Archive for the Jack Henry Category

Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry with tags on June 15, 2022 by Scot



climate change

i read messages from friends
on the east coast
nyc and boston
and rhode island.


i listen to dogs
bark at nothing.
i sit on my front porch
as a slight breeze
rustles my beard.

coffee is still hot,
sun bright,
i note the temperature
at 53 degrees and smile,
as Big Sur burns and
mountains tumble
to the sea.



it’s sunday morning
i should be writing
but i am sitting at a computer
in my darkened room
dozing off
as a large orange cat
purrs in my arms
and his brother
watches while
cleaning his toes



beginnings of war

fighter planes scream overhead.
we huddle in basements and subways.
eyes fill w/dust.
bombs and missiles
destroy our democracy.

the autocrat in the East rides his stallion
into battle.
tanks rumble down city streets.
boots slap against
cobblestone and brick.

mamyte, kodėl mes mirštame?

mommy, why are we dying?

eyes look to the west,
out beyond border fences.

niekas neateina, mano meile.
mes esame savi.

no one comes, my love.
we are on our own.

hart island by Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry with tags on June 29, 2020 by Scot

i picked the wrong year
to quit drinking;
to quit snorting speed;
to quit cheating on my taxes,
to quit being narcissistic,
(although i may keep that one.)

2020 started off
w/promise, w/a
cash payout on
a debt repaid,
w/optimism &
hope, & a tattoo
that didn’t need
to be reworked.

2020 started off
w/a blowjob on
New Year’s Eve, a
half dozen new
friendships, an
opportunity for
advancement in
a career i didn’t

2020 started off
w/a new house
in Arizona,
finally moving
from meager living,
finally catching
dragons that had
eluded me
so long.

now i find myself
crying as i watch
drone video of
the burials on
Hart Island.

i think we all picked
the wrong year
to be anything
other than this.

every now and then by Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry with tags on November 15, 2019 by Scot


there is
dead body
in the street;

a young girl;
a gay man;
a soldier of an American war;
a transgender woman;

there in the street…

right there!

your street, my street, it doesn’t matter,
not really;

there is
dead body

and no one cares or looks or wonders;
they just pass by,
keep moving…

i didn’t stop;
i just dial 9-1-1;
what’s your emergency please?

dead body
in the street
Cesar Chavez Ave. & Spring

your name, sir?

me? i don’t have a name…

i keep walking;
my feet tired, broken, old;
phone stolen;

i’m like the rest,
down near Chinatown,
near Phillipe’s;
near tourists
and travelers;

i stare up at
Our Lady Queen of Angels
Catholic Church;

every now and then
i have
a decent moment;

cada ahora y entonces

every now
and then;

Four Poems by Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry, Uncategorized with tags on August 26, 2019 by Scot

setting free
when my ex died unexpectedly
alone in an apartment she
could not afford;
in a city where conformity
ruled & no one dare stray
from the dotted line;
in a state of financial ruin
brought on by a cancer she
blamed on me;
i thought that day, that moment
i would return to sanity;

but i was wrong –

her ghost haunts me,
& i know i should let it
go, but this ghost is real;

she follows me around,
lets me know she is watching;
in all honest i have grown
used to it –

her ashes sit on a shelf of
tchotchkes, at the top
next to smaller cedar boxes
of dead dogs;

her box is colorful, secured by
a small diary lock, the kind
you could crush with your

she left no instructions on a proper
burial and my daughter didn’t know
what to do, so she sits on a top shelf;

watching –

it’s cold
at the top of Mount Baldy;
a few people gather
in clusters of twos and threes;
i came with my ghost
and a backpack holding
a gray paper box
filled with ashes;

i started at 4am,
made good time,
hit the summit in 5 hours,
a record, for me;

at the far edge of the rounded
peak i reach into
my backpack and pull out
the gray paper box,
set it down on behind a large
stone, used as a wind break;

the sun slowly arches across
a bright, blue sky; it is a perfect
day; i remove the lid, pull out
a bag of gray ash;
it is heavy, nearly three pounds,
all that remains;

i kept tablespoon of ash, put it in
a beautiful crystal jar, placed it back on
the shelf, for my daughter, for the
day she wants to remember;

but on the mountain i let it fly,
emptied the bag into the wind,
a temporary cloud rising and
falling on the breath of god;

a ranger approached, but i caught
him in the corner of my eye,
i had a permit, she would have liked
that, being prepared for a change –




the ringing
in my
never leaves
just as
the icy hand
my past
never lets
go of
throat –

long forgotten,
to the shores
of my solitude,
my skin,
fresh wounds
from which
to draw –

i do
not recognize
who this
person was
nor the
on stolen
paper &
the backs
of bar top
napkins –

ten years gone
not a word
to sell or
i lay
down my
i know
from where i
come –

nor where i
go –



she sits
on a park
tears stream
from her
she dabs
them away
with a worn
given to her
years ago
by a man
barely knew

every night
in the kitchen sink
she washes the
let’s it dry
on the countertop
every morning
she folds the
places it in
her pocketbook

some days she
wanders out
onto the streets
and sidewalks
of los angeles
stares up at the
wanders out
past the old
and shuttered
retail stores
past the
angry young men
concrete walls, the
ones littered
with flyers and
poster board
eventually she
finds herself
on a park bench
in Pershing Square
the city change

she knows
no one
other than
and pharmacists
her neighbors
speak in a
she does not
her children
have forgotten

some days
she cries
pulls the
from her
dabs at her
dries her

that day
a man walks up
nearly as old
as she
offers her a
one very like
the one hidden
in her pocketbook
he is gray and
riddled with age

she smiles
as he sits next to her




memory fails
when i try to remember
our first embrace –
a strange two weeks
rolling across a jungle –

you filled gray folds
of my mottled brain
with something more
than a quick hello, goodbye,
you were okay –

little things cling to a here and now tap dance –
cheap perfume –
a femme fatales eyelashes –
an innocent touch –
tears formed from a dream you could not share –

and when you left,
when you finally left,
a note remains –
a sort of explanation,
a sort of apology,
but you need not worry –

everyone leaves

eventually –

perfect earth… Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry with tags on May 8, 2009 by Scot


she said, good girls don’t do that
and i smiled, but you are not a good girl, in that sense
there is that, she said
crowded streets swallow us
i can barely breath
wet heat lays atop my skin
bruising my ambition but not my need
nothing seems to touch, especially the sky

i don’t know if we should, she said
but we’ve already done it twice, i said
i want to
i know…

we met the night before, by accident it would seem
my host abandoned me for an 18 year old cigarette girl
with Bambi eyes and shiny teeth
alone from my corner i watched boxers and dancers
move with equal precision

her skin is the color of perfect earth
rich and full, eager to blossom, to stretch, to yearn
eyes that watch my every step, knowing the
conclusion before i begin

i pull her into a doorway and kiss her
we don’t do that here, she said
of course you do, i’m not naïve, i said

my hands move down her back, never
leaving smooth skin, her flesh cool
against a rising sun
this isn’t love, she said, it’s just the moment
let’s not waste it, i said

the television plays in the background as unwashed children
play in dirty streets, the sounds of electric rickshaws and
motorbikes cough up through my window – a ceiling fan
complains every fifth turn – an elegant sky turns vermilion –
there are oranges in a bowl on a table near a train station –
nothing but static on a fifty year old radio –
i am languid in a pool of sheets – a soft breeze drifts across
the Ganges – she left a note sprayed in delicate perfection,
i leave it sealed and settled and head for the door