Tough Guy Legends

Tough Guy Legends

by Robert Cohen


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"Tough-Guy Legends" provides the reader with an intimate and provocative insight into the deeper levels of self as they touch upon the core questions of relationships and the very nature of our existence. The reader shares these same raw, true emotions and feelings of the unsaid and for some, the unthought. They may haunt them but more so they open the readers' eyes and heart with a tearing understanding and deep reflection that can motivate them to a new level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481749947
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 05/06/2013
Pages: 126
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Tough Guy Legends

By Robert Cohen


Copyright © 2013 Robert Cohen
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4817-4994-7


Far East Effects

The green machine
Lean and mean
Through the Jungle
Without a scream
Search and destroy
All that annoy
Get the rage off of your chest
A year in this terrain
Destroying your brain
Friends dying,
For their mother
They're crying,
The bottled-up stress
Becomes a mess
As it knaws away at your nerves
Then one day you start to fray.
The mind tears apart
You're taken away
The Bamboo Curtain
Makes early death certain

Tough Guy Legends—
Three Brothers

Tommy, Rob and Kevin,
Rob sought the way to Heaven,
Tommy was full of stories,
Not much for glory,
Kevin's teeth of green,
Made others leave the scene,
The brothers had such different lives,
None ever took wives,
Tommy's friend "professor" hijacked a plane,
Cause his girl dumped him – he was insane,
Rob was a pastor,
Till he found the good life the master,
Kevin always hung around the store,
His green teeth made him ignored,
Tommy told stories at every chance,
Tales of fights,
Like in the days of knights,
In the end all came near,
Into the bar for a victory beer,
Everyone has since disbursed,
In their day they were the feared and the worst.

Tough Guy Legends

Tall and skinny,
In jail years too many,
With one hand patting you for good luck,
The other hand a knife in your chest stuck,
Brush-cut hair,
Eyes deeply set,
T.B. liked few people he met,
Made threats often,
If he said you were dead,
Start looking for a coffin,
T.B.'s either dead or in jail,
Either way he's a tough guy tale.

Tough Guy Legends

You guessed it,
Built like a tank.
Panther on his arm,
Full of charm,
At the same time would do you much harm.
Once a state cop
Unfairly chopped
Not arresting his brother.
Hank's pent-up might
Let loose one night
Till no one was left to beat.
After the whipping
Hank was at the bar nipping
When clubbed with a bottle of beer.
Everyone scattered,
Glass shattered,
Hank was down on his knees.
As he got up the clubber's mouth dropped open
Hank knocked out his teeth.
Customers screamed,
In came a swat team.
Hank was out on bail.
Overnight Hank was a star
Always making the rounds of the bars.

Tough Guy Legends

Carl was as mean as they come,
His father a bum,
Beat Carl like a fool,
He took it out at school,
Red hair and small,
Whipped the short and tall,
Till he tried taking on the teach,
It was out of his reach,
Carl's head was rammed into the wall,
He still stood tall,
Beating everyone he could,
Eventually drugs ate his brain,
His mean streak still remained.

Tough Guy Legend

His opponents he'd kill,
Two hundred pounds of industrial strength muscle,
Always ready for a tussle,
No hair to pull on Phil's shaved head,
Adding to his enemy's dread,
Phil's environment was like the West,
Always a cowboy vying to beat the best,
The man with fists of cement,
A nose which was bent,
Always rocked Cliffside's bars,
Like a boxing star,
Cruisers and boozers would watch Phil brawl,
Never doubt the outcome at all,
Toughs still around,
Make the bars their round,
But the one on the hill,
The hang-out of Phil,
Still can attract,
Those with the gene for attack,
Who think they can,
Bring down the man.

The Circle of Life

The circle of life,
Some have grief,
Some have strife,
Yet others succeed,
Knock down the weeds,
If they get in their way,
Causing life's delay,
To move on to better things,
In the end these people win,
And don't have to wonder what might have been,
The circle of life goes to infinity,
Like the trinity,
Along with its faith and denials,
Some get trampled,
Some get riled,
The circle is blind,
And will leave behind,
Those who are not head-strong,
In the end,
The circle will send,
Only those who for themselves can fend.

Leave Me Alone

Do not call me with hopes and dreams,
So I can fit into your schemes,
Then you get the money,
I'm left without honey,
Its unfair to the man,
Like riding in a van,
No windows to see,
A future that can't be.

Who Knew

We awoke to the seeping of the sun through our
dilapidated college apartment window,
That was our bugler blowing reveille – no alarm clock necessary,
The biggest stressor was cramming for finals,
Then celebrating whether we passed or not,
Who knew the rumblings of war,
Slowly, silently like the enemy,
Would eventually bayonet our cerebral cortex,
Who knew the thrashing nightmares would cause separate beds,
Who knew the irritability and anger would push
away our spouses,
And introduce us to the world of SSRI's,
Just as we escaped the world of war.


Grudges, hate, revenge,
Our circuitry feeds on these emotions,
For some its an obsession,
To keep these pathways in full activation
At all times so they can constantly
Re-live the agony inflicted on their perpetrator,
Almost a life long project,
Where others see a kinder world,
Faulty brain cells misfire blurring logic,
Its as if they're swallowing poison and
Hoping others will die,
That's their idea of revenge.


Stevie's gone
Shot through the heart,
For the war
He did his part.
To the corps
He was just a number,
To his mother
He is dead.

Circle of Life

The circle of life,
Some have grief,
Some have strife,
Yet others succeed,
Knock down the weeds,
If they're in the way,
Causing life's delay,
To move on to better things,
In the end these people win,
And don't have to wonder,
What might have been,
The circle of life goes to infinity,
Like the Trinity,
Along with its faith and denials,
Some get trampled and some get riled,
The circle is blind,
And will leave behind,
Those not strong,
In the end,
The circle will send,
Only those who for themselves can fend.

Seeking Reality

My brains were scattered against a wall,
Then put together like a dealer randomly shuffling
a deck of cards,
Neurons mis-connected,
Doubts and demons showing up as plaques
Reality intertwined with strangers,
Vaguely visible through a fog,
Always thinking some day,
I would see my reflection in a mirror,
It never happened,
Instead the knife of anxiety began mutilating my soul,
Gradually destroying me piece by piece,
When every piece was hacked,
They re-appeared like cell regeneration,
Only to repeat the endless cycle of being torn apart again,
The fog clears,
Strangers are replaced with spiders crawling over me,
Six decades in a living coffin,
Surrounded by fire,
Feeling its torment,
Smelling its stench,
But never eating the flesh,
Rainbows are black and gray with swordsmen at each end,
Sticking their blades into each tear duct,
So none can be shed to relieve the burdens of decay,
Outsiders see nothing unusual,
Just another person running out of time.


Stevie's gone
Shot through the heart
For the war
He did his part.
To the corps
He was just a number
To his mother
He is dead.

Benefits Lost

The Vets are dying one by one
Marriages shattered
And the lawyers
Are having fun
The guys at the VA
With 12 years of school
Have twisted minds
From working
In a cespool.
The next war
No one is showing
Cause they know
Its not worth going.


It was Debra who lifted the veil of haze
And let me see better days
Little by little she gave me feeling
Easing me on to gradual healing
Where will you be Debra
When the veil reappears
Can you endure more of my tears
Please be there in your hallowed halls
To catch me when the veil again falls.


Ah, torches.
Those brightly lit flames that signify
A lost love.
My, how we carry this burden with us,
Not like the Olympic carrier,
Strong, proud and purposeful,
But more like the oxen of the field.
Time may soften the memory
And dampen the fire to a periodic flash,
But the burden of the oxen lives on.
Unconsciously you search the world
Never lowering the heat,
Chasing semblances and shadows
Through the alleys, amongst the crowds.
Years pas like seconds on a stop watch
And the flailing continues.
The oxen convulses, nearly falls,
The flame intensifies,
You're in the hometown you once shared
Now deserted.
The flame searing, maddening,
Phone books empty.
The maddening fire shimmers to a cool blue.
You resolve the finality only until
The next sensory trigger.

Role Model

Sidney you left and I flunked life 101
You could have fought harder
And pulled me through
But I guess you were tired too
Ever since then I whine and moan
On my path to nowhere
If you were home
Or near a phone
I could call you on 911
All your screaming and demeaning
Pulled me through the worst
And still I need a hob in the ass
To put me into the goal.

The Lost

Those that aren't handsome or beautiful,
Do they immerse themselves in dreams of bonding,
Wallow in a mist of isolation,
Maybe numb their senses with the fruit of the vine,
Deluding themselves their day will arrive,
Till then the aura of love,
Rainbows and starlit skies do not exist.


The underworld is not fire,
There is no burning of flesh,
Torment lies in the psyche,
Vacillation between
And mania,
Burns the soul.

Mind Games

You went off to war,
Your body came back,
Your cerebral cortex
Never made it through customs,
You're still looking for snipers,
And crying over the names on the Wall,
Medicine does nothing,
Alcohol makes it worse,
You want to end it,
But you're afraid of what's on the otherside,
So goes the merry-go-round.

Lost Time

The freedom I thought was mine,
Really a lapse in time,
Looking forward for things to do,
No one to help me think it through,
Soccer games I missed,
Along with a winning kiss,
Sibs are grown and gone,
No more watching them cut the lawn,
Lists of missed,
This and that,
Is endless and sharp,
Pierces my heart,
As they look for their noise and toys,
I'll always see them as my boys.

Visits With Harriet

Harriet finally trashed the veil,
Sending me through scarring trails,
Repression came, repression went,
Anxiety floated, anxiety spent,
Tears flowed heavy and strong,
Reliving years by-gone,
Six months have passed,
I'm still dying inside,
Rust filled tears won't subside,
Return the veil and let me die,
I can go on without the big cry.

Adviced Out

At 53 I have no key,
No philosophy to pass on,
To rising stars.
My light went out years ago,
After the rounds to the bars.
In one's twenties,
You have your honeys'
And its marriage due,
Then the rest,
Usually success,
Except for the wandering few,
I belong to the latter,
On a journey to where,
And too late in life
To dare.

Live Learn Die

You live,
You learn,
You die,
You pay the price or cry,
Owe the dollar and sigh,
The ins and outs of life,
And strife,
Names are different,
Philosophies the same,
So goes life with its games.

Thoughts of the Past

Finally you have found her,
But the winds behind you pushed her away,
Years later endorphins break through the levees of want,
You search the world like an archeologist,
Wondering if she's doing the same,
Like a game of hide and seek,
The final 72 inches are at hand,
You meet them forsaken,
Losing at the game,
Sealing the levees forever.

Daily Thoughts

Your're walking through the plant,
All you hear is the sound,
The line has yet to start,
Aisles empty,
Your mind strays,
What have you done with your life?
This is it?
Seven years of school, huh,
Here I am dressed like a gutter rat,
Head down looking for pennies to pay city taxes,
Rushing on my way to nowhere.

The Sum of Life

You live,
You learn,
You die,
You pay the price or cry,
Owe the dollar and sigh,
Ins and outs of life and strife,
Names are different,
Philosophies the same,
So goes life with its game.

Eye of the Beholder

To those whose beauty is not seen in the eye of the beholder,
God has a special place in His loft,
For those who have never been caressed by soft hands
In the sunlight of a golden field,
They will know that love will find them,
Just as evil lurks in the nooks and crannies of the earth,
So do the ones that seek their own brand of beauty,
In the end no one is lost or alone.

College Days

Jack and Bob lived in a shoe,
Second floor without a view,
Through four years of college,
Welfare abused,
Sipping Jack Daniels to keep amused,
Our names on the sheepskin finally appeared,
The refer through school we shared,
Cleaned and cleared,
Except for the mash we sipped everyday,
The bottles remained for the landlord's pay.


I loved you dearly, sincerely,
But I couldn't show it,
For fear that I'd blow it,
Days flew by,
I wanted to die,
You weren't part of my life,
Summer was gone,
Everything was wrong,
I fell into a maze,
Never coming out,
Just continued to pout,
Its always raining, storming,
In sight no warming,
Hoping you'll appear one day,
Until then I'll be in my maze,
Slowly sinking in its haze,
Pondering the roads I traveled.


One brother will live to see
The other die
Horror fills this observation
Yet it is fairly accurate
Innocence perception is valid
Able to see the world with clarity
No distortion of haze blowing
Through their minds
But age scathes their cells and
Generates falsehoods, untruths
Immortality is attainable
Until cells and psyches combine
Dropping the haze like a veil
On one brother's black day.

Job Jumping

I lie awake at night thinking
of my years of flight,
from job to job, like a
lightening rod, never thinking,
looking at the green grass and
To the point where I'm leaving
work true to my soul,
The economy's humming,
Now I'm slumming in a job I
hate even more,
This happens all the time,
like an inner chime,
Saying let's go, you're still
too slow,
No career and plenty of fear
That keeps going to nowhere.

Out of Nowhere

Marika with the mysterious name
No one knows from where you came
Appearing on the scene
You're area running clean
We needed you and didn't know it
Now you're here,
efficiency shows it,
If you leave this madness
Your line will go down with sadness
'Till another Marika appears

Pleasant Awakening

In the season of extended light,
When birds come in from their southern flight,
A new world seems to ensue,
As if the earth was born anew.
Soft petals of flowers
Start to open with gentle showers.
Rays of the sun grow strong
And with it a feeling it brings along,
Branches of the trees extend,
And to lovers their shade they lend.
These events go on trace by trace
The end results show the world's a good place.

The Affliction

The deepest ventricles of the mind
House the deadliest of fluids,
Which convulse the psyche upon a trickle.
One stray drop equals a living death
Of intolerable magnitude,
Beginning with the disappearance
Of one's image from a mirror,
Accompanied by the separation of various
Limbs from the body.
When that madness subsides,
A raincloud hangs just above both eyes.
You really can't see it,
But the gray haze shrouds your world.
Hideous as these ailments are,
More still follow,
With the stomach ceaselessly wretching.
The mind oscillating from steel to rubber,
Synapses misfire,
Familiar surroundings turn to foreign countries,
Thoughts ooze apart like jelly.

Spare the Defects

Of the ones with defective brain cells,
Whose neurons misfire as in a lightning storm,
Their life rendered oblivious to any misgivings,
Will the seven angels hold back their swords from them,
Will the horses with serpent tails trample them into
The bottomless abyss without compassion
To mingle with those who are contemptuous.


I have no emotions,
Only anxiety,
Neurons devoid of activity,
This is how it is,
How its always been,
Don't tell me about love,
Its not there,
No perfumed air,
Morning dew,
Stare filled nights,
Only the flatline of life's EEG.

Three Good People

Marc, Lyn, Bill,
Fatally ill,
Marc stressed-out from the war,
Lyn's DNA gone astray,
Bill never stopped smoking,
His heart stopped one day,
Accumulated residue over the years,
Marc blew his head off through his tears,
Lyn who we prayed for had moving cells,
Rotted to the core,
Bill was hooked on those everyday smokes,
Ate up his oxygen till he choked,
Three good people had everything in line,
Gone way before their time.


Men and women who have the knack
Are trying to get to that track.
Every day this run takes place
That's why it's called the rat-race.
All these people looking rushed
Trying to avoid being crushed.
Everyone dressed to kill
None of their faces show a thrill.
Executives, peons flow like a stream
All trying to fulfill a dream.


Excerpted from Tough Guy Legends by Robert Cohen. Copyright © 2013 Robert Cohen. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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