Modern American Gypsy: by David McWane Pages 1-11

(Each day a new section of David McWane’s – Modern American Gypsy will be posted)


I was tired, achy, banged up and dirty, weak, skinny, and in need of rest; my body and soul had been chewed up and spit out; open cuts, horribly bruised legs, a cracked rib and a stomach that felt like mice were breeding inside; yet it was a new day, a cool March day and time for me to stack the four journals, torn loose pages, napkins and beer coasters of writing that canvassed the observations, imagery and, what I say is poetry, that I had collected traveling across The United Kingdom and Europe.  You could see in my eyes an untold story.  I was a musician home from the war for music.  I was exhausted.

It was quiet inside the colonial farmhouse.  Still.

After dropping my bags, eating some cold chicken in the fridge with old red wine and tossing my dirty laundry in the washer, I headed to the bathroom medicine chest to find some tools that I had needed for some time.  Americans love the title Rock Star and love to use it as the nickname for their friends that play music, including me, but as I winced, looking in the bathroom mirror, filing my chipped front teeth straight again, I wondered what that title is really worth.  It was painful.  My eyes watered.  Rinsing the dust out of my mouth with wine, I put the nail file away and pulled a much more needed tool out of the medicine chest – tweezers.  I stripped my cloths off, sat down on the toilet seat and began to pull hair and lint out of the many cuts covering body.  The hair and lint spider webbed under the new scabs and pulled open the clumpy coagulated blood.  Fresh red popped and oozed out and mixed with the alcohol I was pouring freely all over the open parts of my body.  The wooden floor absorbed the drips.  The only sound in the farmhouse was the tinkering of my tools and my under breath grunts.  It felt nice to clean up.  To me it was simply patching up my suit that is my skin.

Feeling properly tailored, I ran the bath and laid half asleep in soapy, dirty, bloody water thinking of where and how I am going to organize my excursion’s notes, poems and observations.  Soap was a remember smell.  Silence was a remember sound.  And the soothing warm water baffled my senses.  I closed my eyes.  Kaleidoscope.

What you have in your hands is exactly that – notes, poems and observations of a 220 plus day excursion I took with my men.  Together, we are a young group of musicians, poor, but lucky, kind, but with rules; questionable men, with good hearts and daunting flaws.  We do not correct one another.  We do not point fingers and judge one another.  Dark men with hidden light.  We know too well our own flaws and have no desire to change other men’s.  We are one.  To crush one of us with judgment is to curse ones own limb.  We are Boston men.  Prideful men, who only smile from true joy, enjoy hard work, except and welcome labor in the rain or snow, will enter any fight where a woman is against the wall and only ask for one minute of pleasure to balance their endless days of strife.  We are good men and will stand up to anyone who says otherwise.

This adventure occurred outside the United States of America after the decimation of the Twin Towers in New York City, the destruction of the Pentagon and the bringing down of United Airlines Flight 93 over Pennsylvania.  It was an interesting time to be young, American and overseas.  Dangerous.  The men and I dealt with many late night scraps, much drunken and sober slander and pure modern prejudice.  Never did we raise a voice or a counterpoint and never did we raise a fist that wasn’t raised to us first.  Mostly.  We were simply today’s musicians – modern day American gypsies: bruised, battered, but free.  Men who bring music to this earth, addicted to sound, addicted to dance, addicted to singing and the uppity beat.  Dauntless men that were fine with hard days to come as long as there was the promise of a hot bath and a woman somewhere at the end.

But this adventure, this humanitarian expedition of music and self-exploration wasn’t all met with troubling men.  Fights.  Slander.  Or internationally, foam spitting, pistol word speak of – “You Americans.”  No.  Many friends from London to Paris, Brno to Erfurt brought us laughs, memories, hope and lucky late nights with kind women with curious eyes and, of course, too much lousy booze.  Head ache booze.  The days were spent looking at new land with wide eyes and the nights were spent burning in the flames of the romantic poetry that seems to only burn for the young.  Never was there a moment when us men moaned heavy.  We felt lucky to leave our homes in New England, lucky to see the world with only 28 bucks to our names, lucky to be young, strong and healthy, lucky to be the musicians of the time, lucky to be free and wild, lucky to be self aware enough to not be a modern day slave.  We were running young, running from the demands of out modern day society.  We were wild.  We were living our lives.

If the vinyl record of my soul was to ever skip, it would play, “Run young, travel while your spirit is still whole; become the richest you; go now!”  But if you are to listen to that scratch, then the responsibility to be smart is on you.  Pay attention.  Record this to your instincts: always look around the room, always mind your back, and the ones with you, especially when you’re soaked in lousy booze, and never be the one lighting the night on fire with booze soaked words.  You’ll regret it with a scar.  Run young, not dumb.  Keep your pride.  Develop style.  And keep at bay the women who laugh loud late in the night, gripping their glass, with both hands.  Always be helpful.  Always love your friends.  Always enjoy the small things.  Always protect the woman.  And drink your lousy booze slowly; control it, enjoy it, enjoy everything.  These are your days.

This adventure for me started clean, well showered and smelling good, dashing to a flight I was late for.  A flight from Los Angeles California to Boston, Massachusetts.


Modern American Gypsy

by David McWane


The United States of America

California to Boston


Last Morning

I became conscious before my eyes had opened.  Like most mornings I wondered – ‘Where am I’?  Keeping my lids shut I centered on the flashing colors closed eyes display when sunlight falls on the outer lids.  Orange.  Yellow.  Blue that moves like spider webbed electricity.  Playing out my life consists of traveling 200 to 220 days a year and more often than not, forgetting which house, hotel, state or even country my aching body lay.  That is my norm; that is the life of the Modern American Gypsy.  However, this morning I could smell it was California.

My eyes squinted open to find that I was on the floor of the California apartment I had been living in for twelve days.  The surfer confine was completely empty; no couch, no bed, no chairs, nothing.  The only thing you’d find is my bag, Rachel on the floor, Johnny Lamp Shade leaning against the wall and our trash.  Rachel is a Los Angeles film editor, wide eyed with spunk.  She creates joy everywhere she goes and her mouth only speaks positive words.  She can fill you with excitement with just one sneaky look.  Johnny Lamp Shade, my actor friend, was passed out cold from drinking, leaning against the wall in the corner of the room near the front door, with his cool brimmed black hat covering his eyes and nose.  He even slept like the movies.  The three of us decided to spend a month together, to join for shared artistry.  You see weird ones occasionally mix just to see what will conspire.  It was a good month.  We created much.  Stayed up late.  Woke up late.  I was rising.  My head pounded.  It smelled like guacamole mixed with the ocean.  A car alarm was finally shut off outside.  It was 7:30AM.  Friday.

I had a flight back to Boston, leaving in one hour to begin a tour that would last 200 plus days.  But don’t fret, time wasn’t too pressing, oh, no, no, no, you see, the irresponsible don’t go to the airport an hour before their flights like the rest of the world.  That’s impossible for us.  We’d sooner admit to the coppers the naughty things in our pockets.

The three of us began to break down the apartment with the ache one acquires when they’ve only eaten the last bits of a bag of chips and a shared apple for twenty-four hours.  Clothes were stuffed into bags, files were copied and triple saved, glass swept up and future plans were made to finish the few things we could only start.  An art chapter was ending.  The only evidence of us was left in a Polaroid, a medium shot of the three of us, taped with pink gaffer tape to the wall where a television would one day control the view of the room.  On it I wrote, “Who’s next?”  I felt it would be a nice “Look at this Honey, what do you suppose it means?” conversation for the next patrons.  And because it was spooky.

Time began to become an issue, we moved too slow.  Too dazed.  The night before we had stayed up late with Tim Armstrong, another artist we had been running with.  His weekly Thursday Night Horror Movie Nights were a meeting place for the rejected, but good at heart.  A gathering spot for a plethora of us who move through the shadows that are over looked from a panicked society: Punk and Ska musicians, tour managers, guitar technicians, a director named Birdman, Rachel, Johnny Lamp Shade, me and a couple of porn actresses.  A collection of grinning bandits, chomping on Tim’s home made popcorn and licking up melting ice-cream cones from the shop down the road, screaming bloody murder at the grainy Philippians’ gore classic – Brain Of The Blood.

It was late in the night, too late for a morning flight, when the last gory murder played out.  And we were all belly up with snorting laughter.

The three of us displayed new talents in achieving the hangovers we now carried.  And we now winced out our foolery as Rachel, Johnny Lamp Shade and myself exited the L.A. house for the last time.

Outside in the California sun we collected ourselves to fit in.  Three pairs of sunglasses were lifted.   A bottle of water was passed.  I wetted my hair sloppy.

Rachel drove fast, fast for her to the airport.  She knew I was in no hurry to get to my flight, so she would have to be.  I had ten minutes to get to gate 71 in the hope of plopping my ragged body and my spindly butt, down in seat E25 on flight 168 – LAX to Logan.  Rachel pulled up and before the car stopped I was out the door.

Driving off, out the car window, Johnny Lamp Shape gave me the finger.

The airport was filled with annoyed families and business travelers.  All of them sighing and moaning.

SLAP – back pockets, SLAP – front pockets, SLAP – sweatshirt pockets, ‘Where’s my ID?  I just had it.  Oh, here it is.  Here you are ticket girl,’ I thought.  I made time to flash the bubbly 5’5” short/light brown haired foxy little number, about 22, obviously itching to get out of work, a smile and she had all the time to give me a head down, look up, shy smile back.  Hot water flirting.  I stood with my arms out like a professional diver as an older security woman scanned me for evils.  The Angel, or was it the Devil, on my shoulder, I wasn’t sure, I didn’t get a good look, whispered in my ear, “You have time for a beer, there’s no hurry here”.  However, the pep talk was interrupted, when they found the first knife.

“What is this, son?” three security boys asked me in unison, with canine licking eyes.

‘Oh, that is the really deadly shank knife a promoter gave me in Hartford Connecticut after I complimented the outrageous weapon collection he had nailed to the wall, while he served me Russian vodka, bought in Russia, in the back room of his seedy club, as we were getting paid,’ I thought to myself.  But, all that came out was a stutter and a look of confusion.  Luckily enough they didn’t demand a full answer from me, because of the interruption of them finding the second knife.  I was sharply told to step to the side when they found the third blade.  One of the security boys placed and kept his hand on my shoulder.

What can I tell you, “I forgot about the three deadly knives in my bag, it just slipped my mind?”  Well, that’s what I told them.  I believe “whoops” was the basis of my argument.

Now, I’ve had my share of, “Yes, officer, no officer, thank you officer” exchanges before, so the fact that I was dead sober for this one was a plus.  Two police officers joined the three security boys.  It was worth a point and a whisper from every ‘normal’ (that’s what we call regular people in society) that walked by.  All I could think about while I was answering the police officer’s questions and being glared at by this one ready to burn the village down security kid was, ‘The men back in Boston are gonna kill me if I miss the first show of tour.’  And that’s when I realized I was about to get arrested.  I wondered, ‘Will it be 2 days, 3, or more than a week?’

I used every style I’ve learned about dodging arrest and I came out on top.  Maybe it was because I’m white, maybe it was because they could sense that a murder hijack didn’t look like it would be in my day planner, maybe it was just the relaxed California vibe of these police officers that got me out of a no-way-out situation, or, like I said, maybe it was because I was white.  What do you think?  I don’t think a black, Mexican or Middle Eastern kid my age with three knives on him would have gotten off like I did.  If it makes you feel any better though, because of the IRA, when I see the drawn curtain booths in European airports I know I’ll be spending quite a lot of time inside.  Tit for tat.

The police officers told me my options without any copper attitude.  Before I knew it, my knives were back in my possession.  Yes, they gave them back.  I was actually allowed to check them for the next flight that was conveniently in thirty minutes.  I got my new flight information and walked back to the cute ticket girl as if an end of a movie sound track was playing behind me.  She was all smiles. “What happened, what did you do?”, she asked, as excited as a high school girl, after watching her boyfriend pop some poor lout in the nose.

I took a James Dean lean, “Oh, I had three knives in my bag.”  We both laughed; she winked.

“Well don’t get in any more trouble you,” she finished with.

I apologized to my crew of now security buddies and police officers as I walked through the evil detector again.  “It happens” seemed to be the relaxed response.  An older security man came over and politely helped me find where my new gate was located and while another wanted to hear some quick stories about the band I run with.   He was more than proud to tell me all about when he saw Bruce Springsteen “before The Boss was a big star” at the Stone Pony in Jersey.  The security team, coppers, the ticket girl and the kid with three knives all had a good laugh.  Good clean fun.

I made my way to now gate 73 and thought about how the moment I got off the plane I’d have to take the green-line subway to the #1 bus, to my bass player’s house in Roxbury and just make the 2:00PM gun shot, to start tour.

But, for now, I had time for that beer.



            I would call her the Young Stewardess, but she was the same age as me, so instead I’ll call her the Brave Stewardess.

“Right, well hello gents, you all right then, bags all up top, can you scoot that in a bit more, maybe under the seat there?  Right, okay.  Brilliant.  Lovely, thanks.  Each one of you together, in a band or the sort?  Oh lovely.  Brilliant.  Mm, okay.  Legend.”

            The seven of us men sat in the long middle row of British Airways Flight 727 – Boston to London.  We had only a month prior gotten off a full States tour.  That means, we were rested, properly ready for another excursion.  Us men used the morning to pack equipment, wash cloths, kiss girlfriends: if you were lucky enough to have one, and run into the local Boston pubs to say so long to working friends.

But for now, we all had our eyes locked on the Brave Stewardess dressed in starched white, with a little cap secured wonderfully off centered.

“Whoop, here you go, she’s right here,” she says.  Smelling sweet, she bends forward and helps me find the female end of my seat belt. “Lovely, there we go.”

“Thank you Ms.” I tell her.

“Mm hm,” she says back, looking up at me smiling and then again over her shoulder two steps later.  Inquisitive flirting.

Two hours later, four of us men, me at the helm, are standing in the back of the plane with our Brave Stewardesses and three other starch white women.  They handed us canned Carling, Stella and whisky nips as if they were afraid our stomachs were lined with the dry Nevada desert.  They leaned forward, hands clasped by their side, with closed mouth smiles, beside themselves, as if we were the first American men they had ever spent relaxed time with.  We flirted like hard travelers do, hanging on each other’s words, for our accents juiced us all and we all held stares with inviting smiles.  Sandbox flirting.   Do the wayward travel to find adventure or simply find connection?   Is it all just an adventure for finding the one?  The ladies would laugh at jokes that may not have been funny and we listened to their dreams without giving advice.

Four hours now into the flight a well to do woman laying on the empty last row said in sleepy annoyance.

“Could you all just keep it down?  My god!”

“Ms. please, you have an entire row to yourself, we are fine,” responded the Brave Stewardess elegantly as she pulled the curtain closed.  And the ladies in starch white fed us more canned beer and whisky nips and we all continued to flirt and lean, stare and smile, laugh and listen until it was time for them to serve the breakfast snack, until it was time for us men to return to our seats to play it all out again in our minds.


Us men landed in Heathrow airport – England.  We were to start a tour that would take us across England, to Scotland, then to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, France again, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, then finish it all up in England and then back to the States to start another tour.  There was even talk of adding Mexico at the end of the States tour.  Which seemed likely.  By the end of the massive expedition of music and cold water living, us men would be battered and broken, disheveled and dangerous – longing for solitude.

But for now, we were at our start; hungry to live and ready to bite into the first happening.  We were told by our booking agent to find a “not so black, not so white, skinhead named Ben.”  He was to drive us.  The four of us who were drunk were told to sit and stay with the bags.  We obliged with Christian Slater grins.

With no luck, the group came back an hour later.   Four frowns.  We headed through customs, gathered all the instruments from baggage claim and went outside.  The rain was cold and as light as a cat’s sneeze.  The smokers smoked.  After we scanned the new soil and conceptualized the subtle architectural differences we noticed a small white Sprinter double parked outside and a not so black, not so white skinhead leaning on it.  Slightly.

“I assume you’re the men then,” he said relaxed with bowing eyebrows.   And scanned us all.

“We are,” I return factually.

“Brilliant then.  Well, all right yah cunts, London traffic should be bloody shite right about now, so toss your gear in the back and let’s fuck off.”

“Are there enough seats in this van?” one of the worried men let out.

“Don’t piss on the fireworks mate, Duff here will sort yah out just fine.”

            The backs of the airline seats nailed to the floor of the Sprinter were as straight as Jesus.  Three in the front, three in the middle and three in the back – gear packed high in the way back.

“Right, listen up then.  Three rules for this Sprinter here, she’s called Duff, remember that or she won’t cooperate: no puking, no pee-bottles left inside and no drugs if we have a border crossing coming.  Yah?  You got it?  Sorted then?”

We all said a stern “Yeah.”

“Well then alright yah dozy cunts, we…are…off…then.”

Ben pulled Duff straight into a roundabout and out onto the motorway.


            London traffic.  Unlock Ben’s warehouse filled with music gear – point and choose, try out and compare, then load the new amps, amp heads, and drum set into Duff.  London traffic.  Pick up ten boxes of merchandise.  Up and down three flights of stairs.  London traffic.  Enter town.  Find the venue.  Load into the club, jet lagged and hungry.  Chat up the promoter.  Count and organize ten boxes of records, t-shirts, sweatshirts, pins, patches, stickers and more.  Chat up the fans or as I call them – The Lovers of the Sound.  Drink beer.  Drink cider.  Laugh.  Hit the stage and play to 350 of The Lovers of the Sound.  Ring out and fold soaked cloths into my black suitcase, with pictures of Audrey Hepburn glued inside – my fighter plane woman.  In the back of the club dry off with a bar towel.  Eat and share with the men a found bag of salt and vinegar crisps.  Head to the front of the club to drink outside with The Lovers of the Sound on a wet stone wall.  Body steams outside.  Pack the gear back into Duff.  Get paid.  Get another pint.  Snake Bite ‘n’ Blacks for fun this time.  Paste stickers on road signs outside the venue.  And head out on foot, into our first night in England, exhausted, hungry, cursing and drunk; wet, steaming, laughing and shivering; arm and arm with old Derby friends from the tour a year past.  Cat eyes.


the unexpected reunion 

we raced to the party

stumbling and cackling

down the damp cobblestone streets

of Derby, England

water washed down the gutters,

piling up little piece of trash

making diminutive waterfalls

that gave off the sound of a natural brook

light glowed through the rain swirling

the flashing kabob shop illuminated

purple, yellow and green

on damp brick walls

and streets

carling cans were kicked

and reverberated,

fags were rolled and lit,

and everyone was a bit more

touchy feely from all the

happiness around

but it wasn’t until chas shouted,

“we can’t find the party,

so let’s follow the music!”

that our eyes locked to the distant melody

reaching us from just over

the misty church

and past

the haunting playground

we rsvp’d the melodic invitation

with a

scary saliva scream

it was all the direction we needed

my dear ella 

she’s the sweetest girl I know

when I asked her

how she met her boyfriend

she said with foam dripping

from her upper lip,

“oh right okay, um, at a party yeah

neil and three of our mates

agreed it’d be a razz

to piss on me

it was my idea right,

so, yeah,

neil was one of ‘em

guess we started going out then really”

then she laughed

a cute laugh

ella’s intelligence is creative

if allowed,

she would paint her house with a fire hose

dry it with a blowtorch

and it would be her true logic

guiding her along the way


ella’s lovesick for neil

he’s a musician,

a trumpet player

and he was going away

on tour

with the band he runs with

for two months

and that’s hard on a girlfriend


ella told me,

she’d been tossing and turning all night

until she came up with it

- her idea


ella waited

for the night my men and I

came into town

her goal was to somehow

spill her blood that night

and she did just that


ten of us

sat at a table

in the back of the blue note

in Derby, England

it’s a dark place

with a bright soul

everyone in town comes there to


get pissed

have a laugh

have a go with young birds

snog slobbery, unabashed

stumble home

and a fight on the way


ella tossed pints back

like me

smoked hash like she was

neil young

slapped back shot after shot like she was

nikki six

and swore like

dice k.


once she felt sorted ella took to the street


she crashed into a post box,

which opened her nose,

she missed the step of the curb

and opened her forehead

the blood oozed out of her

as if she was

melting from the inside

ella’s body tried,

but couldn’t contain her guts

- her insides wanted out to reprimand their controller

ella  jumped into bushes, trash cans and cars

she even tried to jump over every scooter on the street

yet was never close to clearing one

ella even tried to start with some hooligans

by chanting at them – “Swindon, Swindon!”

but once the hooligans got sight of ella’s

red liquid face


white eyes and white teeth

they moved on


she made it back to her flat


our friend,

carried her the last block


once on the couch her arms hung between her legs

her head was tilted and down


with the voice of a seven year old

she sang


quickly, take a snap of my face, of my face

would you please take a photo of my face, of my face”


chas snapped five gruesome photographs


the next morning ella walked

with a bruised smile

first to the diner for some bubble and squeak

next to the photo developing shop

and lastly to a shop that prints t-shirts


she gave the young man working there

a snapshot of her bloody mug

he screened it on a white, size x-large t-shirt

a gift for ella’s neil


weeks later

I was in Paris when neil sauntered up to me

I was happy to see that he was

wearing the t-shirt of ella’s beat face

under it was written


“my girlfriend is special”


neil explained

“yeah, mate, yeah, she is quite a unique one

I guess she made it so that no girls

would want

to talk

to me

on tour”

he pulled at his t-shirt so I could get a proper view

of ella’s

blood soaked hair

cut face

bruised eyes

cracked teeth

and winning smile

ella’s intelligence is creative

chas, neil & ella 

this may be hard to follow,

because frankly

the story

is odd,


standing in a small pub,

called the vic, in Derby England,

finishing up a warm pint of carling,

while a fresh cold one is being poured for me,

I ask for a bag of crisps and fumble

with the coinage to pay ella.

the vic is properly filthy,

with road kill smelling stool cushions

and a carpet that looks like burned brownies

dirty tables, coated thick

with a cocoon shellac

of bacon fat grime

and a smell like that of a bum

giving resuscitation though your nose

dirty glasses, worse

than an old pepsi can left to rust in the woods,

dirty old men,

dirty young women,

dirty conversations,

dirty ideals,

and a dirty pub dog that knocks over pints to lap up the brew

the stage is wet with layers of

blood, puke and spit

there is nothing outside

or around the vic.

five miles to the left

are just muddy factories

that sell all kinds of large

construction equipment –

cranes, plows, dump trucks, bulldozers and wrecking balls

to the right, is just the road that leads you to the motor way

so when you get to the vic,

you stay in the vic

I passed the next four hours drinking

stella, carling and guinness,

and playing a

mars attacks pinball machine –

the best pinball machine

to sink a coin in


ella tends bar at the vic

ella’s intelligence is creative,

if there was a riot in the city

and ella was caught in it,

the British army would find ella

as the last one standing over a pile of bodies

with a bloody knife and a smile

ella’s man is neil

I met neil last year at a house party

In Derby England,

he was wearing a

blue dress and poorly applied woman’s make up

we talked about music

like we were harvard professors

I was so caught up in the discussion that

it wasn’t until neil walked away

that I realized his cross-dress

I had simply not noticed


neil’s best friend is chas

chas’s hunger for

razzing, getting naked, bringing fear into a room,

destroying property he knows you love

or simply being creative with makeup, food and his delicates

are even greater than neil’s

if neil was a punch to the face,

then chas would be a grizzly bear punch to the face

and as chas and niel took a seat next to me

and ordered snake bite ‘n’ blacks from ella

I remembered the first night I met chas


it was in Chur, Switzerland

at a friend mike’s venue called

the safari beat club

mike is a promoter who always treats us well

he likes food, big dinners, wine, and beer

laughter, music, dancing and many other things that happen

after the lousy booze is in you

mike dared someone to do something,

I didn’t hear what,

but by the time I caught wind

of the ew’s and yucks

I saw neil peeing in a pint glass

and then chas knocking it back

with drops of pee jumping from his chin

these were proper English gents

ella, neil and chas were as famous

around England and Europe

as the first girl to develop breasts in high school


another lousy time

the three of them almost got

well beat up

was when they began walking across

ice tea’s rap-metal group body count’s performance

dressed in a donkey outfit,

at a festival in Leeds, England 

they didn’t get shot by ice tea’s entourage,

but they were very close

in their defense they simply said,

“awe come on, ‘s a proper laugh,

don’t be cunts”


what always sent me

was how the people of England

would cheer them on

the men I run with and myself

would always lift our beers

off the bar

and take two steps back

when ella, neil and chas

had their devil grins on

and their clothes off


So now that you’re sorted with how I met the cast,


back at the vic,

it was time for the band I run with to perform

I left ella, chas and niel at the bar


the performance was mental

we were playing a sweaty,

sold out show,

halfway through

ella, neil and chas,

jumped on stage naked

ella danced around like janice joplin on acid,

while neil peed in chas’s hands,

to which chas,

would then toss the pee into the laughing crowd

the crowd reached and grabbed

at the urine,

with open hands and mouths

I picked up my beer off the stage floor,

took two steps back, and

bumped into a naked ella, who had beer dripping

from her upper lip as if she had a bully mustache

she caught my eye and

licked my face – chin to ear

I stood back,

jumped up and sat on the bass amplifier

and watched the way I always do at the vic

when these three

get onto their

ninth pint


- Thanks for reading! I will post 10 more pages tomorrow. You can find Modern American Gypsy here:

And check out the bonus Poem / Audio Poem below.

Take care,

David McWane

Running With Your Arms Out
(click above for audio)

Running With Your Arms Out

Driving across the Midwest

You want to stop the car

Run out onto the vast plains

With your arms out

Feel where the sky touches the dry yellow earth


The air seems cleaner


Your pores open to feel the air and breathe

Like you’ve always promised them they would


You want to be a part of that Midwestern painting You’ve seen

You want to run through a Jon Steinbeck book

You’ve read


But you don’t

You’re logical,

And your friend

Is a bummer

“What would you do once you got out there?”

“We don’t want to get in trouble”

Finally, you’re convinced

“Yeah, I’d just pant hard, walking back to the car.”


You can’t stop the momentum of the car

Or your life

You can’t push down on the brakes

And walk out onto the earth

That’s touching the sky


But that’s not me

I always make sure I pull over

Step over the fox fence

And run

With my arms out


Running With Your Arms Out is from the book The Gypsy Mile and can be found here:

The Gypsy Mile audio book can be found at See below:

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