Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

In the late nineteen nineties, during a construction boom, several blocks of downtown Los Angeles businesses closed their doors to make way for high rise luxury apartments, organic grocery concerns, workout spaces, and coffee shops. One of the stores scheduled for demolition was an antique shop with an eclectic array of sundries for sale. Since it was the last of a third-generation family, when faced with extinction, were happy to retire to a sunny climate with a generous nest egg. They held a “going out of business sale” event in which every item must go.

Some large items were from old circus venues and sideshows such as authentic costumes, old swords, and historical documents. Stuffed animals sat beside prized period furniture. After the sale was over the shop was bare except for a stack of dusty old boxes in the storage area. The boxes were moved to the alley near the dumpsters and forgotten. That same night a windstorm attacked the city and blew the boxes into the air and all over the streets. One such box contained old photographs, some over one hundred years old. Asa they blew across the city and were picked up and wondered at, stories came alive and fired a few new, wild dreams. Here are those stories.

BAR FULL OF BIKES

BAR FULL OF BIKES

Happened again like it did years ago…middle of the night

dreams …heavy syrupy dreams with dark corners

strange faces – unknown places

I was – I think I was …

in a bar …a mountain bar

in the mountains – woody and taxidermy specimens on the walls

dar floors and loud music

smoky and in the dead of winter

Bikes – not motorcycles – not Harleys

bicycles …dozens of them

among the people

Happy – but excited with a purpose – they bounced

vibrated and danced among the drunk patrons

all different ages, sizes and colors

the bikes ( I mean)

the drunks were about the same …

big, loud, hairy and generous …

always buying rounds

What does it mean? Hell –

if I know …but it happened again

and again and again …

maybe – it’s heaven

for some – as for me …I was there

among the dancing bikes …drinking

madness it seems – but deep down it felt good

really exquisite

So …maybe bikes go to heaven – and

they like to get together …

in bars …and drink …with humans

if so …when did this begin? Because bikes haven’t

been around forever …if so –

Maybe all this happiness they brought to humans

caused this phenomenon

Heaven?

I look forward to another deep dream –

trip wired by a night of fellowship

and drinking – and a cornucopia of events –

from the day – followed by sleep surrounded

by city honking – or beach sounds

or something else …

Poetry is like a painting. It contains word pictures.

If you look too closely you won’t get it. If you stand back and drink it

all in – listen to how the words sound – not just what they mean –

you might hear and see something new. Sometimes you find a poem

you can inhabit – for life.

Old Photographs and Wild Dreams is my latest book and it came out

one year ago this month. It contains about 100 poems, anecdotes, thoughts

and dribbles. I will post another one next week. In the meantime you can have your own copy as it is offered on Amazon. Thank you!

Fernet

Fresh from the road end of the day

Nickel words were exchanged and had their say

Heard of its myth and aim to destroy

Ginger ale was administered for a chemical joy

Burned the tongue and some memories almost too much

Fires were lit so I sent for a crutch

The mind was flushed and ready for more

New thoughts tumbled forward into the floor

and the oopps…trigger guns fire hard to the gut and the nifty music plays louder until dancing Chinese ladies with their protracted grins and orange pumkins swoop by the leave- stand up! it’s late!

Another round or three and a new bottle is found

Cheers to the flag and those can still hear its sound

and…the sounds of raindrops pouring down in the alley outside and the coming of armed troops carrying swords and singing…

some old song of love

Baker Street Boys

Baker Street Boys

Some days …I awaken to still being

a Baker Street boy

A Texas fog of childhood

memories

Old run-down house …slowly remodeled

basement shared with brother David

Tree house construction – injuries

paper route days

Rock and roll came to town

Dallas concert

Shot guns by the railroad tracks

black bass dinners

Cousins next door…funny fence stories

Thanksgiving

Growing pains…Daniel’s asthma pump

James playing under the Christmas tree

Transformative time in our childhood…personalities

….likes and dislikes…longing again for Amsden

Mrs. Cook’s History class and trips to Colorado

Funerals to remember and riding the bus

Bicycle Saturdays at the Rialto…six Pepsi caps

Mowing grass at Tanglewood…one dollar per hour

Fifty hours a week…chiggers all over…sulfur tablets

Hot summers and cold winters…sleet

Leaning to drive…drivers’ ed…license

Thinking and planning…dreams

Memories of Baker Street …boys

page 95 – 96 Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

only available in hardcover on Amazon- order yours today!

Old Photographs & Wild Dreams

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My latest book is now for sale and you can get it from the link below. This is a beautiful hard back book with 100 poems, prose and stories covering a range of subjects: trains, bicycles, bars, cafes, California beaches, streets, Denison, abstract feelings, coffee shops, night hours, Hollywood, East Texas, old preachers, and cowboys.

click on the lick below to purchase:

https://www.amazon.com/Photographs-Wild-Dreams-John-Bucher/dp/0997129786/ref=sr_1_1?crid=392IORFSBAD82&keywords=john+k+bucher&qid=1560743173&s=gateway&sprefix=john+k+bucher%2Caps%2C495&sr=8-1

Jazz Notes #3

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Behind him in the shadowy corner

dim lit stage and a guitar coaxes a steady melodic message

drink up – have another one

she’s gone – your fault …all your fault

people shuffle in and out…some whistle and clap

at the music

the jazz guitar

depressed and lonely he stays and drinks

a friend drops by – who owes him a saw buck

asks for another – and a drink

mind decides to drift inward to the songs

whispers of dream clouds and beach days…sea shells

good woman and good whiskey

money to burn…

the dark corner stops playing-  silence is deafening

still he stays and drinks

soon the break is over and the jazz heats up again

until dawn ….he leaves

until tomorrow…

Jazz Notes #2

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From the ripe age of 12 he learned his craft and taught us about miracles

that all came under the headlines of JAZZ -gypsy jazz

the thunder that rang inside his sweet head and fetched

Stephane and his swinging violin to the stage

Despite the fire in the caravan and the burns and losing some fingers

and feelings –

the guitar came first

Music from European small cafes while women danced and whirled their skirts

Paris night clubs melting under hot lights and sweaty crowds

twirling his mustache and bending the strings, all the while smiling that grin

that he knows something naughty happened

He changed us, the world, the way we think…

from stages in London, in front of thousands of lucky souls

while Eddie Cantor kissed his hand and allowing

American jazz to seep into his gypsy skin and bones

Playing with the Duke at Carnegie Hall and bowing

to the cheering New Yorkers, he played

God did he play

A beatnik at heart he sometimes skipped concerts

“to walk to the beach” or “smell the dew”

We owe a debt to you sir and thank God you made records

Jazz Notes

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Soft notes escaping from the Harlem window as big old Buicks

cruise down Fifth Avenue and dine on dance clubs until dawn

Ella and the Count are everywhere and anywhere for all hip cats

to dig and find a place to jump on

The golden horns and smoky air intoxicate the modern soul

that yearns for the truth about what momma told them

Listen closely for a Blue Moon to saddle up the past with real

dollars and very tiny income

Red rose gardens and whitewashed school books suddenly

make sense in the cool reefer night

Forgetting the style and not caring for rules the cats bob and weave

as the bats fly out and give you a crazy bite

Jazz from the earth and Jazz from the sky, calling for the east

and calling for the west

drums beating loud for the cattle call that rounds up

Harlem’s best

Soft notes escaping from an empty loft near the park that

fall on the sidewalk until the ghosts move along

Victrola heaven cranks orders from the magician’s

vocal chords that tap out the broken heart’s song

Get up right now and head to the store, the radio, or the

old smoky club

Your jazz is waiting patiently and you never have to

show the man your ticket stub

A Hole in the Heavens

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Sometime after the War, the big one, the second time

after years of austerity

after years of fear

after years of funerals

after years of hard labor

A hole cracked open in the heavens

and music poured down

and poetry poured down

and literature was born

and freedom expanded

Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Elvis, The Beatles, Steinbeck, and Playboy

danced in the streets

danced in our ears

danced in our minds

danced in our feet

Yes, they came from the Heavens, the place where all goodness is born

but the hole dried shut

sometimes it leaks a little

but not nearly enough

sometimes we need more, much more

So, the next one of us who dies, better leave with a jack hammer

and find where the hole use to be

start drilling, and drill down deep and hard

let the goodness flow down on us

like a flood

The Last Cowboy In Teller

remembering-the-old-times

Relentless western rain pouring onto soupy gray lanes

horses and cars scare one another as the old world is shoved

aside by a new one

Teller’s emptying out – gone to the oil fields

money…the corrupter and killer of civilizations

(or at least the one he knew)

He nudges the paint pony onward

past the stores out of neighborhoods

very few horses in town anymore

cars, lots of the damn things

the rain peppers his face as he turns his collar up

dark blue horizons on the hills

Been here his whole cowboy life

all he knows

the wife died a few years back and the kids moved to the oil fields

money…lots of money

the old range hand tends to his herd…talks to them

opens the barn and feeds his livelihood as the sun sinks west

he sits on a bale and watches them eat and stick their mouths

into the water trough

be a full moon tonight

back when he was young he would drink and dance

at bar back in Teller when the moon got full

tonight just a fire and beans before

retiring and hoping for an old cowboy’s

dreams