sunset pic

what’s it all about,

ralphie, just sittin

there rockin on your nuts,

watchin the sunset

change orange to gray,

talkin to yourself

because you don’t know

what else to do,

so you might as well

say to god, or who

the fuck you think is listening

to you, what’s rolling

through the dark

tunnel of your coal-smoky,

diesel-choked, sweet creosote-soaked

brain? what’s clacking on the roof

of your mouth? don’t want to

share the nonsense of noise?

it’s okay. i’ve been down

that dead end siding, too,

uncoupled and left to rust in the rain,

already written that poem

a hundred times—and like you,

i’m sure nobody else

really wants to listen

to that song of ourselves again.


yet, i am compelled

to write it down, force of habit,

i guess, put in my shift, make

the trip, see what happens.

a good poem never answers

those questions

no one can answer. 

good god, a good poem

stays on the ground,

stops, listens, looks around.

a goddamn good poem

never says goodnight

or good-bye. so what the fuck

am i doing here, ralphie?

what’s it all about?

this dream? daybreak?

the whole ball of wax? 


to be tired is to be ready

to sleep, too tired to care

about noise and toys and pain,

or the beauty of the sunset.

my old man chose the work

train and the bonner job,

running on the ground,

climbing up and down boxcars,

picking or dropping, building

outbound freights—he liked

staying busy, keeping body

and mind occupied. given

too much time to think,

the tongue in his brain wagged

and drank a burning revolution—

flames he’d hose down with whiskey.


and who isn’t tired

of trading their life for tokens

to spend, consume and play

in the free-crapola marketplace?

aren’t we all tired of entertaining

the shit-shows in our heads?  

what’s on our digital devices and screens? 

still we maintain, even call

ourselves lucky to see a sunset,

to play the game and pay

the piper till we tilt, shut it down,

aren’t rockin or talkin anymore—

leave our poems behind—go . . .

where we’re destined

to go, in the ground.


so, i’ll see you there

before you know it

in the white noise

of the last call

for that last run,

no brakes necessary.

make it a westbound, ralphie,

you old call-boy, my man.

if you can, put me on the head-end.

no point snoozin in the caboose,

i want to see the last light,

be on my feet like you

padding the streets in the dark,

just doing the job, makin the call—

not ignoring that red block

ahead, but knowing full-well

what’s coming down the main line,

and embracing it, what has to be

the ultimate trip—rolling beyond this,

into the burning sunset.




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3 Responses to sunset

  1. I loved your post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  2. Good post, I always like them.

  3. wow, awesome blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

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