Archive for the Stephen Jarrell Williams Category

Stephen Jarrell Williams

Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams with tags on August 25, 2021 by Scot



Track Rider

Temporarily walking
away from the tracks
western trains and heat engulfing

steel rails shining with the moon
highlighting the way
smooth distance of escapism

no path through the dry brush
stepping on snapping twigs
into trees limp and tired of fire danger

haze of lights beyond the border
a small town aging with the highway
ashes upon my boots and skin

lone motel with an office
a century holding back
flutter of moths around the door light

waiting at the counter an odd couple in charge
unafraid of my look
guessing at who I am and who I was

she is thin and haunting
he is oval and grinning
they do not touch each other

she takes my wad of cash
a cheap room till noon
shakes my hand with the change

room at the end of the row
she points with a long finger
the key bent

past a gravel parking lot
only one car opposite
a narrow walkway for admitting sinners

I unlock the door
my fingers salty
twisting the doorknob years worn

switching on the light
stale air
hint of cleanser

I step in and wonder
how many have slept
in the bed by the window

how many
fools losing everything
often too late before remembering

their choice of the walk or the ride
leaving your first love
for the far whistle of the train.

Poem by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams with tags on August 31, 2020 by Scot

Too Long in the Making

Passing through town
many summers stacked in my mind

sun heading down
yet a glare through the windshield

my old Chevy not use to this
giving someone a ride away from a riot

whirl of rage in the air
one of us not wearing a mask

she says it’s my fault
it’s in my genes

I shrug it off
only partly understanding

she asks how far I’m going
I turn the AC up and point ahead

she blows out a sigh

I say most of us have been watching
too many movies
absorbed into too many songs

counting our money
and flat tires and rip-offs

all our lives
not examining the real scene
to the extent needed

she takes in a breath
settling back somewhat

you need to pay me she says

I squint staring at the highway
I only picked you up to give you a ride

she chuckles
you need to give me some recompense
because you’re white and I’m not

I smile
I guess I’m a taxi now
I won’t charge you anything

She laughs
and we become instant friends
over the hills and back into the streets.

Loaded by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams on January 28, 2015 by Scot

She always has a hand in your pocket
Arm around your back guiding you
To those bad places you can’t resist

Making you hard she never stops
Ambling up to the bouncer at the door
He lets you both enter because of her eyes

Down the hall and into the dancing crowd
Music pounding from a stage band sweating
Puddles on the floor reflecting flashing lights

You’ll find a table later and drink
But first she whirls you onto the dance floor
Doing her continual spectacle entrancing all

You have to boldly show your gun
To keep the lusting crowd off of her
The gun she loads for you every Friday Night

Saturday Night
And Holidays.


Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams with tags on January 6, 2010 by Scot

Barefoot I step on bullets lined in shiny rows,
boots drying by the fire flickering and popping
the Afghan night, heavy air
pushing my ears in, my balls in, my mind in
a constant crunch,

I’m a natural smoke dancer,
trying to chant us all the way back home
to the valley city with palms and pretty girls
staying up all night in a music wash of sighs,

my troop hoping I make it, pulling them with me
through time and reckless sins
stirred in the morning coffee of old men
dictating where we piss and who we piss on,

I fall flat on my face, sweating,
the bullets scattered by my toes,
a bullet,
a toe,

thousands of miles meaning nothing,
the magic of America,
magic from long ago

bringing me home for a moment
before our deaths.

SOLDIER BLUES by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams with tags on December 6, 2009 by Scot

City in the distance

vulture jets circling
over pillars of smoke,

ground shaking beneath his boots,
wanting to break ranks and run

hoping for a-go-home

fear infesting shadows,
only dreams carrying him home,

thoughts of his girl near
saving him,

wanting to grab her naked hips,
pulling her into his bones,

but nothing helping him out of this
suck of war.

AMERICAN DESTINY by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams with tags on October 18, 2009 by Scot

Half the night listening to them
licking their fingers of barbequed chicken,

out my window they cover the earth
rolling their joints out of Bible pages
unafraid of dying,

a thousand tribes mingled and massed,
no remorse

America splitting,
tipping into two seas,

tearing down the middle: land, cities, people…

She made me tie her to the hood of my car,
naked and posing and laughing with speed

80 mph down the freeway
busting through tollbooths,
wind howling

going off the cliff believing she’ll sprout wings.