the way you look now, with your long fingers
spread against your cheek and your eyes closed
like gentle sleep behind their lenses,
i could believe that in the furrows of your brow
are planted dreams, in need of only a little water to bloom.
miles and miles of black, of emerald
and jade and sapphire separate my fingertips
from your throat where it is bare
as your head falls back to catch notes on your tongue
like sonic snowflakes–
i watch the flush of your mouth move slow
against your palm in time to music
and wish you could always be wrapped in its arms.
then you’d never be lonely again.
you ask: is there any merit
in a life molded around six a.m. weekdays
bottles by the back door before suiting up–
in being a ninja of nourishment, catwalking on last night’s
oh my aching corns in too-tight shoes;
say hello to Old Man Rybjznski, return his toothless grin
(how the grandkids, Mr. Rib–
your youngest one,
she lose her teeth yet?
Yeah I know how that goes.)
twist-twist your broad hips
carving paths to the back rooms
and a moment of silence,
a smoke and then WHAM
sixseven orders of waitwhichonewasitagain?
table six wanted vanilla sodas, twelve asked for beer
order up [lady you got change for a ten?]two more tables waiting and
my corns are screaming bloody murder
singsong hummingbird headache in temples of the mind
(I think I got one last Advil somewhere in here…)
and hours and hours of ninja-ing,
cajoling passing belly dancer-weaving (WATCH THOSE HASH BROWNS)
& last one!
last table to swipe clean while humming your love song,
last light shut off once Marty’s done mopping
untie, unleash, unwind:
another day done.
i wanna be a Cafe Beatnik in
beat-up baseball caps with teams I never heard of
over messy dark hair and my grunge look;
picture me prolific spittin’ verse, one foot on Formica tabletops
stained in grease and coffee spill paintings monumental to Regular #42:
Mr. Frank, the guy whose cigarette is never lit
but he swears he’s a smoker,
as if you’d advertise your method of suicide
(but would you?)
Picture me poetic flower prose on paint-chipped walls,
something so important you felt the need to take that
rusty-ass Bowie knife
and carve it three inches deep in the cracked wood of table 26
(you’re still washing dishes for that one, huh?)
imagine I’m John Lennon Yeats Whitman
cummings of the laureate loop,
the writer incomparable– on the sidewalk in New York
where people commune just to hear me think.
I could believe in that–
i could hope for it,
if only I remembered how to dream
come to think of it,
i pay so much attention to you
that i should have a platinum card
to bank on each marble (en)counter
becoming another to rest my elbows on,
gazing into the vault of memory
sealed tight behind my eyes.
there should be checks with my name
pre-signed in xerox: replicas of my tiny
half-finished d’s and my e’s whose tails either fall too short
or reach too far (as i am wont to do,
and doesn’t handwriting reflect personality?)–
fuck that shit.
i should be president of my own branch,
since no one is more heavily taxed by your oblivion than me.
you said it was because
we lived too far apart
but how can you be living at all,
names i hate being called,
especially by girls my age or younger:
sweety (which is incorrect spelling,
i might add)
names i call other people too often,
especially if they’re older and much nicer than i am:
names i wish you called me:
cariño, aguichant, shvibzik, macushla