Tanner Bingaman, Salvation

This post is not for a sensitive audience.

Tanner Bingaman is a musician and student based on the east coast. He has recorded a self-titled album, Family Matters, and occasionally writes poetry. He once saved the family dog from a rattlesnake. https://www.facebook.com/tannerbingamanmusic/

June 23, ’17

A kind of muggy where
testicles peel like
soggy paint off inner thighs
when walking. Went
to visit Greg and his
ass told me stories about
it kicking a neighbor
dog, Leas, 8 foot up
an’ 30 foot out.

‘We thought fuh sher that
tough sonofabitch laid
dead right there. Walked up
close and he turned out
tuh be okay.’

Dad buys a few lures,
because that is why we came,
and talk of fishin’ stories
and river’s running too high
this year like some
blasphemous, non-potable
chocolate milkshake.

Mind drifts, 10,000-yard stare,
back to many a sticky Friday;
undergrad, giddy love,
naked and giggling under
flowering tapestries and
Zeppelin III posters,

we’d leave the door wide open.


‘These women are supposed to come see me
but they never do… there’s the one
who dances with a boa constrictor
and writes every four weeks.’ – Charles Bukowski

blue cheese and chili peppers?
the Red Hot’s could have
named themselves that and I may dig
on them a bit more.

I want to be that bathroom fly
on the wall, listening to your salty piss
trickle down stained porcelain.

do all these machines of ours
set an uncensored metronome?
madness, jubilee, overzealous
batteries rack rack
racking on hearts and brains.

there’s this dream from
some film where a girl
reaches into the toilet and
pulls out a rattlesnake, rips
its head clean off
like a champagne top.

she puts the head in my sheets.

I keep waking up angry
that she put it there.

there’s a rattlesnake head
in my sheets.

Love like an ocean
Deep, bubbling, I’m frothing
at the mouth for you.


I could’ve sworn on Gram’s life, at 12, that homemade paddle cracked hard as a mule’s kick on my rear. You’d say it was for my own good, as I ran tear-streaked and face-hiding to check welts in mirrors. Pa, you gave me stories to tell around a slow-roasting fire I’m thankful for, taught me there’s more to life and town than back-row pew Sundays and managed not to turn out as that dead-beat, drunk, lazy, chair-riding father you dealt with. You told stories about him with only a smile on your face and love in your eyes that shone like constellations you showed me one cold winter eve when I couldn’t sleep too well. Somehow, goddammit somehow, you managed to cast only forgiving light on his aluminum-suckling lips, like the waters of all life lived wild and free in the confines of a compression-sealed Budweiser.


Where you see Jesus
I find Satan, or some other
cold-faced, musty masked
clown-footed hobo
crooked smiling with
sharpened fists of Condor
talons for hands.

Nina tells me stories on
how to survive the hungry
days, cooking up mental recipes
and nibbling away.

‘Man can live weeks on just
imagination and a wrinkled
pocket-picture of a warm glazed
doughnut; curved in hand like
the glorious ass of
a gal that’ll take
your soul and tuck
it snug between her

Mind’s been funny
since the dawn of fire,
Nina’s forgets words in the
wee morning hours of coffee
conversation and past
noon. But there’s nothing
I’ve found so healing;
the sanctuary of a
river’s breeze, nudging
out another story before
the day grabs hold, the
soft trailing off
of an unfinished sentence.


Casper is a pit or a gem (it’s all perspective) generously littered with private massage parlors where women or trannies rub off oil workers for an extra thirty bucks and liquor store cashiers that’ll be quick to invite you to their place to split that bottle you just bought.

In the mornings at this hotel I go down to the same watery eggs for a week and a day, hoof to a job site, grab lunch at smudgen chain restaurants. Cowboys and whores and dead-beat fathers scuff rubber and rake rancid rabbit carcasses from fenced-in road deserts called pasture or slumber off to some place they know serves burgers (all of them) and hard drinks (all of them too).

I passed enough signs reading, ‘Welcome to beef country!’ started having these visions where beef bulls were mounting one another, trampling turtle eggs and tumbleweed like mini Tike toys underfoot; occasionally one would pull out (why? unsure) for this or that reason and spit forth a mongo pecker-load of 80/20-USDA-red-40-colored ground patties ready for bun and tomato.

When you’re going insane or manic or trying then visions get weirder, kind of like (well, for example) all the creature kin around begin humping and blowing these beef loads (rabbit, rabbi, cacti, clay toads, Thai restaurants) and eventually you get to thinking on prophesies, the like it or nots, and sooner or later there are these umpa-lumpa cowboys totin’ Ripe band socks and sparkly clean shit kickers with their mouths below that endless train of beef-making ready for a cum load and furiously masturbating with hands coated in dijon mustard.

The first lady lacking pregnancy for a few days crosses by this bar stool and her burger buns catch my twitchy eye and that song I’ve been making up in the shower comes back to me with some a butter-smooth jazz accompaniment.


Baby I’ll get back to you,

La da, lada da dum.”

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