RD Armstrong, AKA Raindog began his most recent incarnation as a poet in the early 90s.  He has 18 chapbooks, 9 books to his name and has been published in over 300 poetry magazines, anthologies, blogs and e-zines, including the Louisiana Review; Flash!Point #5; The Bukowski Review #1 & 2; and Unwound Magazine. He has also been published in several anthologies including, An Eye For An Eye And The World Goes Blind – Poets on 9-11,  Drinking With Bukowski,  Incidental Buildings & Accidental Beauty and Raising the Roof.

His work has appeared online at many different websites including SPAM, Poetz, Poetry Super Highway and NYCityLit.  He also operates the Lummox Press which published the Lummox Journal for 11 years, the Little Red Book series (60 titles) and the new RESPECT series of perfect bound collections of poetry, begun in 2008. Since 1995, Raindog has labored to serve the world of small press poetry and continues to do so to this day. Visit his website at www.lummoxpress.com

 

Not This Again

When I was in my late twenties
I met an old man while working on a
Job with a friend of mine up in
Port Angeles Washington state
He was dressed in overalls and
A blue denim shirt and was wearing
A cap possibly a railroad cap

There wasn’t anything about his
Appearance that would make
This encounter very special
Except for what he said

He was old and tired and hoped
He’d soon be crossing over to
The other side and I being young
And full of life tried to comfort him
By saying that that couldn’t be true
That he wasn’t that old (though I
Didn’t really know how old he was)
But he was resigned to his fate
Which he hoped would come
Sooner than later

Now I am that old gentleman
Dressed in overalls and old
T shirts and work boots and
An old baseball-style cap
I am tired and it seems I’m
Waiting on death just like him

Somewhere along the line
I started aging faster than my years
Must be my wild and wooly lifestyle
And my boozy ways catching up to me

Whatever the cause some mornings
When I wake up I find myself thinking
Not this again

 

Democracy

The Arab Spring --
What fruit is born from
Bloody soil?
Putin driving deep into Georgia --
What does a tyrant know of freedom?
The invasion of Iraq –
Suddenly it’s time to unseat
The butcher of Baghdad?
Centuries of brutality in
Democracy’s name as if
It is the name of the newest
Baddest boy on the block
The fair-haired boy that
Everyone loves and wants to
Emulate
Mothers want his blessing
Fathers swell with pride and
Hold parades in his honor
Sons want to champion his causes
And daughters dream of his embrace

DEMOCRACY

The sanctity of the word
Blinds us to abuses
In its name

Democracy
As a concept
Is not a desired ideal for most
Even here in the USA
One man – one vote?
Too much mucking about
Too much wasted time
Too many opportunities missed

Too much free thinking
A danger in these times of
Security alerts and
Terrorism
Who’s watching the hen house?
Who will protect the American way?
And our misguided belief that
God is on our side
That we can do no wrong
As long as our actions
Serve democracy

Democracy
Is the most important word
A word beyond question
A sacred word
A word misunderstood
Because the word has been
Cheapened by sham
& greed

This word / wor(l)d
Means nothing
Is nothing to
Our enemies
So we are told
Our godless enemies
Who value life
Less than we
Live for the day of
Victory over us
Just as we vie for
That same victory
Over them

We are locked in
A struggle that will never end
All in the name of
Democracy
Our American DEMOCRACY

It is a source of
Endless sadness

 

Everyone’s Looking For An Angle

I’ve become complacent to the
Weirdness that surrounds me.
While some of my friends
Scoff at all the weirdos that
Roll down the streets each day
I don’t see what the harm is:

Transvestites in haphazard outfits
Stroll through the business district
Window shopping for something
That will compliment some
Future ensemble.
Queer folk roaming freely
Flaunting – some would say –
Their lifestyle finally allowed
To be “out” by most of the
Voting electorate.
Punk rockers in their forties
Knuckleheads with their families
Tattooed to the max
The illustrated men & women
Of Long Beach – even I have one!
The walking insane who are not
Too far gone but who may be moving
Into or coming back from its seductive
Siren’s call – wandering the streets
Searching for the scene of their ‘crime’
The place where their train derailed
And their quixotic journey began.
Pre-op transsexuals looking oddly
Out of place – their sexual identities
Not the only thing askew in their world.
Mystics and con artists
Poets and painters
Shopkeepers and ‘suits’.

I’m not judging but merely observing
And from what I’ve seen

Everyone is looking for an angle.

 

 

R.D. Armstrong, AKA Raindog

 

 

2012 RD Armstrong, AKA Raindog


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