In the autumn of my drifting thru the blue trees in my mind

You read me inside out my future prophesized.

I would go into the mountain its treasures memorize,

Give comfort to the darkened soul that will not be denied.

Phatman lived in your studio, your palmistry helped him score,

& the perfume that you wore mixed with the rain.


There were candles on the table, tattoos on his feet.

She had seen her share of unsavory deals & mediocrity.

I got a life line in my palm, I got a love line here in my hand.

Seen so much death & hate till I don’t take nothing for granted––

Not the rings around your toes, or Phatman’s scarlet crow,

Not even cocaine at a funeral of someone you thought knew you.


Though my fingers have their secrets who they held & why,

They are married to the universe that constantly slips by.

What’s real to you to him just don’t exist.

They say these are the weary arms his needles did inject.

My calluses are hard, and life will make you ill.

The wind & sand have carved their names on everything you feel.


Palm reader, palm reader with your scarves & hair so black,

I guess you saw it coming, how do you live with that?

Wickedness & iron fists he robbed them left and right.

Skulls & mud they covered him with visions of delight.

In the mythology of nowhere, maybe this is it.

He lived inside the shadows others only think they quit.


21 September 1997


Spoken word version from Unspoken Words.

Copyright © 1998 by Jim Cohn.