The Lost Traveler Wonders If It's Just the Devastation and other works
by Bill Myers

Bill Myers ... Always at the ready to slay the growing pretentiousness of American poetry, Bill Myers' poetry offers the listener a mind-glow that lasts a lifetime. Regarded by many contemporaries as one of the finest practitioners of his time, Myers' works eschew cultural elitism like bad syntax. In point of fact, I doubt any other literary movement will ever be the same since the universe expiated one of its best examples for the cause of poetry. Similarly, as the late great poet Darrel Gray mentions in one of his poems, like "the comets that only come once", Bill is exactly just that. He's a troubadour of the grandest tradition; a language outlaw whose telepathings flow from the waters of sleeping titans themselves. In 2004 Bill Myers was the recipient of New Orleans' foremost literary prize for poetry, The Golden Railroad Spike Award.


The Lost Traveler Wonders If It's Just the Devastation

the rumors drift in
on a dream of news
part of the primal soup
where language begins to pool
into a paranoid hiss
and the mind moves
in its own primitive harmony
that's almost a music
and the old gods come
speaking lingo
and throwing signs
I have to fight to hear

and before it's all over
even the party will die
cause a long-legged rain
windmilled drunk through this ward
mud-armed and blood-fisted
kicking shit over
all the way to christmas
and I'm stone-cold sober
under the twisted aluminum light
of the ultimate smackdown sky
in my plywood sunglasses
with a big red texas X
spray-bombed across 'em
that should say "one dead, zero living (1D, 0L)"
but it says "No Entry (NE)" instead
and it's christmas
underneath the silence
of my desperately personal adventure
as a face leans in
through the back door
of the nightmare
that wakes up all the others
and our thin layer
of civilization
is getting torn open
seam after rotten seam
and whatever humanity is still left
falls screaming out of sight
and the street just keeps filling
with the panorama
of a bad feeling

until I'm standing
in the middle
of this giant thrift store
without a roof
this apocalyptic wilderness of things
that just keeps going on
to where home feels so far away
it's like I'll never see it again
like something got me so stoned
I don't even recognize
I'm standing
in the middle of my own neighborhood

and then I lift myself
out of that sleep
as an immaculate figure
drunk on universal light
and I think it's mysterious
that my soul
has been stuffed
into its existence
like water
in an ambulance
that's been run up
on a fire hydrant
or a useless journalist
in an assault vehicle
of meat and blood
and it's almost a feeling
at the end of my fingers
that I don't need
anything real
ever again
it's like something I can touch
but never feel
and I'm sleepwalking
just to be next to you
and listen
as your breath
becomes air
becoming your breath
and I'm walking
to the quarter
with my plywood sunglasses on


Why Don't You Dream with Your Own Life
And Let the Monkey Dream with Mine

I got a monkey on my knee
and it keeps crawling up
it's growing fins and flying rooftops
in a barrel of red velvet
it wants to climb up in my brain cream
In the Name of the Almighty
make it bigger than it should be
while my thoughts pile up like street cars
on a wharf named Dostoyevsky
and the hurricane just sits there
and never leaves

and on the bottom of the river
a field of crosses dreams of kings
while they shop for ghosts in Algiers
where the busted windows sing

so welcome my holy freaks
to be alone with your holy secret
while the only friendly face in Hell
disappears in a courtyard

the clock is spinning dimes
with a special catholic grind
and the moon moves like a stone of frozen noise

it's all down in the quarter
on the edge of an I-Ching mind
and it's been waiting there to meet you
in empty shoes of milk and moonlight
with no shadows in their step
breaking cigarettes and crawfish
and slowly sinking on the corner
of Godhead & St. Peter
and the blood runs from his soul
like a fountain of broken glass
to come and meet you

so bend some light
and melt some sound
and obliterate your angels
into tiny bits of night
around a liquid gold crown

and uncrucify your dreams
from the vapor trails behind you
and lay down on the ground
that feeds your heart and spine

but when the purple avocado
becomes the spider monkey sky
with a blue silk heart
and a naked lady tie
pour out that eye of darkness
over walls bent into wings
and let your arm-crossed eyelights fall
slowly back into their places
and do their thing

because it takes a lot to be here
it takes everything we got
and if all we got is nothing
it still




Welcome to New Orleans
- because no one leaves the Velvet Gutter


If you got 20 bucks and a car
   You're a fat cat in New Orleans

Welcome to the premier Scorpio jail town of the South

City of dreams on a return trip from the spine

A city that's right in between a Jones and the Nods

Welcome to the city of a thousand and one Imbeciles
   holding their harmonicas in the wind

City of old bathtubs, plaster lawn maddonas and mysterioso-belles

The city that will put hair on your chest and lipstick on your ass

Welcome to the city that's been waiting for you
   like a pile of old clothes in a corner

Welcome to the city of negative capability

Home of the Dada-Rama and temp resurrection

Where decadence is just one more form of public transportation

City of the Cheap-Ass CBD and the Historical T-shirt quarter

City of Food Stamps, Sausage, Crack, Go-Cups, Wicca, Mudbugs, Merliton,
   Damaged Angels, Stolen Bicycles
   and the most beer ever spilled in a street

Welcome to the sweaty post-retro paradise of the world

The city that wants to give you a big muddy kiss
when you're stripped down, wet, and shaking

Welcome to the city that wants to smell you up

Welcome to the city that will put its magic hand in your hat

Because New Orleans is a just beautiful woman on a lazy day
With her dress blown up to her nipples

So --
   Welcome to New Orleans
-- and lose the watch


Play with Me New Orleans


     teach me self defense
     when I'm broke down drunk and stumbling
     give me that crazy love that belongs to no one
     and gives everyone a nervous breakthrough
     make me sit for hours with an unlit cigarette
     and then light me up
     slow and lazy with a flint and wick flame
Play with me New Orleans
     and give me this day my mania from heaven
     lead me to bars where I can drink for free
     teach me to please the spirits inside and out
     and to give back to the gods those spirits
     which were so rightly theirs
     and which I so wrongly drank
     lay me down by distilled waters
     because I need unlimited water and lots of it
     lay me down naked on couches and floors
     in front of a box fan
     with my right hand on a full deck of smokes
     and my left hand on your thigh
Play with me New Orleans
     I'm your poet toy
     Get me drunk but don't feed me
     Take me home when you don't need me
     hide my clothes but let me keep my bicycle
     kiss me on the lips when I'm unconscious
     write something pretty around my nipple with a felt-tip pen
     before I wake up and wonder "where the hell am I"
     and what direction am I facing
     leave me a note I can't read
     in your own handwriting
     straight from the now
Play with me New Orleans
     I don't care what you do with my cock or my ass
     Leave me with a big gorgeous bruise on my pubic bone
     I'm your bitch   I'll do it in the military position
     teach me to cumm all the time
     and then teach me not to cumm at all
Play with me New Orleans
     Heal me over and over again
     And then make me crazy all at the same time
     Wrap me up in your shabby charms
     and give me your garlic morning kisses
     Wake me up to fuck me
     and then go back to sleep
     I promise I'll stay up for years
     Just to watch you and think about it
Play with me New Orleans
     Make me dance in empty buildings
     and set fires in crowded streets
     take me through your nosebleed alleys
     and your secret gardens
     Leave me lovely and shoeless for miles
     Until you come looking for me again
Play with me New Orleans
     Improve my pool game
     and my lovemaking
     Improve my drinking
     and my drug taking
     make me try some really bad combinations
     Like  Acid Beer  and Robotussin
Play with me New Orleans
     In the tailgate party of the divine
     You left me stoned and staring into nowhere
     while Jasmine flowered around me the driveway of the infinite
     just give me one more flat-line blackout
     and let me rest my cheek in the cool perfect curve of the absolute
     -- Absolute Vodka that is
Play with me New Orleans
     Because I always need someone to play with
     And you're always around
So play with me New Orleans
     because I can't call it quits
     I can only say I'm going to