Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Visit to Bricker’s Yard

brickers yard


An earthen song
of whispered winds
moaning in the night.

Her sweet soft lips
soon to part
when souls begin their flight.

Come thee child
to the edge of ever
and find our death’s delight.

For all the worlds while
in this never-never
could fill your world with fright.

Find our gate,
ajar past eight,
and enter our wind song silence.

Hear the song
and sing along,
You need only to cross the fence.

With moon o’er shadow
and wolf’s far aloft bay
Follow the night crow
To find eternity’s stay.

And the blowing wind will say
“Welcome to our lovely grave.”

© 2013 John Allen Richter



Warning:  This post is not intended for normal people. 

Sometimes life can go by without a care, no bad thoughts, just smiles all the time….  I love it when life comes by like that.  But it comes in spurts.

Other times are filled with sadness.  Someone becomes ill, terribly so.  Or finds out they have cancer….  Or someone you thought was a friend goes to jail for something incredibly stupid, like shop lifting…  Good Lord….

So tonight my roommate and I go out for dinner and shopping.  The traffic signals worked like they always do: Red, green, and then yellow.  The lines on the road were the same as always: solid white on the right, dotted white in the middle, solid yellow on the left…  Ok, looks like a normal night.

Wal-Mart looks like Wal-Mart always does.  Tons of cars in the lot.  People coming in and out.  OK, let’s give it a shot.

But once inside I turned into William Shatner in that “Twilight Zone” episode where he saw a “monster man” on the wing of the airplane that no one else could see.  For all intents and purposes, I think I have been swallowed up into Rod Serling’s intensely bizarre bizzarro world….

One guy just stood in the middle of a cross aisle and as my roommate Lynne walked past- I watched as his eyes and head followed her like some kind of creepy painting in a haunted castle movie.  I can’t be sure because I don’t have a lot of experience with creepy, but I think he was trying to make eye contact with Lynne, who maybe he thought would come out of her lifelong fog and suddenly realize that the man of her dreams is some creepy dude loitering in the middle of Wal-Mart.  I’m not oblivious that there are people in this world who actively seek anonymous sexual encounters, and I don’t like being judgmental but I must say please, stay to fuck away from me because I like life much better when I can pretend you don’t exist.  I just get the urge to wash my hands less often if I can pretend life is about puppy dogs and candy.

While we’re in line I’m watching a toe-headed little boy, about 3, circling what appears to be his mother and a creature she had apparently picked up in the lagoon aisle.  Does Wal-Mart have a lagoon aisle?  This creature had posture and somehow this intensely slimy body language that makes one imagine there must be a trail of sludge following behind him from the nearest sewer grate as though he just recently escaped from there.  His skin was either dirt colored or dirt tee, it was hard to tell in the blaring lights of Wal-Mart.  On the back of his tee-shirted neck was a tattooed “Bar Code,” like the bar code you might find on products in Wal-Mart….  The “Bar Code” was pleasantly framed on both sides of the neck by what looked fish scales, certainly an attractive look for the Lagoon Creature.  And so I pondered if the “Bar Code” was a social statement this creature was attempting to relay, or if it might be a new marking method that Fish and Wildlife Officers use to track creatures in the sewers these days.  While my mind was boggling that notion, I noticed that the little boy had two tattoos, on one either arm.  Now….  This is a 3 year old little blonde headed, happy little kid circling and chanting “Woman, woman, look at me!”  – you know, like all little kids do.  In fact, I do that occasionally while I’m standing in Wal-Mart trying to make eye contact with passing women…

So I said to my friend, “Lynne, that little boy has tattoos.”  And of course Lynne, the ever glowing optimist says “They must be the fake ones…”

Now, I’ve had a few kids over the years.  I know what fake kid tattoos are.  They are colorful little Batman or Spiderman tattoos that wash off, or little Cinderella, Ariel, or Belle from Beauty and the Beast tattoos.  They are not India-blue colored “teardrops” like normally found on the corners of gang member eyes.  The little boy’s other arm had an India-blue outline of a Christian cross.  Now I haven’t done my research on this, and I don’t know where one would buy fake tattoos like that.  But I’m gonna’ go out on a limb here and just say – nobody makes ‘em.

So we then went to Lee’s restaurant because Lee’s restaurant simply has the best tasting chicken in the world.  When I die, rest assured there will be little surprise to find Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken is the only restaurant in Heaven.  What else could you need?  The only surprising part of that would be me – being in Heaven.

As we are driving in Lee’s Parking Lot I see a scruffy, dirty looking man standing in the parking lot, looking into windows of the cars parked on the side of the building.  Having been in law enforcement for 20+ years, I decided to park my own car near a window so I could watch it while eating…  I’m not being a hater here, guys, just a lover of my car.

As we are walking into the building, this guy holds the door open for us.  I see now that he is wearing a dirty Tee shirt that says “Lee’s Famous Recipe” on it.   We walk up to the counter, and he walks behind the counter back to the fry cook area.

The girl behind the counter had more metal in her face than my first typewriter had metal in its keys.  The four bedazzled jewel studs in her lips were not in the white, fleshy area surrounding her lips.  Oh no.  They were IN her lips.  And I must say they were beautifully complimented by the half dozen or so studs seemingly placed at random intervals across her monstrous eyebrows…

And while standing there, half-heartedly listening to Lynne place our chicken order I found myself thinking not “Oh boy!  We’re getting Lee’s Chicken!”, like I should have been thinking, or Like I want to be thinking whenever I find myself standing at the counter of Lee’s Chicken Restaurant….  Oh no, not tonight.  Tonight I was only thinking “If she is so concerned about her appearance, why doesn’t she shave her mustache.”

We find our seat, sip our tea, and devour our chicken.  I notice an older gentleman close to us sitting alone.  He is a healthy, maybe a little overweight man of about 75, I would guess.  He was wearing shorts and I could see the scars on his legs where many, many blood vessels had been stripped out.  I know those scars because of family members who needed bypass surgeries.  They use the leg vessels to replace the heart vessels.

Though he seemed healthy enough I got the unmistakable feeling that he was lonely.  I suddenly imagined myself at that age, not far off really, being alone, after my spouse, or significant others are gone, eating alone, just waiting for the inevitable, I suppose.  How does one deal with life when the person he loves is gone?

So I paused my devouring long enough to clear my throat, look his way and say “Man, this is good chicken, isn’t it?”  I held my gaze in his direction until he looked over, smiled and agreed.  “Yes, yes, it really is!”

A few minutes later my friend Lynne was having problems repackaging the leftover chicken back into the box it came in.  She couldn’t get the box to close properly.  She handed me the box and said “I must be dumber than the box.  Can you close this please.”

Now, I eat at Lee’s every week and by coincidence, I’m pretty good at their boxes.  I closed the box and jokingly said to Lynne, “Oh no, Lynne.  It’s not you Dear.  (Wink wink)  It’s just a really hard box.”  At this point the older gentleman laughed out loud and suddenly, I mean just for a second or so, I felt really good to lighten the heart of someone who may have needed it.

Then some dumbass kid with huge metal “gauges” protruding from his ear lobes (stretched out now like a statue of Buddha) sat down on our other side and I just wanted to punch him in the head.  Then I thought, “Man, he should hook up with metal-head at the counter…..  No chance of offspring there with these two fucking idiots. What are the chances they’ll survive long enough to have a kid? Or feed it if they do?”

On the way home all the traffic signals worked like they were supposed to: Red, Green, and then Yellow.  The road lines were in the correct places.  A seemingly normal night.  But I was trapped in the Twilight Zone.

But, no homo, I couldn’t help but wonder if the older gentleman might have just been on dinner break from his job as glory hole attendant at the local park….  I don’t really want to know.

What has happened to the world?  I want to blame it on society’s need to dumb down education and the relentless effort to remove competition from everything.  Instead of having winners and losers, in today’s world everyone is taught that he is a winner and is special.  When they grow up, (and suddenly the LaLa land of public school is behind them), they find themselves in minimum wage jobs with no hope of advancement or any type of perks.  Do they finally realize that they are not winning?  No, because they are completely convinced that winning is not necessary,  So to maintain the illusion of being special, which seems to be the only end-all brass ring of life that they are aware of,  they punch their heads full of holes and fill them with steel.  “Look at me!  I can’t get through a metal detector, but all this insane custom from completely different cultures makes me smart and handsome and trendy!  I’m special because I paid money for someone to deform my face.” 

Guess what, idiots?  Being able to spend $9 and 99 cents to defile your body doesn’t make you special, nor does it make you more loving than others simply because they don’t “get” you…..  People aren’t looking down at you because they hate you.  People are looking down at you because you are completely blind to what respect is.   Please understand that your previous generation assigned “special-ness” to actual achievement, like ending Polio or collectively landing a man on the moon and having him walk around in the most destructive atmosphere known in the history of life – and then return alive!  Do you really think that piece of metal in your flesh makes you that special?   How in the hell does a tattoo match the awesomeness of creating nuclear energy?  Or making a 20,000 pound vehicle fly 50,000 feet off the ground at 800 miles per hour? 

I’m sorry, but I just will not sit silently by and watch this insane crap infest the world that I live in without saying something.  Honestly, if you can make the world a better, more wonderful place then I don’t care how many pounds of metal you have in your body or tattoos on your skin.  Respect comes from making the world a better place.  Or at least attempting to make it better.

And as for sexual proclivities, please, for the love of God, keep them to yourself.  I don’t care if you are gay, straight, bisexual, asexual….  That is none of my business.  I don’t want to hear about what gets your rocks off.   I mean, can’t we just talk about football, or needlepoint?  Why do people feel the need to flaunt their sexuality?  Has some societal boundary been dropped that makes you feel justified in letting me know what you like to stick your genitals into……  News flash:  I didn’t ask, and don’t want to know.

For 27 years my ex-wife told me every day how I acted like I am better than everybody else, and for 27 years i denied that emphatically – never really understanding why she would think that.  But now in the twilight years of my life: Epiphany.  I am fucking better.





I once thought Hatred was beautiful…
Her long, luscious legs curving up,
melting deliciously into her thoroghbred ass,
so inviting, so exciting, so inciting…..

My mind saw her bending over the world,
presenting her open womb in perfect bliss…
As if to say “I give myself to you”….
“Completely and Without reserve”….
“You are man, and I love you.”

And I softly slide into her,
exasperating her collected, moist warmth,
feeling it caress my entire worry away,
drowning in her breathless moans…

And when it is done,
when the explosion is come and gone,
Hatred takes her seat in the darkened corner,
scowling at the piggish human,
disgusting animals all….

“You disgust me, you vile filth,” she says.
“And I will spend my days to destroy you,”

Go away Hatred.
You’re just a miserable little fuck.


To be offered up to the great poets at “Open Link Night” on Tuesday, Sep 10th………  Please join us some Tuesday…


© 2013 John Allen Richter


Some of My Favorite Poets

Gay Cannon
Island Traveler
David King
Mark Kerstetter
Margaret Bednar
V.B. Holmes
Aaron Schilling
Beth Winter
Katie Mia
Bjorg Rudberg
Talicha J.
Manic Daily
Audrey Howitt
Anthony Desmond
Kerry O’connor
Susan Chast
Brian Miller
Ed Pilolla
Marilyn Cavichia
Anna Chamberlain
Drugstore Notebook
James Rainsford
Pat Hatt
Lee Minha
Miriam E.
Maina Sofia
Miss Elsie 19
Laurie Kolp
Professor VJ Duke
Todd alan Kraft
Scott Hastie
Emmett Wheatfall
Tony Maude
Julie Laing
M.J. Joachim
Kelly Mrs. Meidocrity
Laurqa Day
Charles Mashburn
Kim Nelson
Claudia Schönfeld
Joseph Haslam
Jenny Herner
Rosemary Nissen Wade
Steve Elkseaesser
Adura Ojo
Lady Nyo

A Poem of Death

Around 1989 or 1990 I met a man who killed another man, cut his body into manageable pieces with a chain saw, placed the pieces into a 55 gallon drum, filled it with cement, and dumped it into a pond in Indiana.  Apparently it was a power struggle in a local motorcycle gang.  I was the booking officer at the Marion County lockup when he turned himself in 17 years after the act.  He told the detectives that his conscience had gotten the better of him.

But his confession was dry, factual, and disconnected, as though he was reading from a book just pulled from the shelf.  I have met a lot of criminals and people who have done some things so heinous  most would consider impossible to do….  But this fellow who feared for his own soul, (I think, more so than the poor bastard they found in the barrel/pond days later), stuck with me.

“Confessional Poetry” was first coined by a writer who was studying Robert Lowell’s “Poetry as Confession.”  The term was used to signify poetry written as confession, or personal concessions of shame.  Ted Hughes’ publisher later further defined “Confessional Poetry” as a disconnect from emotion when Ted’s wife, Sylvia Plath, began experimenting with it.  I’ve read a lot of
sylvia’s poetry and agree that there is a great disconnect with her view.  Another confessional poet that I am more familiar with is Anne Sexton, whose writings I find alive, stark, colorful, wrenching…..  I’ve often felt if Picasso were a poet, he would be Anne Sexton.

Anyway, I don’t think confessional poetry is anything to be ashamed of.  Anne and Sylvia wrote about things in a time in our history that many would have been ashamed of, though.  Thoughts of suicide, for example, is something you wouldn’t have told your neighbors about in the 1950s or 60s.  Nor that one was seeking medical attention for mental health problems.  

Unfortunately both of the writers, Anne and Sylvia,  were probably suffering from deep clinical depression during most of their adult lives, which makes the whole area of confessional poetry lean toward that sort of aura. (Since these two women are probably the most famous poets that used confessional poetry.)  But it truly isn’t just associated with mental health or suicide.  In my opinion confessional poetry is best described as a complete disconnect from human emotion that most would find odd.  “I ran over a nest of baby bunnies with the lawnmower today.  I didn’t see them burrowed there.  It was odd to see their little feet thump, thump, thumping in the hole as it slowly filled with blood from their missing heads.  I wondered how long they would – could – thump, splash, thump without their heads.”  That’s disconnect!  No mention of the bunnies feelings, or that of their mother who must be off in the taller grasses watching…. 

So hence the gentleman who killed the reigning president of his motorcycle club, (in a most entirely grisly way,) in order that he might become president –  which he did.  (Not sure if it’s important to know that the dead man was his brother-in-law.) Anyway, to me at least, that is disconnect.  

But again, murder is not necessarily the main focus of disconnect either.  It is just precarious that murder is something most of us would be intrinsically incapable of doing……  so the disconnect would be phenomenally huge there….. 

Anyway, a fellow poet recently wrote a poem about death that was starkly disconnected from emotion and it struck me to be so similar to Anne’s writings.  I told this poet that her writings reminded me of Anne’s writing and it seems to me that she took offense to that.  It was intended as a compliment though, because if someone had told me that my own poetry resembled Anne Sexton’s my feet would not have touched the ground for a week.  But that’s the beauty of life….  The regard to feel and believe as we each wish.

I want to repeat something I have believed all of my life:  the poet does not define his poetry, as in all art – the viewer does.  This confessional poem was written in honor of my fellow poet, who I inadvertently insulted and dearly apologize for.

A Poem of Death

A painting hangs over a hole in the wall.

People will come and say,
Oh, a beautiful painting today.
Its flowerful colors wash us away.

We wish, We hope, We long to be,
a field so green as its majesty,
a sky so blue as its melody….
But never to see the travesty….
(Behind the painting.)

They will laugh, and drink, and merrily
sing their songs so happily.
Another round for happy clowns,
and the things they can not see.

Their party will be long and last into night,
Their blissful ignorance never reaching light.
Another smile, another cheer,
A good “Bravo!” and “Here, Here!”
Reaching for another beer,
Hoping the painting will hang another year…..

Today I died,
and did not say goodbye.
But I whispered my reasons why –
into the hole in the wall.
And it will only be heard by the herd, one and all,
Whence that painting might rot and fall.
And my friends, that painting WILL rot and fall.

Beware thee, the whispered mystery, of Death’s sweet call.
For it lurks in every wall….
Yours, and yours, and yours…..

(paint your painting now)

© 2013 John Allen Richter

The Junk Drawer

A crash…..
an insipid stash
of marigold seeds and batteries…

These are the places dreams take me…
To Mom’s catch-all drawer, you see…

Fifty years of memory brings
the sight of her random things.
Though the drawer is gone,
along with mother’s song….
the memory is strong – and still clings.

A bobby pin for sister’s hair…
A pinochle deck for Friday night’s flare.

A rusty flashlight never used,
One or two of the old glass type fuse.

Saint cards from forgotten funerals,
Flash cards with letters and numerals.

A cork screw and a safety pin,
Scamper’s leash was also within.

Top Value stamps were there by score,
That yellow licking I abhored!

Mother’s kitchen was no where to be!
She scooted us out daily……..

But when her back was turned
I oft heroically earned
the right to peek inside.

For if ever a bobble could hobble a boy,
it’s those that Mother prized…..

And I think, (as it was pretty plain,)
but guessing it was her little detour,
Because atop all the junk “the belt” was lain –
A sure omen to stay out of her drawer!



© 2013 John Allen Richter

Bell’s Hell

Bell’s Hell

Mary Bell, Mary Bell,
Child’s play from hell….
Two tots, sent to rot,
in a Scottish dell….

Are their mothers free?
To go gallantly
and dance the fields and stream?

Or are their hearts still caged
by your thoughtless rage?
Your own life trapped in an endless maize…

You say now that your name’s the game,
Hiding your own daughter away.
But what if other hellyuns came,
passing her to the grave?

And what if after, in the end,
they carved her chest with the initial “M,”
for murder, Mary, or mayhem?

Would you feel the same?
Your thoughtless mother still to blame?
Was that the reason for the “M?”
Mother, may I?

Don’t get me wrong,
for our sympathy exists,
and we are not oblivious
that your mother was the shits.
But all in all, I must ask this:
Why did you cut that little boys penis?




© 2013 John Allen Richter


Edge of Unspoken Dream

This poem was written to reflect that part of our nature that is so hidden away, so volatile, so soul destroying that we can only hide from it – and deny that it lives within us.  Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Mihn, Hitler,…..  These men did not kill millions of people.  No man could do that.  We,… did that.   If we ignore this nature then it will chase us in our dreams.

I wrote this long ago but only recently added my recorded voice to it.  I chose to present it as a dream, and I think that it works – somewhat….  I hope that you will enjoy my small effort here…  Thank you for visiting



Edge of Unspoken Dream

It lives.  Just beyond the face of normal.
Everyone denies it.
Everyone decries it.
Choosing to live in a dream.

But it lives.
Breathing the dust of darkest corners
Bleeding the lust of Hell’s mourners
Whispers of death on a moon beam.

A fly in the butcher’s case
Blood stained marrow on glass
Havoc hides in the deep crevasse
Of a child’s curdled scream.

Slice it thick
you fucking dick
or I’ll kill you where you stand.
I beg your pardon, Ma’am?
“We’ll have the leg of lamb.”

It lives in a crack of time
where dreams begin to end
where your closet shadows bend
And the covers can’t hide your soul.

To be offered up to the great poets at “Open Link Night” on Tuesday, Sep 3rd………  Please join us some Tuesday

© 2012 John Richter

PC Called

PC Called.  He Said the King is Naked

The raven, black as night,
rising within her mortal flight
to reach most unholy heights….
And we, as fools, shudder in fright
upon her shivery sight……

T’ was you?  T’ was I? In a most decisive way….
Defining moments, locking words away.
For never an ear, nor the light of day
should pass lest these passions say:
I fear thee…….
Yet, come what may…….



© 2013 John Allen Richter

Seasons Dreams

The elm of old Hyde Park still stands,
her memories stretching across the sky,
ending only at the tip of every sprig.
And where might her memories find you and I?

Hiding from the sun on a glorious summer day,
finding backrest against her weathered shell?

Or kissing softly beneath her barren twigs
on a street lit cold winters eve?

Dancing joyously amidst her fallen leaves
while stealing away our parents cigarettes?

But how could it be?  None of these things were.
Yours was a different elm.  And so was mine.

Her memories are but season’s dreams.

Things that never were but should have been.
Hope lives within her.  And I.



© 2013 John Allen Richter