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poem for jim morrison

Let the incantation begin,

Jim Morrison, original ghost killer

Black leather serpent sinner

Gasoline shaman, peyote-loaded shotgun

Whisky jester, carnivorous witch

Switchblade snarl, pallor of death

Convulsive, blindfolded rock vagrant

Stealing dreams from young women.


Jim, Venice is dying.

The tongue of the speculator licks down the marrow.

The soul of the city suffocates in

  the sticky saliva of its corporate kiss.

Rats march down Abbot Kinney 

  with paint cans strapped to their spines

  scurrying to the rhythms of consumerism.


Long gone is the oxygen kiss of jazz horns

  the acid-fueled sunshine, the God-throb of ideas

  the rule of love, the white knights of imagination

  lighting fires with a burning piano.


Now, palm trees lean at the sun 

  like teetering matchsticks.

This once village of cobras is bloodless

  and the fangs crumble in your hands.


But still some mercurial serpent

stalks the beaches at night,

and the waves, the waves,

crashing into the cymbals of the surf.


We’re all lost on the highway, Jim.

          Searching for the crystal ship.

      I see my name etched in granite

but the monument is virginal white

  not some surrealist headstone

buried in flowers at the Père Lachaise

     or scrawled in a jukebox of old legends

rusting in sawdust at Hinano’s Café.


I’ve seen men claw illusions in masks of loneliness. I’ve seen the women, carnivalesque, daring, aching. I’ve watched the crooked and tribal Hollywood dreams the blood ocean battlefields blinding all morality. Veterans eaten raw by your false flag father. Lemonade children seeking God in a rhyming television. Migrant souls burning in brushfires.


I drank whisky in the roadhouse,

kissed the woman, Los Angeles.

But today troubadours are shot on sight.

They’re living in the fear of possibility.

They’re calling to you, Oak Man!

Your seeds have taken root

but you’ll never meet your children,

savage, beautiful, writhing in young lust 

and rebellion.  Pretty, soft insects 

with eyes like smoldering suns.


They laid him in the ground as the shaman spoke,

'He railed at the frost in the winter of zombies

his breath caught fire and became summer

his cries ripped a hole in heaven

letting in the wandering vagabonds

his blood grew mysterious red flowers

in Death’s lonely garden'.


Fly Jim, fly!

The Lords are at your heels!

Leap from your grave before they uproot you and call it a harvest!

From The Opulence Of InventionCopyright © 2018 E. P. Mattson, All Rights Reserved.

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