40/40 Poetry Project · Poems · poetry

40/40: Summer Poem Slam-a-bam! – Day 35 – “Ballad of the Pearl Street Ramblers”

Photo Courtesy of Dan Marcella – “Pearl St.” ©️ Dan Marcella 2018[[

“Ballad of The Pearl Street Ramblers”

I took a trip down memory lane,

To days in my rear view.

Now, none of us remain the same,

Life changed our point of view.

Those days, we saw the road ahead.

Certain, that we would win.

A future bright with no owed debt,

A treasure trove of sin.

We all hung out and busted balls,

All bastards to a T.

The Prescott schoolyard free-for-alls,

Still haunt my memory.

We lost a friend along the way.

In years there will be more.

Lifelong friendships? Who is to say,

How long they will endure?

Street corner kids just passing time,

Or time, just passed us by.

A passing thought of youthful prime,

Ends with a trailing sigh.

Of all the times both come and gone,

I will remember those.

Pearl Street Ramblers, Ramble On!

Until, we take repose.

A very special thanks to Jeff M, for threading the needle on this idea. The past is prologue, and full of both terror and hope. Our just desserts are awaiting for us, and the band plays on, or rambles on, as it were.

40/40: Summer Poem Slam-a-bam is a project in which people have joined me for 40 days and 40 nights of on-demand poetry. They have submitted the concepts, ideas, and subjects; I’ve done the work.

Poems · poetry · Uncategorized

“Hot Urine”



“Hot Urine”

Oh, the years in between,

then and now.

But, how?

Traveling from Boston to Miami.

From Miami to Key West.

At tradition’s behest.

Appropriately dressed.

A briefcase full of booze.

New Balance shoes.

A plush animal stolen from a Walpole Kegger.

Kennel beneath the plane, in cargo.


Midnight Rompah.

Chicanery ensued.

Krispy Kreme paper hats.

Suspicious fun.

Arrived before we left,

bereft of sobriety,



Miami Airport Car Rental Center.

A Trojan Hearse.




Full of dead youth,

not for lack of trying.

 A bachelorhood dying,

for spite and gripe,

and a nasty fuck of fiancée,

that later enlightened me.

Not all stories have a happy ending,

neither do massages.

Messages crossed,

and we’re off!

160 miles to where the birds land,

where the pelicans can,

Pelican Landing.

Key West grandstanding.

So demanding.

Three hours, and twenty-two minutes,

according to MapQuest.




First stop, packy.

Pile in backy.

How does one decrease the ETA to a more palatable time?

No bathroom breaks.

Just groupthink,

and speed limit skill.

Don’t spill.

Six cases of beer.

Beer in, beer out.

Bucket brigade.

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!

Hot Urine!

Pass the cuppy to the left one time,

shotgun launch.

Highway becomes whizzway.

Solo cups,

filled up,

passed up.

Returned empty.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?


How do you get to Key West?


All that time saved,

ETA decreased.

What does one do with the excess?

Why, you spend it wisely of course,by stopping at the first Adult Store available.

Twenty-five cent peeps.

Screen down, screen up.

Jizz mopper at attention.

Not a mention,

of the tension,



A bumpah stickah slapped on the back of the great white whale.


Many horns accompanied us on our surge to Mordor.

Solos used, beers consumed.

When did we get there?

We got there before we arrived.

The lot imbibed.

Boston Pride.

Hot Urine ride.

All over the sides.

On the Hunt for Freeto Pies.

Not denied.

Returned the white whale to the rental deal,

it had more of a mustard sheen,

our pelican queen.

Bladder camaraderie.

Landing on a Key West Beach.

Chompah, unleashed.

Megaphones, and Hemingway homes.


Duval Block.

Papa Joe found his soul,

at Teasers.

Met Derek,

and his mullet.

Broke all the rules,

of the pool.

Within twelve minutes of arriving.

Got launched from Pelican Landing.

Cash withstanding.

Megaphones demanded.

Eat my ass!

Eat my ass!

Perhaps, in a different quarter the response would have been more acceptable.

Blue Marlin Motel.


Link for image



Mexican Wrestling Masks.



Kid Rock routine boombox,

while Sarah Smiles played her bass in tune.

Naked hangs.

Stolen bikes.

“Wouldn’t fuck you for a nickel!”

Boy, did that incite.


Memory forgets.


Oh, the years in between,

then and now.

But, how?

Traveling from Boston to Miami.

From Miami to Key West.

Those guys were the best,

some are fiercely missed.

Traveling down the highway of life,

a fellowship of launched piss.


Marking the Occasion

A Knowing Smile to Assure Us All
A Knowing Smile to Assure Us All

A funny thing happened today. I realized that a year has slipped away since a great friend of mine departed from this world. I don’t know what to make of that. I really don’t. Is it the fact that it has been a year, or that he resides in a different reality now?

It is strange to come to terms with so many things that happen as we age out of this life. Dreams of our youth that don’t pan out, our bodies succumbing to mortality, and watching those around us slip away a rate that is all too increased. I call this “Adulting,” (something you have to do, but don’t really want to do). Being an adult. Accepting the reality of a situation without the promise of it being okay, or knowing if it ever will be okay again. The kind of situation where you turn around to get assurance from those you have always got assurance from, but they are no longer there in that way.

Mark provided me assurance, and he was “Adulting” long before I discovered what it meant. Those of us that know a bit about him, can attest to the litany of things that occurred over his life that could have buried the best of us. But not Mark. He lived love, and showed me a magnificent example of how to be in this world. I owe tribute to this example, and bear testament to a grand memory of a sincere and beautiful person.

By all accounts, I would characterize Mark Hickey as a soul that made me feel comfortable whenever I was in his presence or was thinking about him. He was the kind of guy, that had a loaded smile that was full of everything that we experienced together in our friendship, and yet invited the possibility of more experience. Never impatient with me, he always assured me with that smile. I have to believe that anyone that reads this and knew Mark, probably experienced this in their own way with him. You know, the kind of deal where you share a secret with someone, and you both are invested in the trust of that bond, and it is never violated. It seemed to me that Mark fulfilled that luxury in my life. I knew that whenever I saw him, that we had a connection that allowed us to not speak for a time, and then pick up where we left off. This is the gift of his friendship, and it transcends quickly dissolved years and different realities.

What I can say of Mark, is that he embodied a feeling about life that I cherish, that despite knowing that there are evils in the world, and that not all experience in life is grand, that despite these things, all that we can do for each other is create a bond marked by a knowing smile of shared experience. We can turn around when there is no one there to assure us, and be assured that a memory is a pretty concrete fucking thing when the love that created it is still inside of us.

I don’t feel loss, I feel gain, because whenever I think of Mark, the good things bear out in that moment. I admire his bravery in facing adversity, I admire the amount of love he shared, and I admire how he attracted so many great people into his life to share that life with. My thoughts go out to Mark’s family on a day that is very tough to endure by many accounts. My hope is that they too can recall that assured smile, and feel his presence, and take comfort in that it continually serves as a reminder that it might not be okay right now, but someday, somewhere down the road, that smile will be waiting to lead us to a far better place where secrets are shared and we can pick up right where we left off last time.

Love and fond memory always,  insert that sly grin here brother…