Immortal Musings

A lyric and two texts from the next cd “Salon des Refusés” and  book “Uncommon Knowledge”…

Personal Hygiene Song (Ready To Get Dirty)

I jump in the bathtub and I get all wet
Put soap on my body, shampoo on my head
Get real clean then I rinse it away
Don’t have to shave but I shave anyway
Now I’m ready to get dirty again

Make sure the towel gets between my toes
Get wax from my ears and blow on my nose
Put lotion on my body & on my face
Powder up my pits and the other hairy place
Now I’m ready to get dirty again

I brush my teeth then I floss real good
Peroxide my mouth when there’s any blood
Clean all my nails and I trim ‘em down
Put on new shorts even if they’re not brown
Now I’m ready to get dirty again

Put your face in my face, roll around on the floor
I’d like to play with your little boat some more
Let’s get all sweaty and swill some drinks
Then we’ll need another bath, now whaddayuh think?
Well I’m ready to get dirty again

Father Earth

You may be right to hiss, maybe even boo Father Earth.
He was a real son of a son of a distant sun.
How did the Earth Mother become a single parent?
Some people wonder what happened to Father Earth
Dear old Dad, the Sky God, what was his name?
Is he up in that great cocktail lounge in the sky,
Kickin’ it in a 6 martini orbit?
Nobody remembers that much about Father Earth.
He never talked much.  Did he have a woman on the side?
Had he already shot his load somewhere else?
Or was he just the strong silent type,
Brutalized by his experience of being caught up in the war
Between the ancestor spirits, the Norse Gods, and Yahweh?
Respect him?  Oh, we respected the hell out of him.
But if we ever went too far in asking him questions,
The response we could count on was a stony silence
Or else “Go ask your mother…”
We wanted to live out his dreams, we loved him so,
But he would rarely tell us what his dreams were.
Why did Father Earth have to cut out so soon,
Before we really had a chance to get to know him?
We have only the foggiest notion of him today.
It’s like he went out for cigarettes and never came back.
If he left us something, it must be with the Earth Mother.
Dear old Dad, the Sky God, what was his name?

1st Poet In Space

“What do you like to be when you grow up?”
‘A astronaut!’
“A astronaut?”
‘A astronaut.’ (–Mix Master Mike sample from Anti-Theft Device: “An Astronaut.”)

Look down, the Great Wall looked like a chromosome chain.
Look out, there were more stars than cells in my brain!
I’m the first poet who went to outer space, earth lubbers!
Let’s say I won a little lottery, bribed a trusty Russki a million buckskis
so I could spend a day on Space Station Mir
far above the fightin’, feudin’ and fussin’ down here.
Did I ever tell you that’s why I don’t have a million?
And there’s a reason I was never on track to become President
win the World Series for the San Francisco Giants
become a diplomat, a scientist, even a lawyer.
It was my destiny to be the first poet in space.

I’d heard space was cold, so I needed to prepare.
For weeks I walked around in my underwear
studied Relativity in case I encountered a time warp
worm hole, black hole, cosmic string, anything like that.
After the Russian space people had been paid off
I was brought along on the mission as a “noncosmonaut”
spent six months training clandestinely at Star City
to ride that surplus Perestroika rocket- whoooo!
Okay, so we finally got to Mir, but guess what?

It stunk to high heaven (no pun intended), see
it’s like an old apartment that’s had a history
a long and strange succession of tenants
but nobody’s ever really moved out.
All their grunges are still there, undealt with
and the healthy Russian space diet had fucked up the space toilets.
The joint reeked from body odor, food, crap, chemicals
a few things you just couldn’t place.
That’s right, everything stank up there
and everything was sticky and slimy
and dark and broken, like the hearts of some Russians
after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Yet the first poet in space was getting hungry.
I wondered should I wait for the French to show up on Mir?
Their space grub wasn’t likely to make me throw up.
Even the Americans had better food than the Russians, I thought.
Maybe one day they’ll have hydroponic tubers with sour cream and chives.
But for now, what the heck, dig in to some stuffed cabbage tubes
then take off your tube socks and try to sleep in a sleeping tube…
But I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to read
and there’s no boob tube to watch on Space Station Mir
so I tumbled out of my tube and drifted on over to the cargo bay
Hey-hey-hey! Fortunately, I was also the first poet in space with wine.
Yeah, I went to wash down that weightless diet with a bota or two.

Have you ever tried to drink in space? Woo woo-woo woo-woo

woowoowoowoo woo woo-woo woo-woo!
In zero gravity, things come out your nose.
It’s a condition that puts the brakes on Bacchanalian ideas
like being the first mischievous naked drunk in space.
I’m telling you it’s a good thing… Cosmonaut Svetlana…
She was a looker, yes, planet huggers
resembled the one in the movie 2010.
I could have embarrassed myself easily, comrades
but I digress. Let me tell you about the accident
and why Gorbachev awarded me this bolo tie with Lenin on it.
The first poet in space was coming home via the Soyuz capsule…
& I had a nutty feeling in my gut
I wouldn’t be able to keep my trap shut
about all the wonders I’d seen on the q.t.
Ah, the wonders of infinite stars in the blackness
the ineffable feelings of joy and calm and awe
the precariousness of life up there and down here!
A tiny meteorite passed through the thin wall of the craft
opened it, koosh, like a can of Budweiser.
I like to think I helped bring the crippled craft back to earth
simply by being cool and not going boogie shit up there.
Sucking in the stale air of our oxygen packs
we dropped into a rough and bumpy reentry so steep, so hot
I believed my eyeballs would fry in their sockets.
I thought I’d be the first poet fritter from space.
Then the parachute deployed and we had a hard landing on a Siberian glacier
middle of winter, said to myself, “Face it, you’re
going to freeze to death buried in melting snow.”
But we were discovered by a Chuckchee tribesman.
Shortly thereafter I took some of the steaming yellow broth he offered.
It smelled familiar and not at all pleasant.
I tasted of it anyway and began to feel funny.
He had eaten of the fly agaric mushroom, amanita muscaria
and was passing on the psychedelic soma to me
in the time honored tradition of his people.
He helped us to the village and I was tripping hard.
I was about to ask the chief to go another bowl
so I could have more benefit of the god juice.
That’s about when the KGB showed up to whisk me off
to the archipelago for debriefing
so fast, believe me, my head was spinning.
Pazhaloosta vse stanite, whatever…
On my honor, your honor, that’s just how it happened.
I swear to the Great Nonexistent Supreme Being, mon General.

They didn’t want to publicize the near disaster
and explain this “noncosmonaut” being along on the mission.
Sworn to secrecy, I was given a pat on the back
and Mikhail Gorbachev sent me this bolo tie with Lenin on it.
Only after glasnost could I tell my story.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t given Oleg A. that million
but then I wouldn’t have been the first poet in space.

And now, a foretaste of the book project “Do You Follow Me? : Fragments of The Jura Lama as interpreted by Trungpa Bumbleché”…

The Story of My Life

I try everything that doesn’t work
until I finally find this
one thing that works:

Required of My Associates

All I require of my associates
is that they fix things for me
and tell me I am doing a great job.


The trouble with alcohol filled chocolates
is there’s a battle going on
between the chocolate and the liquor
and this confuses me.
I don’t understand; am I drunk or am I fat?

Note from Your Trungpa

I am not your teacher so much
as I am your attendant.
Do you have enough fresh towels?
You are the master.
I am just here to help you.


From PO FU and the forthcoming collection “Uncommon Knowledge”:

Epic Janitor

I am Janitor, son of Janus,
the god of doorways, the two-faced god.
Welcome to my bothy, my toolshed.
My flashlight Examiner shows the way.
My wrench’s name is Arm Wrestler.
There is no handle, knob, valve or
nut it cannot loosen, even in this room.
My special screwdriver is called Revolution.
It turns any screw: flathead, roundhead, Phillips head, sheet metal
woodscrew, machine screw, countersunk, or tamper proof.
My drill is labelled Impatient Bore.
My mop is Ocean Vanisher
my two sponges, Greater and Lesser Absorbancy.
With my rag Disaster, I wipe all surfaces clean.
My broom’s called Dry Squall, my dustpan Ground Hugger.
Names have I also for my separated trash cans, even.
They are All Consuming, Avid Reader, and Heavy Drinker.
My occasional helpers don’t understand
when I ask for Never Full and Almighty Gopher
I mean my bucket and my trowel.
Would you be surprised I call my drop forged hedge clippers Babylon
and my stepladder Stairway To Heaven?
My needlenose pliers go by the appellation The Quidnunc;
there are no secret recesses they cannot penetrate and work in.
Finally, when I pick up my bottle of Blue Skies From Now On,
I am about to show you how I do windows.

Loki on top of Bruce Litz’s drawing for Epic Janitor

Two slightly updated versions of pieces from the cd “Look What the Cat Dragged in Again,” to be included in the book “Uncommon Knowledge”:

Lucky Man

One of my ambitions is to be so successful
I become a pub quiz answer.
Before that happens, I will probably have to fill out
a lot of application forms.
Just once I would like to truthfully fill in the blank
where it says “occupation.”
I would have to write “lucky man,”
lucky like King Rex at Mardi Gras, kinda.
Yeah, Show me something and I’ll throw you something!

I appeared to be well adjusted to mediocrity.
My strategy was to simply keep doing what I was doing
dicking around the building
holding down my little super job
until something better came along
I got major nonprofit funding
or my Pick Six came in.
It was an easy job, really, but
my responsibilities included staying on top of the situation
when disaster struck and we were in some state of emergency.
During the Northwest Power Outage of ‘96
I called my friend Mel the security guard poet
to see how things were going in his building up in Marin…
“I have been running around, going up and down stairs
banging on elevators, checking alarms.
I have been working for 2 hours,
can you believe it?!”
I can relate, I commiserated. I’m active up to 2 or 3 hours a day
3 or 4 days a week around here under normal conditions.
People like us shouldn’t have to work at all.

Still, at that pace I should be going strong at age 82.
In fact I might have to keep working that long
considering the way Social Security seems heading.
Finally, my ship did come in. Never mind what ship. It came in.

Even so, I still need a vacation now and then.
When my partner and he checked into the New Orleans motel
the girl at the front desk didn’t look up
asked of me, Do you want to use your AARP card?
That got me to thinking about other people I’d run into on my trip.
Weird Old Harold, a trailer park person
or was it long winded Larry the psychologist from Cleveland?
When I tell someone I’m a performing poet they usually ask
“What do you do for a living?”
Well, unlike most “professional” poets
I’m not a teacher, I told him.
But I do almost everything else
poets have done traditionally to get by.
I’ve held down this and that part-time or temporary job
after my 9 to 5 experiments ended in screaming matches.
I’ve accepted patronage and my girlfriends have always worked
– the mistress hasn’t cost me up the yingyang
(and you find two can live as cheaply as one-
picnicking, watching free shows
going to art receptions, restaurant openings
clipping coupons, buying on sale).
And I travel about practically giving away my poetry
but occasionally I am rewarded more than fairly.

Actually, I am King Rex at Mardi Gras- here, you need some candy
some color, some something!
Oh yeah, show me something and I’ll throw you something.

Of course I come from a respectable family
and I have held down a hundred different jobs, but nothing
you’d really call a career.
And now, though I can’t really sing or tell a joke
and I may be a shameful reprobate beyond help
there’s something to distinguish me
from all the other assholes up on stage spilling their guts
(I believe it and I leave it to you
to figure out what that is.).
Yeah, Show me something and I’ll throw you something!

I’m a lucky man, so I live handsomely on a beautiful portfolio
of stock certificates, cd’s, real estate, royalties
windfalls, dark horses, lotteries, sweepstakes, football pools
echoing orgasms, seat cushion money, ground scores, and shake
(the change that falls out of peoples’ pockets on carnival rides)
class action suits, good karma, good vibes, good luck; it all adds up!
My whole existence is dedicated to being a lucky man.
I’m a lucky man, born and bred.
Laissez les bon temps roulez, hey-hey hey en la bas!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you very much
Harry or Larry or was it Laurence?

Every Eight Seconds

A recent study showed that a person’s average attention span in listening to a speaker is eight seconds. I hypothesize that a type of alien abduction may be responsible for this. 

Poof! Did you feel anything?
Where have we been for the last eight seconds?
She wanted me to do a load of laundry.
I remember that much.
What happened to that dollar in my pocket?
If I put that hammer on the counter
does it mean anything?
What I want to know is
are we constantly being abducted?
It would explain a lot of things.
Did aliens come and get me again just now
bug-eyed little grey men with spaghetti arms
Walter Keane paintings gone bad
come to take me to an operating table?
There it goes again.
Feel the time slip?
You dozed off.
We’re not paying attention.
Every eight seconds…
There! Where were you?
Where was I?
In fact, who am I?
This t-shirt’s kind of tight on me.
Did I leave the clothes in the dryer too long?
Got the little grey men blues.
Did the Martian Dr. Mengeles
come again just now?
You know they might be responsible
for our sperm counts going down
with all those samples they’re taking.
Then again, they might be seeking a cure
for infertility- I don’t think so!
Stop that, stop that..! Stop abducting me!
I wandered away again at this point.
What was I thinking?
She wanted me to do laundry.
Omigod, the t-shirts!
Did you see me leave the room?
Were we all hypnotized
put back in split seconds?
They can do that
if their time sense is different from ours.
Aliens gotta work fast
if they’re all that fragile.
They must be quick
since they’re dying
and trying to breed with us.
No time to put on the romantic moves
the aliens wanted me to break it to you.
We’re all maybe being abducted
every eight seconds.
You don’t know what I’m talking about
or do you?
Damn, this has got to be one tight t-shirt.
Fucken strange to be here sometimes.
How odd to find a dollar!
Good to see that hammer again.
I’ll just go about my business
like nothing happened.
Guess I’ll go close
that spackle container I left open
last time they took me.
Peekaboo, they abduct you.
Now you see me, now you don’t.
                           –Whitman McGowan


2 thoughts on “Immortal Musings

  1. The Masked Man of Poetry
    Whitman McGowan strides into the coffee house like Jesse James riding into the county seat. He pulls up at a chair like Frank at a bank about to go inside for a six-gun withdrawal. All the poems in his holster ring impatiently outloud as he dismounts from his feet and ties his eyes to the crowd. Whitman McGowan’s mind is secretly scheming how he can hold up the audience for all the laughs it’s got. Whitman McGowan signs
    up on the reading sheet. A few readers later he’s up on the stage to read. Whitman McGowan reads a poem about cold Paris. Everybody cracks up like ice cubes in hot water. And just as he is ending his last hysterical line, he gallops off the stage in a cloud of comical rhyme.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s