As told by Walter, the Cowboy Poet, who holds forth at the Panther Bar, Forgetful, Texas, usually drunk himself

The Angel hovers over my bed,
his (her?) head ablaze with flaming pins dancing madly,
whirling dirvishes of light and fire without number infinitely arranged.
He or she, since they allegedly have no sex, like you or me,
spreads His/Her giant diamond studded wings across the night sky.
They loom huge and black.
Their merest trembling creates typhoons of motion
and I think that I shall suffocate under the masses of air those awesome wings arrange.
His/Her terrible golden smile shines in solid golden blocks of forgiveness as it dissolves all mass in its terrible golden wake.
The room is gone as the angel draws me on a beam of light,
bed and all, to space, cold and empty and hard,
where She/He finally lets me fall.


As told by Walter, the Cowboy Poet, who holds forth at the Panther Bar, Forgetful, Texas, usually drunk himself

His name is Gus. He forgets to shave for days and every time I look to him for guidance, he has fallen off the wagon in some wretched place, to go on a spectacular bender that could last for years.I will curse him and scream for him. I might as well be screaming at the stars or the trees for all the good it does me. I suppose he hears me while he is lying on the floor of some dirty bar roaring ancient lusty drinking songs. Then again, perhaps he isn’t even listening.He has gotten into fights.Most of the other angels disapprove. I’m sure they feel sorry for me, but somehow don’t want to intrude. After all, he’s really my problem, isn’t he?Or should I be looking for angels at all? I mean, really, what business does Gus have being involved in my life anyway.When I am at my most desperate, my lowest point where there is no hope, Gus finally shows up. He would look sheepish, but he has a hangover of such cataclysmic proportions that you can actually see thunder and lightening on the horizon.Then, cigarette hanging from his mouth, mumbling some excuse about a woman across the border, (“In need.” He says. I’ll bet.) He steps in and tries to do some small magic that barely saves the day.Too late, I usually handle it myself.


As told by Walter, the Cowboy Poet, who holds forth at the Panther Bar, Forgetful, Texas, unusually sober

I am in a small boat.
There are other people in the boat but they are not important to me.
I cannot remember their grey faces. They made no sound.
We come to a small rocky island and on this island is a restaurant made entirely of glass.
I go inside, leaving the smoke people behind.

It is a warm place, this exquisite crystal room,
unusually quiet for the inside of a diamond.
I have been here before on my dream walks.
I hear the waves rushing against the rocky island, soft and rhythmic,
like my breathing, like my heartbeat, like the sound my blood makes flowing through my veins.

I don’t know if the waters rise or the island sinks but we are suddenly under water.
No, suddenly is not the right word to describe something as quiet and luscious as this transition.

The water covers the building.
We are under water—safe, under water and the living sea surrounds me.
It surrounds this crystal room, this diamond palace within which I preside.
I look out every wall. I look out the roof.
Everywhere is water, soft, warm, salt water.

And whales come to look in the windows at us.
Everywhere is color, fish, water, plants and light refracted off the diamond palace.
The whales sing, soft and rhythmic,
and it is the sound of my breathing,
my heart beating, the salty seawater blood flowing in my veins.

There is wonder here, this sensuous light,
this voluptuous color, these warm engulfing waters and the sound of my breathing.
Or is it Her breathing, while I rest here inside this prism of a womb?
All I know is, I could breathe out there—out there where life began with sunlight and salt water in a shallow inland sea.