pariah songs


Lance Henson


it was a dismembered night
i was hoping to blank out and suddenly be
in denver or oklahoma city with my brothers

instead it was milano
no honor song except the bloated moon
another beer


remembering this killing edge of life
every forty two years another cheyenne
filled with genocide and rage gives it up
another beer

i walk to a cheap hotel with seated
lions from another age
at the entrance

trying to sleep
hoping to close my eyes

hoping its only sleep


for ben buffalo*

on second street
up from the bus station in albuquerque
in the el ray bar i order a budweiser

jimmy reed on the jukebox and someone
yells hey man you look like george harrison
i was trying for jim morrison

i remove my sunglasses and he looks away
like i have disappeared

i'm always disappearing
these nights are all black moths
moving together in a soliloquy of blood
and silence

a dark fevered wind
inside us;

pushing us on

into disappearance


*Cheyenne painter, Vietnam veteran, died in December 1994


july 14, '95

not wanting the danger
i let the drunk white women talk on and on
wishing patience wasnt one of the bitter
virtues of being cheyenne man

she even takes a hit off my cigar
damn girl i said
i know what you indian men like she said

i dont even know what i like i thought
but i didn't say that

the starlight falling through this blues bar was enough
robert johnson at the crossroads again

i had been there since noon and now it was
once more the circle of lost ones
my palms aching for cedar and prayer

but i paid the cover charge here

my dead uncles paid too
they keep walking in
stepping inside the bodies of other people at the bar
i guess ill stay

its what we do

© 1998 Lance Henson

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