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A portfolio for broadcaster podcaster, sound designer and writer Joe Bielecki

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Four Poems and an Interview - A. S. Coomer

Joe is joined by A. S. Coomer. They talk about Mythical Musicians, bookstores, tattoos, and more.

You can contact the show at - Just put WTR in the subject line.

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Twitter and Instagram: @noisemakerjoe

Art photo by Arielle Tipa

Flirting with Disaster

My mother lost everything
she owned
in house fires.
She smokes like a goddamn chimney.
Always has.
I guess, we all flirt with disaster
in our own terms.

I tend to spend too much time alone.
I’m not good on my own;
you see, I got these itchy fingers
and bad ideas. I got this circling mind
and backload upon backload
of misplaced time and it all makes me
I guess, we all flirt with disaster
in our own terms.
I know people with fixations,
addictions come in many shapes and sizes,
it’s not all brown bottles & little plastic baggies.
They tend to bumper-car through life,
shielded, however scantily, by ideology, belief,
substance or everyday wishful thinking,
leaving a little tread here,
a little rubber bumper there,
until they’re skating,
as the old proverb goes,
on thin ice.
I guess, we all flirt with disaster
in our own terms.
And isn’t this sounding like a song?
Something loud, bluesy, abrasive,
sweating right along with the cheap,
domestic light beer on top of the rattling, busted amp?
I’d make it one if I could play lead
but I’ve always been out here,
on the off-beat,
in a jerk and sway rhythm section
no one wants to listen to anyway.
“Sing it, brother.”
Yeah, all right. Just not tonight, ok?

            For Homer
What if, when you go, you have to sit
through a powerpoint of your life?
A year-in-review kind of thing,
the lows, the highs--if you were so lucky--but mostly
just the in-betweens.
Slide after slide of indecision,
of stagnation,
of little flickers of yourself
with a finger in your nose,
waiting, watching, snoring: passive.
You’ll start to wonder
if the sun ever really did shine.
Can you recall actually feeling
the concussions of all those summer thunderstorms?
What was it like to feel the spring grass
between your bare-footed toes?
The bright December sky,
cloudless and brilliant,
becomes an abstraction.
On March 22, 2012, the greatest friend I never met died.
I didn’t know him then. Well, not completely.
See, I created him, curated from bits and pieces,
spit, liquor, rusted out guitar strings, little blue pills,
bubble gum & duct tape,
he was all fragments really,
named him after light and shadows,
an occluded body appearing shrouded in light,
a less than shipshape image of the Wanderer,
the Seeker, the Seer. And what does any of that mean?
Should it go ahead and come with a grain of salt?
Will it be on the powerpoint
as a footnote you really have to squint to even make out?
And will any of this be on the Final?

Or is this just cumulative? God, I hope there’s a curve...

The Straightening of the Path
for Michael D. Grover
Sometimes, the songs come in backwards,
the radio cinched in to the old car battery
got it wrong, maybe. The towers shooting
out their noise, ones and zeros, or bits and pieces,
got crossed with some other invisibility, perhaps
--I don’t know.
Little snatches of the way things are,
how they’re coming in;
at odds with the way I breath,
the way the air formulates into crystals in my mind
shrouding my lungs in a cave of ice,
stalactites and stalagmites
of purpose, the machinery in motion but with a timetable
strictly adhered to. My friend got some bad news, meaning
I, too, got some bad news.
The tunnel system is working against us,
his especially. It’s burrowing, it’s twisting and turning through the nows and thens and whens
is straightening.
It’s decided to take a more direct route.
And this hurts.
Sure, like hell, it hurts but,
and maybe only just but, will the tunnel straighten enough for him to see. To really see. Not this haphazard
we struggle to complete each day, upside down
and backwards, faulty at best.
Maybe the straightening of the path
will give him a glimpse of the light--if there is a light.
Maybe there will be something there,
not your imaginary reflection, a friend waiting with hand outstretched;
an understanding, a peace,
or maybe just the mind clearing breath
of unobstructed terranean air. The sun,
the actual light of being, unmitigated and free.

I hope he keeps his eyes open.

I’m not sure how I feel about the sound

Can’t no one love you better than I did.
All these years, all those nights bright with fulfilled longing,
captured desire and twisted sheets,
to the teeth with a big fat love,
bursting at the seams, dripping with it,
slicker than any back-country road post summer downpour,
juicier than any peach you’ve tasted.
Now, it’s just a picture of a picture of the thing.
The train whistle’s blowing,
blowing right by our house
--what used to be our house--
it used to make you snuggle closer,
something so lonesome in the cry, I guess.
Well, I was always just glad it was crying,
seemed like somebody somewhere had to be,
that’s what my grandmother always said.
And the result...
Now that you’re gone
even the coffee pot don’t look right,
sitting cockeyed on the counter,
beached by grains of staled, clumpy sugar and sticky spots
where I spilled the milk.
Baby, I don’t even know why I bother to pay the electric bill;
I keep all the lights off now,
now that you’re gone. Don’t see the point
in seeing the spaces were you ain’t, cos, baby, you ain’t.
And I remember sitting in that backroom down at the bar,
swaying to the slide guitar and the gentle finger picking,
putting them away with you
--baby, we could really put ‘em away, couldn’t we? --
and, with an arm draped around your shoulders,
I swore I would never write a song like that
(I swore I’d never write a song like this),
the troubadour up there tellin’ the story, his story;
one you’ve heard a hundred times if you’ve heard it once,
but hearin’ him you knew it true all the same
and you couldn’t help but move along,
just some unaware passenger picked up and carried off
by the flash flood,
the rising waters of it, of it all, each of us dripping,
swimming in our own way,
because either you swim, or you drown,
and we laughed. Sure, we knew I’d never write that song,
a song like that--like this--because I wouldn’t have to,
because you would always be here,
because we would always be together.
Hear that?
Train’s comin’ on down the line
and for the first time in my life,

I’m not sure how I feel about the sound.