JOHN DOE presents POETRY SLAB
Mr. Doe is a songwriter, poet, actor and bassist, and was the heart and mind of the legendary X, as was Exene Cervenka. He was born John Nommensen Duchac on February 25, 1954 in Decatur, Illinois. Doe performs also with the country-folk-punk band The Knitters. In the early 1980s, Doe performed on two albums by The Flesh Eaters.
This is his poetry slab
in which he posts poetry of his own,
as well as the poetry of other poets the world around.
Mr. Doe respectfully requests that any poets seeking a ride on the
bluerailroad, in other words, to have
your poems published
here on the poetry slab
for all the world to embrace,
simply email one, two or three poems
to our beloved publisher, Henry Crinkle:
We will notify all chosen poets, and alert you to
the publication date.
And now, the boxcar opens
It’s a long way from Tallahassee to LA
when all your thoughts are loss, racing
ahead of you along the track, crowding
in behind second thoughts and cold feet.
At Mobile you shake yourself awake, walk
the length of the sleeping car to contemplate
magnolia trees and houses with windows lit
at half past three along a crooked bayside street.
Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!
You cry for yourself and the Union dead,
drink complimentary coffee in your roomette
until the conductor announces they’re serving
ham and eggs in the dining car, passing close to
forty alligators sunbathing in Bayou Sauvage.
—Fay Hart, 2005-2007
There’s a baby Jesus hanging in a tree
where Katrina washes her robes.
A river runs behind the store
where daddy turns up his nose.
I stand with a barefoot friend
who’s pregnant and on the phone.
Her tattoos look out of place
with tears and pale pink clothes.
There’s music on the side of the street
from a car parked in the shade.
Two guys are looking at us,
holding a jack and a can of grease.
—Fay Hart, 1987-2002
Fay Hart was born in Macclesfield and raised in the backwoods of Indiana. She was the Press Officer for the UK seminal punk label, Stiff. Her poems have been published in all the best literary journals in England and in several notable anthologies. At present she’s writer-in-residence at Kerouac House in Orlando, working on her first novel. The X song “Los Angeles” was written about her. Find her at http://www.myspace.com/gonegrrl and www. kerouacproject.org
I AM A STATUE WITH VACATIONING EYES
I am a statue with vacationing eyes
swimming in your eyes
sharky and veiled in black
seeing the same midnight.
Angels and saints carried around
in our sacred hearts abound.
We are blood and stone, flesh and secrets.
Our deepest dimensions are always
hollering for more in our dusty highway hideouts.
But we know that hallowed ground
is simply a place called home.
–Exene Cervenka, 2007
Kristine McKenna wrote: “In August of 1976 Exene moved to Los Angeles, because she knew she had to get out of Florida. She arrived in town with $80 in a paper bag and wound up living with 5 people in a 1-room apartment in Ocean Park. A short time later she began working in Venice in the library at the literary arts center, Beyond Baroque, where she was allowed to live upstairs. X, the punk band formed in 1977 by Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, John Doe, and D.J. Bonebrake, came along just in time for those of us coming of age in the mid-’70’s who were discovering that the conventional path through life wasn’t an option. In Los Angeles at that point in time our numbers proved to be legion, and we found each other at L.A.’s seminal punk petri dish, The Masque.” These days Exene is writing poetry (“she gets up in the morning, brushes her teeth and writes another poem,” said Mr. Doe), creates artwork, writes songs, and performs with her band The Original Sinners, with X and with The Knitters.
brick buildings all look the same
cemeteries floating in air
little town outskirts’ torn
blood on the highway
wild eyes of a deer
men falling from the sky
leaves stuck to your neck
love once a day
you just can’t get it
I wish I could be your airplane
–John Doe, 2006
John Doe lives in Lockwood Valley, California with his wife, two children & numerous animals. He has released several records & acted in films & television.