Sunday, July 8, 2018

A.S. Coomer Starts Off the 1950s Poetry

Photograph by badgreeb RECORDS

Tonight I'd like to start off our poems inspired by musicians born in the 1950s with A.S. Coomer's tribute to Tom Petty (1950-2017).  You may recognize some of Petty's song titles and lyrics.  

And what an unlikely duo...
by A.S. Coomer

Another Wilbury’s died
seems the devil’s been busy
as have the carrion bands,
circling purveyors of a dirty world
slapping together unwarranted & haphazard versions
of “Free Fallin’” & “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

Congratulations, you gravediggers
Petty couldn’t have been far
into Heading for the Light--eyes upturned & peaceful,
knowing it’s time to move on,
looking for a new blue moon,
seeing Tweeter and the Monkey Man
waiting for him at the End of the Line--

When some Jokerman, bad impression of a southern accent,
goes all or nothin’ for all the wrong reasons
“Into the Great Wide Open”

You don’t know how it feels
to hear someone butcher “Wildflowers”
The best of everything sucked out
straight into darkness

Yes, the devil’s been busy
& you’ve been had.

This next poem appeared in Thirteen Mynah Birds.

Flirting with Disaster
by A.S. Coomer

My mother lost everything
she owned
in house fires.
She smokes like a goddamn chimney.
Always has.
I guess, we all flirt with disaster
in our own terms.

I tend to spend too much time alone.
I’m not good on my own;
you see, I got these itchy fingers
and bad ideas. I got this circling mind
and backload upon backload
of misplaced time and it all makes me
I guess, we all flirt with disaster
in our own terms.

I know people with fixations,
addictions come in many shapes and sizes,
it’s not all brown bottles & little plastic baggies.
They tend to bumper-car through life,
shielded, however scantily, by ideology, belief,
substance or everyday wishful thinking,
leaving a little tread here,
a little rubber bumper there,
until they’re skating,
as the old proverb goes,
on thin ice.
I guess, we all flirt with disaster
in our own terms.

And isn’t this sounding like a song?
Something loud, bluesy, abrasive,
sweating right along with the cheap,
domestic light beer on top of the rattling, busted amp?
I’d make it one if I could play lead
but I’ve always been out here,
on the off-beat,
in a jerk and sway rhythm section
no one wants to listen to anyway.

“Sing it, brother.”
Yeah, all right. Just not tonight, ok?

Long Wind Blowin’
by A.S. Coomer

There it is
That long wind blowin’
talk talk talkin’
Enthused & glowing purple
with himself
Stroking words
Page after page
of the mother fuckers

Now he’s singing
& I’m the last leaf
on the Rocky Mnt aspen
Praying for something

--bring on that cold winter’s wail
Let it pluck me from my perch
Drag me through the damp dirt & piney needles
with the rest of the fallen--

with a little more substance
than that long wind blowin’

A.S. Coomer is a writer, musician, artist and perpetual rain dog. His debut novel, Rush’s Deal (Hammer & Anvil Books), came out December 11th, 2016. The Fetishists, his second novel, was published March 20th, 2017 by Grindhouse Press. He is co-editor of Cocklebur Press, a small, independent poetry press. He runs Lost, Long Gone, Forgotten Records, a “record label” exclusively for poetry. Five of his original compositions were recently featured in the Museum of Americana's The American Songbook. You can find him at, &

I'll finish up with some music.

"Refugee" has always been one of my favorite songs by Tom Petty:

Here Tom Petty plays "So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star" with a version of the Byrds (Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, David Crosby, John Jorgenson, and Steve Duncan):

Petty's cover of one of Gene Clark's songs, "Feel A Whole Lot Better" is pretty well known:

I'll finish with a recent live version of Petty's "Wildflowers":


  1. My Petty-bragging rights: we got to his next-to-final show at the Hollywood Bowl, and I'd never seen the place so packed (including Santana's Supernatural tour of earlier years). We met people from all over the country that night too. Sorry he had to go but very glad I got to see/hear him before departure.

  2. Incredible selection here!

    Very entertaining works.