2017-So Long Suckers….

31 Dec


As I wait for the foul year of 2017 to sunset, sink into history and fuck the fuck right off I listen to Buddy Guy’s “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues” and that may be the song of 2017 for most of us with semi-caring hearts, intellects, sense of compassion and an appreciation of an outdated concept called “facts and logic”. I was fortunate enough to see Buddy Guy live this year…now I see it as a foreshadowing to this last minutes countdown of the year. It was one of the greatest live shows I’ve ever experienced, at 80 the man is a machine, a force, a true original and the last of the pure greats. Most people that pass for musicians or singers/entertainers cannot enter the universe that Buddy Guy inhabits. Talent does not lie or require lip-synching or costume changes. I had the most wonderful partner for the show too. She held tears in her eyes at the raw talent and joy of witnessing Buddy Guy. She is beautiful, the show was beautiful and the blues is beautiful. It felt important and sure enough…three months down the river….I understand why.

Love has been up, down and difficult this year for sure and why shouldn’t it be? The number one question on dating apps now are “Did you vote for Donald Trump?” or the strong weed-out statement of “If you voted for Donald Trump we are NOT compatible” and why not? Get that out of the way quick because if you did vote for the greedy vulture than it says a lot about your character and I doubt we would fall in love, apparently many others feel the same. The current political climate makes love very challenging, just as it can be challenging to be in a sustained good mood, especially for a political junkie such as myself. It has been just a bullshit political/governmental year from the get-go. Anyone who thought Trump would change for the better if we just gave him a chance, I hope you are making a resolution to not be so gullible in the new year. The pig changed alright…for the worse. It is painful to see the depths of their depravity sometimes. It is like they (Trump, his supporters and the politicians going along with him) have the singular aim of hurting/taking away from as many people as possible. If your bank account does not have nine zeros behind the first number or the bank manager doesn’t know your name or you don’t have a private jet…well you can get fucked but they will brand it as the “lower income assistance program”.

Image result for donald trump animal farm

And people fall for this. I made the mistake of getting into a drunken argument with two Trump supporters the other evening, normally I can engage in an intellectual fist-a-cuffs with anyone of any class or caliber, however, the strong drink and time of evening had me tied on the ropes before I opened my mouth because nothing worked except to resort to name calling and hoping that Trump hires their wives or daughters to work in close proximity to the swine then see how much they love him when the women in their lives are on the receiving end of what that pig deems as his due because he is a reality star. I was left feeling broken and dumb. Facts, logic or reason do NOT work with his supporters because they do NOT believe ANYTHING other than what he tells them no matter if video evidence or written evidence or Trump himself whispers it in one ear and denies it in the other. He supports neo-nazis…he denigrates our own intelligence agencies in support of Russia….he fully supported a highly probable child molester…No problem, not true. They will follow even against their own family, friends, profession or best self-interests.

This is what our country faces now…permission to be cruel and hateful…the permission to deny reality…the permission to be dumb…the permission to be gullible….the permission to have rights taken away…the permission to be cheated and then to be thankful for it. What is happening in our country right now mostly benefits only the rich and corrupt yet coal miners, construction workers, good human beings believe they too will be lifted by the grace of his greedy, greasy, tiny hand and become the 1%. Baby, there is only so much room in that club and it has reached capacity so too bad…so long suckers.

But we were talking about love weren’t we? Yes, indeed we were…you see how Trump fucks even this up? Love can be difficult, that’s true but it can be easy too I suppose, at least it seems that way. But oh well…what can a poor boy do? Except to sing in a rock n roll band. Or perhaps open more cans of beer, order a pepperoni pizza, buy yourself some sunflowers, and brave the cold loneliness and shout at the midnight Fleur-de-lis and fireworks. I can’t conjure anyone in these final hours of the year so…all I can say is we will see what happens in 2018 on the love front. Buzzfeed quizzes all say it will be my year…they also said I am a 14 year old girl who should live in Switzerland, will eventually have four daughters and if I was a drink, I’d be an iced chai with a shot of rum. So who am I to judge? The sun will rise again…and the weather will warm…new elections are coming…someone may want to fall in love with me again and they might buy me sunflowers.


Pour a glass of dumb optimism and pass out head first into the new year. Good things are bound to happen. Well, that’s the message I’m sticking with in this End of the Year screed for you. That’s what I would like to portray. Enough with the negative, that is unfortunately too simple to find these days. Onward into 2018, like a pie to the face…that can be funny and fun no?


Look for beauty. Have fun. Get weird on occasion when the moon is only full in your heart. Be fierce. Be a 14 year old buzzfeed girl. Be a voter. Be kind and considerate. Be a lover. Listen to the blues and smile. These are some sincere lessons to practice in 2018. See what happens if we can just get some of them in. There were some wonderful and weird times in the past year and I found myself reunited with some and drifting away from others. And so it goes. Maybe, just maybe by following some of the statements above things will be a bit different. I like to think things and circumstances can change.


So, in summation…Don’t shy away from weirdness….stay angry…stay involved….the United States is not normal right now…let’s not pretend it is. Fuck those people. Be creative…be open…let’s see what we can make happen….let’s just see what happens…but for now I need to open another coldie because even though the year isn’t ending great hey…who knows how it may begin 108 minutes from now.

Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues….thanks Buddy.

C. Drake, New Years blues baby

Fairytale of New Orleans

24 Dec

The wind and weather took a turn to the colder side of life but no matter….we have one another, if only in the technological sense. It is Christmas eve and Santa just hit Delaware according to NORAD, which I follow religiously on Christmas eve. In fact, it is probably as close to religion as I get throughout the year. I am proud of that because Santa at the very least makes people happy and is very prompt. We can rely on the jolly old elf. I like that and if you do not, then don’t question that lump of coal in your stocking tomorrow morning…you earned it.


Santa has different priorities here in New Orleans. He deserves a well earned break from packing up his sleigh and doling out toys and wishes to the slobs of this world. I mean if you really think about it…Santa has to arrive at Mar-a-lago and deliver something other than a sack of horse shit to the trump family. You have to give Santa credit because what can you possibly give a family of cowardly, greedy, Russia-loving, hyenas for Christmas? Perhaps he just feeds his reindeer Tijuana Taco truck chili and does a flyover of Mar-a-lago…that is a fitting Christmas gift for the trump family…I like to think that Santa is an individual of high ethical standards and stands by who ends up on what list. And if Santa needs a bit more than egg nog to get through another season…well who am I to judge? I sometimes need a little extra just to make it through the five-o-clock news.


Sometimes all we need is a little bit of kindness and Otis Redding. I like to believe that that is true and do my part to make it so. I hold doors open, I say “good evening”, I don’t litter and listen to Otis at least once a day. I don’t think the rest of the world listens to Otis as much as I do, nor do they find the healing nature of his songs. Oh well….I don’t need to see a bunch a hipsters with their giant goofball beards, skinny jeans, wool hats, ironic tee shirts, creepy mustache wearing, IPA drinking, organic latte ordering, vintage bicycle riding and horrific screenplays playing Otis on their Ibuds. Fuck those people. If we can claim anything with certainty…it is that Santa is genuine and authentic and he throws coal at people such as these. Above all else….Santa appreciates great music…that’s why so many christmas tunes are awesome.

Santa is now touching down in Toronto, Canada and that is getting pleasantly close to my time zone. This is an exciting and beautiful moment when millions all across the world share a common feeling (besides the embarrassment and hatred of Donald Trump), the anticipation and joy of waking up to wishes coming true. That is true beauty folks. That is something we tend to lose as we get jobs, dogs, plants, stock options etc.

I think I’ll end with some Louis Armstrong christmas tunes…that seems right and appropriate. Satchmo can capture almost any emotion and make us feel something other than we are at the moment, in a good way. Sometimes we have to go way way back to move forward. These days can be rough and unforgiving….this I know….but they can also be magical and full of joy…just like christmas morning…..this I know.

Anyway, take a moment and be like Christmas Eve Santa Claus in New Orleans…take a moment, have a drink and just take all the weirdness in…and enjoy.

Happy Holidays,

I’ll keep the love light burning,

C. Drake, the top elf

Read this review: this could be what you have been waiting for

19 Jan

An astounding review written by Matthew J. Hall for Screaming with Brevity, check them out at the link below. I usually do not push products or propaganda here, however, there is a time and there is a place and the eve of president pig’s inauguration (not enough whiskey in the world makes that thought tolerable), I found this review and this book, which just may be what you/we need in these gross and twisted days that are ahead. Something real, with no bullshit, total sincerity and extremely relatable. The book is available at epicrites.org and amazon I see.  Read and let someone else take the hits for at least 70 pages.

C. Drake, Burning the Evidence fan



A Review: Burning the Evidence by Todd Cirillo

Todd Cirillo’s Burning the Evidence, published by Epic Rites Press, is one of those rare collections where the poetry begins before the first page is turned. The front cover’s photograph captures a darkened place, illuminated by a woman holding an un-capped and ignited Zippo. The flame only provides the slightest impression of this mysterious woman’s right breast, a partial yet clear right bicep in a short-sleeved and striped garment and three fingers holding the lighter, the index fingernail is varnished, electric pink. Had I not been given a review copy of this book I would have purchased it on the strength of its cover design alone. And I would have been right to do so. Much like the woman of mystery, the poems she represents are stripped of the details that rightly belong to the reader. Cirillo’s Zippo woman becomes my Zippo woman as I unintentionally begin to complete her features and personality. Like any meaningful relationship, the one between writer and reader is burdened by obstacle and compromise. The following poems are clearly the work of a well-practiced writer who has learnt how to massage his reader’s agenda into submission, making clear the path for his own. He is a poet who understands the intimate and somewhat tenuous bond between writer and reader; an author who not only recognises, but utilises, the wide range of memory, emotion and opinion a reader brings to a book.

In place of the back cover’s usual blurb and praise, there is a well-chosen poem from the book, which represents the overriding theme and the pared down style of the poems within.

Today’s Forecast
The day began –
it was sunny and warm,
blue sky and barbecues blazing.
Then the wind, rain and darkness fell.
Hail shattered windshields
leaving glass thrown
up and down the street,
pieces of trees were everywhere.

I stood and looked down the block –
it reminded me
of every great relationship
I’ve ever had.
(Today’s Forecast, quoted in full, from the back cover and p 58)

I audibly groan when I think back to all the time I wasted during my early literary efforts, reading all those bloody articles on various “writing” blogs, pertaining to good writing. Almost without exception, all of those articles lamented on the woes of writing about writing; a contradiction in terms by very definition and one that, thankfully, Cirillo defies as he writes about writing poetry, reading poetry, day-to-day poetry and indeed, the poetry that comes along once in a lifetime.

In the poem, I Fell In Love With A Poet, our narrator – as the title suggests – recalls his dalliance with a fellow poet.

…her words are so good
that I will end up
stealing them one day.
Not whole poems,
but a word or two,
a line she says
when we wake up
in the hungover morning
or as she reaches over me
for a cocktail napkin,
pen in one hand,
burning cigarette
in the other
without spilling her drink,
the coolest person
in the place.
(from I Fell In Love With a Poet, p 14)

A truly terrible combination; two poets together, an unholy union of hellish personality traits resulting in this beautiful poem which brings to mind words from T. S. Eliot, immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

Cirillo’s women are, without exception, femme fatales. They drink, smoke, tend bar, hook up with weird and destructive types and on occasion, shoot a .357 Magnum with deadly precision.

Pretty Smile
It’s a strange moment
when the bartender
smiles at me
from the other end
of the bar.

I never know
if it’s because
she wants my money
or my number,
or because
she knows
she can get both.
(Pretty Smile, p 20)

True to the mystery of the front cover’s woman, this woman’s only definite is a pretty smile, allowing me, the reader, to fulfil my part of the deal by the completion of her particulars; she is a few inches proud of five foot, brunette, has a mischievous glint in her brown eyes and, like God, is capable of giving and taking away.

You would be misinformed if I were to describe this book as a collection of bar poems, but wherever you are in terms of page number, you are never too far away from one of Cirillo’s bars. They are the type of bars that no longer exist in my part of the world; visiting them in Burning the Evidence has been a wonderfully nostalgic affair. They are the taverns, pubs and bars that the heartless, money-hungry fucks have driven out of business. They are now in the hands of the greedy whose only concern is a profit margin. These are smoke free and classless. They are dressed up as family joints, which means that every time you leave your bar stool for a cigarette in the rain, you trip over a jittery seven-year old who’s running around, wired on processed junk and sugary drinks. They don’t even have a fucking jukebox!

Cirillo’s bars are where men and women go to smoke and drink in the company of like-minded people, and the bartender knows how to pour a drink and talk, or pour a drink and not talk, depending on the order of the day.

“Do you have a drink menu?”
she giggles to the bartender.
“No” the bartender responds.
“You don’t HAVE a drink menu?”
“No honey, we make it up as we go along.”
(from Shot and a Beer Joint, p 25)

While alcohol and romance are staples within this work, there is far more to this book than idle drinking and gratuitous sex.

She asked me,
“What do you write about?”
In a moment of total honesty,
I told her,
“Booze, broken hearts and blowjobs.”
(from Cash Ain’t Always King, p 56)

There are more broken hearts than blowjobs in this collection and while booze is a constant, it is never the sole focal point. In the poem, The Only Sound Tonight, the poet pays tribute to loneliness, acknowledges its sovereignty, its power to come and go, dominating as it pleases. In, Don’t Forget, friendship is Todd Cirillo, Burning the Evidencecelebrated; real friendship, of the type where knowing that you are sharing time and space, breathing in the same air as a particular person is compensation enough for all the dreary days gone and those yet to come. The poem, Who Knew, is as much a tribute to the ubiquitous she, as it is to the blues and its ability to heal. In the title poem, Burning the Evidence, a piece about the odds being stacked against the creative mind, we find an artist who knows that it is better to be killed by that which you love, than to live with all that you hate.

Perhaps, our only option
is throw gasoline all around us,
flick the Zippo
high into the air,
burning the evidence
of ourselves
to become stars.
(from Burning the Evidence, p 40)

Burning the Evidence is about intense moments of friendship. It is for those who need a little dysfunction in order to function. It is a platform for shared experience. It is made up of love poems, but the love here is a sickness, a drug, an addiction. And Todd Cirillo is one of those recovering addicts who always wants more. Not because he doesn’t know better; regardless of lessons learnt, he can’t help but open himself up to that hard-drinking poet, who has a cigarette clasped between her lips, an uncapped and ignited Zippo in her right hand and a .357 Magnum in her left.



Title: Burning the Evidence
Author: Todd Cirillo
Publisher: Epic Rites Press
ublication Date: January 2017
Price: $10.00, paperback
Page count: 70


Ride On-2016 in the rearview

31 Dec

So 2016 was a bitch of a year…ending in full Animal Farm mode, “all animals are created equal, some animals are more equal than others.” And brother, we sure as shit got the prize pig who will now be our president walking on his hind hooves and acting like the barnyard is his alone. Fuck, it is a bummer just to think of it. But that is what we have tonight; breakdowns and travesties of personal and country wide proportions for many years to come.

So what can a poor boy do? Enjoy the sultry evening, cold beverages, and with any type of luck, good company. Step out into the streets and see what gives under the neons tonight. The world can be your oyster; even if it is a rotten one. You gotta put something into the soup to make a meal…isn’t that what they say? Or at the very least I will buy a stranger a drink to create a small kindness into the year…start out with karma on my side. Yeah…I like the sound of that. Buy now so I can cash in the karma chip down the road when I really need it, when the tightrope is about to bust. Yes indeed. Got to keep on keeping on.

Ride on….that is my mantra for the new year…thank you Bon Scott. “got myself a one way ticket, going the wrong way.” AC/DC

Happy New Year folks…don’t let the bastards get you down.

C. Drake, thumb in the air

I’m Big in Japan

23 Dec

a-82294-1320092727-jpegSometimes you just have to put 1,000 miles between there and here. Occasionally you have good reason to do so, other times it is just for the sound of the engine, the clicks of the tires on the road, mile upon mile with only your eyes wide open, Tom Waits riding shotgun, and the thoughts in your mind. This is one of those trips. A high speed roll to the only spot in the country where the weather is full of sunshine and the temps are pushing 85 as the rest of the country freezes its ass off in ice, snow, below average temps and suckers are shoveling or scraping ice off of their cars every time they want to go somewhere. The stupidity of this never fails to make me laugh. “I love a white christmas” some say…yeah, well then you belong in the tundra. Me? I prefer sand over snow. I prefer a cold beer out of a cooler than a cold beer out of an ice block in the driveway.

Sometimes, I need to go to an island or some place that is surrounded by water, where animals can be cute or killing machines, depending on the time of year or the circumstances you meet. I enjoy watching water; still, waves, ripples, white caps. I am enthralled by the uncaring nature of water. If you sit on a dock or a sandy shore and just watch the water at night, dark, foreboding, creepy, and try to get one toe in, then move slowly up to the ankles, knees, waist and gather enough courage to dip in and move around…that’s accomplishment, particularly if you enter a land of sharks, gators and sting rays. But that is the deeper and darker fun. I found that watching dolphins makes life a little better. It doesn’t fix everything but for a moment…it straightens life out. Allows you a moment to freeze and focus and feel content. Like diving under water, that moment you rise and break the surface. Must be what resurrection feels like. That instant you break through the surface and breathe. That is accomplishment and I have accomplished much these past few days. I look at the stars above while floating….floating….ears have muffled by the water; up down, up down, in out, in out. I enjoy swimming at night with a beer and only the heavens above, pleased that we are the only two dancing.

In a couple days I’ll throw another 1,000 miles on the truck again and wander to another location where they will serve my kind with enthusiasm and kindness and I will be happy. Though, even if I’m a bit lonely, I’ll have a story to tell to someone.

I may not do everything right in this world, but I’m cool with Tom and hey, I’m big in Japan.

C. Drake the merciless

The Return to Paradise

20 Nov


“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things”

She told me that on many occasions, many moons ago. I think of it now as I listen to Sunday drinkers enjoying the first cool evening of fall. I have no reason why the line popped into my thoughts but it did and now so did you. And then I have to continue to follow this wicked uninvited thought pattern to the idea of where did we go? Where, in fact , did I go? It has been a hot minute since your shining narrator put the words onto the page for our enjoyment but that has all ended this evening. Yes indeed, the donkey is ready to kick!

Perhaps in the excitement of love and lust, we become lazy. Something happens when we know what’s for dinner on Thursday night at the beginning of the week eh? In all of the joy and glorious sex we drift, let our guard down and float upon words that were written yesterday. If they were good enough to get me here, surely they must be good enough to get me to tomorrow…ho ho, that’s not how it works Bubba. But what do I really know? I just admitted that I haven’t written anything here in quite some time, so why trust what I say? Because I am saying it now and today, “yesterday’s got nothing for me, old pictures that I’ll always see” Axl Rose sang that and he is right. Never underestimate the prophecies of Axl, the man has come through for me on many a strange and terrible time and I, for one, give him credit. Maybe it has something to do with the amount of writing I’ve actually done since she left, which has not all been inspired by her but jump started, yes.

So what has been happening with all that time in between? Sailing the seas, trekking the deep woods, following the Mississippi Blues trail, watching the waves, catching the last glimpse of sunlight over the asphalt of a Winn-Dixie parking lot in the panhandle of Florida, writing some, marching in parades, chasing iguanas and tequila shots in Mexico, road trips with no end, injuries and ultimate decisions, conversations without connection, loss of contact with close friends and hopeful late nights with new ones, home runs and horrible choices, happiness and chasing ghosts, goodbyes to people who have passed on, danced, mixed drinks for 15 girls in red tutus, combat boots and glitter, read about the history of the pyramids, smiled at the super moon, sipped sweet tea on summer porches, swam next to a sign that read Beware Alligators, moved forward, looked backward, ate lots of crawfish, Uber’d it Uptown, sat dumbfounded on a shitty election night, helped some in need, been used, walked the streets in Christmas pajamas, been called “a good man” and a “true bastard”, yet remained a true sucker through it all.

But this wasn’t really about me was it? It was about her.

good to be back,

C. Drake, paradise found redux



Happy New Year…High Five

31 Dec

IMG_2214Hello hello….here we are counting down to the end of the year and the beginning of the year…you are with me right?  Of course, I appreciate your company.  I hold a fifth of vodka and some cold beers for the cold night but hot music.  I am preparing myself for the end of the year stroll to the river to see Crazycloud and others, including massive fireworks and free bands from New Orleans because we have the best musicians in the world; which will coincide with reminiscing about the past year and speculating on the year to come.  I am confident that there will be some weeping followed by loud, “yeah fuck it man”‘s and high fives all around throughout the evening.  People will hook up and people will break up, people who have just broken up will hook up with people who have just broken up and they will all think it is the beginning of something better….until the sun or the dogs wake them up and leave them wondering in the morning.  “Uh-oh”!!  Hahaha welcome to the new year bitchface!!  How’s the head and heart feeling?

And I my dearest darlings am not above them…in fact, I will be one of them.  Good for me, bad for me…who knows?  I don’t judge.  So, in preparation for that stroll, I am listening to old tunes, particularly Guns N Roses, which seems a fine New Years Eve choice for some twisted and simple reason, drinking old beer, calling old friends and writing new words for you all.  I have the luxury of deciding between three lovely companions for the festivities.  I am not bragging, believe me…as out of the one really sane and stable one, the bookworm, the intelligent and creative, though not as stable one, the northerner, and the absolute creative, sexy and sexually adventurous, yet of the train wreck variety, Nola K, I have chosen the train wreck of course.  The northerner, wanted to go out, wear a nice dress, have dinner, hold hands and kiss politely at midnight, the bookworm, would have drank more, cussed a lot but expected a truly together experience.  Which are both very lovely experiences to have and to hold but my course is one filled with a very loud, unstable PBR swilling, cock grabbing, emotional Hot Mess of a thing that will probably involve broken glass, many scratches, make out sessions, screaming, me hiding and/or running out a back door at some point.  but what a way to begin the new year….just like the last year!

Sometimes I look into the mirror and say that boy must be fucked up in some way.   Call me a pig, slut, outrageously creative and free spirited…anything but boring.  But I’ve made it this far…so fuck it…perhaps I do it in style….I’m part of the too much fun club and you are not, high fives all around…good gawd, it’s starting already.  It was a very good year, with the exception of the losses.  I returned and found home, which has been a long time coming, thus fulling the gypsy prophecy of my birth…”Lord knows, I’m a voodoo child”, traveled thousands of miles across this magnificent landscape, saw the moon rise in 15 different states, fell in love, wrote many words, some quite good, danced to, not only my inner voice but many many incredible bands, begun new relationships, told tremendously creative half-truths and many more full ones.  But in order to do that I had to leave my BFF, Gypsy Punk Rock Mama along with all of my closest and truest friends of the last few years, lose a true love, leave safety and security, comfort and the notoriety in my place.  I don’t regret it at all, in fact I do not think of it….I only think of my friends and how I do miss them and wish they would move here as well…or at least visit on a regular basis because “I prefer a feast of friends to the giant family.”  Thanks Jim Morrison.  They, I miss most.

It’s a bit rainy and slightly cold but I’ve got a fire in my heart…and probably one starting in my place in the wee hours before dawn…so…whatever your year has been…fuck it…whatever the new year brings…fuck it….High Fives all around.

Happy New Year,

C. Drake, New Years baby

Boom Boom Boom Gonna Shoot You Right Down

18 Oct

Well hello there!  I am certain you all have been up to no good, which is fine with yours truly, I am comfortable in that world.  Hazy morning walk of shames, late night remembrances of nothing particular, only the sound of glass breaking.  Good for you, keep it up.  Make me proud.  Your travel guide has decided to hit the road and like the idiot I can be on occasion, chose to visit Chicago in the middle of fall but lets not kid ourselves, it is not fall here, it might as well be winter for all the grey and cold.  Leaves falling, grey skies, ice in the mornings do not make me wistful for four seasons.  Those of you who state how much you “love having four seasons, it’s sooo pretty.”  Can really kiss the donkey because there is really no such thing as a lasting season in the midwest, only weeks of something resembling a postcard moment and then it is the cold hammer of winter.  Fuck that, keep me home in New Orleans.  So why oh why did you travel up to Chicago then dipshit?  Well, that answer is simple, 1) it was paid for and 2) I have never really been and 3) my sister lives here and 4) my best friend, Tobe’ Super Balls, who I haven’t seen since Mardi Gras, is on his way at this moment from Detroit to revel in alcohol and depravity in the windy city with me.  So here I am, wandering in the Windy City.



I have wandered around and found great Italian joints, lots of craft beers but so far many of the bars appear and feel the same.  I dig the old buildings but the nostalgic part of my heart wishes they would have stopped there and kept the newer skyscrapers out of the company of what was, put them in a different part of town, but that is me and I am often caught in the currents of what was.  I love Lake Michigan and people don’t realize that the Great Lakes are as big as oceans….I like to stand on the shore of them.  Sometimes we all need to feel big.  I am into the history of this city but it is a huge city where as New Orleans feels more like a town.  I have worn shorts and barely a t-shirt since April so having all these clothes on is a shock to my well tanned body, perhaps I need schnapps, they all drink that here don’t they?  for when they go ice fishing?  I saw the biggest building, the Sears tower, which is renamed the Willis Tower but everyone still calls it the Sears tower, poor Willis.  I walked around and around and couldn’t see it, then I looked to my left and saw the sign, raised my hear upwards and there it was, I was wandering around the base of the son of a bitch the whole time.  That was funny.

I love the history of the blues here, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin Wolf, Chess Records etc and hope to see Buddy Guy this very evening.  I also laugh at the way the train tracks are above the streets and city and cut through the streets and close to the houses.


The second night I was here I asked a girl out for a drink….she shot me down….boom boom boom boom, John Lee Hooker, I love you.  So I went out alone laughing at the moment, I flew cross country for this?   I sat down, ordered drinks and proceeded to flirt with the waitress.  That went well but nowhere at all, maybe I should have tipped more?

I have spent time with my sister, big M, who is very opposite of yours truly.  But she is kind enough to drive myself and my main man, Tobe’ Super Balls, to the bar tonight and provide me with a key.  Which is generous but I am prepared for the lecture and disapproval that will arrive tomorrow morning after we arrive home tonight.  How late are the bars open here anyway?  She showed me here home and explained that two girls live upstairs.  I suggested we have a get together over drinks tonight.  I must have been smiling because I couldn’t even finish my suggestion when my sister, big M, cut me off with, “oh hell no, you leave those girls alone, I am not having you corrupt them, that’s like inviting the devil to a picnic of starving artists.”  So I won’t be meeting the neighbors unless they complain about the noise late tonight.  But I did see the spot where public enemy number 1, John Dillinger, got ambushed by the federal agents, sold out by a woman in red and drew his last breath.  That was wonderful, I have always been drawn to these outlaw sights; romance in the end I suppose.  And a lesson for me that I will never learn no matter how many times I get shot down….beware of women in red dresses who insist on taking me to the movies on a hot summer night but always stand a bit off to the side away from me.



At the moment, I am listening to the new Pearl Jam album, Lightening Bolt, and Tobe’ Super Balls texted that he is five minutes away and that means we are ten minutes away from some of these craft beers that are all the rage here.  Shit, I tell the bartenders that I drink beer that won a blue ribbon, and that’s gotta mean something these days.

Now, the fun begins, let’s see how many more bullet holes I can sustain….

C. Drake, lover of the blues and bullet holes

Fuck It…I’m Going Home

30 Aug


“What a long strange trip its been.”

Indeed.  That fat fuck hoagie eating, heroin hound Jerry Garcia sang that.  Now before all of you deadheads get your patchouli panties in a bunch, let me say this, that that man lived the way he chose, hoagies or salads, heroin or hemp oil and I admire him for that.  That earns respect in my hazy rearview.  I understand that it has been quite awhile kiddies and much has occurred in the summer wind.  Sinatra sang that, more of him at a later date.  But it is time to get back to the trip, the story and the reason I admire the aforementioned overweight minus one fingered leader of a mediocre band.

I split from Marco Island in the cool palm drenched morning, after a fantastic night of pure alcohol and fire.  I also fished with a bow and arrow somewhere in there but doubt I caught anything.  I had drank the island for what its worth and still came up dry.  It was time to move.   I chose to take the road that hugs the Gulf of Mexico so I may view the green water and bikinis.  But first I had to travel through northwestern florida.  Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, this is the deep south, complete with one stoplight towns, sheriffs who follow you very very slowly, fried everything, rebel flags adorning porches and pick-ups and Waffle Houses.  You know you are truly in the south when you see Waffle Houses and abortion is murder billboards every quarter mile.  This was true Porky’s style living.



Along the way I stopped at the drag racing museum, the holy of holies for the George W. Bush demographic, stood on the beach and hit 96 miles per hour whenever possible, made possible by my new radar detector, quite possibly illegal in every state I was driving through in honor of Big Daddy Don Garlits.




From this point I traveled on to the florida panhandle, and Gulf Shores Alabama.  I camped in Gulf Shores, Alabama and watched girls and idiots roll by…as was my wont.  I sat on the beach and watched the summertime girls do their summertime routine and realize how wonderful they all look but how dumb their choices in dudes are.  I mean can they really be attracted to a guy who wears his sunglasses on the back of his head?  It was a spectacular sunset though and I enjoyed hearing the southern bugs make their southern sounds as the night crept upon us all.  Alas, though, none of those summertime angels were dumb enough to go for a traveler in a trucker hat with a cool tent.  I awoke early and hit the road once again, listening to great tunes and smiling with the miles.  I entered Mississippi, which greets you with a friendly flag at the welcome center.



I drove along the Gulf and began to pass through the areas hit by Katrina 8 years ago, I thought to myself, “my how it has all been rebuilt and looks shiny and new, the casinos standing tall and the flags waving.”  August 2005 was a good time to have a Republican governor on your side when Katrina hit and Bush and his buddies began handing out the fat dollar rolls.  That explains why New Orleans is still not rebuilt in many areas.  I believe it was Kayne West who said “Bush hates black people.”  Hahaha that old Kayne sure says some shit doesn’t he?  But looking around at the predominately white Gulfport, MS and Pass Christian, MS etc and then the 70% predominately black New Orleans….hmmmmm ahhh well, we won’t have to pretend to worry about those people until next hurricane season.

So I trucked on towards my goal and there, just like that, as Zeppelin sang “Now, cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good,  When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move.”  I entered Louisiana.  Even the signs are different from the rest of the country.



Which brings me back to my respect for Jerry Garcia.  It was my time and this was totally my choice and freedom.  I had missed my home too much and it was time to return and become something bigger, older, better and part of history.  A poem forever frozen in the freshly laid cement.  There will be much more of the what happened and with who and how of everything went down after I arrived.  But for now, after 4,589 miles across this country, a found and lost love, sunsets and swimming pools, postcards from the road, blow jobs and blowups, state lines and state troopers and a true leap off the proverbial cliff of adventure, the only question to ask was; Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

My answer is….”I did.”



finally home,

C. Drake

Fuck It–Texas Goodbyes, Hello Fireflies..I’m Going to the Beach

14 Jun

At this point kiddies, your not-so-humble narrator has said goodbye in El Paso to a beautiful beauty.  I crank it to a good 95 mph and roll through the Texas badlands which roll and roll and roll.  I turn the music way up to provide soundtrack to this white line love affair.  I encounter multiple border patrol check points, which some will say proudly, “well hell, that’s what I’m talkin about, stop those illegal fuckers from stealing our god given American jobs for Americans.”  And they are satisfied with that.  Well dear fuck-ups, I am not and I’m here to tell you that throughout Texas, I was stopped by the border patrol numerous times and each one I was told to pass by, no problem, even though I had a U-Haul trailer behind me, never checked once.  I could have easily fit a dozen south of the border amigos in there.


Which causes me to think that perhaps a career as an American coyote might be the way to go for me.  Hell, $10,000 a head and if they make it, great, have fun working in an American food truck or hotel (cleaning filthy fuck rooms that is), or they die on the journey.  Too bad, should’ve brought more water, America land of plenty if you make it.  That is sad and may sound somewhat cruel yes, but it’s about my bottom line.  This is America and I am an American citizen goddamnit, we are entitled to death crossing borders for a better way of life. Also, every cop in Texas looks like Chuck Norris circa 1981.  Doesn’t matter white, black, Mexican.  This is a fact.  Check it out.  Wait, no, Texas sucks, as I said, so just take my word for it.  I tried to get photographic evidence for you but when I saw myself in their mirrored sunglasses, I remembered Chuck was one bad lone wolf delta force mutha back in the day so I drove on practicing my Spanish.  I had no interest in getting fisted by a federal (or local) law enforcement agency for them to laugh at later.  I trucked on like this for it seems eternity until I found a spot on the old-fashioned Rand-McNally to camp for the night.

IMG_1961On and on I drove through this shit and eventually when I found a destination to aspire to, I trucked it to there.  It was a state park some 2 1/2 hours West of Houston.  I rolled up and to my delight, the air began to thicken…the critters louder and right in front of my headlights a Armadillo meandered across the road, so I jumped out to photograph the slow bastard….as I grew closer to the beast to get a better photo, the little armored shelled bastard took off!  I mean really flew, like a drag racer.  You think Armadillo’s are slow dinosaurs but in no way are they.  The fuckers can run!!  I can testify cuz I chased that fucker through the southern Texas night like some kind of drunkard hillbilly searchin for my stash of shine.  I finally found my campsite and it was brilliant.  Spanish Moss, water, southern sounds; bullfrogs and fireflies.  I had not seen fireflies in many a year.  It was breathtaking.  I set up camp and enjoyed the sounds of the south, which I was truly in now.


I rolled and rolled through that fucked state and eventually went through Houston and then onto the coast and Louisiana.  I had reached the beautiful bayou as a light rain fell and signs advertised the best crawfish.  I enjoyed every mile.


I had an upcoming decision to make.  Make it I did.  Sometimes when traveling or just in life you have to say, what the fuck.  After dropping some of my gear off and ditching the U-haul, I pushed it hard through Mississippi and Alabama over bayous and bays and birds in the Gulf of Mexico.  Leaving the sun in my rearview.






I’ll take Florida deep in the Gulf almost as far south as one can ride.  A little relaxation and tan getting time, swimming with dolphins, feet in sand, beers in hand time.  Why not?  I deserve it.  After all, that would be true cross country trip.  North to south, west to all the way east.  So I pushed for 13 1/2 hours of driving that day.  I was delirious and road stupid by the end, driving the wrong way on one way streets, cursing out meth freaks and talking to the bugs that sacrificed on my windshield.  I was twisted and deranged and gladly would have kicked a donkey if one had been around at that time of night.  I finally crossed the state line in the dark of the evening.


I slept for 5 hours and then hit it for another 9 that day until I arrived at my destination almost 3,500 miles.  In northern Florida somewhere I was pulled over for 87 in a 65mph zone.  The cop was nice, I enjoyed our talk.  He asked if I knew why he pulled me over. I told him, “speeding probably”.  I then smiled and we talked about what I was doing in Florida.  I told him I drove from California for the sole purpose of surprising my mama for mother’s day.  He then went back to his car and the long wait began.  I saw him writing out the ticket and thought to myself, “well shit, at least he didn’t catch me when I was doing 100 a couple miles back.”   After an eternity the officer came back to my window and handed me a warning!  A fucking warning!!  What luck, must of been my mother’s day story.  I told him he made my day and he told me to mind the speed limit in Florida.  I respectfully followed his advice for the next 22 miles or so and then…..put the hammer down.  Fuck ’em all I’m eastbound and down bitches!!


Over the next week, I rested and regained my strength and fortitude while swimming everyday and watching sunsets and eating fish while drinking Vodka 7’s with lime and once again acclimating to the tropics for which I am meant to live and enjoy.


I kayaked, tried to sneak up on Burrow Owls, watched dolphins, manatees, many other fishys, and missed a boat trip because my timing was…..off.  Swam in the green water of the Gulf, the pool every sunset and back country mangrove swamps.  Drank in bars with the word “sand” in the names and watched a full moon rise over the water.  Water is my touchstone, the place where my heart explodes and I can cure a nasty hangover.  That explains my move to live below sea level and surround myself with the stuff.



I was getting my head and heart together for another 800-1,000 miles that was inevitable and soon coming.  I am after all a southern boy and it is coming on time for me to head home.  I can smell the gumbo and hear the music getting louder.  Time for another round.

Next up,  the trip home, goodbye to this version of C. Drake,

your beach boy,

C. Drake

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