©1998 Thom Kellar
Smoke ring in a windstorm

old man with blindfold and cigarette

at the university he had "shown promise"

was called a "diamond in the rough"

but the years have gotten away from him

he pissed away his time

now he waits for the phone to ring

for Gabriel to call and ask if he has one last request

from the beginning desire had been a map without names

never sure where he was or where he was going

change made for the sake of change

point A to point B in a car painted primer gray

he drank too much—slept too much

read too much—chased "easy" too much

never finished the book he had been writing

for the last 24 years

now the Rambler sits on blocks

the manuscript lost somewhere in the attic

he calls himself "invisible man on blue planet"

the events of his life written in disappearing ink

nothing to offer as evidence of having circled the Sun

staring at the autumn sky, chain smoking, sipping tea,

he waits for the angels to raise their rifles

and take him home


©1998 Thom Kellar’s all we can do

not to remember


back porch

I sip cheap red

strum a cracked and buzzing

harmony six string

tell the stars 

to go fuck themselves


on your back

in bed

Cosmo opened

across your chest

you whisper

something to someone

on the phone


in the kitchen

under the ironing board

the 3 year old sits

blissfully occupying himself

with a green, rubber,

T-Rex toy

welcome to plan B

much time ago

I was to be a writer

of words and music

you were going to travel the world

a single woman

scoring brown-skinned boys

taking in the sights 

but like dirt-track figure 8ers

we "discovered" each other

an accident throbbing to happen

made ourselves easy targets

lowest form of idiot

of course the "little-man"

has no such regrets

no fear for what's future

he's like a sponge

soaking up the moment

laughing to himself

as he and imaginary friends

all knowing the password

slip past the angel

standing guard at Eden's gate


©1998 Thom Kellar
dead men 

don’t care what the surgeon general thinks

dead men 

drive around with no place to go 

dead men 

figure the come-on at the end of the bar,
more trouble than she’s worth

dead men 

hold alcohol in a medicinal light

dead men 

will sleep in their work clothes

dead men 

never need to RSVP

dead men 

buy cars, and smokes, based solely on price

dead men 

avoid eye contact at all cost

dead men 

doodle on the obituary page 

dead men 

drive on bald tires with cracked windshields.

dead men 

accept with resignation, the next day’s hangover

dead men 

listen to Coltrane, and Davis,
start to finish, no interruptions

dead men 

don’t floss 

dead men 

will drink their Sake cold

dead men 

don’t sweat expiration dates

dead men 

never wear bandages

dead men 

are past blaming anyone

dead men 

see horse-shit and diamonds the same

dead men 

don’t care where the candle-wax falls

dead men 

forget what day of the week it is 

dead men 

can’t get to sleep at night,
can’t wake up in the morning

dead men 

have nothing in their hands

dead men 

never ask another chance

dead men 

have no need to make sense of anything

dead men 

play dumb when they know they’re being lied to

dead men 

have made the connection between sorrow and desire

after losing the thing he loves 

a dead man will spend the rest of his days 

anesthetizing the past

pouring gasoline on the future

dead men 

have no fear of dying the second time
[click to view introduction]