mark weber | 3 poems

6 10 2007

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Poetry Dispatch No. 195 | October 6, 2007

Special KEROUAC Anniversary Edition, #2

In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ON THE ROAD

 

THE KEROUAC KONNECTION, 2007

In the On the Road tradition…the voice, the beat within us still… today’s featured poet: Mark Weber | three poems by Mark Weber from AVENIDA MAñANA, Zerxpress, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108…Norbert Blei

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it’s lightning, son
you don’t want it close
it’ll turn you cross-eyed
and evil, thirsty for
what the Lord can’t provide
something down at
the bottom of the well
clarified, but
with hands grabbin at you
no, it’s way too late for
the sign of the cross, brother
you best fire up that Pontiac
and burn rubber

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the older i get the more
i find out how much i
don’t know
i mean, i feel positively dumb sometimes
dumb and dumbfounded
the things you see
and hear
that leave you nonplussed
befuddled
uncertain whether you have any grounds
to venture an opinion at all?
maybe
that’s why i found out on this trip
how much i dig driving at night
just driving
on some lonely backroad of Nevada desert
or north up 395 in California
all of Utah, Arizona
driving way into the night for hours
like alternate reality
suspended time, haunted
hallucinatory
&
calm

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some time ago
I read this essay where this poet
was saying that a poet’s job was
to be at leisure as much as possible
and i thought to myself Where does a person
sign up for a job like that? i can malinger
with the best of them, loaf around counting
clouds, wallowing in sloth & indolence, all
are my specialties, but i’m a house painter
and i got a lot of work to do
i take the winter off every year
to hone my dilatory skills, refraining from
as much activity as possible, vegetating
and i like to take trips like this
alone
because i’d drive anyone else
crazy
because i like to stop
at all the places
that make no sense
and look around
and besides, i’m
so jacked up on Lipton tea that
I’ve got to stop every so often to take a leak
and at night the stars out here
in the middle of nowhere, the deep desert
perfectly assimilate you into
everything all as one
so, i rent this stereo on wheels — 2005 silver
Pontiac Grand Prix — throw my guitar in the
back seat, fill the trunk with water, tea, and
grape fruit, and drive to nowhere in particular

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The Autobiography (So Far) of MARK WEBER

my blood comes from Celts to Ulster-Scots to Okies. Straight Line. loss in some Swiss-German, a dash of Swedish, a smidge of Ashkenazie, a pinch of raccoon, tincture of wildebeest, some 4/4 time, and a couple shots of Jack Daniels, and there I am: pure bred mongrel. Six degrees of endocrinological mayhem. As independent as a hog on ice. Born 1953 thirty miles east of Los Angeles, lived there 32 years. Beneath the mighty San Gabriel Mountain Range. Raised homing pigeons as a kid. Had a glorious childhood in Cucamonga, good parents (Don & Joy), trouble didn’t start till later when the cops wouldn’t quit picking on me. Learned guitar and played with my honkytonk grandfather.

Thanks to radio station kppc in the 6os I discovered a whole world of music. Entangled in the California Penal System for awhile (can you say gaol?) Bail. Wrote a column for international jazz mag coda covering Los Angeles years 1976-1986, kept writing for coda from other locales thereafter. My first published poem was in high school newspaper. My first poetic influence was Ferlinghetti’s pictures of the gone world. Come 1986 the police made it impossible to stay in California & thanks to God and Greyhound I made tracks. Went north for awhile, then east, then back west, then south. Lived in Redding, ca (met Janet nearby at Whiskeytown Lake), then Cleveland (3 tremendous years), then Salt Lake City (2 unbeliev­able years), eventually Albuquerque 1991 where I paint houses and do the jazz show Thursdays on kunm radio. And run Zerx Books & Records. You can see my archive of jazz photos & related papers & recordings via ucla website and on metropolis.

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One response

2 05 2008
Phil Fountain

Man, I just stumbled in here when I Googled “Kerouac & Redding, CA ’cause I know Saint Jack slumbered under the Diestelhorst Bridge on his weary, beat road up and down CA. and I want to write about it… was led to this site and I was just diggin’ your poems…Then, I read your bio…shit…
I was born in SF in ’54 to Okie parents, moved to Pomona when I was a tyke, lived in Cucamonga (not far from Zappa’s old studio), listened to KPPC, drew cartoons and draw them still for Record Searchlight in Redding, CA, write stuff, avoid the Authorities…weirdness follows me, though — probably follows you too.
Our paths must surely have crossed… or they have now.
Small Universe, eh Kid?
-Phil

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