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Poems by sextonpoet

Cul-de-sac at the End of The World

It’s not that I truly
believe that all
cul-de-sac track home suburban streets
are evil,
although most are likely
very bad.
It’s just that the dark black spot
that I grew up on,
is likely unsurpassed
as freakish conglomerations
of oppressive negative energy go.

Melancholy, I still recall
the faces of the children.
Empty, already embittered, without substance.
They moved like hyenas
through pebble topped gravel streets
and green, green St. Augustine
standing water drainage ditches.

There is not much to say
about them,
except that they were bad,
very bad.
Along with their very bad parents
screaming in streets
and gulping down canned beer
in lawn chairs, roosted in front
of ugly carbon copy floor plan cages.
We all seemed trapped together,
forsaken by circumstance.
Coerced by fate
into a 10 year
Poseidon Adventure nightmare.
In a place
that was not just
on the edge of a city,
or end of a street,
but on the very edge of civilization
at the end of the world.

They are always with me
these tortured mannequins,
these bastions of cruelty,
especially in the bad times
when the end seems near.


a name that conjures images of
warm tobacco spit-filled soda cans
and back pocket circles worn into
ill-fit slide down blue jeans with,
a loud slurred cursing voice,
and a violent streak, as big as Texas.

The last I heard he was a police officer,
but in the haunted memory of youth he
still invokes the image of a
vicious Darwinian redneck archetype
that never fades away.

Although his bile saliva had graced
the back of my head on
more than one occasion and
I had seen him beat others rather badly
especially Chris Cooper,
whose flat back crotch face crucifixion
had seemed particularly humiliating
in it’s homo-erotic overtone,
I had escaped his wrath.
Due mostly, to an absence
of both pride and reputation
that allowed me the freedom
to run like a frightened child
(which in fact I was)
seven houses down
from the corner school bus drop off
to the relative safety of my front door.

Far from the most athletic
kid on the block I could still outrun
Jimbo, whose lumbering Neanderthal-ish
ape like frame, put him at
a disadvantage, at least in speed.

Mostly, I remember the aluminum
foil that he had inserted
in and around the ass
of his pet Dachshund, and
the discomfort it caused the
weenie dog, as it
rolled around in the grass
while Jimbo slurred a threat to
beat the living shit
out of any kid that dared
to offer aid to HIS dog.

Despite vast oceans of both
time and miles that
separate us now and
despite myself, with
all that I aspire to,
I wish him only ill
whenever I think back.

That son of a bitch.

The worst of everything.


I would insist that the kiss was an accident,
and shouldn’t have happened,
the fact that I picked up a small toy plastic guitar
and crooned a charming 5 am comedic plucking serenade
of the Violent Femms song "Why Can’t I get Just One Kiss!"
would seem to make my behavior at the time suspect,
to say the least.

That piercing eyed dark makeup almost white blond
New Wave Mormon bad girl
poised recklessly upon that couch
seemed like a bright red ripe moist apple
that would crack and drip down the chin, if bitten into.

Although I barely knew her,
her similar looking but even prettier
good girl younger virgin sister
had dazzled me with breathtaking tails
of jacking off boys while leaning out her bedroom window late at night.
That, and the fact that my buddy,
whose house we were at
having left us alone to throw his paper route
had a viscous terrible love for her,
just seemed like enough, you know?

I enjoyed her hot wet bad girl mouth with a seeming madness.
I sucked out everything she had,
then gently breathed life back into her once again.
Making sure to experience;
the hair and,
the ass and,
the neck and,
the midriff and,
the breast,
before finally letting go.

We sat giggling together as the sun forced the night to die.
I had conquered her, nothing more, nothing less,
It felt satisfactory.

Of course it annoyed the virgin sister,
as well as my buddy, eventually
when he had heard.

It was 1987.
This and several other nights, in retrospect, seem as harbinger
to my total downfall looming in the distance,
which in the life of a man takes place not all at once
as you might expect,
but one step at a time.

Waiting by the Watershed

Poised on edge of plastic chair
scoping winterscape in
rain filled graywashed scene.

Seen through aluminum
and green plastic verticals
while drips, drip on.

Must be fifty degrees.
Must be nearing the
end of everything.

The patio is where the patients come
to sit and smoke cigarettes
and chat.
Some cry
because they hurt so bad
they can no longer pretend
not to.

This is where we have gathered

under the gray wet winter.

To mourn the loss of expectation,
of our grasp on the impermanent.

Spiritual pilgrims in the cold church
of those who love life
no longer.

I hear highway traffic and airplanes.
I see dead trees
and dying dreams.

This is where we have gathered.

Must be nearing the end
of everything.

Samadhi Rain

There is a certain
freedom from anxiety
that I have only experienced
walking the deep red carpet
of Lien Hoa Temple
late in the year,
after clocks have turned back,
while a gentle almost hypnotic
rhythmic fading rainstorm is
tap-tapping an aluminum roof
just outside the open window
where a cool sweet breeze
drifts in smoothly
from a moist black night.

It is a peace that I lament
on those loud warm evenings
in July.
When the air seems harsh,
and unforgiving.

I suppose
that in recent years
I have come to believe
that Nirvana,
can be found
in an Autumn rainstorm,
or a still dark night,
but never
in the bright hot Texas summer
where the days are too long
and nothing ever seems
to stand still.

Namo Tassa
Samma Sambuddhassa!

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Biographical sketch: Paul Sexton is a poet, performer, open-mic host, husband, father, and Theravada
Buddhist. He hates his job, loves his son, needs poetry, and wishes the sun actually played a larger part in his life.

sextonpoet recommends:

"In Our Own Words" A Generation Defining Itself by Marlow Peerse Weaver

Reason: It is an Anthology of Poetry written by people born between 1960 and 1982. It has a mixture of quality, but overall speaks to me quite well, as a member of that generation. Also, I have two pieces included.

Recommendations for writers:

Balance. The extremes in poetry seem to be either writing cathartic, emotionally packed, moving poetry with heart and raw talent that lacks in style, clarity, form etc.. or the inverse which is over done, over prepared, verse without any real impact, no heart. I think a good poem walks a middle path, exhibiting both hard work, skill and an honest heartfelt talent.


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