Old Soul & Two other new poems by William Patterson

Old soul

I once read about a doctor,
who said the human soul,
weighs 21 grams …
and smells like old vegetables.
“Bat-shit quack” I thought at
the time.
Who weighs a soul?

But today, I think the Doc is right.
I can feel my soul
rustling around —
…anxious to get on with it.
He’s restless,
my soul.
He needs Cajun food.
He needs a book by
Norman Mailer.
He needs Picasso.
He needs a damn good
Soul would like to hike,
the Appalachian Trail,
but he’ll settle for an
Algonquin Bloody Mary.
No politics today –
the soul won’t stand for it.
Soul needs 1960’s reruns on TV:
         F-Troop –
         Hazel, maybe Topper.
Or put Kitty Wells on
the boom box:
       “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”
He wants out — my soul.
On frigid winter mornings,
he sleeps in, but not today.
Today he taps his fist against the
backside of my ribcage.
He’s a pushy old soul.
Emboldened spirits peer
over the limestone walls of the
graveyard across the street,
and wonder what’s keeping us.

Has the booze caught up with you yet?

…no way, Cowboy,
You’re driving a 1954 Studebaker
aren’t you?

Old John Barleycorn
doesn’t have a chance.
You’ve taken on West Hollywood
haven’t you? and Kansas City?
You’ve lived through
the Eisenhower years,
And the Kennedy years.
Nixon and impeachment.
Farm crisis, energy crisis,
big oil, big crash.
You need two hands to
count the wars…

You’ve survived,
(for the most part)
with a good bourbon
in one hand and a
Grain Belt beer in the other.
So, pay off your tab.
But forget closing time,
like age, it’s just a number.
Winners stay in for the
long haul – you have to.
Life is a one-way street.
No way to turn back
after they turn off the
lights. Freeway’s closed.

Has the booze caught up
with you yet?
Don’t be discouraged,
there is enough high-life
to go around.

So don’t despair – you have
new tires on the ’54 Stude –
Stomp on it if you want.

She’ll do a hundred five,
on a cool night.

Tax time

and afraid?
Who, you?
Not a chance
dig your
pink painted toes
into the sand and
file the extension.

Then kiss me
like we have no
real chance
of going home.

It’s a two and
a half hour
flight to
Tegucigalpa, so
call up the relatives
and pretend
there’s a new investor
named Ferdinand
and he’s burning
cash like there
is no tomorrow.

Just kiss me
again and
say if there
is such a thing
as real love
you’ve found it here
on deadbeat beach.

In a week we will
be on the bus
to Choluteca
drinking warm beer
and laughing about
the last check we
left for the

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