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Tour Log: June 19th, 1998


  Featured poetry by Clebo Rainey

the weeping willow tree

everyone's had a love whisper a wish in their ear as though you were God and could give them anything
she passed out at midnight consumed by the daily struggle just to survive
Stevie Ray Vaughn sang over my father's grave, "life is the roughest place I've ever been
I was left alone again when suddenly without warning she started to dream about a weeping willow tree
my transformation began
I moved aside her black full length dress and lay down beside her
her white belly smelled sweet in the moonlight of the Dallas skyline at the hermitage
I took her
there in my tragic fleeting moments of freedom where she now sleeps
meanwhile, my friend Landon sits alone in the psycho ward in Waco
my memories drift back to hunting for him at 4:30 in the morning in a fever suicide nightmare while he calls me from the Casa Linda pay phone with a syringe in his hand
I stare at my face in the windowpane by the kitchen table where I always write
I look outside into the shadows and see the ground start to crack like the 46 year old face staring at it
bit by bit a small green and brown twig starts to wiggle its way into the damp August night
my lover turns and mumbles something in her sleep
she says my name twice as if trying to save me from something but from what
from who
the scotch my ex-wife bought for my birthday eases the pain of the falling rain upon my forming branches
I try to hide inside the look of her new lover's eyes from Nepal and the wonder with which they described the beauty of Katmandu
why don't they return there and sing good-bye to this American suicide train in a great white cloud of bewildered disgust
on dusty boulevards the best and worst of us are left to deal with the all consuming madness where rust never sleeps
weeping willow trees weep for those too driven to stop and leave everything behind
the kitchen clock keeps ticking as the new born tree starts sticking its head a little higher
in the lonely light of the neon table my heart begins to flicker as things begin to get shaky
down the road a bit just on the edge of Little Forest Hills my pot dealer locks up his home alone
his three young girls asleep at their Grandmother's in Lakewood
his wife and new son safe at the Medical Center they can't afford
earlier that week I tried to help him start his old Ford broken down in the MacDonald's parking lot off I-35
he cursed God for keeping his family alive in this Hell we call home and roamed around the neighborhood later that day with the shotgun he would need to kill them
with several blasts he figured he'd send them all falling down the deep well of death
I listened to him call out and suffer in disbelief and could give him nor myself any relief from the seeping grief that consumes us all
it shook me the way the breeze blowing up from White Rock Lake shakes the slowly forming limbs of the small weeping willow tree
my reflection in the window starts to fade behind the shade as the Hendrix tape on the jam box end and the scotch runs out
with the last few sips I drip away
dawn begins to crack across the horizon
light tries to invade my darkness once more as my pen falls to the floor
the tree is growing fast now, very fast
my last thought is wondering if anyone ever realized my talent is not lying about the fact that we're all alone and we're all dying
I'm laying on the table now
and I feel me
leaving for the last time
the last rhyme
from my new silent world outside I can see my head hit with a soft thud spilling the bottle of scotch across the white pages of my notebook I bled my life out on cursed and afraid
I feel the strength of branches swell
the soft wave of green leaves flowing down my side
I glide away
in my last conscious moment I see her throw open the bedroom window and stare out in amazement and joy
I breathe my last breath and it's over
the clouds open up
the rising sun shines brightly on the weeping willow tree she had dreamed about that is now
swaying in the summer breeze
it waves good-bye in silent unspoken words everything I wanted to say but couldn't
the story doesn't end
I do
the tree keeps growing as wild and free as a river of no return
"go back to sleep honey," it whispers
"I've always been lonely and I'll never be satisfied"
"go back to sleep now"
"under your weeping"
"your weeping"
"willow tree"

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