started writing

                at around 15  if anyone

                would have told me


                that I’d still be at this

                crazy-ass shit  as an old man


                I would have found

                my grandfather’s shiny

                Remington 12 gauge


                in the dilapidated barn 

                behind the house


                and blown a hole

                in them as huge as

                Balzak’s belly


                as long and jagged

                as Whitman’s bread

                as deep as


                Finnegan’s Wake


                Their blood and guts and

                liver and bone


                spewing out all over the

                backyard and garden


                The 9 wild cats that lived

                in the barn


                would have had a feast


                If anyone would have

                told me that


                I would have murdered

                more people than


                Charles Starkweather


                remember him?






                 Dream From Motel 6



                Drunk, and having no memory

                how I got there:

                the only passenger

                in a front seat of an

                out of control Greyhound bus


                A 300 pound man suppose to be driving

                black hair slicked back      

                dressed in an Elvis

                blue sequined jumpsuit

                and with white boots

                slumped/ passed out

                or dead

                over the steering wheel

                which was

                bouncing in tiny zigzag patterns

                pressed with the weight of his body               

                speeding down

                Market street

                headed pall mall

                for the Wharf and

                off and over the end

                the Pacific devouring

                me, the Elvis impersonator

                and the 5 ton machine


                When I woke up

                I was drenched in sweat

                and there were

                skid marks

                from my feet

                deep into the mattress

                but I was alive, and ravenously

                hungry for deep fried scrimp,

                cole slaw and several

                ice cold beers







                                                                                these words



                                (concepts): MILITARY INDUSTRIAL CORPORATE COMPLEX


                                                                                and their implications


                Ive always had trouble with

                                                                                in this life


                                                                                                                                in this illusion,


                in all my lives, in all my illusions, and no amount of mayhem


                                                and death and fear and ignorance and lies


                                                                is gonna keep my



                                                                mouth shut





                                the utter evil                          of these words









                Tin Cans

                                In Memory Of Ray Charles



                I was 15 or 16

                when you were helped

                from the stage in

                Indianapolis, mumbling

                incoherently and later

                arrested for narcotics possession,

                partying at the Claypool Hotel.

                On that night I was only a 100 miles away

                in Vincennes,

                playing Whatd I Say at full volume

                on my 45 RPM,

                using 2 large empty potato chip cans

                as conga drums.

                Dazed, and a little messed up

                from some Thunderbird wine I had

                smuggled up to my room.

                And more than a little bummed-out

                over having missed seeing you.

                Half way through the song, my grandfather

                flung the door open,

                yelling at me to turn that nigger shit down.

                The next day after I heard about your bust,

                I came home from school

                got out my cans and played you again,

                at full volume, finishing off the wine.

                No one was home and I played that song

                at least 15 times.

                That afternoon changed me forever, man.

                But the wine, with just a little food on my stomach,

                made me sleepy and I took a long nap.

                I had a dream Id made it to your concert,

                that you played your full set fully conscious,

                with 3 encores, and you were not arrested afterwards -

                perish the thought.

                And the next morning you were given the key to the city

                and a lavish gala dinner

                put on by the Indiana chapter of the KKK,

                bowing and scrapping at your feet.






                Waiting For Further Developments



                My publisher doesnt

                answer my e-mails,

                but I know hes there

                high on weed, playing

                his Fender guitar and

                watching reruns of

                                                the Gong Show.


                he doesnt answer

                my letters

                sent the old fashioned way,

                but I know hes there

                unemployed, more than

                half my age, doing a 100 push-ups

                on dirty linoleum

                without taking a breath.


                My publisher doesnt

                answer his phone,

                but I know hes there

                rolling another joint,

                contemplating the double wide

                zigzag papers.


                he doesnt answer

                his fax,

                but I know hes there

                drinking a Red Dog 40

                and watching a Madonna video,

                the lights turned out

                strobe light blinking

                                                on and off from the corner.



                My publisher doesnt

                answer his door,

                but I know hes in there

                naked and jacking off ....

                and by now starting to stink and

                bloat from his lack of

                                                simple common courtesy.






                Third Birthday



                He mumbles at the ground. His white

                mane of hair like a stringy damp blanket

                over his head. 15 years on the streets.


                His wife and children living

                with his ex-best friend

                in Pasadena.


                Two cardboard TV boxes are his home,

                in back of a garment factory

                on 6th street. I share the bottle with him

                on the lawn of the downtown library. Hes

                coherent for several moments,

                recalling his youngest daughter at 3 years old.


                The last time he saw her she was playing

                with a doll he bought for her birthday on the

                porch of his former home.


                He starts to shake and cry and looks off

                down the street, clamming up

                like a deaf mute. I sit there awhile and finally

                get up and walk off, leaving him there with his memories

                and the half empty bottle of rot gut.





                George Raft Movie



                I always wanted to walk

                into a restaurant

                or a nightclub

                like in an old George Raft movie,

                where theres

                a beautiful hat check girl

                and I know her by name. Well, I more

                than know her,

                having had carnal relations

                with her

                the night before,

                doggie style, as she

                bent over the hat check counter inside

                where all the hats sat

                like bored and reluctant voyeurs.

                Anyhow, I walk in, say hi to her,

                she could be a Roxy

                or a Sylvia. Shes in a tight red dress

                cut up both sides to

                her thighs. I am immediately hard and

                all I want to do is fuck her again

                bent over the counter.

                She smiles and her big brown eyes

                sweep down my body

                like a very hot breeze.

                And her eyes linger on my crotch,

                as she tells me I am welcome

                to come back after closing time

                to pick up the hat

                I left behind.





                The Suits Wont Go Away



                Ive seen these Suits

                with dead faces,

                since I was a

                kid. I remember

                closing my eyes tight,

                after looking

                at an insurance salesman

                or a preacher ( how do

                you tell the difference? ),

                and praying he would not

                be there

                when I opened

                my eyes.

                I still do it at times with

                CEOs in their

                designer suits, and generals

                in battle dress: death arrayed

                in ribbons across

                their breast.

                I shut my eyes tight still,

                at morticians and talk show hosts,

                and lying politicians,

                with a hint of color in their

                Porky Pig neckties.

                Not to say, though, that all

                men who have worn or who wear

                suits are on my shit list.

                Camus looked fantastic in a suit.

                Presley wore suits with an unmistakable cool.

                Miles and Coltrane and Kenneth Patchen

                wore suits.

                And Einstein wore a black rumpled suit

                with impeccable class.

                I admire men like that who happened to

                have worn suits!

                Men who have something to sell

                other than

                war, mind control and

                spiritual stagnation.

                I know the Suits will not go away,

                no matter how long

                I close my eyes and pray.

                Its been the same since

                the white race rose to power.

                The Huns were Suits, and down

                the line, Hitler.

                Many of our leaders imitate him,

                wearing his Suit of death:

                perfect fit, no tailoring






                Time Warrior



                You cant help but

                leave something

                in the space         

                in which you breathe,

                by the way you

                inhabit it. You move on

                the space remains,

                something of you

                remains. Time means

                nothing in this

                equation. Time takes

                your mortal life,

                devours your grace,

                your soul.                              .

                And you must question this,

                as you must

                question everything.

                For you are meant

                to inhabit and dominate

                space, a conquerer of time,

                not a victim of it.                  







                Spider Wisdom



                I know the

                spider walking

                around on

                my bare foot

                right now

                knows more


                the universe

                than I do.

                I can sense

                it has



                in its




                than in


                190 pound


                Here I am

                with my huge old

                melon head

                and all these books

                and the


                which can


                all the

                data accumulated

                since the

                ancestors of

                this anglo blood  

                in my


                came storming


                from the

                                                caves and








                the ancestors of

                my other


                ( what is called )

                the American


                thousands of tribes



                living together

                with relatively







                all of creation

                by their



                of the


                Yet at



                in my



                my head

                it is


                and full of fear

                the white mans


                his dilemma

                overwhelms me once again.

                But the spider is alert

                being a wise and resourceful

                old arachnid

                                radar on

                swiftly jumps


                my foot like a Swan Lake ballerina



                under my



                I can










3 - Afterword

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We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

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