Feebles in Night, Second Edition

A word arrangement by David Blue.

Copyright 2022, Extratone Media
No rights reserved.

Cover designed by Catherine Trehy and Kaleb Martin.

Second Edition
ISBN: 0-692-66135-2

Author’s Note - Feebles

When one finds oneself with a warranting quantity of recognizable talent in word arrangement, but lacking in the discipline required for a respectable profession, I think a collection of this kind is a sort of inevitability. Feebles in Night is the aftermath of some five years of wholly irregular and nocturnal thought spillage and nostalgic memory fragments, but I have made my most valiant attempt to compile it in the definitively optimal manner for reader enjoyment, reflection, or inspiration. You’ll note my tendency to play with wordage - sometimes violently - but such is the privilege allowed me by this medium. From my perspective, it is perhaps the most essential quality to my works’ originality. It is my sincere hope that some soul-derived insight and value will be manifest for yours.

David Blue
Columbia, Missouri, USA
December, 2015
- - - -

Lifetime Membership

Belt-driven attic fan,
Hearing punctual freight trains in the heavens
already willing it to rub off
Hard at work,
the chamber pot,
cracking leather
on the relic

Schwinn over
Main’s embossed crossing
past absentee-doted bushes
over the driveway’s entry
jagged canyon
two creaking screendoors
…(leaves, leaked)
pat the mouldsteps
to the twineswing
by the naked bulb’s pullchain
with the best view of
the forgotten sandbox
where one could excavate
clump’d plastic Shermans
and creased Army men
under the baby-powdered
bathroom’s drain
and remember
The Bomb
and smell death

It’s not good for it
Suzanne, at least?
I tried to cycle a gritty cap gun
but cowboys bore me

It’s just candid cadence
so his pacemaker’s ok,
How tiring
Tear a whole day from Kiwanis’ year
Examining up and down,
an auger under load
…than Ghandi,
superior lucidity
Asked politely to soften on the organ
(pot-luckers absentmindedly exchange recipes and are es vee peas)

Granola flakes on colored paper
but Slim was always with me
from Peoria,
thru-front flaring
nibbling on a ham sandwich
with a splintry broom
entombed by the fireplace
under die-casts and lanyards
and taboos

Bite me, Cold
I’ll stop at the y-lot
No isn’t always no

Blacksheep from the secret tower rooms
since forgotten stage wiring
is infinitely more enchanting than
distant cousins’ water balloons

Mesh-umbrella’d cheap labor
born around her open switches
and chandelier moods

I leave my body for the knobbly ceiling
note the Lutheran taffy wrapper
in my pocket
- - - -


The swath of energy,
swivels over chaff
and stalk,

I come down from the great pinging creature
through the rainbow’d pockets of heat
it’s already released
I’m always thinking about the loyalty of gauges
like simple friends or
the starchiest click’d acquaintance,
they point as best they can
to the truest truth of the moment

Communication is never tangible
but it can be aspired to
through it
you can tame voids or
in haste,
consume the fawn
bedded neathe the stalks
or ignore the odor
until the flames lick out the hopper

Tell me

how the brigade goes
earnestly chaining
so we’ll visit at the bar later

Even hacking up black dust,
I am grateful
for my hours of seeing it
through the panoramic window
of the county bathysphere


I spin with my feet
my right hand outstretched
if I go fast enough
I feel the air
on the pads of my fingers
A cool counter top
summoned in any time
or orientation I desire
If I could eat it,
it would taste like sherbet
It’s too bad
there wasn’t ever any mystery
in the marble smoothness of my
own little atmospheric disturbance
even when I was too little
for my hand to make an audible whistle
- - - -

To My Little Tractor

I heard that you’d found a new family recently
and I wondered
how strange it would be for anyone
to do with you the things we did once
without knowing my name

I think about the condition
of your fame
as you approach your centennial
and what people will say
and what they haven’t

I remember the day we met
and an old white display
covered in ashes

I was military marching
through a muddy field
full of tired old implements

Some had rusted beyond identification
Others were clinging to the better side
of the line between usefulness and nostalgia

It was so wet,
the ground didn’t seem itself
It absorbed my cold rubber boots
They made sucking noises
in tune with their smacking against my calves

You sat with your ridiculous face
Your fading orange paint

That big black cylinder with the flush pulley
I couldn’t stop staring at it

Some bolts were missing

Your wide bus steering wheel
that left black grit and an old
smell on my hands

I laughed at the placement of your
pedals and the deckplating noise
they made when depressed

I looked right and left
and saw your cracked tires peeking
above those old gray fenders
like shoulders
in perfect symmetry

The inside of your wheels
attached to orange drum brakes with a mechanical rod

I pushed and pulled your shifter
through old gears
(without synchromesh)
and watched the stale boot as it
bent and split, its lips forming
some personified embarrassing function

Even your cooling fan was orange,
with the belt that drove it

Your throttle looked like an orange thermometer
When I pulled it down through the notches,
your fan sounded exactly like the great night fans on
the grain bins
(They could blow me over and hurt my ears)

I laughed,
bouncing on your seat,
enjoying the beauty in every angle

You were still a snotty little bully
among larger equipment
seventy years later

Front tires so thin,
they appeared useless
I loved watching them so much,
I once lied to dad and
said I didn’t notice their sodding
of the pasture grass as they tilted
and turned

You must’ve seemed ahead of your time
ten years after you were built
A cute accessory to the returning soldier’s
ten acre paradise

The crowd moved about the field,
following a red-striped auctioneer
like old donkeys
A mass of faded hats with bankrupt seed company logos,
denim shirts, cigarettes, and Dickies coats

I’m guessing they smoked
and laughed at crude jokes
But honestly,
I never bothered to notice

Though it was a little embarrassing when
the mob surrounded us
and the auctioneer used
the word cute
a few times

Oddly enough, we did make a pair,
you and I
A seven-year-old kid
on a tractor ten times that

We weren’t worth much to anyone,
together or apart

You’d seen as much as my grandpa
and you expected to sink down
in that mud with dignity,
holding eye contact with the old house
as it shed shingles,
both of you giggling at fate
Appear in some old farmer’s field of vision
every once in a while
In his thoughts,
even less

The picture we made humored
the murder members who’d had enough coffee,
and I grew angry

The red-striped auctioneer yelled
for someone to start you

I used a whir of little hands
to convince your starter
I pulled out your choke
You spat black black smoke
that smelled of old lubricant remedies
with exclamations on the can
The whine of your orange fan
As your blades turned
to a solid translucent pancake

I carefully modulated your controls
before looking up with pride
But all we did was stop the smiling
I hadn’t redeemed you much
I felt like crying

Somebody told me to stop your engine
and the bidding began

Nobody was thrilled,
the process reeked of obligation

I tried to figure out where your ears were
so I could cover them

But then dad raised his hand
and it didn’t seem like much of a surprise
We’d already been matched,
you and I

All the others sensed it too,
and went about their business
of concealing wisdom

And so, we came to be together
Dad’s attempts at getting you on a trailer
with a slipping clutch
bore the first time I laughed at him

I laughed again
when we drained your oil
It smelled as if it had soured
and looked like soupy cottage cheese

I laughed at
your darting travel method

Dad called you squirrelly

I’m sure whoever made you was
very confused about what you should be
Not that it ever bothered me

We mowed a lot of grass
I did a lot of sneezing
The heads hit your grill and
I wondered if you were allergic like me
Maybe you wanted some antihistamines?

We didn’t always mow straight or fast,
but we’d get the job done

Our pace and reliability equally
frustrating for dad

that evening we mowed the acre patch West
of your shed?
On top of the hill,
we could see the red sun
as it began to hide in the
neighbors’ beans
and you crawled through
yellow fescue heads,
humming in reliable intent

I know you were observing
the moment like I was
Maybe you thought,
of how we’d always be together

Twenty or thirty years from then
we would live the same scene
Except it would be somewhere a little colder
where I wouldn’t sneeze
and the mower’s discharge
would smell of tea
Dad wouldn’t be there
to be frustrated with us

I’d have my own money for gas
to pour under your flying cap

I could drive you to school
if I wanted to and
show you to all my friends

We’d participate in those stupid parades,
milling around town,
throwing candy at children,
looking our best

I’m sorry to say now
I have no place to keep you where I’m living
I’d get ticketed if I took you to school
(I don’t have any friends there anyway)
I have no grass to mow
and I’m not much fun anymore

I guess I shouldn’t regret
not coming to get you,
or my lack of time spent with you there

I know what we had is something
I’ll be trying to get back
for a very long time

Be glad you’ve aged so slowly

I leave you dotingly
with fondness and well wishes
I hope you dirty another conspirator’s hands
and that they will become a friend
who will do with you
all the things little boys
and little tractors should do


Pain is a disease
Pick one tree,
plant straight beans
- - - -


creaking plastic
camcorder tape
the noise it makes
red light catch up
it drops up the sidewalk
the sky is blue under
white veins
wrapping around
the entirety of everything
a little less organized than the ones
wiggling toward my hands
(they weren’t visible, then)
everything had some
bright label on it
the plastic seams
itch my
bug bites when
I slip
wobble wheel wing nut
chlorined urine
on the seat


Everdrear peacing edge
between missed streetlamp frontier
- - - -

On Fear of Death

It’s the smallness
of wanton regiment that
reminds one of the ever-approaching
and the proximal moments
stacked ahead to bar their dusk

The sound of the voice that
should fill a last hour and
the logistical implications of
what if have come to weigh
upon me as the leaves
as the crawling things go,
and leave me with peace enough
to hear such silence and
reflect upon the crowding teeth
in my skull
and permanence


on the Milo with his gun
hear ‘em waiting for fun
for the dust obscuring the dark
passing the Lord’s time on a VCR
I saved my voice for
Revelation on the terrace
- - - -


We gave another bushel of apples
to the sunroom yesterday,
waiting for company to show

Windows are walls,
late-rectifier in the country
The old house with
comparative vulnerability
but never stagnancy
moving more,
enough for the self
to be grape ‘n’ blueberry-speckled

……have to drone, clench
………ration attention
supper slave,
attempting to contain escape-seeking
tot lorde of constriction
………time-hung, the vicious
……wiggled ears ‘en virulent

- - - -


Live and step lightly,
young lovers
Live and step lightly,
old friend

The bounty deceives
and the sea is too deep

Seeds newly, unevenly, recently
deposited in the soil black

Walk with your old boots v’d,
joined at the back
cover them


Searching for value in tiny towns
Touching everything,
………but I breathe in every whisper of audacity
so that I can fill myself up
and become something
- - - -

Summer House

The world is my ashtray
dare I seek the sight
of the spider-laden sages
or the dour children,
or the new money-filled lake
and its endless coves of
desperate happening
Perpetually breathless,
accelerating in a fish tank


You’re the smell of the dusk heat
escaping the city
and the sound of fresh wind in my ears

I am learning
- - - -

Virginia’s Place

Browning Locust leaves begin to
blanket the little lagoon
Tendral-stumps ratchet
the bank in place

The ticks have gone away
and the corn’s tasseling
cozies the world

Overgrown chicken coop rubble
surrounds the shed,
sterilized by desolate decades

The spaceship’s on the dirt
behind the six-row

The old Oliver is my favorite friend

Reunion is always occasion
and always as I’d left it


Headed-out sneezing
honing noble posture
- - - -

Black Venice

Observing imagined gondolas on canals through my
bluegreen memory
along with my own movements
in reflection,

The rats are real,
at least

The romance of far-off water cities is
lost on me,
and the intricacy of companionship
is mentioned far too little
when the robin’s egg walls
berode cigarette smoke and coffee

Rifles on the stoop
Nature in the shag

between sleeping and waking,
the viscerally pleasant scent
of washing denim for working

Give the rain purpose and
rut the soil for a season

Broken week of fever’d
with a drink of the brittled
well’s tenacity
Riddling with clay turns bounty
to impressionably fickle reality

Earth curves away too soon
the tilled horizon
and the ill-grated gravel
upon which so many
have tried to outrun death’s
Sunday morning apparition

A little of everything
e v e r y t h i n g l i t t l e

Happiness is
a full tank of gasoline
a new pack of cigarettes
a roof for your history
where it’s admirable to
compartmentalize and discipline
one’s identity
(maybe it is)
- - - -

On Infatuation

Mothers on stilts above an
energetic boil
compressing the stream to break
the universe as wholly as I can
manage to fathom the distance
to mind the gap that is,
by clarity, widening

I should’ve tried harder to
capture the essence of you
but the few notes I knew
couldn’t contain your ambition

Only you do I allow myself
to wonder under everything,

My song, though,
is ever-growing
as you were absently reminding
where to reach
ever further,
- - - -

Escape Velocity

knoll-combed clouds approach,
suspending persistent exhaust
wretch of absent infecting
staying assured dystopic
tick-teetering defaulted ritual
……Croaking up flights
………muttering downwind
their stumbles through life

She believed what was easier to believe


Shy’s notice
I gave as much as
could be allowed
in winter’s warm
our qualm
notwithstanding nigh
adrenaline’s nudge
the vacuum
- - - -

Soul Water

in bitter
weighted clique
in the sooted

Selling whatever
and approaching some place to be saved,
or left
or dead
but included

There’s a love of
the upset condition
of leaving the bitterness in the bathroom

Fool me,
but it’s expensive
seeking and gluttoning the
spirit medicine
The muse of a thousand obstructions
frighten amassed
pulled anatomy of cowards to
the drudged rhythm

Open something unwanted for
wilting wanters

Take it
and you’ll thank everything
give it all away

What is it, now?


Instinctual attachment
to your beauty
means I didn’t want to leave
the moment I saw you,
But you are just a face
But maybe you saw me
- - - -

Savage Grace

Accompany me with your night
to our hideaway from pleasant surprise

Glide me through what trees you give
move’d about striding cruel stream

I am yours to reflect
and bear with noble assumptions
to reciprocally know across our
existential divide

to divulge few precious
cross-corridor smiles
to know with only a rhythmic zest
a favorite name

Such designed convergence!
Such intentful patience!
My escape in heavy air
accepting as last heir
to your
sanctuary of apathy
or so it seems in our newborn night
lit by nearly-familiar intermittent tower lights
to reveal a way devoid of purposeless reciprocation
remind me occasionally,
but not this night

To hum the music and dance in your
beautiful retreat with the voice
of a coincidence
of a comfort
of a pinnacle
seen in sunlight one more time
over the hedge
by old plotting eyes
that wonder’d
in dignified legacy
It was a shame

The voice of my dancer
sustains necessary function to indulge
our wary dark dabbling

Too occupied to sound off
for warmth in kind that is
appropriately distanced
in disgust
without fail,
instinctually instantaneously

Briskly striding through the blackness
without complaint
or its language,
paced by ancient intuition

Ye sure-footed sage
Ye lethal lunar predator
Killing as serenity obscured by
silence’s sleepy wool

Stitched and bound by effort’s promise

Visible only as correct form to voluntarily carry
noble titles
through nostalgic undulations


O ’ l i t t l e c i t y
o f q u i r k a n d c a l m
W h o m o n l y I k n o w t r u l y ,
a l o n e


Love yourself and go away
Tenses meander and play
through a churning human sea
The taxation of diligence
for a reserve that could never
be objectively respectable
(nor profane)
It smooths habitual language
to their most
dependably honed state
- - - -


I drove my truck to the valley with a forty

I found a little peace
I found a little respite,
as had many before me

And it’s in such an affection
that I lay

And I thanked,
In particular,

And I remember the family
in a similar state
speaking old words of past lovers
that had let themselves go

Perhaps, only in that moment,
I wished them well


Stirred sparrow storm
Where are your keenest words?
Where is your golden drum?
Could there be a man less burdened that I,
with my unscrupulous song?
- - - -

Denim Deacon

Barreled playing
reminiscent of original daydreams
but retarded by bigger desires and obligations
If you could choose to return to the place
where everything could be wanted,
would you?
From the position of some limited fulfillment?
I never arrived at the horizon
but saw of it
in passing
In me,
the need to work it
to handle it
to pull it
to yank it around the yard
Even test,
or give it a go,
at least
Lich of the heading
the shedding behind troughs
and supremely forgotten instruments
Child of the least-though-of places
still a bit insistent upon them
upon his own illumination
- - - -


By ill luminate
the suspect and spectacle
of a crowd under that duck blanket
the one on the couch
the essence of affection is,
in fact,
with the oldest of us
Every distraction falls away
for all of us
Caught always after
in cracks,
like the futile cup you attempt to hold well water with
Respect and fear play together
as they have for ages
as peoples of each Holy book,
Where are we really living?
and is it in years?
Can it be held
or kept
with enough cash?
Do you nullify sacrifice with time?
Leave it on the porch for the sun to fade
- - - -

On Collateral

We are magnetic fission
Elastic & wishing
for the tide to come back

I am as unstable
as the summer sea

Wisdom & I
at odds with mediocrity
I cannot ask you
to stabilize me

It takes bravery to kiss a ghost,
but we have little else,


Vivacious blue
kicking up dust
making loud crystals
Aimless abuse,
spoiling in gloom
Lively living,
rarely reaching
My wildest places,
all in timing
- - - -


The opulent dance
on warming current,
The anomalous pair through the little city,
Livid lightning in the gray gloom
erratic stings hovered decorum
on my sleepy peace
Default equations writ the
prosthetic in jest;
hourglass emptying
Draw of static sans
companionship of loyal light
Competent senses,
an ultimate sentence when the
clouds have so far descended
Mist of all time,


Yonder tumultuous blanket of suspended gasses will
give us a moment of privacy from the eyes of the
universe so that we may languish on the deals we’ve
perpetuated with ourselves
- - - -


Pedestrian solidity is
when the grain of the street
is swept in my hour

My hour,
when the city’s
too cold for the lonely
and sure
and the contrast
of the contact
you won’t have
owns one
for a moment of
serenity amongst
splinted trees and
resting doors


Flailing through my second Earth
over and over,
into you
- - - -

On Serenity

My silence is cosmic
and my peace is the morning
I am the mountain
and its road
I am the unseen envy
of the unseen man
My breath is rare
and my hands are poets
You could imagine the Holy night
and its shedding
When all the energy has gone
and the streets are swept,
I am life and death
and home


I was told I’m not at peace
of all things
me, not co-existing with the sleeping streets
every night while you were resting
and seeking them in dreams which you chase away

Not at peace with the trenches
I cross every day
that I helped dig
or the burrowing into the embraceless black like a
wandering wraith
The bowl of pause I volitiously jumped in
- - - -

The Other Woman

Delicate whisper notes
Fragile crystalline jewels
in freefalling tumble
down to my lips

They hang there
in a minor wail
The surface of the pool
l rippled into hills
Each crest in time
with the soft balsa hammers
my cheeks
Light linen kisses


Night is sanctuary and observatory of
Day is just the means to them
Tick in arc away the rations
and moderate considerations
I like big claims
because I make them
I don’t like winding down
I prefer to run-leap
and tumble
- - - -

River Queen

An allergy to conviction swells in the bleak face
of beauty,
cupped in my hands
over the fading red-checkered fruitile carpet
flooring the hotel lobby

I wonder if I’ll be allowed to slip for a moment
and lapse some cognitive energy
or if the cultists spy me for a cheap
bust of pounding feet

Even so far away,
I recompile while the strange metropolis sleeps,
curious for the form of conformity
manifesting before me
like dwelling in the dreary aftermath
of arranged comically diverse endeavors


The expanse could be barren
or filled with trapped cascading
ripples of you
Molding the sky to a diaphragm,
upsetting my poise
I’d like to play my part,
- - - -

Mint Monk

For me, only?
I remember our pilgrimage fondly
Our starry Spring sabbatical
With the swayful white lady
and her leather hugs
Evermore we knew for
every silent home sauntered by

Only best friends can impart such generosity, wordlessly
A piece of fatherhood,

First-hand American grace,

Artifactual sage of pure indulgences,
Neverboring partner in a time-traveling
bubble of (sometimes contentious) rhetoric
but inevitably adored by onlooking admirers
Easy-over the highways under ancient sky
Our chance to ask divine questions
and count upon sureful answers
- - - -


Cryptobotanical detergent odors
stripe the city
Luna has just hidden away,
but I still see Polaris clearly
I’m engaged in my shadowgrave,
cresting mist in duality,
The weary and their cars
as them with dew’d

As horizons bezel gradients,
startlers find no more entertainment
in the beat
and return with the owls to roost
until the city goes back to sleep


There was a different smell that
We departed the country,
but never left
Mutual youthful surreality,
kisses in the back seat

The Landing

Nodding off with the river nomads,
waking them before twilight with
down-come discoursing on Muddy’s simmering thrash

Inexplicable stirring opposite outline’d bank
as she savagely deepens
Bitter-ramp postulate,
Ever-tumbling vertigate,
with a fountain pen
and I catch a whiff of past
academic Mark-fetishing
(Polishing half-desks with shaving cream)
and I give a little tug on the knot that’s tethered me
to the quaint little village;
The outpost of lamplight
on a bend of the widening Missouri


Graceful pressure elliptically to
my lips

My hand smalled behind you
to fit,
as if
- - - -

Over Ozark

………the virus that topples
…………hourly wages

They’ve bandaged the road with
black toothpaste

We’ve come back
dreary doom impending

My skull bounces against the window
Why couldn’t his skin to the glass
be given?
They’ve reduced wing-walking, strut-hammocking,
and free-loving to bags of
salted peanuts and vomit
You could scoop the gray
from the sky with a fish net

I ’ l l p r a y f o r y o u

My bare feet lose
heat from the passing wet wind
before gaining it back
through the light
of Sol
ascending above yonder steeple
My book’s pages require a defense
from ranks of lonely morning spiders
though they decrease from
all-nighter sleepiness

My thumb rests unintentionally
on the transmit button
Our jokes are heard but not listened to

Methods methods methods
glued together;

Communal confrontation

I break too many things that aren’t mine
I’m too often forgiven

The clock on the ashen kitchen wall
whistles on the third bird
waves of sound carrying the soap smell
It floats,

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