Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Klyd Watkins

Klyd Watkins published his first poems in literary magazines of the sixties—Red Clay Reader, Poem and so forth. In the mid 60's he moved from writing poetry to creating poetry on tape recorder, refusing to write anything down in the recording process. With his wife Linda and other poets and musicians, utilizing simultaneous improvisation, and using as inspiration Native American song, breath sucking preachers, Gregorian and other forms of chant, as well as folk and country music, mostly a capella but with percussion often and sometimes guitar, bass and toy organ, etc., they learned to make poetry out loud. In 1969 through 1977 the Watkins together with Peter and Patricia Harleman released the series of lps called Poetry Out Loud. Today these recordings are still collected internationally. In 2012, De Stijl records re-released the series on iTunes. In the 80's Klyd Watkins began to pay more attention to the bass guitar, and he recorded with it and played for a while in honky tonks around Nashville. Also in the 80's he returned to written poetry (as opposed to creating it the out loud way). This second batch of textual poetry has appeared in many magazines, but especially The Temple, and of his several books of written work, two of them, Ghost Trees and 5 Speed, are still available. Presently, he both writes and creates in the out loud style. His recordings, available on YouTube and in the CD's Listen the Night and Harp All Made of Gold, now alternate between strict improvisation and some use of text. In 2004 he built a serious recording studio in his back yard where he records, for pay and for love, a wide variety of music.  


lived in the other
half of the duplex
where Froggy lived

Froggy was fucking
Marlene, ugly he said
but good pussy
and she took good care of him, fed him,
washed his clothes  He
stayed there half the time

Joe had a key
to Froggy's place
It was where from time to time
he met
Sally to swap out nookey


Mary was Joe's wife
so she knew his truck
She knew Sally's
car too
        Everybody knew
everybody and they all
knew all their cars


so Mary learned a lot
one day when she drove by


Mary started
coming around to Froggy
and Randall's
              If she'd
just a grabbed onto Frog
she might have gotten
what she wanted Froggy said later
but she made the mistake
of talking it over


and Froggy said we can't
do that, I'm Joe's friend
So they just
drank and played some poker


Froggy's wife called up
one day,
about the divorce  Froggy said
just bring the papers on down
to The Alibi
Friday night at nine


Froggy got Randall
to fix him up with Linda
Man she was beautiful
She was supposed to meet
him at the Alibi
Friday night at nine


Well Joe happened
to mention to Marlene
Froggy was meeting his wife
at The Alibi Friday night at nine
Marlene got mad and told
Joe Froggy was fucking Mary and
it was a blamed lie


Linda was at
one table, Froggy's wife at
another Friday night at nine
Froggy told them both
he would be with them
in a minute
and sat down with Randall
to have a drink and
think it over


Then Joe came in
pulled out a fortyfive
said I'm going to kill you Froggy
you been fucking Mary


Then the owner, a big ole boy,
came over and he said Not in here
you're not


Okay Joe said he would
do it outside


They sat and drank
and Froggy tried                                                                                                                   
to tell him the truth


They sat and drank till Joe
passed out
            Now Linda and Froggy's
wife had long since left together
laughing So Froggy went home
went to sleep
and he was already sober
when he felt
somebody sit on his bed
he was already sober
when he heard Joe
cock a fortyfive


Joe said
Come on outside  I said
I would kill you outside and
I will
       Well you're going
to have to kill me inside
Froggy said  I ain't
going out


but Joe talked him in
to going out
Can I put my pants on
Froggy asked  Sure go ahead
Joe said


He did
and going thru
the kitchen
Froggy picked up a little


wooden table
and broke it over Joe's head


Hit him so hard it broke
the leg off
and he beat him with the leg
he thought he was dead
and the table leg broke


Froggy woke up Randall
Said I think
I've killed, I think I've killed
Joe  Help me get him outside


Froggy was careful Never
touched the pistol
where it fell


They drug Joe
outside and Randall
said we better get
the police


and an ambulance here
He might still
be alive


Now let's think about this
said Froggy
They got another
bottle and sat on the porch
drinking  Froggy said
I think we should get an ambulance
and the police out here


Randall said  No let's drink
a little more
              They sat
and drank and Joe began to moan
and move around a little
Randall said maybe you better


get another table leg
and beat him a
little more
so Froggy did
Then Randall said let's
call the police and an
ambulance so they

It took Joe three days to die.



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