Category Archives: Poetry

Rusty’s Poetry

A Bum?

A Bum

A bum? I guess so,
It’s true I haven’t a dime
My clothes are dusty and dirty
And I’m lousy ‘bout half the time

But I’ve got a reason stranger
And a pretty good one too
Sit down on this bench right here
And I’ll spin a yarn for you

My story begins in Joplin
Back where I was born and raised
The son of a southern preacher
So you can bet that I’d been saved

I worked in a bank as a teller
I was a singer in the baptist choir
Why everyone said that my future
Was all that anyone could desire

Then a show came to our city
It was called the Broadway Pips
It had some almost naked women
That could surely shake their hips

Now the one that fills my story
Was a little blued eyed dream
With a body like Milo de Venus
And a face all peaches and cream

She did a dancing double
With a slick haired guy called Al
And I guess from all that happened
She was more than just his pal

But she said she could learn to love me
If only I had a roll
So blinded by her sly suggestions
I closed my eyes and I stole

I paid a half a million dollars
For just one night of her charms
Then I awoke in a distant city
With nothing but empty arms

Yea she flew the coup with the money
The slick haired guy’d gone, too
The coppers came and got me
And my brief romance was through

Yes I’m an ex convict stranger
That’s why I’m only a bo
I can’t go to work in the city
‘Cause I’m hounded wherever I go

I can’t get a job with a Union
I seems like I’m fresh outta luck
How’s that for a story stranger
And say, could you slip me a buck!

I am a Man

Her flowers are the fragrance of my embrace
            Her body moves me like a song
                        The lines of where she stops and I begin
                                    Are so much more than just a mystery
                                                     They declare I am a man



Help! I’m trapped midtown…
A purple cosmic cloud is holding me hostage… aren’t we all?
Held hostage, that is!
The streams of consciousness that surround and bombard me
Envelop my extra senses. You know, the ones!
The ones that the TV personalities flaunt
Like flowers at the Rose Bowl Parade… I have them, too!

Years ago I could hear the screams from midtown
I could feel the pain of the miserable – but now…
Now I am back in midtown and I hear a different scream
This one is a melody – a melody of pain.
It is a chant one of hope, one of reason and perspective,
But the rhythm has changed; it beats to syncopated confusion,
Illusion of grandeur illusions of delusion… illusions of poverty.

I think it’s the lies playing behind this melody.
I can hear them being told – No, I can hear them thought.
They begin with a connivance of poverty that is based on a myth,
Then the thoughts are formed – and these people believe their own thoughts…
They haven’t stopped to think: Who thunk ’em first?
Where did they come from? Is there really a shortage?
Of love? Of money? Of jobs? Of food?
These thoughts originate in their minds – or so they think… but do they?

This thinking melody is a myopic stain – lies come in denying truth…
Ah, that’s it, truth – that ever slippery ground that floats
Just below the surface of reality…
Well, I’ll be… Reality! Another slippery surface to tread!

Reality is an ever-tangling web of deceit.

One that convinces the on looker that things really are as they appear;
However convoluted it may sound, most things aren’t as they appear,
Most things are built on the screaming melody of midtown.
At least here in midtown the screaming melody is REAL!

Copyright 8/31/92 Rusty Cline


Prince From Toad

My love has fastened solitude
By locks and cuffs and chains
Narcotic nectar lassitudes
Took leave of all the same
Sensitive to virtue
That heals the freedom rocks
Cornered by the curfew
Which lead me by my cock

Too enlightened for addiction
This slave of nicotine
Unbound by vast affliction
Enflamed like gasoline

This world without won’t tell me
So cold I can’t come in
And yet my heart would tell me
That obsession is my friend

Remorse I have the feeling
A pretty word for regret
Long hours on the ceiling
Hoping we just met

Assigned to mental boulders
That block me from my path
So clumsy when I hold her
In irony I laugh

With hammers, jacks and chisels
I try to clear my road
My sweat turns to a drizzle
As to prince I come from toad

Copyright 6-14-89 Rusty Cline

Fresh Bathed and Oiled

Fresh Bathed and Oiled

The steamy water made a mist as?
it rose against the mirror.?
Soon I couldn’t see her eyes…?
but I knew they were there…?watching
–?they were always watching back then.
?Drops of sweat formed in my hair
?as I felt the warmth of her kindness?
envelope my senses.?The steamy hot bath closed in tight?
against my bright red skin.

Love was clean back then,?fresh bathed and oiled.?

Soft and supple like the petals of a rose?
that’s graciously surrendered its tenderness?
to the warm spring air?
knowing when it does it must?
start the drying
–?the dying
–?the knowing.
?The rose was gracious back then.

She used to look at my toes
–?she did that when she was sexy…?
me, I looked at the woman
–?the woman made me sexy.?
I am still sexy for the woman…?
She looked at my toes back then
–?she hasn’t been sexy for years
–?perhaps my toes know why.?I do not.
But maybe I knew back then.

Her eyes appeared?over the rim of my spectacles,?
just to tell me it was over.
?Over while I still lived in the haunted house
where two strangers?
shared torn sheets draped?
over a withered love?
that was parched from the drought.
Ah, but once it rained,?
it rained in torrents
–?it rained in floods
–?it even bloomed back then.

?Once there was a love so vivid and gay?
that neighbors would complain;?
too noisy for them they said,
?but now even the neighbors know?
the love is dead.
We danced
–?I know we danced because?
there is still a rhythm in my head
–?it goes like this:
it goes on forever
?so I know we danced…?
but that was back then?
when she looked at my toes
Back then
When we were sexy
Fresh bathed and oiled

Copyright 1/4/02 Rusty Cline

Copyright 1/4/02 Rusty Cline