Home Literary Arts Three Poems by Clarence Allan Ebert

Three Poems by Clarence Allan Ebert

Three Poems by Clarence Allan Ebert

Keep Coming Back

Before sin there was cocaine. Coca leaves spread like a carpet

on lush clearings and golden paths in the Garden of Eden. 

Creation was born with a habit. I was born addicted.

The demon sinfully attached itself to my mother’s placenta

snaking around my embryonic swim. I was yanked out

into the light of tragedy. My hazel-to-be-eyes would never

see the straight way. My body, small & vulnerable, would never

know maturity and after ten slaps on the butt, the surgeon relented.

She couldn’t make me cry.

But keep coming back to these rooms & you won’t

be alone, dead, or in jail, I was told.

Only in these rooms will you find French poets,

celebrities, ministers & auto mechanics –

everyone equally bent on self-destruction. .

Withdrawals emerged in the first week. Soon

You are riding on the moon every night, painting

graveyards on the walls with a palette of fresh vomit.

It’s simple really. You cope, shake, crave, curse, knit,

write, exist inside this salvage tanker of a facility

that’s carrying broken souls and you get clean or die.

By the second week your piss will clear up

& your mom is proud of her little pig that can fly.

You get a chip for not killing anyone. Next week

it’s your turn to rip out someone’s heart, sauté it

medium rare. Relax, relax, God didn’t make junk

so try not to act like a conceited piece of shit.

A new best friend will arrive – Superhyperparanoia

and rooms with you. He has paperbacks confirming the scam.

You’re never leaving. You’ll never get out of here!

It’s all a fucked-up mess. You believe Shakespeare

was really Japanese. The USA invaded Germany

in search of Einstein’s brain cells. Charles Bukowski

threw up on his editor.  It’s all a scam. You paranoid bitch.

Stop pretending you’re young & innocent. This

is war and like any war,

the agony has a way of dropping your balls so low

in the blues, you can only masturbate holding an AK-47.

If only I could remember things without writing

them down. If only I could remember. Remember.

You are not alone. If you keep coming

back you’ll not end up on a gurney, lifeless,

easily disposed of. On the last night, your soul 

wraps its chains around you. Bound and gagged

you’ll sink deep in a cold sea. Drowning. Dying.

But ready to surrender to swim another day. The

water bubbles escaping your lips whisper, Please God.

So you surrender. Run from people in dark places. Change

those things that planted stinking thinking

in your fucked-up brain. Day 27 arrives like the nightmare

before Christmas and all through the rooms, not a lung

was heaving, not a head off its swivel. Listen. You can 

hear – the unemployed mom. The stage magician. The

urban cowboy. The maniac with an ice pick. Teenager

with powers of prestidigitation. The nymph in a low-cut.

The quiet one with bulging eyes. Everyone is a story.

Every story sucks. Tears are common but not required.

Keep coming back to these rooms. As long as it takes.

Until the clouds turn blue. Until you kick the door open

& it hits you between the eyes and you realize – damn!

It only takes twelve easy steps to find Love


(A pantoum)

                                    This Is The Sea (album) 1991

The Whole Of The Moon (single)

The Waterboys

My dreams have no season

   disappearing too close to heaven

like a river that was the sea.

rolling stars into a ball!

     disappearing too close to heaven

by a drum that bangs the ear

rolling stars into a ball!

the whole moon is seen in her tear

high above the urban noises

folded in the breath of spring

the whole moon is seen in her tear

  dreams speak in smiles to me.

folded in the breath of spring

how long will I love you?

dreams speak in smiles to me

as long as there are stars above you

How long will I love you?

The inky nonchalance of the sky

as long as there are stars above you

 blue eyes winking on the moon

The inky nonchalance of the sky

lyrics once bright as Orion’s belt

blue eyes winking on the moon

The Waterboys popped the Milky Way

lyrics once bright as Orion’s belt

because now and then they play

The Waterboys popped the Milky Way

landing rhymes on silver spoons

because now and then they play

like a river that was the sea

landing rhymes on silver spoons

my dreams have no season

A Pretty Room For My Books

where dust settles on the fresh angles of new authors
and cracked binders catch the golden flecks from the sun.

where timeless sonnets occupy dog-eared pages
in the joyful presence of sweet evening shadows.

where high windows face the frowning lawns
scuffed by likable children. A simple room.

the finest oak shelving to bear the weight
of hurtful words or plots foretelling tipsy seduction.

a fine place to suffer escalating drama after drama.
a kind place of the heart is what I want, where

indifference is swept under the rug & humor
softens the four hard walls. where Roald and Seuss

are suitably squeezed between Saroyan and Ellison.
Where heartaches lean into carnivals on sanded cherrywood

and gently wake young minds ignorantly orbiting
a world of vanity and unpredictability. where

lasting tomes of different lengths and dignity occupy
a boardroom papered by fabric myths large enough

to embrace the aesthetic of solitude but not so big
I tire dusting the thick editions of deceit and avarice.

where pages stickied by finger licks and time, reside
side-by-side with movies-to-be and emotional colloquy

to be read in fire-orange faces hot by perspired anticipation.
Allow here a yellow bulb to hang above the reader’s eyes

and make silky the light on chapters written out of love
although hate remains the frequent mouse skittering about.

I want a pretty room to harbor a multitude of chronicles
regaling history; of treacherous worlds gone mad and

gone by. Perhaps a unique bedside shelf, appeasing
the limited edition of my own journey carousing

various highways and small roads into neon cities high
on hash or clean and sober times across amber plains of grain.

this pretty room, a book’s castle, you might say, may entice
a frequent Scotch or merlot drinker with delicious expectations.

who can tell what the final chapter will bring
in this humble room hung by the long drapes of pages

from Nobel novelists inviting the moon to pierce
their sentences for learned eyes to only see its history

by squinting. There’ll be no heavy shroud in my pretty room
where the air of whimsy permeates a space once heavy with boredom.

Allan is a (baby) Boomer who at 70 years old and fighting cancer tries to remain relevant in the world, as all Boomers can still be. He’s written poetry for many many years but only during the COVID pandemic did he seriously pursue this wonderful craft. He’s published a few poems here and there and is currently trying to finish up a book of poetry. The poems included herein reflect both his experiences and his whimsical imagination.

Image: Attributed to William Notman, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


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