T for Tom

Breakfast Is On Its Way

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

Breakfast is on its way

Too bad for me its supper

Having not eaten at all or slept at all

And unfortunately its not because I was making love all night

To a woman who knew my name

But instead because I’m on a plane getting farther away

From the only girl right now in the world who even smiles when I’m around.

And now she’s not around and this could be my last country breakfast,

Toast and eggs,

To remind me of home.

So when it’s gone maybe I’ll have nothing to keep the memories fresh.

On the other side of the world maybe she’ll have breakfast every now and then

And think of me.


What We’re Told

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

Right when it ends it starts again

But that’s what happens when humans live alone

-they do what they’re told.

It’s a shame too because what we hear is JUMP

And do stupid things like fall in love because it’s too easy to want it all.

I want someone to call

I want someone to rub up against like everyone else

But unlike everyone else

I won’t pay with my soul.

And goddamnit if I grow old like this then and maybe then I’ll know I’m wrong.

I Can’t Think of Anything

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

I can’t think of anything

To say

To feel

To do

To make this real.

These words have no direction

No meaning

No hope

No way of working well.

I’m leaving this town

For the first time

For a long time

For a good time

For a dream and won’t come back.

But there’s always a girl

To think of

To speak of

To dream of

To help pass the time.

They always come at the wrong time

And have me thinking wrong things

And mess up my words

And change my meanings

And I can’t think of anything.

We Met In a Bar

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

We met in a bar in the same way all good things come to an end,

With lots of drinking and loud noises,

Surrounded by friends and strangers,

Trying to dance to the good songs,

Shouting just to tell our stories,

Holding hands to get a drink,

Spinning to the fast songs,

Gripping to the slow ones,

Kissing to pass the time,

Saying nice things to get in line,

Taking pictures to remember nothing in particular,

Laughing at others just like us,

Exchanging numbers because it’s the easy way,

Walking home alone because in the end it’s the only way.


Sooner or later there won’t be so much sadness left in the world

When people start doing something original.

It’s hard to accomplish anything doing the same thing over and over.

Is that why I called her?

Closer to Farther

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

All sadness can be shaken, taken from our hearts

But usually with most success when we’re taken from the heart of our joys, maybe our life.

Or at least the one we knew.

Starting new isn’t starting over if we’ve learned from lovers and ghosts of memories past,

Left searing on our minds like the worst kind of pain but wose because the rain only stops when we’ve driven off to another place.

I can expect the same bars, I can live with the same food,

But what keeps me up at night

Is sleeping alone because everywhere I go are the same people.

-Beautiful enough to dance, lonely enough to make love, but scared enough to run home

That damn place where dreams don’t die but instead buy houses

And have kids

And work to pay bills

And for 75 ill years sit in the corner as a reminder that some people achieve the impossible

But I’ve chosen to settle with the typical.


The peddle on the floor and Blood On The Tracks on the radio and cigarettes in my hand,

Getting closer to getting farther away.

I hope when I get there the people like to dance, and just maybe,

That’s a chance I’ll take.

Tapped Feet

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

I know the answer is “getting older” but why must they go?

Why is life made only for to end?

They smile as we shake hands but they always turn to walk toward their end

And I’m left walking away to mine.

Sometimes I think it’s my fault that I don’t stop,

Don’t turn around and go the same direction,

Back where everyone came from

And settle in right next to them, a safe place where things are warm and love is casual,

Filled with all the hopes and dreams that are seen filling the screen.

Just like the car they drove off in,

Clean and new and pricey,

The right one to attract the right one

And carry on home to make casual love that if done enough might end up being enough.

Why do I know the answers but keep asking the questions?

Why can’t everyone come along with me? is the same solution as

Why can’t we all relax?

Why are there still a few fighting when so many are no longer trying?

For it’s the fire

An intangible desire to be fulfilled with more than hip clothes,

Smooth moves, and a future with money.

Surely the land of milk and honey doesn’t have strip clubs and golf courses

Where the two worlds are made that never meet,

And I’m left guessing what could have been

If she had met him,

Of if we danced,

Or if we sang,

Or if we cried,

Or if we played jazz on the radio and for one day only all the world tapped its feet.

Predictability Kills

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

Predictability kills my soul

But coffee cups don’t get old

And old friends need something to do

If they have to listen to you.

So we met at the Monkey’s Nest to wish each other the best,

Shake hands and spill all the latest plans.

Who’s married, who’s dead, who’s living, who’s rich, who’s broke,

Somewhere ahead, somewhere behind,

Just talking to pass the time.

And it surprised me how much we didn’t know about the places

Both of us go.

But it was better when the words slipped to value and worth,

“What’s the point of life?”

“I’m okay with mine.”

But is it really mine and what makes that fine?

Had to sit outside to smoke,

Cars passing, people holding hands,

From the moon it must look like ants

Crawling home from work

To sleep, eat, and fuck

And wake up again

To do it again

And again

Without thinking then that we’re not any better

Than the change of weather that sends the birds

Migrating across the world,

Probably worse.

Because we don’t even leave and have things to see,

But somewhere in the middle of the bee line,

If you look hard enough

Are two friends drinking coffee wondering how did we get here?

In a Book

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

I don’t like my handwriting.

Is that a crime for a writer to say?

I thought I’d be better but the years will say

Nothing has changed in the ways I script my letters.

Always been the same since the day I chose to never know

The way cursive earns its pay.

But someday I hope

The words will say more than they look

And that’s be true if it were in a book.

I guess this is in a book.

I wrote it in a journal anyway.

Fresh Water

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

Fresh water on the ground

But this time of year

Not enough comes down

To soak the cracks

And bring right back

The life that can’t be found.

The soil’s dry all the time

And all the crops die

Under sunshine

That any day other

Would feel like a lover

If it fell on shoulders like mine.

1 hundred and 5 never sounds right

but once in a while it’s fine.

Forty-six days in a row crosses the line

And this time

The crops won’t grow.

I Have to Get Drunk

Posted in poem by johnsontoms on December 19, 2011

I have to get drunk to write things down.

Does that make me an alcoholic or someone who’s afraid?

Unimaginative or never-made are the best ways to describe

The words I pile on the pages

And the worst part is the celebrity I pay inside my brain

To keep the words fresh each day.

Even at a coffee shop I never stop to think the girls won’t watch

As my pen leads the way.

Good thing there’s beer or else we’d all see we’re nowhere near our dreams

And one day we’ll all be dead.

So barkeep! I’m here, take my dollar and smile and pour

And pay

And change

And exchange

And wave

And let me sit down to scribble out the words I hope will someday be read.