:: Article

Four Poems

By Doug Draime.

The True Story Of Noah

Several thousand years after the flood,
Noah parked the ark in the New York
harbor, got off to get a chili dog
at Nathan’s
on Coney Island, took a cruise on the
Staten Island Ferry, and won 40 thousand
dollars in Atlantic City at the crap table. His wife. his sons, and
his son’s wives were all still dead asleep
on the ark. Noah had drugged them with massive doses of
Pamelor, Vicodin, and Effexor, so he could
get a little R&R, alone, without the
demands of domesticity. Everything was
beginning to annoy and outrage him on the ark. The daily
rut of keeping all the animals fed
and clean, and all the shit mopped up
was a 24/7 job in itself; they had to do it in
in 8 hour shifts. The constant bickering between the women
was becoming unbearable. And, for the last
couple hundred years, his sons had developed
the bizarre habit of walking in on Noah and his wife, Mrs. Noah, when
they were drunk and fucking, which had caused
his wife not to get drunk, and fuck
him, she just shut him off. Noah stayed away
from the ark for several weeks, going from
party to party at nights,
and playing the stock market during the days. He came back
to the ark a rich and satisfied man, only to be
appalled by the fact that no one had made the slightest effort to clean
up the animal shit. He knew what had to be done, and
threw himself right into it. When he was finished, there
was not a hint, a spot, a trace, or a whisper of
creature doo-doo. One clean ark, he determined! Then he drugged
them all again, fucked his sleeping wife, rented a car and drove to
Hollywood, where
he is to this day contemplating that voice that
was booming from the sky thousands of years ago.


Requests To The Muse

Come rattle my cage.
I am in here somewhere
Washing dishes, doing laundry,
Or vacuuming the floor.
Arguing over what the local
News means by fair weather.
Lost in domestic pointlessness,
Which screams for worship
And souls to lynch

Come rattle my cage.
Prod me out of here.
Show me some hope,
A glimmer of anarchy.
Make me a poem to stop the
Deadening roar of the machine.
Still the rumble of complacency,
Battering down around me like
War mongering politics.
Hold me close with your true
And tough love.

Open my chest, eyes,
Ears and pineal gland.
Free the groin and the heart.
Stand me on a cliff overlooking
The Caribbean sea
And never let go of my hand.
Show me something, show me
Some hope, a glimmer of anarchy.


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 “What’d 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 I’d 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.



sometimes it points to the sky
of blue pointing like a bird
dog. sometimes it buries itself
deep in the nothingness
of political thinking. sometimes
it screams through the black
black lies once told by you
and I. sometimes it just sits
there like J.Edgar Hoover
with a cheap tape recorder
plotting your death. sometimes
it spends years adding up numbers
in an attempt to round off
infinity. sometimes it hides
in the couch with change
from 100’s of pockets.
sometimes it burns and burns
the trees we can’t see the
forest for. sometimes
it runs like a out of control
driver less locomotive down a
steep mountain pass.
sometimes it stands trendy poets
up against the wall of
timeless literature and shoots them.
sometimes it lances boils on the
butts of opossums. sometimes it checks
into motels under the names of
Curly, Moe and Larry. sometimes it
loves beauty for the right reasons.
sometimes it can name every
painting in the Chicago Art Museum
blindfolded. sometimes it is impossible
to decode with extra sensory perception
or any other kind of perception.
sometimes it breaks your heart. sometimes
it plans wars on planets in
distant galaxies. sometimes it
whittles exquisite little angels
out of cherry wood. sometimes it stands on
its head and imitates Erica Jong.
sometimes it captures butterflies
then sets them free in the Pope’s
bedroom. sometimes it goes into
tirades over the absurdity of
collective consciousness. sometimes it
teaches law students at Harvard how to make
tiny gas chambers. sometimes it stumbles around
in Dante’s Inferno selling copies of
Milton’s Paradise Lost. sometimes it poses
as P.T. Barnum standing behind
a billboard trying to explain the difference
between propaganda and advertising.
sometimes it wishes on a star. sometimes
it pretends to be a tug boat on the
Mississippi in 1859. sometimes it’s
a relief. sometimes it surfaces
in London claiming it never knew
the gun was loaded. sometimes it
whirls like a ballet
dancer in the middle of
a completely empty Times
Square. sometimes it simply
is not there regardless of what
blind faith may say. sometimes
it counts all the hairs on your
head then splits them. sometimes
it can be caught adjusting the
color control on the telescope at
the Griffith Observatory
sometimes it
peters out before you do. sometimes
it gets solar activity
to disrupt tv transmissions. sometimes
it resembles a dove
flying above. sometimes it shoots out
street lights.
sometimes it never never stands
in a certain place overlooking
the Hudson river. sometimes it
has no remorse. sometimes it shines!
sometimes it rolls around in history.
sometimes it’s as lonely as a
grave. sometimes it sky drives in
the Grand Canyon. sometimes it
can be heard giving a testimony on true
love at the Taj Mahal. sometimes it takes
pictures of fat men eating. sometimes
it fastens itself on the
back of poor judgment. sometimes it holds to
truths that are self evident. sometimes it wanders
around in the wilderness for 40 years missing
the way out repeatedly. sometimes it’s out of
focus. sometimes it has no reason
for being. sometimes it foams at the
mouth then spits up into oblivion. sometimes
it hammers invisible nails into
smog, sometimes it simply is! sometimes it
sets a course for Easter Island. sometimes
it walks the floors at Graceland. sometimes
it has a way of fooling the wisest of men.
sometimes it leaks information to
expired newspapers. sometimes it
has no way of coping. sometimes it
circles the covered wagons. sometimes it knows no
limits. sometimes it climbs mountains
dressed in a tuxedo. sometimes it
is released from bondage. sometimes it is
functional for a few minutes.
sometimes it divides nations,
sometimes it
shimmers on the moonlit water. sometimes it runs a
race with stolen shoes. sometimes it pauses
for applause. sometimes it deals cards
from the bottom of the deck. sometimes it alters
events for diabolical purposes. sometimes it is
your friend. sometimes it jumps like a
jack rabbit into the red moon. sometimes it moves
around the bases like a 90 year old Babe Ruth.


Doug Draime emerged as a presence in the ‘underground’ literary movement in the late 1960’s in Los Angeles. Most recent books include: Knox County (Kendra Steiner Editions) and Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980. (Covert Press). Forthcoming: a full-length collection, Farrago Soup coming out from Coatlism Press, as well as two chaps: Rock ‘n Roll Jizz (Propaganda Press) and Boulevards Of Oblivion (Tainted Coffee Press). He is also looking for a publisher for a large collection, over 300 pages (1967-2007), that he is calling Transmissions From The Underground. He currently lives in the foothills of Oregon.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, January 5th, 2010.