Roger Dorey
Blues singer/songwriter, poet.



RIGHT THERE (at the wide open door of an empty box car)

In a second hand record store, I am captivated by an unusually large, vintage poster of an early 20th century Illinois Central freight train heading south through Mississippi.

Within the long procession that follows the metal muscled locomotive, my eyes are fixated right there at the wide open door of an empty box car.

I dream of a time and place long before I existed, long before I was born


But luck and money only tie me to the plastic and glass city of my present like a fast track that keeps running in circles, to work, to home, to work, to home, to work, to home.

I do not ignore the fact
I am blessed with many good friends and family but there are extended moments I feel
a searing physical panic of being alone, something gone wrong, as if what I really want in life is suddenly passing me by.

I am not afraid of the future, I have faced every tomorrow to date.

But with no disrespect, I don’t necessarily welcome the science and technology of this century as my fate.

I wonder if the young college student behind the counter would  have an “Old Hickory” cotton  knife I could use to cut myself into the past right there at the wide open door of that empty box car while I still feel the passion for adventure burn within my heart.

Then I would light the poster on fire.

(C) Roger Dorey (January 3, 2016) *


We cannot retire into glory, in some armchair kingdom, commanders of our satellite TVs.  We need to drive tonight like we are madmen, some edge inside compelling you and me.

There’s a bar just off the road map, there’s a band well off the charts.  They’re trying something different, they’re playing from their hearts.  Maybe its a hit & miss situation, maybe it’s a moment of truth.  Maybe it defines why we keep living, long after we’ve abandoned our youth.

When emotions collide and stars align, channeled through the music from the band.  No where else can give us this joy of discovery, that personal reward for being an Original Fan.

I ain’t ashamed of my past, but I’m not stuck on yesterday.  I ain’t afraid of tomorrow, I’m open to going that way.

DON’T BE AFRAID to be original (even if being a fan) it’s a unique situation!

(c) Roger Dorey (March 12, 2014)





I’ve just had that drink
You know
The one that takes the edge off a tough day
Sets the mood
Dictates what’s gonna roll out
And tonight, I feel good
I feel lucky
Yeah! Real lucky
And that’s good
Cause it seems
Life is coming down hard on me
Like a personal vendetta
A grudge that ain’t over yet
So I’ll take whatever I can get
And run with the luck
Like the way
A dark blue suit feels against a short red dress
Not with alcohol
And not that rich crap
That drowns you in Wall Street paranoia
Over Consumer Price Indexes and Government Long-term debt
Real comfort
Enough to slide through life
Like an open G chord on a Fender Telecaster
Everybody’s groovin’
And she wants to dance with me
I must be dreaming…

I think I better go now
Before I do get loaded
And not on money
Cause I feel the way
A dark blue suit feels against a short red dress
Real Lucky

From the Book
Urban Blues Poetry to defend your soul against the
impending domination of globalized indifference
to personal emotions


Some night, I’ll be driving down a deserted back road
Midnight, mist rolling off the pavement
And I will hear his voice,
Rolling up behind me like a phantom 69 Charger
And this time I will stop and write it down word for word
Because he never did

Like the days in his life
He pulled his poetry out of his hat
Just like that
No trek through the woods
To find the roots of nature
No epic pilgrimage
To find the voice of god
No immersion in the classics
To find the essence of post-modernism
Never fought with the language
Never agonized over the structure
Never met a sentence he couldn’t finish
The grand master of the carnival
He was stand up, open mic
Off the cuff, over the top
Poetry slammer
Long before the slammers knew their grammar
He was good
Very good
And ever the charismatic showman
He wore the Jack of Hearts
Up his sleeve
And introduced his smile
As a billboard for the next great spectacle of amazement
A testament to the spoken word
The tragedy being he made it so simple
No one took the time to take him seriously
And most of his “best” stuff
Became sleight of hand
Now you see it now you don’t
All part of his now legendary vanishing act

From the book
Nobody rides for free

Anthology in memory of
Michael Trace McWhirter

Thee Hellbox Press

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