Sam in a 49
mile an hour wind
picked up the girl

Sam worked Magic

flowered and died
the whole width of Nevada

California Band
Winnemucca Casino

All jackrabbit ears
and hills and shadows
bore witness
to Sam in motion

All except the girl
who outside of Reno
got lost quick


I would not have it all
said Sam to the rearview
not all just a piece
and therefore peace
in what I have.
The eyes of casino owners,
the ease in their simplest motions,
a cigar lit, a flunky summoned,
the grimness of their lips
when women whisper in their ears;
there is peace
to finish out a life with, to cultivate
until the world looks in
and knows as I know
I have done things right.


At home in Las Vegas
a woman sits brain and heart
devoured by the TV
while Sam folds the cord
on the blender

(pupl purple blop)
and immerses the glass
through bubbles don hoe bubb

Sam hits reverse
fifteen years until Hoboken


Silt lidded
brain fish
flew from lightning to tornadoes
huffed up by bad spirits.
No one suffered
more than Sam
on the road through New Jersey.

Said Sam, “To make it
is a crazy art. It’s there
to be surrounded
but once done it disappears.”

Twenty and tired,
no one suffered more than Sam.


flowering           flowering
for the sake of love



                 window faces

flowering pushes through the gullet
and the soul           as in old Indian torture
men were strapped a few inches
off the ground in which were planted
seeds for corn


Sam stands in the
room of the boss

and starts a deal

no one buys it

least of all
reptilian eyes

under mirror shades


Sam finally broke the cycle
of Nevada border to border
and crossed into California
where by and by he stood
by Lake Tahoe and saw his reflection.
He might have said, “Tear off
thy shining mask! Wear truth
as a crown! The dogs of night
and the doe of day
circle you and water
might be 90%
of your body but endurance
is dirt.
You are dirt.
Cultivate the pride of a stone!”

Thus coyotes mourned,
thus the moon shown dimly,
thus jackrabbits lay their long ears flat
over parts of Nevada.

But Sam said no such thing.
He checked into a room in Reno.


He said high at five o’clock
     and never remembered what else

He woke on the floor of a casino
     with a man named Andy standing above


the machine
whipped me
the girl
whipped me
the goddam TV
made me look
like a fool

                                                  he’s out
                                                  drunk the
                                                  can’t hold
                                                  up worth

no     really     them
that get you got me
everything I own
and more          my watch
fingers          pride
my boyhood goat
my last looks at mom
and dad even

                                                  what would they want
                                                  with that

they want it
don’t worry
they know how
to use it

                                                  Eh. . . . go back to sleep


Coyote tongues
fell silent.
Jackrabbit ears
Scrub brush and shadows
grew hungry.
Their man was coming.
Though he slept like a rock
he was moving
toward the door.