This Life Cannot Contain Me (On the Occasion of my 42nd birthday)



Born in a buffalo hump a trail of tears wagon wheel rut

a punk in a triple bedbunk

steam train dying like a brother on the southern front

crawfish daddy pacific wind bent pine

stealing Walt Whitman's stones and calling them mine

this life cannot contain me

This life cannot contain me, i cry

not at God or at my wife

but to the sky

not with fist clenched but with arms open wide

this life cannot contain me!

Up from the ground lightning spiking

Solomon song singing hammer swinging

oaken dextral sitka spruce sinistral

beautiful daughters on my left and right

this life cannot contain me

Trout fish bone stuck in my goozle

wild fuchsia rhododendrons my grandma’s mumu

my boys wrestling not yet besting me

this life cannot contain me

Cradled on the curve of hipbone

the rib of man a plow i rode

to furrow a tough row to hoe

coming in as I'll go out

naked as a jaybird with a shout

the tree of life within the placenta

seen it with my own two eyes

 i am not ashamed of it

Jesus with the bleeding woman

power just shot out of me

this life cannot contain me

i am the spotted man leper kid

ponderosa pine bark boy

peeling away

 now a grown ass earring wearing man

father of children  

one day of men and women

given life by their momma

 cosmic soul sister woman

i am life giver

this life cannot contain me

i live beyond the patchwork quilt of dying stars

wrap my babies in an ancient okie quilt

kiss my babydoll on her lilywhite throat

carry em on my back up to the stars and back

jacked up crow cawing on a seastack

Trickster with a knapsack

racking a shell in a shotgun shack

this life cannot contain me

This life and all it cannot contain me

i am giving to my wife and my babies

and all those after me

but I aint going nowhere

i will dance until i am dead

i’ll do it alone but i’d rather with my fellow man

Momma, this life cannot contain me

Big river little girl baby

southpaw songstress

this life cannot contain us

it tried and we died then we did rise

babies this is your bloodline

Violet Tennessee Waylon June Dixie

this life cannot contain we

In this iggy van gogh oil hip strut

sockets thumping

blood pumping life seething

clenched teeth teething

there is no atheistic hubris

nor religious rot

(woe betide the Levite lot)

for in it is joy and peace and love and babies and making babies

and no maybes

just this life cannot contain me

i was born a headbutt

a sinew twist tackle blood begetter

diaper wetter mead bench wrecker

 Vietnam corpsman Walt Whitman bone setter

splash blood and paint and children across the earth

smoke and booze and words across the earth

this is my calling i am not afraid

be not afraid

Daddy made me and Daddy don’t lie

this life cannot contain me

Baptized in a hose water horse trough with my little brother

the spotted man and the bad blood boy baptized together

by dad daddy doc our father

under a gray sky my eyes were gray and we were cold

we shivered dripping wet and just like Jesus we were known

and we aint never looked back

though the rental house burned down

this life cannot contain us

Though i tread through the valley of the shadow of wires

i will fear nothin

i’ll grasp at no coastal winds to keep em

just drift with them

A migrant on the ocean

A forager for his own food

Daddy will feed me

this life cannot contain me

Stronger than i ever been

More loved than i ever been

Smarter than i ever been

More tattoos than i ever had

Bleeding more ink than i ever have

Nose crooked left more than it ever has

More children than i’ve ever had

More colors than i ever seen

You’re more beautiful than you ever been

Knowing i know nothing

this life cannot contain me

No death throes no no

 just life throes

i yearn and stretch and climb and shout

scratching at the stars

fumbling with Orion’s belt

whipping Nimrod with his own goddamn pelts

this life cannot contain me

JE Jones cigarette yap

Neal Cassady eyes lit up rap

beatnik beatitude beat white boy dap

born in the curve of a black man’s back

squawling in a Cherokee government camp

kissing girls in a migrant camp

this life cannot contain me

i was born in a mess of jumbalaya

ladled out with a split wood spoon

hotter n ol blickeys

Hank Williams praying over me in the room

my heart a drum a thrum a pew bolt rattle

of my own drum up walking

in my head my head is always talking

this life cannot contain me

My mind mindtalking like walking sticks walking

train throat whistle river boy

stole this land from the children of the sun

Phaeton the crow He Who Flew Too Close To The Sun

basalt and pine belong to no one


this life cannot contain me

Pollock phosphenes buck shot splatter

the inner becomes the outer

i speak with a holler

this life cannot contain me

i am life giver I am lover

i am color

you are my mother and lover

i am your father and brother

i am barefoot cosmicwalker

i am my beloved’s

i blood and bone and holler and whoop

(down the line:)

as i walk further i begin to stoop

slumping melted ice cream scoop

Samson jackass jawbone tired

i run ahead my children run by

my baby hangs back with me

singing songs to me

the voice of God blood running through me

i begin to falter

the wheat and wildflowers overtake me

my mortal flannel fails me

i sing the songs of my baby

i sang to my babies

then i am sleeping

and when i am sleeping you cry out to me


and I die out laughing