Friday, November 11, 2011

Oul Divilment

—Neil O'Neill

On this work-a-day Friday of the September song
Fish day for the Catholics
As I was raised
Hoisting a memory of the old tradition
Where now, the new-hatched sins of the week
Hold court with Burger Kings

Vacillando con el cuarto de espere
Multicolored, Third-Worlders
Now the pobre Faithful,
Lost in Translation as
deep-fried hostages to freedom of choice
And the NEW responses to the God of Abraham

Who is responsible? It's up to you now!

Don’t be like me today
Who, although short-listed for the doctor
Still had to wait well past
Appointment time
But God be thanked, got in


—Neil O'Neill

A room soaked with TV
To be seen
Not now or ever on time
Or at 8am, when asked?
Everyone else’s appointment time

Soy vacilando con Multicolored
Third worlders
Bewildered by indifferent America
And her anti-social ways
Who need to be here
From 6am or earlier
Or Else

A body leased on time, wonts
Someone. Maybe the doctor or dentist
To assuage the personal life habits
And rent arrears
Of criminal poverty

Or not to be unkind
Esos santos might be calle-wise
Out diggin fur gold

On the Streets of San Francisco

Gracias a Dios!


—Neil O'Neill

He’s green-fingered—a gentle giant
What’s not to love?
Wickedly funny—as Black and White minstral
Crooning his world
From the acute angled avenue of Sycamore
The Kurt Weill without cigarettes or
Jewish rebellion from Torah

His gairden—the green room
Of his Opera of Tender Loving Care
Lives tomatoes, green peas and
The heat of his hot-house
Sheltering high Scoville-scaled
To the millionth dilution to be
Or not to be
—wicked heat—just because

And now us— together, gabbing our yesterdays
Seated down under glass
Geraniums corral behind, like those chili flavored
On the Mexican border of Johnstone Castle

I smell the goodness of the living plants
And inadvertantly remember
The tropical toe of America
All heavy with humid fecundity
Everywhere we went, the Mo and me
Like a State calling card

That odor
A Bogey-vision odor
Part perfume, part sepia toned reverie
Not his cigarette smoke, but
The other smell of the old movies
Where elegance, the egalitarian equivalent
Of the Great Depression
Is democratic—and mine too!
That humid, heavy old movie plant odor
Opens sesame
The inner door inside ma head —beckoning
So imaginary travel made real
Sweeps Jakub and me and Fred and Ginger—to the ball
In top hat, tails and
Puttin’ it on, the Ritz Cracker
The hors d’oeuvre of a lifetime
Partaken as Holy Communion
We munch together—grateful, in the huddle against Cruel Time

Miami—again—pastelled—salmon and blues
Yeah, the Miami electic blue—we rented it
The KIA-car that flew us down
The 7-mile long bridge
Over unlocking Florida keys
From Miami, Route 1
To Mile zero—Key West
(How many miles from Miami to Key West, I still wonder?)

That blue—still catches me
Off guard
Like a hanging bat
Unexpectedly noticed
Under blue-lit freeway
Or the blue-sheen glamour
Clyde bridges
At Gloaming

When the blue of the night
Meets the gold of the day
Shine on Blue
Sesame seed of ma soul
At lease for NOW
And until my song is ended
At least, Now before we leave
Jakub’s Gairden


—Neil O'Neill

Smell the tubacca fog
Seepin; through the floodlighted track
Cool wet slick-backed dugs
Spring, prancing-sleekit
The startin' line
Dad and me and oul Divilment
Makes 3 to 1 the Field
Then, odds on
Each Way

White-gloved Bookies
Semaphore secret signs across to Tote
Glesga glamour
At the White City...they're off!
Clutchin' bets, huddlin' in
Staunin' stiff
Pie and drinkin' Boveril
Under this dreech night's orders

Roon they go, and
Fair haring it
Faux skidding at the bends
But naw...wait!
Closing up ranks intae the final stre-e-etch
An "Splash"!! Phota Finish!
Aw Naw!
A Stewards Inquiry?

Noo, blurtin' Speaker-loud:
"Old Devilment at 3 to 1"

Dad says: Heh, we eat Fish and Chips the night!
Whid dyay say?
And me back et him
"And we've the bus fares hame
Tae Maw"?!


—Neil O'Neill

Deep-fishin for words is a new sport
For me
I've seldom been lucky though in love with the Muse
But hunkered down
So close to the River
That flows around
I'm not at sea, just
Beginning to see
Or actually
The rising tide of Dictionary
Asking, by page to
Choose me, choose me!
The best words
That give the freshest fruit
So, juicy—you can taste it (too)
I —very unoffishal Auditor
Take note of secret music
Posed in genuflection
Hopin like Hell
For the blessing


Our thanks to Neil O'Neill for today's poetry! Neil O’Neill is a singer/actor/writer who listens to the muse on the off chance that the noise of modern life can be abated. Hailing from Johnstone, Scotland, he lives in the SF Bay Area where he teaches English and poetry. A 26-year performer for Bread & Roses, he also has been known to appear on the music festival circuit in the US and Europe. His 2012 appearances include the Las Vegas Celtic Festival, Costa Mesa Highland Games, and the SF Caledonian Club’s Scottish Gathering. He is also a performance coach for Poetry Out Loud.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Neil O'Neill

My Moon is a balloon

Whole, half. Or sliced quarter

It's got my attention—remembering…

Birthday was grand—family retro

An opposition of Geminis, my son David and me,

Rose, blue, and lemon meringue (pie) too.

The moon was like a boat

Sailing up through silver blown skied-clouds


(first pub. in New Grass, 2010)


—Medusa (wow! It's 11/11/11!)

Second Annual Scottish Festival, Carmichael
(See—we have Scottish festivals, too!—And
where the hell is Richard Hansen?? Hurry BACK, durnit!)
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento
(See Medusa's Facebook page for a new photo album
 by her and Katy Brown of the 2011 Confluence)