Black Dog Blue

Black Dog Blue.png

Black Dog Blue

Black dog blue
I am tired
You son of sickness
Why you hound me so
Noonday demon
I am faded
You priest of bleakness
How within me you do grow
Darkness visible
I see you clearly
Please stop asking
That which you already know
Sunlight blazing
I feel your blessing burning
I pray you help me
This interloper must go
Gene G. McLaughlin 2017

Once I Wanted For Nothing

At birth I wanted for nothing

As a child I yearned for naught

Then I succumbed to comparison

For years and decades I was caught

In between accumulation

Of possessions

And the desire to be free

From the black flowers of depression

My hoarding

Gave bloom to in me

So I took a fearless assessment

Of what caused decay in my core

And gathered a hard cold resentment

Of what made me less, but want more

Now when faced with desires

Or guided toward sadness and wants

I look at what burns in my fires

Deciding what nourishes and what haunts

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Deep Inhaling, Truth Found in the Air of Moments, Exhale



Holding court in house of caffeine discourse

Minions hear ear carefully

Actually not comprehend sound one speck

Just sitting and think minding

Do the others grasp mind hold the

No flinch flex away, truth swallows only odd tastes primarily

Or so he voice speaks smile smirking

Nicotine yellow stain soaked index fingers

Once hot coffee part consumed

Attire style bordering

Yet on purposely not quite

Style is his trend collectiveness

Follow drones can even look the part

Marx speak incessant then stopping

Momentarily class warfare farer

Next love holding Adam Smith

Like long missing brother

Deconstruction is masturbation, capitalism is crime

Either side is fine to fight for it is all for the argument anyway

Idiots are rapid reviewed

Brain speed faster than mouth move but

Intelligent eloquence is never lost

Sometimes misplaced but always returns

Where was I? Destruction is distracting

Hints clues of sad sick song in voice tone

Some partly subtle but present

Italian non-native orders coffee at counter

Ciao! Conversation ensues for a minute

Language is math with red pepper and lattice

Patterns of move meanings numbers drifting through air

Momentarily after he is wordless

Next far away untouched by daylight and bird song less

Interruptions last secondarily, then mouth opens and ideas exit

Charisma is there regardless though eyes show touch of soul pain

Lights another smoke cigarette and on to . . .




Chill-quiet state forest in the dead heart of winter

Fire tower seems misplaced and lonely

Sitting even above the tallest ancient trees

Pondering sitting amongst piles of journals, dusty volumes

Smoking cig butts in ash tray, piled high as fire tower itself

Looks much the same, recognizable in self-exile soul sojourn

Nerve ticks in mannerism, speech occasionally quickens

‘Med pills helps some, still sleep turn uneasy slumbers sometimes

Voice is shaky-thin haunted, yet still filled with life

Don’t miss teaching lecturing, miss the people students

‘I look for smoke here, it is quiet I can read, no distractions’

Phlegm mouth, water sip, lithium tongue scorch

Thirst hiss, eyes distant horizon point

‘Only one winter fire, but one section of woods blazed red to char

Lonely duty, but this place I must be, sylvan quiet calming’

Hand him a pile of word puzzle scribble grids from the Times

Mild diversions for him, weeks of intelligent torment for me

Questions asked about old friends

Doing fine not doing fine married had children dead/drunk, etc.

Smile to face thinking back to when things weren’t so night black

Short wave radio plays jazz from distant metropolis

In distance sun is dip setting, I climb down

Shaky handshakes my hand, trembling a little a battle to keep it still strong

Small smile across his face, visible emotion in his eyes

Little victory battles one recalls, when the warfare farers fight no longer




Eyes open, dark my vision

Phone ring aware now, fumble reaching

Receiver in hand, mumblings and greet speak

Deep resignation of fate driven bio inevitability

Slow walk to the car, late fall early

Night morning air feels cold damp wet upon my bare skin spots

Put car drive slick roads slow speed

Destination dark dim door ajar

Cig smoke ember-red leads way

Distant eyes non-responding dimensioned but absent

Stumble walk to dark dead dawn

Alive for some not all

Slow drive in small red car

One aside in car is so far

Destination reached

Gaze never breached

That which is

Paper work always

Slurring the word and scribbles

The effort a mountainous molehill

Not for nothing is something

The place placard states the obvious

Is this the Looney bin?

Sure why not

Was not was always has been

This is a circle but a broke shattered sullen one

I understand half way but never want to understand whole




It is summer and I sit on the carport with the outside light on reading.

He walks up from next door.

‘What are you reading?

‘A.E. Houseman.’

‘I loved A.E. Houseman when I was your age.’

‘I like Terrence This Is Stupid Stuff’

‘I read that one many times. His poems have nice order to them. They are comforting, but . . .’


‘It is hard to explain’


‘A lot of things are.’


Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

My Voice Is Weak Tonight

My voice is weak tonight

Burned by the sad black flame

I see attribution

Words I seek to blame

Its simply dissembling

The fire knows my name

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014


Broken in my own way

But I like it all right

Spackled and duct taped

Rusty and worn

Don’t have a single emotion

That hasn’t been torn

Scarred across the knuckles

Sad in the heart

Most things mostly my fault

At least in part

Just a missing button

On a worn threadbare shirt

Style is no different

With one button gone

All things go out of fashion

Before too long

Pick myself up, dust off my shirt

Head forward in time

Not a one of us hasn’t been hurt

To not keep moving is the only crime

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Engage and Exist

Some know what it is like

To let go and fade away

Sometimes for months

Sometimes for years

It is quiet in the dark

Beyond all expectations

Beyond any criticisms

Where hope is absent

And has been surrendered

On occasion

There is an emergence

An awakening

A shudder

A thought

Where did that time go?

Is it too late?

It doesn’t matter at that moment

Where you find yourself

The clock has started again

The sky is clear above

All you can do is move

With purpose without expectation

There was no shattering

No pieces to put together

It was just a slow fade


Engage and exist

It will sometimes be hard

It will sometimes not be worthwhile

It will hurt

It will be better

Than alone in the dark

The world was not made greater

By your absence

It might be

By your return

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013