spirit dame


I cherish your gifts

your brain your madness

your body your soul

your gladness & sadness


It’s really too much

to say you are pure

beauty & truth

prevailing unto eternity


But that’s what you

appear to be

to a wanna-be butler

fading away on social security


elvis bojangles


like a hole in the head

Going To Prescott (part 1)


Ch. 14

by Cloyd Campfire


When you attempt to be an astronaut but don’t quite make it ~ when you’re one unit shy of graduation & on empty ~ when you grow weary of working some bummer job & can’t find anything else but another one ~ when you grow wary of handing all your money over to your greedy property-gobbling landlord month after month ~ when you have fallen in love while nobody has fallen in love with you ~ and the military is no longer a viable option ~

Don’t hang yourself. Come with me. And be ~

A tramp ~

And celebrate spring!

Well, I stumbled into the train station.  The old dude behind the counter told me it would take 3 days for me to get on a train ~ a train to Flagstaff, Arizona. Lordy, by that time the VA could catch-up to me and have me all talked into going back to work. So I stepped across the small lobby to where a person could catch a bus instead, which the senora behind the counter told me could be caught at 4 o’clock, about 5 hours away. Okay ~ I bought the ticket. Incidently, I also had the back-pack weighed. It weighed some thirty-odd pounds ~ hmmm. I checked it in & went and sat down. No. I tried to check it in but was not allowed to do so ’til a half hour before the bus left ~ five hours away. Yehaaaaaaa, Greyhound.

Then I went & sat down, still fondling the pack. There was a little group of lockers in the corner of the waiting area that didn’t work ~ like what else was new? I got up, found this out & wore the pack around downtown Albuquerque killing time…  After a coffee here, a pizza there, I came back and sat down again ~ sat the back-pack down next to me. Me and my pack were rapidly becoming bosom buddies!

Speaking of which, suddenly, I missed my room-mate. God forbid, how could one miss a room-mate? For over two years I’d been complaining about having a room-mate. The unexpected emotion welled-up out of no-where. I sat there in the train station waiting for a bus, missing my room-mate ~ who was an old black man with a bad back. Huffing and puffing was I ~ on the verge of tears!

I was mashed like potatoes, sliced like bread, spread like mayonaise, and chilled like milk. But most of all, I was drop-kicked by the “Nigger Of The Narcissus,” by Joseph Conrad. Whoa, what am I talkin’ ’bout, oh reading commander?

It came down to this: this man, with his overflowing pile of shit in our room that I was not allowed to shovel-out ~ this man, with his tenacity, sense of worth & fairness & humanity, not to mention intelligence wisdom & savy ~ this futher-muckin’ son-of-a-whipper-schmucker had pulled my head up outta my frickin’ ass.

I had knocked over lamps, thrown books at the wall, dumped entire cans of Ajax all over the bathroom and left it there. I had paraded around naked with Indian war-paint on my face and with the Dixie Chicks screeching on my music box (and on repeat), “I need a boy like you like I need a hole in the head!” I couldn’t get rid of this feller, his television, his cancer-like mess of belongings, his midnight-snacking with his mouth open, or his constant yammering about his bad back & his last employer & the endless march-of-the-lawyers aftermath. And he was always there ~ when I woke-up, when I went to work, when I came back, when I went to sleep. Other than these & oh so many other incorrigibilities, Quest was a pretty nice guy.

Early on, he suggested we stick together for survival’s sake. He wasn’t kidding. In time, we grew to understand each other & modified our noisy media engines. And I became kind ~ I, kind! And that’s what I mean when I say he pulled my head up outta ~ the gravel.

And this is why I can’t help but mention “The Nigger of the Narcissus,” by Joseph Conrad. In this classic olde English novel, a black dude jams up the white-boy crew on the ship “Narcissus,” when he decides to die on a particular voyage.  All the white boys end up taking care of this black feller until he’s finally gone.  Quest, bless his soul, was the target of my “Narcissus,” or of my oh so vain & over-blown self-concern.

One day I begun to give him the Dixie Chick treatment on my 25-dollar music box. He raised gospel music to a high level of vibration on his much more elaborate music system, drowned the Dixie Chicks until they were face-down n’ dead.  The worst part of it was, he started singing to the gospel music ~ all gooey-eyed and walking like an Egyptian while sitting on the edge of his rack, if you can picture that.  Singing!  We were friends, but this was going much too far.  

Lord Jehovah in the name of Jesus have mercy ~ I had left without saying good-bye.



photo above:

Joseph Conrad of course !


quite a guy


Ch. 21

by Cloyd Campfire


About the closest I got to meeting anybody in traffic-choked Flagstaff was ~ Indians ~ Navajo Indians ~ of course.  The first one was at the breakfast counter of the little touristy restaurant across the street that was dolled up in such a way as to be a replica of The Old West.  I sat down a couple stools away from a pudgy old Indian.  I said “hello.”  He said “hello” back.  And that was the end of that.  I don’t think either one of us wanted to get to know the other.

But after I ordered biscuits and gravy and bacon, and after the steamy plate of grub arrived, I couldn’t help but note that he, the Indian under a cowboy hat a couple stools away, kept trying to get the waitress’s attention so that he could have his coffee cup refilled.  He would hold it in the air but couldn’t get any waitress’s attention.  So he sat there with his empty coffee cup on the counter in front of him and slumped into a fatalistic acceptance of his lot in life ~ which seemed to be an eternally empty coffee cup.

I wiped my plate clean ~ no more big helpings of biscuits & gravy & bacon.  Hmm hmm good ~ although the bacon was somewhat ~ commercial.  As I polished off my own cup of coffee, I couldn’t help but note that the Indian still sat there with his empty coffee cup infront of him.  The waitresses were bustiling back n’ forth n’ all about but wouldn’t fill up the man’s cup.  What was up with that?  Was he some kind of troublemaker & were they trying to get rid of him?  Had he already had eight refills?  Or what?

I didn’t want to get involved.  I didn’t want to talk to anybody.  I just wanted the check, to pay, and leave.  But hombre, is this or is this not an injustice ~ an injustice to be acted upon & nullified?

“Can I get you anything else, Sir?”  said the waitress ~ to me.  I looked at her.  Studied her for a moment.  She was just another poor young hard-working gal.

“How ’bout getting me and that guy there some more coffee?”

She did as she was beckoned.  The Indian nodded his thanks to her ~ and to me.  I threw a grin back at him & picked up my check.  I left my renewed cup of hot coffee untouched & a tip.  At the cash register I payed the bill ~ then sauntered out the door ~ quite a guy.

Quite a guy!


Black Bart (photo)

Archangel Raphael (art)


identifying with the enemy


by Davy Crockett Reincarnated
(September 2004)
Sand in the wind
blood on the ground
mechanical buzzards
   circling around ~
I stick my thumb out
for a ride
a ragged old feller
   homeless bound ~
Her face appears
in the sky up above
she says with a groan
   “don’t talk about love” ~
The vision comes
the vision goes
a shot & splattered
   holy white dove ~
I’m covered with dirt
my throat is dry
I gotta leave again
   or I’m gonna die ~
Multiple excuses
spin in my head
yet there is
   no reason why ~
The sun up above
smokin’ his nose
is always there
   wherever I goes ~
The tip of the nose
of the flaming sun
drops an ash
   & forever glows ~
Tom Dooley the crow
squawkin’ at my side
squawks “hello”
   but there’s still no ride ~
Bullets start to fly
babies start to cry
poor folks run around
   lookin’ for a place to hide ~
   crawlin’ ~
Buildings crashing down
on top ‘o their heads
a tank in the street
   sputterin’ & stallin’ ~
I become a layered cake
of grease & grime
just standing here
   without one dime ~
Thumb wavin’ above
the tossed & turned
wishin’ hopin’ someone
   will stop just one time ~
But they have no pity
they all drive by
a wet sticky tear
   squeezes outta my eye ~
Tom Dooley, we gotta
get out of this place
but it looks like we’re gonna
   just stand here & die ~
The world’s so hot
folks broken & lame
one by one
   turn into flame ~
Her face appears again
from deep down
outta her throat
   churns up my name ~
The tears won’t stop
they’re all over my face
my thumb’s stuck out
   but it seems out of place ~
Someone pulls over
this picks up
   the pace ~
The man at the wheel
is wrapped real tight
around & around
   with dynamite ~
I hop in
the coupe takes off
he turns to me &
 says, “gotta light?”
It’s an Islamic moment
suspended in time
it’s suddenly quiet
   there’s no more rhyme ~
The bell in the tower
inside of my soul
swings to n’ fro
   a mysterious chime ~
The crow, Dooley, my friend
has flown far away
the moment ticks like a clock
   with nothin’ to say ~
The desert landscape
floats by like a dream
with nothin’ to do
   but lollygag all day ~
I dig in my pocket
pull out my bic
get the flame going
   with one little flick ~
The vision in the sky
of her memorable beauty
is now some how
   a silly dumb chick ~
As the suicide bomber
holds up the fuse
its a proposition
   I cannot refuse ~
Almighty God winkith
as we settle back
for one last
   bumpy cruise ~
Heaven opens up her
transparent arms
bumps us with love &
   other immaculate charms ~
A crispy flash
explodes all around
kills quite a few & sends us
  to distant angelic farms ~
Ohhhhhhh the sun up above
he knows
as he smokes his
   eternal cigar nose ~
Strums his banjo
combs his flames
& the crow so free do fly
   wherever the river flows…
text copyright clyde collins 2004 2017

The Davy Crockett Reincarnated Almanac


art above:

Burning Furnace of Charity

art below:

Tabernacle of The Most High


secret agent man


Inside The Bird Cage Saloon

chapter XVII


GUN 2013

the secret agent short novel

by Rawclyde !

     The double doors are a rattling in the big birdcage above our heads.  The log perch hanging from the cage’s arch is swaying.  Giant formidable talons move nervously back n’ forth on the swaying perch.  Of course it’s only my imagination gone beserk.  The bald eagle up there in the dome is a statue made of wood ~ and is still.  Maybe I’m the one having a nervous breakdown.

     “Now, baby, now!”

     Bang!  Bang!  The slick long-barrel derringer in Wayne Peeintheair’s spastic hand twirls thru the smokey atmosphere of the saloon.  And one of his ears disappears for good measure.  Agent Whapp, to the left o’ me, proves to be an expert markswoman!  And nobody else fires a shot ‘cuz she’s so damn scary.  A sullen skull chalked like a mask on her face contributes to making it so.



     “So be it!” shouts Ted Newscent, just a guitar player, to the right o’ me.  He covers all of ’em with his 45.  He’s no longer grinning.  His jaw muscles are taunt ~ working overtime ~ as his teeth grind.

     The floor is smokin’.  The boys are leavin’.  And the Bird Cage Saloon is burning down.

     The bristling cannon-ware of Submissivania (Has she’s grown 5 extra arms aiming all this stuff?) offers encouragement for all AR-15 conglomerates to fold-up and depart.  And so they do.  Some of these tough guys dance a little bit as they seek an exit, for the bullets fling & sing up outta the crackling ammo dump (I presume it’s a secret NRA ammo dump) in the cellar below.

     Peeintheair’s four bodyguards have become statues.  “Why don’t you guys move!” bellows my favorite old rock n’ roll star turned Obamasiah deacon.  He waves the barrel of his Colt toward the door.  Submissivania shoots somebody’s hat off ~ more encouragement.



     “What the…?”

     Peeintheair is doing a jig!  His clown shoes flip flop madly as he pyroots around & around, holding the ear-less side of his head as it spurts blood ‘tween his fingers.  He’s kind of like a twirling lawn sprinkler spraying red dew on the smoking, splintering planks around him.  The expression on his face is that of a grinning circus clown ~ even after having wiped off all his clown make-up.  He’s got a grin on his face so big his eyes are squeezed shut.  He seems to be in his element.  The racket below is deafening.  A carbon stench pervasive.  Smoke is slithering around him like out-of-body experiences.

     “Hell!” snarls Ted.  He waves farewell with his gun & exits in disgust out the back door, grabs his guitar on his way out.  A large section of the floor explodes behind him & flames leap up ~ begin waltzing with our NRA celebrity.

     Peeintheair’s bodyguards remain catatonic.  I guess they cannot decide whether they want to defend their looney leader or shoot him.  They haven’t moved a quarter of an inch for maybe five minutes.  One of them has a sawed-off shotgun half pulled out of his coat as if eternally posing for a camera that is not here.  Meanwhile his a-whirl dervish boss starts singing:


“What stops a bad man

with a gun?

What stops a bad man

with a gun?

Maybe nothin’ can stop him

but the rising sun!”


     The coat sleeve of one of Peeintheair’s bodyguards catches fire.  This snaps the feller out of his statue-like stillness.  He drops his guns & runs ~ like an Olympic torch-carrier for the front door ~ hollering.  But he doesn’t get too far.  The floor collapses under him in a burst of red sparks.  He tumbles head first into the spluttering tumult of ricocheting bullets below ~ then comes flying out riding a piano-sized fireball that propels him back over our heads across the room.  After that I lose track of this unfortunate individual.  He probably just lies on the floor some where behind a table, perhaps on top of a table, a sizzling charbroiled hamburger.


editor / elvis bojangles


forest priestess

a weirdtakoyaki photo story & cloyd campfire memoir


All kinds of growth poking up out of the rot, here, in this Ponderosa Pine forest at the edge of the little city of Prescott, Arizona.  Lots of trees verily verily tall.  The wind keeps blowing but only touches the tops of the trees ~ and sings its song ~

To me.

What’s so important about me? Nothing. And everything. A remnant of Walt Whitman’s song to democracy.

Lordy Lordy, thank-you for getting me out here ~ out here where I don’t belong. Ask the deer. They’ll tell you I don’t belong here. Ask the ranger. He’ll tell you the same.

I didn’t know what I was doing, but You, oh Lordy Lordy Lord Jehovah, got me out here anyway ~ camoflauged away from the highway, which sings its motorola song down below my own true-blue knob of silent granite outcrop, behind which I have pitched my tent, here on the mountain side that I share with the birds and the deer, the rotting logs, pine needles & pine cones & all these tall tall trees.

Which reminds me of Diana, the forest priestess from Portland, Maine. Thinking about her, the mountain chill no longer bothers me. Suddenly, I like it!



A soft lump of gooey play-doe in the bottom of my belly is all thats left of the hard brick of jealousy that once long ago reigned in my chest ~ over the flesh & blood woman who is now the idolized priestess who rules deep in the night ~ especially here in the forest when the wind has stopped blowing and the quietude is topless & bottomless. It’s a slice of the pie of the mystical reality of reality that I am now a slave to the etheral priestess ~


She, a newly-arrived PFC in the U.S. Army, took me jogging thru the snow-flake-ed woods at Fort Ben Harrison, Indiana, in the frost-bitten January of ’81. I was hung-over. I couldn’t keep up. And my 30-year-old wang-dang froze off.


She was 28 years old, long legged, long haired, and long over-due and I don’t mean pregnant. She was way ahead of everybody else & nutty as a fruitcake. T’was I who was her chosen slaughter.

Two years later, up on the Presidio Military Post in Monterey, California, disenchanted with barracks life & unwilling to put up with other women, Sp5 Diana pitched her tent in a woody grove of the military post.  She actually knew how to live in solitude  while in the U.S. Army. When I finally caught up to her, she told me of how a deer with whom she lived in this patch of pine trees would eat out of her hand.


cloyd campfire 2010


photos courtesy of weirdtakoyaki