Da Vinci Blues

Consider the totality of stress
on the renaissance man.
Hustlin' to & fro',
talkin' wings off birds,
puttin' eyeballs on kites,
makin' list of daemons.
Start one thing no sooner
you're burning the next green branch,
jugglin' chaos and oozing blood
to congeal the form,
breakin' time's inscrutable pane a' glass
& gettin' no fuckin' sleep in the process.
There are days when ideas
rise in the sequence
of smoke holes to the ceiling,
and you gasp for air,
allowing the muse to take form.
There is no sex life, nada,
no time for introspection,
only invention and monk's tea,
as if mere air were a seven-course meal
before you turn to bed to weep. 

What Would Water Do?

The water would run to work,
but turn, gone amok at the work corner,
toward the One-O-One
to drink a red eye and puff a smoke
in the early morning Ra

The water would pick up
trash along the way
but wait for more force
to finish the job

The water would arrive
on time and unplanned,
feeling out each empty
bottomland space
since every handmade
space is disorganized

The water would percolate
in the apocalyptic heat,
catch the wind
and go fly a kite

The water would commit
murderous rage and recede,
unpleased, unsatisfied,
moving on the moon

~ Lincoln City, Oregon

Disparate de Miedo (Folly of Fear)

Mr. Death hangs over
as they tumble.
Time will get them.
But not today.
Senore rises
in an angel's robe,
Aretha Franklin
singin' praises,
man with a sword,
face sketched
in a tree.
Wind blowing to the West.
Away from destiny,
which is too easy
to deny.

~ Telluride, Colorado

Disparate Feminino (Feminine Folly)

Spreading the blanket
like a firemen's net,
six women in jest
with two male jugglers.
Dancing in delight,
each long-dressed lass
has a different opinion
on the topic.
The jugglers,
they've got it so lucky,
all those women working
to make them happy.
But note: in the net,
the husk of a dead donkey,
Goya's coy brush with death
hanging in the air.
If Autumn came any earlier
there would be a counselor,
a policeman,
& tax collector
at the door.

~ Telluride, Colorado

Bedford Toll Plaza

And the more I drive up
The interstate, the more the evidence
of love gets pissed away into the snow.
Pee free or die,
So the state flag Of New Hampshire
May one day say.
The pattern runs hot
And steam runs loose
From a new day's snow
On a hothouse day
In which a solar storm
Would electrify A lake of fire
In the sky
The pattern: A tree,
maybe an off-ramp signage shadow,
with pecked And puckered knotty holes,
Where owls perch and eagles play.
I took that last quarter
To the phone booth ...
Oh, if not for so many lonely
And cynical Winnebegos
That drive, ceaselessly,
To bridge the great divide.
The real question isn't
How to turn lead into gold,
But how to turn gold into soul.

~ Bedford, New Hampshire

poems and essays from the road,
by Douglas McDaniel

Artwork (above) by Francisco de Goya

Anne Frank with a Cell Phone
Mind still echoing

from what I call

"Anne Frank
with a Cell Phone,"

calling on CNN,

from Tripoli, Libya,

and it set

my mind spinning,


my own concepts

about weapons

and war and how

such things,

always abused

may be necessary

in the real world;

unsettled the sands

of my mind wonderin'

about how if not now,

then when? And so

if the answer is no

to "now"

then "when"

should be

a call to cast

all weapons

into the seas,

cast into the fire-zones

of limitless uncertainty

where evil, mythological

demigods are allowed

to have a field day

on the behalf

of the blood

of innocents

and the bravest

among us, should

be left to cower

in our own towers

of money and shame

and gargoyles be left

to decide upon

the true meaning

behind God's hidden name

and one mere flame

be the last one left

to remain to call out

to every single gunner

who ever heard

Anne Frank with a cell phone's

singular desperate call, when hope,

when peace was just a whisper

upon a planetary free-for-all ...

~ Douglas McDaniel

Mythville, America

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