Archive for September, 2013

Spare Some Change

Drunk PIrate

Drunk PIrate (Photo credit: OpenThreads)




This is a poem I wrote at the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.


To listen to my first reading on SoundCloud—->  <click here>




spare some change

wish i had a drink right now…

seems like a good spot,
30,000 people crowded into a small square,
they got tents and heaters and oh God! all that food.

i get my plastic cup and sign out of my shopping cart
(i di’n’t steal it, a friend gave it to me, yeah)

it’s cold out here and i wish i had a drink right now…

“can you spare some change?” i say to the empty suit
trying so hard not to look my way,
you never know, once one of these empty suits
dropped a twenty in my cup.

i remember back before i lived under the overpass,
a long time ago, or so it seems,
on some goddamned desert, tanks burning in the sun,
we took a grenade and i shit my pants.

i’d shit my pants right now for a drink…

lots of signs being carried round this place,
will anybody see mine?
a bottle of wine is only $3.68 with tax
and i have a $1.42
but the Lord will provide.

that long-haired man has a five in his hand,
don’t look him in the eye,
don’t look him in the eye.

he doesn’t see me and walks past.

a couple quarters from some sweet young thing!
i didn’t even see her,
don’t look her in the eye,
don’t look her in the eye.

“thank you!” i mumble.

i’ll just push my cart to where the food is,
maybe somebody will see my sign,

God, i need a drink…

some young dude leaves a sandwich at my feet,
i knew it, the Lord does provide.

in high school, i was voted class optimist,
it serves me well right now, just about right now.

some odd change and a couple ones from a kind soul.

“buy yourself something to eat” they say.

don’t look them in the eye,
don’t look them in the eye.

“thanks!” (“don’t tell me how to spend my money!” i think to myself)

there’s a liquor store near the overpass,
i can go back home to my warm spot with my bottle
(if the cops haven’t taken down my boxes)
things don’t change much under the overpass.

i push my little world on up the street.
the Lord will provide, it’s a good day to be alive.

Agnew T. Pickens
URR 11.15.20..11



Black Gloves from Gumbytron

English: Raith Reservoir Looking along the dam...

English: Raith Reservoir Looking along the dam at Raith Reservoir. This popular fishing spot is managed by the Prestwick Angling Club. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Came home before 7 PM from visiting Pops in #Huckabuck today.  As I was turning in the driveway, I noticed two black gloves scattered on the road/highway in front of my mom’s house.  I parked in my spot in the driveway with the  #Hexacunt and went through the garage to check on my mom.

Mom said, “You know, I wanted to take a walk by the reservoir again today.”
I replied, “We still have daylight left if you wanna go, let me eat some of the green beans and potatoes you cooked for us and we can go.”

My mom went back to her computer solitaire and I went into the kitchen to get the #Lesho she had prepared the day before.  Parboiled green beans and potatoes drizzled in olive oil with a little salt and pepper that my mom had put in a plastic container in the fridge.  I ate it cold with two slices of #Kraft American Cheese, the individually wrapped slices have been one of my favorites ever since I can remember.

Today I am grateful for pasteurized cheese food product.

I ate in the office chair next to Mom’s play area, a TV and computer on a $100(worth?) pressed plastic wood desk.  As I ate, we chatted as she played her computer solitaire.  My mom is a great cook, always has been, I guess she learned from the best, her mother, Tereza, was the head cook for the nearby hospital in Post-WWII Zagreb.

As I write this, I hear Mom snoring on the couch in front of the TV that lulls her to sleep.

After finishing my repast, I went to put my plate in the sink.  I decided instead just to try to wash it.  The stitches in my left hand come out tomorrow but I still have trouble gripping stuff with my left hand.  I washed it anyway and put it in the dish rack to dry.  When I walked back in my mom’s office/playroom she was already looking for her jacket.  It was a beautiful late September evening and my mom wanted to walk by our town’s little upground reservoir again with her son.

I put the cigarette I was gonna smoke after my meal behind my ear and prepared for my walk.  Even though my car temp gauge said it was 27C, I knew sometimes that cold wind would sometimes blow across the reservoir so I put on my jacket.  As we were getting ready to head to the reservoir, my mom noticed her plastic green water pitcher, about half full and picked it up as we headed out the garage for our walk.

She watered a few of the plants in her little flower garden she has in the front yard of her white house that nobody ever seems to notice.  Hell, I’ve driven by it a couple times coming home myself.  She tells me about the deal she got on some Department Store hosta plants.  Mom loves hostas (sp.?), she has been growing them in her flower beds for years.

She mentions the two black gloves in the road in front of the house.  My mom walks pretty slow and the sun is setting quickly.  I say, “I’ll pick them up from the road when we get back from our walk, Mom.”

We get in her 2005 Caddy that she bought used from a local dealer.  She hates riding in the #Hexacunt because I hardly ever clean out the trash that seems to accumulate in my vehicle.  It’s a short drive to the reservoir.

She parked her blue Caddy in the gravel parking lot next to the boat ramp.  No gas motors.  As I got out of the #Cadillac, I looked over at the walking area and noticed two riders on horseback approaching the spot Mom decided to turn around the first time we walked the reservoir together.  Excited by the sight, I walked ahead, stepping easily over the low chain barrier on both sides of the boat ramp.  I turned back to look at Mom and she had lost one of her shoes trying to get over the chain that hangs about 10 inches.  (Note to self, Mom needs help getting over the barrier)

I put her shoe back on her left ankle, and we began to walk up the little gravel path.  I pointed out the two horseriders in the distance.  She said that some people nearby had horses and we started our walk.  “Mom, mind the landmines, remember people walk their dogs here.”

As we walked along, she commented, “Mike, I told you to remind me to wear an undershirt the next time we walk, you know I sweat last time we went for a walk.”  She pulled her shirt up to show me her pastel green undershirt.”

“Mom, I’m sorry, I forgot.”  We walked along the gravel path at Mom’s snail pace.  She has two titanium hips that make it difficult for her to walk.  The sun had already dipped below the horizon on the clear fall night.  I already had my #Pyramid cigarette lit and was smoking it as we walked and chatted.

Noticing a piece of plastic in the path, I stooped to pick it up to put in the plastic produce bag I had remembered to bring for pieces of litter that I would notice as we Mom and I would walk.  Mom chuckled.  About 20 feet down the path, she noticed a cigarette but that my eye had missed and I put it in my bag.  I noticed another about three feet away and put it in the bag as well.

I said, “You know, Mom, if I stopped to pick up every cigarette butt I notice when I walk this town, I’d go completely bonkers again and never get to where I need to go.”
Another chuckle.

As we continue our walk in the dimming light, my mom notes the lack of wind across the upground.  The first time we walked, a chilly wind blew from the North(?), cooling us as we walked.  Not tonight, I guess, not tonight.

We walked up the gravel path as I reminded her how I often noticed Chamomile growing in gravel paths like the one we were walking.  I remember Mom making me chamomile tea when I wasn’t feeling well as a child on Andover Road.  (Next year, #Gumbytron willing, I will look for the chamomile to grow along this same path)

Walking, talking, reminiscing in the dimming light my mom says, “Mike, what is that in the lake?  Is that a snake?”  I hadn’t looked at the water and I tried to see if I could spot what Mom had spotted.  There were two tiny objects bobbing in the water about 20 feet from the rip-rap shore.  Mom and I looked at them for a while and they were stationary, although one of the objects would dip below the still windless surface.

“Mom, they could be turtles.”  We walked on.

“Mike, where did the horses go?”  I looked up the path, but couldn’t spot them anywhere.

“Mom, I don’t know, I don’t see them anywhere.”  We looked around to see if there was anywhere they could have gotten out through the adjacent cornfield.  Neither of us could spot an opening in the fenceline as we walked.  We were nearing the area my mom had decided to turn around last time we had been at the lake and she said she wanted to walk a little further to look at the fishing spot the local had used the first time we had walked.

It was only about 20 yards ahead at the turn of the lake and I rushed to take a look myself, having completely forgotten about the fisherman that had passed us.  There was a small opening in the brush surrounding the upground.  A short descent to the rocky, rip-rap edge.

As Mom caught up to me, I turned and remarked, “There’s an opening but you know they have boulders around this lake.  It might be a little treacherous for you to get down to.  There’s probably a tree or something in the water at this spot, you know fish like structure.  That’s probably why the guy was fishing here.”

Satisfied, Mom and I turned back to head back to the Caddy.  Walking along we turned to look at the wetland to see if we could find where the horseriders had gone.  I pointed out what appeared to be a trail though the cat tails big enough for two horses.

Dusk had arrived so I told Mom to hurry up before it got too dark.  She pulled out her LED flashlight she had on her keychain and laughed, “How do you signal SOS?”
I laughed too.

“I forget, Mom, dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot or dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash.”  She laughed.

About halfway back to the car, I spotted Venus, the Evening Star and pointed it out to Mom.  As we looked at it, the two riders on horseback passed us along the edge of the lake.  We exchanged greetings and salutations with them and they crossed our path, heading up the grassy area where I suppose takes them back to their stable.

Reaching the chain barrier by the boat ramp, I rush ahead in the dim light to find the low spot so Mom can cross.  Mom steps slowly across the cobbles and I help her over the chain.  We get in her blue Deville and head back home.  As she drives the short ride home, she reminds me about the black gloves in the road.

“Mom, I didn’t forget.”

Mom pulls into the driveway and pops the garage door.  I tell her that I’ll go pick up the gloves from the road, one lying near the center line, one near the road’s edge.  The black Docker gloves I pick up both look brand new, not a mark on them.  Brand new.  I take them to Mom to show them to her and she says, “Try them on.”

“I’ll try one on with my good hand.”  Perfect fit.

I had been thinking about buying some gloves for the winter, I guess #Gumbytron delivers these days.  #Festivus approaches.


Angels walk among you.

English: Cloak of Conscience from the front

English: Cloak of Conscience from the front (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Angels, people, they walk the streets among you
and you don’t even know
That beggar on the street you gave a dollar to
made you feel so good, so right
you did your good deed
he cleared your conscience
and you walk away

you never see his face again
was he even really there?
do you remember his face?
did you even ask him his name?
did he thank you for letting him save your soul?


most likely so, most likely so

Listen to the SoundCloud here:  <click lick>



House of Cards

A House of cards, with one level stacked ontop...

A House of cards, with one level stacked ontop of another. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


been livin’ in a House of Cards
waitin’ for the sky to fall
and all my friends
they live there too
we’ve seen the writing on the wall

been raised on shit a fly won’t eat
and taught to worship only gain
while all around
in my home town
i see the looks of pain

been tryin’ to find some ray of Light
don’t see it in the glimmer of the sets
the forests fracked
and water fouled
how soon humanity forgets


Soundcloud reading —->  <Click Here>

let me tell ya li’l story ’bout a man named Barry

English: Nobel Peace Prize 2009, Barack Obama

English: Nobel Peace Prize 2009, Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me tell ya li’l story ’bout a man named Barry
Another corporate puppet for the Military
(Industrial Complex, that is)
He says America’s prestige is on the line
And bombing to stop bombing is super fine

He got a Nobel Peace Prize for who knows what
His Middle Eastern plans will leave a desolate rut
He don’t care about the damage, it’s collateral you see
And he sure don’t give a fuck about you or me


Ta want to hear my creaky voice singing this to the Ballad of Jed Clampett?   <Click Here>

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