jake st. john | of the west

of the west


I close my eyes
awaken to a fast paced nightmare
alarm clocks
suits in cars
presidents dead and buried
leave me lonely

east coast visions
high speed breathing
no time for flowers

city anxious
off beat uneasy
chasing Buddha

search for green grass
on asphalt fields
transient escape

hop the train to dharma
ride the rails to reason’s edge
acknowledge the stars


strip mine your past America
burn your morals at the industrial altar
desperate and mad, naked to the soul

iraq lurches in my stomach

media skin
media eyes
controlled visions

“let us do the thinking for you”

the revolution will be low frequency
can you hear the drums?

open corridors
zigzagging death
ghosts of culture

discount enlightenment
sell happiness with a shrug


blacktop freedom
curving through dreams
awake on the far side of the river
conjure desires with the dawn

tranquil smiles at the village gates

“who are the wide eyed strangers
and what gifts do they bring?”


I hunger for democracy
I hunger for hysterical prophets
I hunger for ambivalent minds to grow legs and stand

I hunger for unknowing midnight
getting drunk in alleys with poets
leaving half full glasses of beer
for the homeless

I hunger for the child left behind for his own benefit
I hunger for my child never needing to ask
What was a forest?

I hunger for the working sacrifice
raising strangers in loneliness

I hunger for New Orleans
I hunger for Biloxi
I hunger for Darfur
I hunger for Baan Nam Khem
I hunger for Fukushima

I hunger in the eye of the oncoming future


a cerulean sheet, draped over the parched floor
wandering in hopeless joy, rationally disoriented
bound to the Earth, conceived in her womb
born into Eden

has the broken road of awareness
fallen from grace?

adrift in the erratic spirit of wilderness
declaring allegiance to the desert
the artifact of culture
buried in the ruins
bleeding in the face of God

a bourbon and marijuana mask
facing the hostile lavender horizon

swirling and pulsing
rolling through the twilight

electric flares from Heaven
blackened dunes outlined
violent amethyst sky
seared in memory


write your soul across the arid page
bare and receptive, limitless in your freedom

consciously discover the veiled individual
transcend veracity, breathe


tracking the beach, pursuing lust with a smile
spirits with relaxed wings
receive visitors
to their shores
of surreal currents

congested highways
high speeds
rubber on maddening road
the apex of history, the last valid revolution

the perception of beauty upon rough diamonds
the strange interpretation of aesthetics

the radiance at the spectrum’s end
mirrored in converse eyes
true enlightenment

smoothly transfixed by delusion
and the artful hold of pacific seas
the eternal imprint of the western dream
engraved on the core of human essence

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