Are We Having Fun Yet?

Rain permeates the air
Like a shit mist
Headed to Oklahoma
A territory
That some confuse with a state
The Indian Tribes were marginalized there
(That’s a euphemism)
And replaced with the Pick-up Truck Tribe
If that’s progress
Then I am a Yeti
Much of life is perspective
I have heard many jokes
At Amarillo’s expense
But Amarillo feels like Paris in the ’20s
Once you have spent time in Oklahoma
I have a friend who spent time
In Uganda and Afghanistan
She said, “Afghanistan made Uganda
Look like the future.”
You get the idea
Yet there are good people here
As there are everywhere
If life teaches one anything
It is that stereotypes and assumptions
Will one day make you look the fool
I suppose someone might want to string me up
For writing these words
A stupid end to a meaningless life
Game on
Have at it
Are we having fun yet?


Someone dancing inside us
Learned only a few steps:
The “Do-Your-Work” in 4/4 time,
The “What-Do-You-Expect” waltz.
He hasn’t noticed yet the woman
Standing away from the lamp,
The one with black eyes
Who knows the rhumba,
And strange steps in jumpy rhythms
From the mountains in Bulgaria.
If they dance together,
Something unexpected will happen.
If they don’t, the next world
Will be a lot like this one.

By Bill Holm

It’s Only Tuesday I’m Afraid

The poets have been castrated
And now they just play for scraps
Meanwhile the golden child
Gets blown while going in the black

It’s grotesque and it’s insulting
It’s decadent and inhumane
But it’s only Tuesday
I’m afraid

The painters have all been hired
By the advertising agencies
To paint Vincent van Goghs
For the drug companies

It’s grotesque and it’s insulting
It’s decadent and inhumane
But it’s only Tuesday
I’m afraid

Some clown just ate a spider
Now they’re throwing him a parade
Some slut is crying for the camera
While swimming naked in champagne

It’s grotesque and it’s insulting
It’s decadent and inhumane
But it’s only Tuesday
I’m afraid

Having fun in Boise, Idaho 8/19/2014

At the Doctor’s Office

At the doctor’s office
Warm earth tones
And serene posters
Try to distract you
From the intrusive instruments
Waiting to poke and prod
Muzak is playing
But it’s not Muzak
It’s the latest hits
From the top of the charts
No wonder we’re such a sick nation
When this less than meaningless
Benign clap trap
They call music
Is what the masses use
To sooth the soul
Is the recording industry
Run by the CIA
To deaden the will of the population
So that businesses
Have empty vessels
In which to fill with their slogans?
Or do people simply prefer
Vanilla emotions
So that they don’t have to question
The state of things?
My blood pressure goes up
And I feel more ill
Then when I entered

Austin, Texas 8/18/2014

Kindness as Defiance

I see death
At every bend in the river
In the peaks of mountains
Where nothing grows
And in the backstreets of the city
Yet despite this,
Given my own limitations
Of character and chemistry
Of which there are many,
I try my best to be kind
And to treat others with love
Not because I am afraid
Of what will happen
When I die
For I will not let fear dictate my life
But to spite and defy death
And if there is a God
Who allows such a cruel master
To lord over us here on earth
Then Him too

The Texas Highway 8/10/14

Tour Poetry Day 10: Shitcanned in So and So

Whenever I return home from a trip
And people ask me how it was
I tell them if it was good or not
Then I convey one or two humorous stories
And leave it at that
Most people are asking out of politeness
And don’t actually care how your trip was
As the character Kenny Powers once said:
“I went to space and back like Neil Armstrong
And no one gives a shit.”
If someone wants to know more
I let them lead me there
But even if they do indeed genuinely care
How do you tell them that the world
Is both bigger and smaller
More beautiful and insane
Then could possibly be described anyway?
You can drive from Canada to Texas in one day
Yet each home along the way
Possesses its own secret universe
The likes of which
We will mostly never know
There are junkyard artists and opera buffs
People full of humility, kindness, and intelligence
And others that seem to be channeling
Unique, one of a kind, supernatural information
That they obtained through head injuries, acid flashbacks
Or best of all
That old-timey religion
It takes all kinds
To make the world spin, spin, spin!

Back on the home front
When I do meet that rare curious individual
I will happily find myself
In an meaningful conversation
About what a strange, wonderful, frustrating, mysterious
World we live in
But most of the time at a party or bar
I just tell someone
About how I got shitcanned in so and so
While I tilt my drink back to a 90 degree angle
And await the oncoming blackout 

Denver, Colorado 8/9/14

Today is the last day of the Shinyribs tour.  We play in Amarillo tonight and then tomorrow we head back home.  I’ve enjoyed doing this little experiment, where I tried to write a poem for each day of the tour.  If it is something you like message me and please let me know.  I haven’t decided yet if this is going to be a regular feature or not when I’m touring.  It is both fun to challenge myself to come up with something every day, and convenient as it allows me to post more when I don’t have the time to write longer pieces.  However, one should always be careful of running an idea into the ground…


Tour Poetry Day 9: Struggle to Survive

Days come and go
Without much occasion or meaning
You were there and now you are here
Often we remember great feats
Or great depravity
But the everyday struggle to survive
Fades away into the ether
If you are half intelligent
And have some awareness of what is going on
Around you
To just to walk out the door in this world
You either have to be tough or crazy
So my hat is off to you
If you can manage
Such a small yet incredible task
With any degree of dignity and kindness
Although if you have surrendered your intellect
To magical thinking
I’m deducting points

Paonia, Colorado 8/8/14