Last Outlaw

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1937-2010 Todd MOORE

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A tribute to todd moore

Transcript of Last Outlaw

  • 1937-2010

    Todd MOORE

  • The Last Outlaw

    dedicated to the memory and the poetry of todd moore

    Poems by Todd Moore

    & Friends

  • RUSTY TRUCK PRESS

    http://rustytruck.wordpress.com

    [email protected]

    Original Authors

    Cover Art by Debby Dunnegan Other art by F.N. Wright

    ISSN 2154-2252

  • FOREWARD

    By RD ARMSTRONG

    Todd Moore is gone. Its been a rough two weeks for me. Its hard when you lose

    someone you have been a fan ofharder still when youve also known them well

    enough to call them friend and mentor.

    I first met Todd ten years ago. I had interviewed him for my little mag, the Lummox

    Journal, in 97, but it took me another three years to get out to visit him. I wrote about

    that trip in my second long poem, On/Off the Beaten Path. I stayed with Todd and his

    wife Barbara for a few days. They were very gracious. Best of all, Todd and I hit it off

    really well. Almost as if we were old friends, just getting together for a little visit. And we

    had some of the deepest conversationsTodd had the ability to get really serious no

    matter where we were, be it his patio or at the local McDonalds. He could always do

    that. The last time I spent some time with him, in May of 09, we spent many hours

    talking about the craft of poetry and its presentation to the world. Ive always had

    doubts about what my place in that world is and he was always good at helping me see,

    without being preachy about it like a lot of poets can be. I never felt like Todd was

    talking down to me or being anything less than straight-up honest. Thats rare. Much of

    the Small Press is riddled with the standard line of BS when it comes to the pecking

    order.

    But not so with Todd. He was a good man and a decent writer. His Dillinger epic is an

    amazing sequence of very spare poems, some of which are downright spiritual in

    nature. The Corpse is Dreaming is the last section of the series and I had the pleasure

    of publishing it in 1999. It details the last moments of Dillingers life as he lays in the

    alley behind the Biograph, bleeding to death. It is amazing!

    But Todd was not limited to one long-ass poem. He also wrote a lot of short poems, all

    in that spare, just a word per line down the outer margin of the page style. And, on top

    of all that, Todd also wrote essaysa lot of them. He wrote eleven or so for my mag

    during the course of its eleven year run and I was only one mag out of many that he

    wrote for. Perhaps someday Todds essays will be published in their own volume and

    receive the recognition that they deserve. Perhaps that will also be the day that Todd

    finally receives the recognition that HE deserves, too.

    Todd Moore told me once that when a poet starts worrying about his legacy, he might

    as well hang it up because his days are numbered. And yet, if there is anyone who is

    more deserving of a legacy, I cant think of them at the moment. Pretty much all the big

  • guns of the late 20th century left a legacy in their wake and so too does Todd. His shoes

    will be retirednobody will be able to fill them.

  • sonny pulled

    a handful

    of change

    out of his

    pocket

    & dropped

    it on the

    bar sd

    what will

    a buck

    twenty

    nine get

    me the

    bartender

    pulled a

    cut down

    pool cue

    out from

    under the

    bar sd get

    you dead

    from Poems for $1.29

    --todd moore

  • Catching The Westbound For Todd Moore

    Look how it's draggin' I hear my mother's words It's a long drag and a double-header Climbing the grade bowing south to Santa Fe Blending past the purple prairie sage Sun lush in skyward's crimson rim Far behind The Sangre de Christo Sparks link and bellow from its stacks It's whistle low in half open moan. We can beat it to the next crossing, John This V8 can outrun anything on wheels. --Charles Plymell

  • instructions

    for playing

    russian rou

    lette first

    put the

    bullet in

    an empty

    chamber

    spin the

    cylinder

    3 times

    quickly

    cock the

    hammer

    back lick

    it off for

    luck & the

    black taste

    of death

    then point

    the pistol

    at yr head

    take a

    very deep

    breath ex

    hale slowly

    & let yr

    finger fall

    in love w/

    the trigger

    the way

    that maya

    kovskys

    did the

    shock of

    the click

    cd kill

    you

    --todd moore

  • lola poured

    half a bottle

    of tequila

    over her

    pubic hair

    & cunt

    then

    worked

    her legs

    open &

    shut to

    get the

    full effect

    before

    giving

    ringo

    that hey

    baby look

    sd you

    think you

    cd put

    yr tongue

    down there

    to save

    those extra

    drops

    --todd moore

  • what're

    you looking

    at my old man

    sd using a

    straight razor

    to shave

    himself

    w/ what's

    the trick of

    doing that

    w/out getting

    cut i

    asked he

    angled the

    blade down

    & i heard

    steel scraping

    skin in the

    lather

    & then

    riding clean

    no trick

    my old man

    sd wiping

    the blade off

    on an old

    rag slapped

    along the

    sink's

    banged edge

    blood is

    the ante

    sometimes

    you lose

    --todd moore

  • when the

    wolf

    discovered

    its legs

    had been

    shot off

    it lay

    on its

    side in

    the long

    night of

    snow

    & began

    to tell

    stories from

    way

    back in

    the eyes

    --todd moore

  • LETTER TO A FRIEND IN ALBUQUERQUE

    Todd; I was listening to your poem

    About Tornado Jones on that CD

    Mark sent me and when you talked

    About the music calling to him

    Especially when the moon was rising

    And the wind was in the trees

    I knew exactly what you meant

    I too have felt it, tasted it, even smelled it

    Even though the moon I see rising

    And the sound of the wind in the trees

    That I hear is only in my imagination

    Because when I look out my window

    What I see through the bars

    Theres no moon

    No trees

    And no wind

    Only the dusty brown sky

    Or if its late

    The shapeless steel blue of

    An urban California night

    Silence punctured by

    The slamming of doors

    The sirens wail

    And the laughter of someone elses woman.

    --RD Armstrong

  • Smoke Jumper

    Scrambled my mind

    all the time

    skinned alive

    totally fried

    acid coke booze sex

    with girls

    obsessed with self-destruction

    went to see the Dead

    lost my mind

    but head would have rhymed

    with false confidence

    bad memories; I try to forget

    because Im a good girl now

    all sins washed away

    with self awareness

    and experience

    smoke jumper

    lift me high

    above the flames

    end the pain

    of learned life lessons

    introspective migraine truth

    daily blues

    I did not die for you

    I could not dream

    but still one existed

    because of your touch

    your offer

    redemption

    I beg for your forgiveness

    and trust

    a kiss

    too loud

    teach me silence

    and maybe next time

    Heaven will not be

    so very far away.

    -- Lucy Hell

  • THE FAT MAN

    we sailed into the port of Nagasaki

    fourteen years after a bomb code-

    named Fat Man was dropped on them

    searing the minds of the survivors forever

    & not exactly making us popular

    as if visiting their fair city so soon after

    the big bang that dropped rudely upon them

    from the skies that day

    was like rubbing salt into wounds

    the city probably licks to this day

    & when drunken sailors & marines

    fueled by the rudeness of citizens of a country

    known for their politeness found their way

    to a memorial that had been erected at ground zero

    where Fat Man had brought death & devastation

    to them, eclipsed only by the bigger bomb, Little Boy,

    dropped on Hiroshima only three days earlier

    & at this memorial there was a mock-up of the city

    as it had existed before Fat Man dropped in to say hello & there was this button you

    could push that would bring a beam of light down from above the mock-up & strike

    exactly at where the Fat Man had hit & a bright ring of light would appear at what had

    been ground zero & it would expand in concentric rings diminishing in brightness as it

    expanded in size to demonstrate how far the immediate damage extended, unable to

    truly show the thousands who died that day not to mention the ones who would die as

    the years passed & these drunks would depress that button & each time they did they

    would chant, laughing boisterously" You'll wonder where the yellow went when you

    brush your teeth with pepsodent"

    the slogan of a popular brand of toothpaste in those days wondering why they were so

    hated & couldn't get laid.

    --F.N. Wright

  • possibilities daughters chatting on facebook wifes filling in answers poorly on our sons homework while he divides his attention between cartoons and video games and Im waiting for a text message from a woman who may or may not love me who may or may not go back to her husband or run away with the next guy with clean teeth and thick hair and a passport of possibilities able to deliver her as Im waiting to be delivered some place better, different some place where no one answers for their actions or explanations for the prior years of inaction and still theres no text message and this may mean something or it may mean nothing at all and my daughters fingers flit across the keyboard communicating with the sort of day-to-day friends shell depend on for compassion when I make good my escape and my son will never miss me though for the rest of his life hell gun me down in first person shooter dreams and my wife will hate me no more and no less than shes hated me this last decade Ive been here without really ever being here

    --Karl Koweski

  • Waiting Tables In Reno 40 years ago she left him while he was getting his leg blown off in Nam Now, here she was waiting tables in Reno - not even recognizing him - after she almost fell over his prosthetic leg Keep your leg under the table, sir, I could fallen and broken something.

    --Doug Draime

  • Pair of Suits

    with bibles under their arms going door to door selling jesus w/ two year fixed rates salvation on the budget plan like cable TV 100% guaranteed not to rise inflation be damned In case of flood toll free numbers in each book Hot mail for all you sinners

    --Alan Catlin

  • THE EDITOR I rewrite the poem For the third time Print it out again Ball it up and toss it At the feet of my cat Who shakes it Like a mouse Spits it out Like a bitter pill There will be no fourth time The editor has spoken FAME Today a poet, editor invited me To submit a poem on fame I thought of asking him for money But long ago gave away my soul for free Being a poet Im already a millionaire 6 AM POEM Lying here alone in bed A gnawing hunger in my belly Soon Ill take my aching bones To the kitchen table Take my morning dose of pills Sad there is no woman to put them Next to my morning cereal

    --A.D. Winans

  • TIFFANY IN MY BACKPACK

    This precious, sterling heart Requests it be returned to its dealer Should it wind up lost

    I deem this request laughable Should it escape in this neighborhood No return from here

    Unless said dealer has a covert deal With this districts seedier retailers Wed all like to know about

    The trick is to conceal the bourgeoisie logo So the golems dont hone in like airplanes On beacon signals

    This is, after all, the known Tenderknob The amorphous in-between area Where the rich and poor

    Rub their shoulders and genitalia Together in a shared depravity Which no one questions

    Not even the plainly out of place Out-of-placers who arent really quite sure How to react

    When cannabis clouds form around their heads Where hot girls openly share studded tongues Right in front of them.

    Everyone plying his or her shtick in these parts Still believes theyre a beautiful player Not like down the hill

    Where, but for the grace of their goddess They are one bad lover away from landing The gambling gone bad

    Whether the dreams move uphill or downhill, they never return.

    --Paul Corman Roberts

  • Punking Up Hank III had a bomb tech rebuild his guitar and amp only way to harness all this riffage-n-rage, all these folks treated like skin cancer buttocks scabs exploding, explaining, rat a tat tat freedom agony, economics, ecstacy sonic with thick blistering picks-n- thermal dreams

    --David S. Pointer

  • Barry

    had the

    campus

    drug czar

    in a hardship

    headlock when

    a cop came

    around the

    bookstore

    corner and

    thought Barry

    was bad and

    side kicked him

    into a crumpled

    silence and the

    drug czar got

    up and shot them

    both w/ a Glock

    10mm taken

    off another corpse.

    --David S. Pointer

  • INTO THE NIGHT I have been walking alongside an unknown country road thumb out all day long now. it is summer & the heat beats down on me without mercy reminding me of another country years ago cars slow down & come to a stop only to peel out & spray me with gravel & taunting laughter as I run to them for a lift most of them young kids, some not so young but behaving like bullies a convertible, four young girls (perhaps cheerleaders) all but the driver flash their young breasts & the two in the back moon me watching their young bare asses disappear is like watching my youth leaving me in their rear view mirror as I walk into the night alone. --F.N. Wright

  • Guanajuato Honeymoon On the disco plaza by the light of the chupacabra moon we did the tequila tango until the local chicos y chicas threw Virgin Mary tortillas at us and begged us in Spanish to get a fucking room. In the middle of the witching hour the ghost of Selena got in bed with us and asked us to rub her feet. I was pretty turned on but I was shy so I filled the tub with Epsom salt and hot water and soaked with my eyes closed, dreaming of the Gulf of Mexico back when it was electricity free.

    --Misti Rainwater-Lites

  • as dillinger waits

    an outlaw

    shot the last

    colt forty

    five

    ricocheting

    through the

    universe

    like tequila

    shot glasses

    slammed on a

    sawdust floor

    and tonight

    lola

    will dance

    for no one

    --Scot Young