DECONSCRIPTION-Writings of Curtis Cottrell


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The tanka is an Chinese verse form that eventually evolved into the haiku. The tanka has five lines with the following number of syllables:  5-7-5-7-7; a haiku is just the first three lines.  Each verse becomes an image in a narrative sequence similar to a comic strip or the story board of a movie.  Sometimes an emblem in the first three lines is reflected in an envoy in the resolving couplet.

Acid Rain


Don't you know, even

A rainy night in Tulsa

Can turn satanic

When the oil refinery

Lets off sulfur dioxide.


The Art of Etching


Poet William Blake

Died quietly in his sleep.

One moment he breathed,

And then the next he was gone.

If you live right, you die right.


Beyond Romantic Ritual


Eyehategod's guitar

Feedback king Jimmy Bower

Has lost his woman.

She passed away in her sleep.

It looks like God hates Jimmy.


It means nothing when

Jimmy says that God is dead.

The will to power

Gives shape to reality

When God says Jimmy is dead.


Blood Money


The army's better

At identification

Of casualties:

In the Iraq invasion,

There are no unknown soldiers.


Gold star mothers bask

In oligogues' weregeld glow

Blinded by the glare

A hundred thousand dollar

Bounty from the claim jumpers.


Go for easy dough.

Do you face a life of toil?

We've got blood for oil.

Be the first one on your block:

Have your boy home in a box.


Burning Down the White House


An electrician

Can repair faulty wiring;

Faulty reasoning

Needs an expert logician,

Or replace the whole unit.


Cool in Aerie


New Orleans gumbo

Rice maintains integrity

Swimming in gravy

Soaking up spicy flavor

From our freshest seasonings




High on the mountain,

The vulture eats my liver,

Beak between my ribs:

When I gave the gift of fire,

I knew that this would happen.


The Gap


Gen X is unknown.

Gen Why doesn't want to wait

For the hand of fate.

Gen Z is still deep asleep.

Asleep, yet perchance to dream!





Death kit for Susan Sontag,

December '04:

When you succumb to cancer,

Illness is not metaphor




Training vines--easy

If you go the way they grow:


So don't start them at the top

And expect them to fill in.


Get them going low,

Then you weave them together

When they start to climb.

Then the sturdy older stems

Will support the young shoots' growth.


Ides Odes


I think that I hear

The voice of god loud and clear.

It's just Don Pardo,

The offstage announcer who

Use to be on Jeopardy.


What saved his life was

Tying his hands behind him.

The knife's jagged edge

Would rip hell out of his heart

If he tried to pull it out.


Shake spear in my face,

Face bludgeon against rapier;

Our sapient wits

Take all things in good humor

Until we wake up and rise.


My gifts to the world

That never gave much to me:

I want you to see

Our flag of freedom unfurled

By presents of poetry.


Kelly Keller


Who's Kelly's killer?

In the lineup are Jim Beam,

The notorious

Jack Daniels and George Dickel,

Top shelf usual suspects.


Eunice was her home

The Cajun prairie heartland

Keller's Bakery

In hub city Lafayette

Is run by cousin Kenny.


New Orleans was next.

Kelly managed Dash Rip Rock

Setting up their tours

Connecting herself to the

National indie network.


Her love of music

Brought her to Black Top Records

The production end

Digging deep into the earth

Preserving the roots of rock.


Kelly's Circle Bar

Has spokes radiating to

Memphis and New York

Chicago and Atlanta:

Axis of the underground.


Shake a tail feather

With brother Andre Williams

Or hold up a toast

To the tale of Dolemite

As told by Rudy Ray Moore.


Die Rotzz "Nuke the Whales"

In punk rock's "One Chord City"

With guest star Dee Slut

Himself long associate

As roadie for Dash Rip Rock.


We can picture you

On the September morning

When they found you blue

Now we are grieving over

Our golden grove unleaving.


Live Oak


In Audubon Park

At the heart of New Orleans

The Tree of Life grows.

Joyous leaves reach for the sun;

Somber roots run underground.




Greater New Orleans

Sure ain't no chocolate city--

More like Fudge Ripple

With big scoops of Rocky Road

And Heavenly hash with nuts!


Pits vs. Preps


A wail of feedback

Wavering with each wiggle

Of the whammy bar-

Is the singer overcome?

Do we control the machines?




After the battle

The Prince awarded Audley

Five hundred a year

For service against the French.

He gave the money to his squires.


"I might have been killed

Without the help of these four

Doing their duties.

It would be discourteous

To leave them unrewarded."


Whereupon the Prince

With utmost noblesse oblige--

Not to be outdone--

Gave Lord Audley six hundred

For courtesy to his squires.


The Quincunx of Ragtime


Get that primal beat!

Hey, bones and tambourine men,

Won't you play for me

That rump titty tum ta tee,

So we can all move our feet!


Retro Techno


I own not only

A rotary telephone,

But stone age weapons:

Oklahoma tomahawk;

Attakapas arrowhead.


Can you imagine the look

On the face of that woman

When she asked Will Frank

What kind of Indian he was-

"I'm a Slapaho!"


Roll Out the Marley


Was Hurricane Bob

Rastafarian rapture?

Hundreds disappeared,

Flying away to Irie

On the wings of a prayer.


Shiva Me Timbres


Cast yourself before

Juggernaut, the warfare state:

Carnival pageant

Of greedy military-

Industrial complex thugs.


Cast fate to the wind,

And the whirlwind you will reap.

Mount the hill of skulls

Where herds of swine race headlong

To cry, "my name is Legion."




It's really your brain

I want to inseminate

With my love of books:

Your inspired conversation

Framed in folds of gray matter.