Saturday, July 01, 2006


In a small, struggling, East Texas town, a woman walks out of the grocery store carrying her young son, and feels the late-morning heat.

"Oh, Lord, Bubba," she says.

I hear so much -- probably much more than she intended -- in those three words.

The next morning, I wake, for me, very early. It's 5:30. I can't sleep. I find Kristy Kruger's CD with the kazoo on it, and listen to the music. The CD is often lyrically dark, but often musically upbeat and always intriguing. In the lyrics, the sun smiles when it burns your eyes, and there are bottomless black holes; also in the lyrics, a sky black as oil can be filled with glitter and the moon can become a spotlight.

Oh, Lord, Bubba.

Yesterday, I watched a woodpecker slamming its beak into a tree. I saw an armadillo fade into the bushes along an old fence line.

Yesterday, somebody burglarized my favorite pizza place, taking $225. I recall a police report I read last year about somebody breaking into a house in the county, making and eating some nachos, and then walking away with stuff. I recall the story, several years ago, of a man walking into a Pollo Loco in San Antonio and robbing the place. The masked man wore a shirt with the fast-food place's name on the pocket, and called the manager by her first name. He was arrested when he showed up for work half an hour later.

Oh, Lord, Bubba.

I must buy more memory. RAM for my computer. Not so I can stuff more stuff in it, but so I can access it quicker.

True love. Or, as Peter Schmidt put it on a CD, the decimal equivalent. Schmidt's CD, Love or the Decimal Equivalent, sounds kinda like it was made by a latently intelligent young bubba who sneaked off into the desert looking for his future, and ended up crouching down behind an agave, slowly chewing on peyote buttons.

Truelove. The six muses and all the little musettes wander through my mind. My mind lingers on some of the Texas place names: Babylon, Big Stinking Creek, Birthright, Chocolate Bayou, Diddy Wa Diddy, Elysian Fields, Exile, Fate, Lost and Old Rivers Bridge, Magnolia Beach, Mars, Mount Calm, Poetry, Point Blank, Rising Star, Toadsuck, Truelove, Uncertain, Utopia, Venus, Weeping Mary, Wink.

A small book of poems will rise from those place names.

There is a welcome chill in the air on this early summer morning.

I play the CD with the kazoo on it twice and the sun rises. I face a workday with an empty pocket and a little grin, wondering why it’s been years since I've seen a mirage that looks like water on the road.

Oh, Lord, Bubba.