yonder comes your man


yonder comes your man,
he insists you call him captain
radiating romance,
scattering your legs like ninepins
yonder comes your lover,
bald head’s sunlit gleam
if you had your druthers
would you change him up midstream?
time to fix your mojo hand…
yonder comes your man

i know you’re thinking just today
of a quiet indiscretion
in that land of milk and honey,
where georgia bill got seven
you can wander up the backwoods from
youghiogheny to monongahela
but a river’s still a river, to you,
my sweet ophelia.
you can be born again or drowned and damned…
yonder comes your man

yonder comes your saviour,
got himself correct and good and right
he speak no ideological palaver,
he gets your guts all wet and tight
yonder comes your sinner,
with his eyes of amethyst
gets your guts tangled in the dialectic
of hubris and nemesis.
you can get it cash on the barrelhead or on the e’zy plan…
yonder comes your man

do your praying in a hardshell church
but the deacon fans your embers
he’s half a petit bon ange,
half a slick between the knees trembler
he’s your gyre of history and myth,
or your you’d go down to sulphur descender
he’s your wedding bed, your heaven/hell’s hairsbreadth
or your dark dreamt buick backseat tormentor.
he’s a voice in your head but a withheld hand…
yonder comes your man

yonder comes your second name,
your folderol, your furbelow
yonder comes you secret shame,
your unproclaimed, your afterglow
it’s suppertime, who will be fed and
who’s the second stringer
and who’s the main course when the prince of cannibals
calls down for his dinner?
you can’t throw a stone and try to hide your hand…
yonder comes your man.

This entry was published on 11/07/2013 at 1:56 am. It’s filed under amc and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

36 thoughts on “yonder comes your man

  1. I don’t much write songs, I don’t enjoy it and I’m not especially good at it. But the blog is supposed to represent at least an attempt at everything, so that’s why this is here. I used to like writing songs, back when I was like, 15 and played in a garage punk band called “Springsteen Sucks” (as he did then and he still does). We were just the punkest thing in all of Harford County, Maryland, I’ll tell you what.

    But I digress. This is, in effect, something salvaged from the wreckage of a great idea for a poem I had back at the start of, maybe, 2009 maybe the end of ’08. I was trying to do something that captured, for me, that sense of everything tearing apart – on both a personal and a world-around-me level that I was feeling swept up in them – some things spinning away so fast, other things closing in and getting dark. The man and the nation dissolving.

    It proved too big for me to write, because I’m not really good enough a writer to carry that level of gravitas off. But from the notes for the poem, a few things came up – “The Cat’s got the Whooping Cough” (which I either recently read or will very shortly read on Blog Talk radio, apparently), “It’s the same thing, you just give it a different name” and even the opening to the rather flawed glory of “House where Patsy Cline Lived” – and this one, a real slow grower that I had no idea what to do with until I got the idea of closing the circle with it. The circle being, the first blues song I ever really dug was an Elmore James song called “Look on Yonder’s Wall”, which contains the phrase “yonder comes your man – which, in this case is the figure of whom, the mystery of sin and redemption which so fascinates us or our increasing madness for earthly messiahs who will, through some preternatural exertion of the faith or will we lack, make it all better, or make us feel better and blameless about ourselves – whatever level you want to look at it on, ties our modern tribulations back to those ancient ones that I first heard in Elmore James that wintry day on the Susquehanna c 1984. Plus it gave me a good excuse to play the banjo and NOTHING impresses the ladies like playing the banjo.

    • NotResponsibleAmy on said:

      The insight here is valuable, because it only dawned on me that you had that wider thing going on after I read this – I read the initial text far too simplistically

    • Your singular dedication to impressing the ladies via either poetry or banjo playing is truly heroic! I don’t know if it counts as being impressed, but there isn’t a writer who has been able to get my guts as wet and tight as you do in quite a while.

  2. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People | tarnation and eudemonia

  3. As always, your rhyme is inventive and fearless. Your words betray your ambition, but the rhyme has its own clever charms.

  4. It ‘s good to see and hear you back. I feel really disconnected from the old community so reminders like this make me very sentimental.

  5. Saw your first reply there. This is a song. It sounded like a song the moment I started reading it. I don’t know where you get your weird magic, but there is something so inherently comfortable and uplifting about the way you do poetry that I stand pretty much in awe, and eternally miserable that we only hear from you once every couple of months. You are great. But I figure you know that already.

  6. Love this. Such flow…chronological story. I dig it.

  7. oh very cool…loved the recording… i used to write a few songs as well every once and a while…haven’t in a bit…but maybe…

  8. Great verse Seb and really enjoyed the track, you are a talented man!

  9. Myke Todd on said:

    You have, without doubt, struck lyrical gold… Glad you provided the detailed overview of this piece… I was feeling it, from outset to end, and now I have a better understanding as to why… and that part about banjo players, it is pure truth.

  10. Ninepins? That’s an odd little reference. I like the way you can pick this up and look at it from all sorts of different points of view, that’s cool and the narrative arc is nice but it doesn’t have that sense of “bigness” that, say, “The house where Patsy Cline lived” has – for all whatever you believe it’s failings to be – this does have a sense of being constrained by it;s won forms and the discipline required to make it fit that. Also, once you hear the recoding, it is impossible to unhear the lyrics outside it – the way you phrase the line “gets your huts all wet and tight” makes more powerful sense said that it does written. Nice to see you back, though. I’m going to post something to celebrate!

    • Originally, you know, it was going to be “duck pins”, which is logical, but I worked in “ninepins” as a little details for K, being she is from the land of ninepin bowling. I agree with you on the inability to unhear the story outside of the recording – which is one of the disincentives to towards making the recordings. But I do like pickin’ on my old banjo!

  11. David Eric Cummins on said:

    Awesome! Very Dylanesque sound…And I love the “youghiogheny” reference. I only live a few miles from the source of the Allegheny.

    • I always find it’s the interesting and ironic disparity between north and south – Yankees navigate by rivers and southerners by roads and rails, which seems contrary to stereotype. To me, rivers are women and roads and cars are men. I thought the notion of a woman wandering through the unexplored country of womanhood and drowning herself in it was deliciously cruel and cautionary.

      It’s sort of very these-days Bob Dylan, isn’t it? Right down to the Hoochie-Coochie-man (or, in the case Jean-Genie) bounce he likes to use. I like his recent stuff a lot, but it needs more banjo. he knows where he can get me when he realizes that 🙂

  12. The level of detail here is really impressive. You’ve always known how to get inside a woman;s head and ramble about, touching all the wrong buttons,

  13. Yeah I can dig it. It’s not anything too radically new, but the scope of the condition you’re examining here is impressively huge.

  14. I really enjoyed the recording, but did experience a slight urge to try to beat the tambourinist around the head to keep him/her on the beat.

    • We should do a duet, Katherine! We totally should!

      (just after the third verse, you hear a loud pop on the tambourine – that’s the palm of my hand going through the skin, Things did get a little rattier after that)

  15. Love this (you and the banjo)………….. Such a sweet turnaround dancing. Love it, Seb. ~ Me

  16. This just struck me as kinda cheap. Your stuff, little of it that we see, it’s really stuck in one place and time now – the last poem you out showed a refreshing break but you seem to be back in your little rut now and you need to challenge yourself because, unlike most of the writers we hang out with, I know you can do better

  17. Your poems always make me feel so American!

  18. lindastoria on said:

    I don’t have any furbelow. I had a brazilian,

  19. audreyhipbone on said:

    Sometimes, maybe, its not so good to have a choice!

  20. marlamountp on said:

    Cocky, swaggering, awesome!

  21. thatbiatch1982 on said:

    This is cute but not really memorable.

  22. Banjo? Oh, I’m melting already… and I sang jazz for 35 years in clubs. Only recently came around to bluegrass, to country, to the “other” American music.

    Gotta tell you, Seb, this is glorious. Every incarnation of every bad match is in this poem. Your rhyme scheme, the rhythm (which, as a songwriter, I so appreciate), all of it… I read it twice, second time aloud for a friend of mine who’s in town. He was also impressed.

    Great work, man. And yeah, Springsteen, the forever Suckfest!! Amy

  23. isiscambassassassassian on said:

    The dialectic of hubris and nemesis. That’s a much better band name than “Springsteen Sucks”!

  24. Again, the slow romance of the South in your words.

  25. “he gets your guts all wet and tight”…I just f***king love this…

  26. Fi Fi Five Oh on said:

    What’s really interesting here is that you don’t really appear in this poem at all, apart from that cautionary voice in verse two – you’re clearly no her man and you’re not one of the tempters – which is a little out of step with your ual offering in which you show yourself as being very capable as being either of the antagonists here.

    Oh and “guts all wet and tight” IS just killer. That made me quiver where not much makes me quiver lately…

  27. jennyotis32179 on said:

    Just found your blog at random. You have so much cool stuff!

  28. Gede Prama on said:

    visit and Thank you for writing which is quite good and best wishes always, and greetings

  29. oh so brilliant Seb – love the bit about scattering legs like ninepins (is this about spiders getting it off though?)!

    • No, it’s a little double pun 🙂 My inamorata is from Texas and in Texas they have nine-pin bowling instead of ten-pin, so it is just a wry little tip if the cowboy hat to my little cowgirl sweetheart,

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