Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Handlin’

Zombie-Killing Device

30 Aug

As a theoretical engineering exercise
I was tasked to design a zombie killing device

Might as well be a resurrection machine
Wrong tool for the right problem, if you know what I mean

A zombie apocalypse is upon us
Their ignorance is simply beyond us

As they go to great pains
To shed our brains

With the karma the bought on TV
Or how much they love their SUV

Relentlessly jawing at your ear
With breath of smoke and stale beer

About that thing they saw in the cinema
Eyes rolled back like they’re a cow getting an enema

Their delusion of reference
Is a delusion in the value of reverence

I hit ’em with the HDT
No, I didn’t drop the V

It’s not a typo
but H D Thoureau

Even with his jaw all clenched up
I can hear him from the grave yelling, “Wake Up!”

So to avoid the attempted cranial depredation
I simply leave the buggers to their quiet desperation

Rhyming terse

30 Aug

I don’t mean to sound terse
But I just don’t do free verse

Don’t ask me to prove I’m smart
These lines are better played to the heart

The rules have long since been broken
So, adherence to the old-avante-garde seems a bit token

I preach to the masses
Not those who teach English classes

With meter and rhyme
Measured speech, imperfectly timed

I tell the tale of my times
With the names changed to mask our crimes

At the risk of sounding absurd
I stay approachable with the rhyming word

Relying upon my intuition
For my artistic inspiration

Confronting sublimity
Confronted by my own need for humility

Creating an artistic interpretation
Of natural phenomenon taken as my inspiration

A method as old as time
Telling my tales with rhyme

Oddly, I have been called a Romantic
My wife thinks realistically, that’s a point of semantics

She’s probably right.

A tale, perhaps, for another place and time
But, I’ll goddamn-guarantee it’ll be set to rhyme

Beautiful Soul

07 Jul

To Diane Louise New
It’s good to be amazed and loved by you

I hear that your brand of compassion
Is soon to become all the fashion

Your love of life
And quickness to relieve strife

These things will soon come into season
I like to think that you are part of the reason

Today on your birthday
I’d really like to say

You were born already at your goal
Always remember you have a beautiful soul

A, B, C, D, E, Motivation

10 Oct

I can give it a shot
Can’t tell you if I’ll finish or not

I’m unreliable
bona fide certifiable

Haven’t written in ages
Can’t magically create pages

It takes work and editin’
A bit of smoke and meditatin’

I won’t promise you a classic
But, I’ll try for something scholastic

I might make it, or I might not
But like I said, I can give it a shot

Too Old Young Men

11 Nov

We’re a couple of too old young men

Who keep going back, again and again


Calling each other on the phone

Time’s passed, neither leave it alone


Caught in dark delusions

Fears fed by nightmarish illusions


Our memories explode

Upon those desert roads


Telephonic recollections

Disharmonic introspections


Our Hysterical ramblings

On the historical trampling


Of an Arab nation

In an empirical aggregation,


Of power and petroleum

And a dream that we sold ’em


With the butt of a gun

‘Neath their hot desert sun


Just a couple of too old young men

Who keep going back, again and again



-Stephen Handlin


Linkhorn’s Song

10 Nov


I’ve got a place to stay ’til Halloween

My rent’s paid if you know what I mean

For a minute I can sit and breathe free

Maybe I can take a little bit of time for me

Maybe I’ll go buy a twenty bag

Maybe I’ll go drinking at the Golden Stag

I’ll need money, got to get some

Just a little for the months to come


Right now I gotta scrimp and save

Gonna work myself to an early grave

I wouldn’t miss a minute

Nah, in the papers I’d print it

If all around you is struggle and strife

Relax and know that this is life

Overcoming obstacles

Melting problems like popsicles


Every monkey’s got to find his next meal

Even for the single-celled this is the deal

Throughout life you will overcome many struggles

Food, warmth, and procreation: basic needs we all juggle

This modern life is more complicated

With social problems more complex than what I’ve stated



I’ve slept in Luxury hotels and in ditches

And I’ve been with angels and evil bitches

I learned even high-class people have high-class problems

And like the rest of us they can’t always solve ‘em


We all just keep plugging away

Wishing for some impossible day

Where we live happily ever after

Prolly the only one who did was the Zen master

And even he had to deal with pain and frustration

As the kids next door fucked with his meditation

He takes a deep breath, does the best he can

This, they say, is the measure of a man


Don’t waste time crying

Better to keep on trying

Can’t say how to do it

Gotta deal with my own shit

But give it a shot

And while you’re at it smoke some pot


From: Baby’s Book, by Stephen Handlin copyright, printed with permission


A Short History of Poetry

10 Nov

It feels good to stand and say I’m a poet
A tradition from times past
It’s part of us, and sure to last
See, in the days of knights and kings
The boss kept a guy, his exploits to sing
Now, before Mr. Gutenberg’s press
Passing on these lines needed to be addressed
And wanting his bosses lives to live through time
The early bard would write his words to rhyme

Without fail
He wrote a good tale
Beowulf’s the oldest we got
About some Vikings and the monster they fought
Hung-over warriors fighting the Grendel
Straight up battling without tricks or swindles

For centuries folks were regaled
By this and other, similarly heroic tales
But then came the Catholic Church
Brought art and such to a terrible lurch
The Pope gave poets a doctrine
To write your own way could be a sin

Some smart cats would twist the Pope’s story
Some medieval works have some mad allegory
You know that one called the “Faerie Queen?”
That one is all about words behind the scenes
And Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
Actually talks about when Cromwell was boss
Dante showed Mr. Pope the hell that he had created
But the church couldn’t argue with logic so poetically stated
Then there were the romantics
Buncha scrawny white boys playing with semantics

For hundreds of years poets followed a set of rules
If you couldn’t conform you were labeled a fool
Browning, Coleridge, Burns, and Keats
These fools filled some worthy sheets
So did many others
Too many to list, I won’t bother

Forward some
Our lesson comes
To a fat boy named Walt
Said all these rhymes, they gotta halt
See Whitman felt poems need not be confined
To a pattern of preset rhythms and rhymes
And let’s not forget Emerson walking in God’s temple
Saying language is sacred so let’s keep it simple

Time passed, kids got the hint
Tried new stuff, learned to experiment
1950s come; some cool cats take the heat
It was Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, and the Beats
After poets like Dylan and Lennon and Morrison went pop
There were some collusions and fusions, and then came the hip-hop

The ‘80s opened with a mighty, mighty bang
With some folks by name of the Sugar Hill Gang
And the mighty, mighty Grand Master Flash
First him then NWA printed some mad cash
Three white-boys tried out this new hip-hop toy
Took the shit to MTV called it Da Beastie Boyz

Let’s take a moment
So as I can be the proponent
Of Mr. Chuck D and The Public Enemy
Telling us how it was, it is, and it shall be
And the Northwest’s Balladeer of angst and hurt
An enlightenment junkie who went by the name of Kurt
Kids adored Mr. Kobain
As he splattered their walls with his brain

Then Dre at last
Having shed his old cast
With a new Dogg to trick, ole Dre went supersonic
They worked up a schtick, then showed up with The Chronic

Then we started to hear bootlegs of one of the great bluesmen of our age
Another junked-up white boy, this one using Long Beach as his stage
But just before his shit blew up big
Brother was called for the heavenly gig
When said right his name Sublimely rolls
The brother, the man, Bradley Knowles
Then, finally, in a case of East meets West
With Biggie and Tupac we lost a couple of the best

Today we mostly get posers
Guys who think we’re all punk-ass hosers
Kids who sound like Eminem
Fiddy Cent or a thousand more like them
I try to model my shit on olde time bards
I never knew I picked the path that’s hard
But, I’m lucky because I can look back and see
Old poets and their works through history
So, no matter how rough this life gets
I know I haven’t written my last lines yet

Baby’s Book, by Stephen Handlin copyright, printed with permission.

The Point

22 Jan

One night light on QRF
We’d been out all day, I felt like death

Ranger Corey was our TC
And dammit if I didn’t have to pee

Oh and with the humvee speakers he’s blaring Travis Tritt
Or some other boring old country music twit

See ole Corey had an anti-smoking passion
And he was keeping me smoke free in our war wagon

My eyes tired from scanning the gun camera screen
Constantly monitoring the never changing battle scene

Blinking like I am about to lose consciousness
How I was staying awake was anyone’s guess

Silently I curse all the deities
Covering my bases ’til I find out who did this to me

For hours in dark and endless heat
Not screaming in frustration a major feat.

Caught in my reverie
I wander how can this be

What did I do to deserve this
What in god’s name caused me to enlist

Suddenly I had thought that I never put in my head
An intriguing life changing voice spoke, here is what it said

“I am here.”
The thought echoed in my ears

Smiling, now, I lose all frustration
With an almost miraculous transformation
I have no more pressure, pain, anger, and agitation

I listen to everybody chatter
I realize the appearance of pain never matters

Because underneath all is a layer of joy
Pain and tribulations are but an illusory ploy

Distractions of the Samsara
Are meant distract and impair a

Souls ability to see
That which truly be

I didn’t catch why
Maybe I’ll learn after I die

The point that I learned
As a soul badge I earned

Is that even though it is far from swell
War itself is actually far from hell

It’s just a perfect storm
Like when cold air meets warm

And all involved are human girls and boys
Who all feel pains, frustrations, happiness, and joys

War, I learned, is just one more human condition
It’s not bad or good, it’s just two sides jockeying for position

And while we all feel horrible at times
Our enemies are just people no matter their perceived crimes

Enemies vary it seems
Usually it is just what we call the other team

But, as humans, underneath it we are all the same
Usually seeking simply comfort and joy as the goal to our games

Hajji makes bombs
We defuse them all night long

At the same time kids laugh and joke
We rush around looking for fires under the smoke

This madness gives us all a purpose
Even if we are here to only protect each of us


22 Jan

It sits nicely on the lips

A word which often portends
To some sort of grand World’s end

Well things aren’t always what they seem
So, here’s something else this word could mean

An unveiling
Or grand revealing
Like a revelation
Happen to all kinds regardless of station

All holy books have stories of world evisceration
Allegorically derived they reveal paths of internal liberation

The great Armageddon
An unveiling of destruction

Of mindful illusions
And dangerous delusions

This war battles constantly
Internal struggles for us each to see

We were put here as warriors
To struggle peacefully within or

We fall on our face on the karmic floor
We came to this place for this internal war

It’s the name of the game
Ask the ocean and he’ll prolly tell you the same

This apocalypse is a door
This apocalypse helps you evolve to more

Than your fleshly desires
No longer limp like a puppet on wires

No, this is not a battle for the plains of Armageddon
This is more of a battle for your soul’s sacred freedom

Some folks will call it nirvana
You can call it anything that you wanna

For any open enough to hear
For all of those of who have struggled for years
Struggled without end to master and overcome their fears
For those with their open hearts and minds be of good cheer
For you the end is near

Step Back

15 Nov

Come with me as I step back in time
To a place I remember, in the recesses of my mind

When I was a child, I loved to perform
On stage I was safe, the world’s heart warm

Then one day I fell from a van
Then one day I became a man

Found I had it in me to fight
To hunt down the wrong and protect the right

Today I write this feeling quite old
I’ve learned that the world is heartless and cold

Then I knew god and I as one
Now I know my god is a gun

Time to return
Time to relearn

Step back 13 years
Step back from my fears

Look myself in the face
See if any of me is left, just a trace

So I can share my love
Freely, like heaven above

Return to the one
Relearn to feel the fun
Step back from the almighty gun

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