Archive for the William Taylor Jr. Category

Protests by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags , on December 11, 2011 by Scot

Outside they’re trashing police cars
and setting things on fire,

everything is sirens and anger
beneath a burning moon.

I shut the panes against the noise of it
but leave the curtains drawn so I can see
the colors.

In good conscience we all must protest
the way of things in our own fashion;

I’ve plenty of beer and sad old music
to last me through these lightless hours.

Down in the streets I guess the cops
and their billy clubs are having their say.

I turn the record over and pour another drink
remembering the failed revolution of our kiss.

…and the art of William Tayor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. on April 10, 2011 by Scot

William Taylor Jr./Rusty Truck Reading @ Bitchez Brew III

Posted in VIDEOS, William Taylor Jr. with tags on March 21, 2011 by Scot

The Poetry of William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on March 20, 2011 by Scot

The People You Try Not To Look At

I awoke with the terror today
usually it comes and goes
with the night

but this morning it lingered
in the unmade bed
the dirty dishes
the bathroom mirror

and through the day it
dogged me, blooming
into the corners everything

I saw it in the man on the bus
and the woman in the grocery store

and wondered if they saw it
in me

some people you see
how the terror has taken
hold of them

and it will be all they know
for the rest of their days

these are the people
you try not to look at

most everyone knows the terror
more than they will say

at some point we made
a collective decision
not to speak of it

except in books
and poems
and other things we
cast aside

the young know the terror
only through stories
and the faces of the old

they don’t yet believe

the rest of us go about
our lives as best we can

we lose ourselves in crowds
and pray it will not find us

let it take the others
let someone find a way
to save us.


If Only Out of Spite

The afternoon holds us like a prison.
You dust off death’s tired arguments
and once more I’m thrust in the roll
of life’s pale apologist.
You know my case by heart
and will not be dazzled
by my rhetoric.
All I can do is
offer up my eyes
in the chance you’ll take them
and steal a glimpse
of the frail beauty I sometimes see
in the midst of the horror.
And maybe it’s nothing
but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful,
doesn’t mean it isn’t reason enough
to struggle through
another dreamless day, another
stupid hour, if only out of spite,
because death thinks it’s already won,
and so what if it has?
Take my hand and we’ll go so deep
into the fucking dark there’ll be nothing
to do but sing.


Alive in the Midst of It

Another Sunday afternoon
in the belly of the city.

My wife, my cat
and myself
in the midst of it.

I’m told one day this
will not be so

but don’t yet quite
believe it.

My wife is in the kitchen
making lunch

the cat and me
are gazing out the bedroom window
at the potted plants arranged
in the space between the buildings.

I love my wife
and I love my cat
and sometimes I even love
the city.

I’m just looking out the window
and thinking how

we suffer through so much
to arrive at these brief moments
of quiet joy


that in spite of everything
I still think
it’s an okay deal.

The Thing That Hurts Most by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in Happy Birthday Issue, William Taylor Jr. with tags on January 9, 2011 by Scot

And there’s that big dumb feeling
inside you that you can’t
quite find a reason for

everything so heavy
every movement

you breathe in the late
afternoon sky

and breathe out
the loneliness of  time

all the faces and the voices
have nothing to do with you

and the thing that hurts most
is holding on to it all

when you dearly want
to let go, to dissolve
the anchors and the chains
of your being

and evaporate
into the divine forgetfulness
of everything.

The Things That Frighten Me by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in Happy Birthday Issue, William Taylor Jr. with tags on January 9, 2011 by Scot

She says your poems don’t
make you holy

they absolve you
of no crimes

they don’t make you beautiful
or clean

you’re just as bad
as the rest of us
Continue reading

Mission Street, December by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on August 7, 2010 by Scot

The soft light of the winter evening
brings a heavy sadness that pushes
the heart

strange clouds gather and the air
smells of coming rain

I wander Mission Street sidewalks
in no hurry to be anywhere

still haunted by the pretty dream
of being something more than death

maintaining my belief
in common miracles

even now determined
to salvage scraps of  joy
from the rubble of  life

scattered bits of kindness
like leaves on the sidewalk
not yet trampled

remnants of abandoned beauty
line the streets like gilded
flakes of gold

I put them in my pockets
to carry home

walking quickly now
as soon the rain will fall

like my tears
like my tears
like my tears.

This City of Poets by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on May 10, 2010 by Scot

I walk the streets of this
city of poets

and see them everywhere I go

some of them write
and some of them don’t

but they’re not hard to recognize

you’ll find them in crowded cafes
and poorly lit bars

taking strange pills
drinking bad wine

pushing blades
and needles to their
too sensitive skin

crawling through the alleys of Chinatown
jumping off downtown roofs

in and out of psych wards
and hospitals

fighting amongst themselves

selling peanuts at ball games
to try and make the rent

they know nothing of the past
or the future just

this burning moment

their laughter is true

and sometimes they laugh
as they burn

and sometimes they scream

but their ashes are
always beautiful.

William Taylor Jr.

Posted in VIDEOS, William Taylor Jr. with tags on March 18, 2010 by Scot

The Virus by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on February 2, 2010 by Scot

I’m told they’ve discovered
loneliness spreads
from being to being
like a virus

and here I’d always thought
this was an obvious and
well documented fact

across the street there’s this woman
pounding a piss stained
door with bloodied fists

Mary, Mary
let me in

Mary please
let me in

as old Korean women with bent
backs sift through
piles of filth for bottles
and cans abandoned by those
shuffling down 6th Street
like the dead they dream to be

and the woman selling
the Street Sheet
at the Powell Street station
sounds like a broken carnival

Anything helps, friends,

dimes, nickels, pennies
dimes, nickels and pennies…

she’s there most every day
morning and night

with her monotone voice
and milky eyes

ugly and ignored

amidst so many lives tossed away
like so many losing tickets

and the fine print of every billboard
on every corner reads

sorry you are not
an instant winner

try again

as the woman
across the street
still pounds the door
and wails for Mary

her cracked voice spreading
across the dying winter
afternoon like
a virus.