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Added: 21 September 2000

The Poetry of Meat Gizmo

Introduction by Jimmy Bannon

Pilot. Pool player. Platinoid. Poet. The enigma known only as Meat Gizmo is all these things, except for platinoid, which is a copper alloy known for its high electrical resistance. Gizmo is no metallic alloy. He's all Meat, and his highly evocative, often twisted wordplay comes splattering onto your computer screen like a fistful of fine, pink ham on a shopping spree.

When Gizmo started sending me his stuff one day out of the blue like a phone bill from Havana you never saw coming, I knew I had a couple of fresh hot tarts in the oven that were going to need a spanking. All I had was a piece of string and some marbles but I knew once I got my pants off and worked that crud out of the corner of my eye we'd be staring down the barrel of a twenty seven sixteen fudgeball magna carta like a boatload of dancing midget refugees on game day. Nobody knew what they were talking about in those days and Jerry the neighborhood butcher and some lady in a fancy wrap walking in a way we didn't understand and a whole lot of kids playing stickball. Hell, guys didn't want any muffins and nobody had a portmanteau. It was all scraps and diggory and knees that ached so bad in the cold and Cross-Eyed Lenny and a two-bit tin can that cost two bits.

Nobody ever asked me what I thought of Meat Gizmo then and they don't now. What I know about most things you could write on a couple of napkins, stuff them into an empty bag of potato chips, and spend the rest of the afternoon making crinkly sounds. I can tell you that the Giz is on the bashful side when it comes to his poetry on account of what some people might think about poems. But do yourself a favor. Peel the iron grip of this tough man's knuckles off from around your throat one day and read the string of words that the Giz has put together here and see if things don't just start seeming a little bit different later on back in the old haunts. You could do a lot worse and an old fighter and his mother still wearing the black socks and that frowsy tattered bathrobe and the expensive smell of cheap perfume hanging on every rat-a-tat-tat-tat of his cousin's lousy fish business.

yours from the low side,
Jimmy Bannon


"This lonely life
could be a lot worse,
I am sure," he said.

"The raison d'etre for each
life must be, I think,
for the most part,

But I keep
finding things that only cause
giggles in singles' bars
or the tap of stiff shoes
on a marble bank floor.

Teller raises her soft eyes to me
while the clattering echoes
of a daydream fade
and brass doors close
on the last thoughts of the day.

If there was something
that I could do
which might help
I would do it:

if I could be as cold
and unfeeling to
my demon lonelines
as it has been to me,
then perhaps
I could drive it away.


(Dedicated to Carlos Hatchcock)

Five days you S.O.B.:
it took you five days to
check your fields.

I straddled the corpse feeling nothing,
snapping pictures for proof
(as if they'd send me back
if this was the wrong deal).

Five days, three tree snakes
and too many MRE's;
and one less cocaine maker
so important that
they led him to me.

Probably some faceless,
consuming yuppie- critical mass to
upset some government chart-
caused my second shot
to blow off his brain;
after the first ripped his heart.

And the world disappeared for him-
but not the cocoa leaves.
Maybe next time I should be sniping
that BMW flunkie:
neglected kids
get the insurance,
a defrauded wife remarries.

Five showerless days-
leaving the body for psych effect,
I descend a few klicks of hot jungle hills
minus eight exposures
and two high velocity bullets.

And I might even start to care-
if I wasn't driven
by thoughts of extraction,
hot water and a check.


Dappled into my fingertips
was a life in itself,
a lucky sublimation
of light-to-spirit.

Startled in my reaction
then making
a realization
I smiled,
and whispered a prayer
of thanks to Buddha--

it seemed that the
flower's pistil would
shed many thousands of possibilities
to the wind that day;
testimonies to Gaea.

Then,walking away,
I wiped my hand on my jeans.


your perfume and your presence
stay in my room

and your laugh
lingers around me

and your profiled face glows
in my soul's remembering eyes;

and your spirit whispers down my hallway
kissing me as it goes;

and it coos a goodbye
to my just-awakened heart.

Jungle Landing

They always light a fire when they hear your engines
and you struggle to make out the smoke from the mist
and finally the strip comes into view.

Cut throttles, start a descent;
but you're high on approach-
put the plane in a slip,
dropping yourself
strapped to an ancient six-thousand pound twin
into a driveway slashed out of the jungle.

Touchdown bangs, but with no bounce
and you push hard and unevenly into the toe brakes
to keep it straight.

The trees at the end fill the windscreen
and you finally slow and stop
as your left main tire slips in the mud.

Legs feel like rubber as you shut down engines,
and when the props stop spinning
teenage boys run out from the jungle,
banging doors, shouting orders,
unloading the weary old plane.


Inconsequential, inoperative
imperative, impacted.

Ischaemic, aesthetic,
contemplative, cooperative,

Mellifluous, melodious,
Metaphysical, mundane.

Non-factor, Non sequitur,

Holistic, hubristic,
Hellenistic helicopter.

Undulating adulating
usurptive unintention.

Umbral entourage;
too many to mention.


Not in an intrusive way
I gave in to a need to glance again.
She was looking down;
Her lashes long and dark,
her face elegant.

Taking a mental picture,
I turned away,
politely timed.

Ever the fool who wished to see her again
occasionally visits that image by day
to better a mood
or further a hope;
to dream a love
to feign.