RD Armstrong (Raindog)
    Strongly influenced by Bukowski and the Beats, Raindog’s poetry has raw power and masculinity, but also tenderness and humanity.  Stately capital letters at the beginning of each line contrast sharply with sudden line breaks and boisterously short lines. He tells us what really happened, how he really felt in direct and vigorous language.  This is poetry by someone who’s been around, who knows life, someone who’s been battered but who has survived and come out the stronger for it. There is bitterness, there is irony in this work, but there is also sincerity and nakedness and he even has the courage to be sentimental on occasion, contrary to what creative writing teachers and academicians tell us is cool.  Like Bukowski, he tells us what it’s like to struggle, to be a poet, to be an outsider, to be unglamorous. And we relate to his words, because his truths are ours, too.

The Swirling Dust

The body that was once a man
That waits for the embrace
Of the cool earth
Lays on a simple platform
Surrounded by a few friends
Waiting for the service to end
Waiting to be lowered
Waiting for the first thud of dirt 

This is not the Streets of Laredo
There was no final gun fight
Only a life-long rebellion
No one bangs the drum slowly
Or plays the pipes lowly
But the body draped in the
White sheet still deserves
Our reverence

The dust swirls around
Both the living and the dead
It doesn’t differentiate
Nor does it judge
The death of an old alcoholic
A rumpled old poet

Adios mi amigo

My Dream of Death

It is mostly about
Missed connections
Things I never completed
And women I wanted to screw

The house I never built
Or bought
The family I never started
The wife I never married
The college I never went to
Places I never saw
Trips I never took
Friendships that didn’t work out
Things I wanted but never bought

It was a dream that rolled through the night
Waking me several times
For bathroom breaks
And scaring me into thinking
That the next section of the dream
Might be the one from which
I’d never wake

2012 R.D. Armstrong (Raindog)
R.D. Armstrong was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the January 2012 Second Sunday Poetry Series