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AND THEN ….

March 8, 2018

And thus, I wait. Number, unknown. For whom, it’s unclear,

But, I wait, not without fear: trepidation.

The voices, I loathe. My native tongue, foreign land,

And still. Never foul mouthed. I expected two, and now?…

 

And even then, I waited, and, it was I who was delayed,

A new competency acquired. Anxiety rises.

What to do with time afloat? Time lost,

A new volume, a new page turned.

And she, never settled. Always absent. A false note,

A lyre. A bird. A voice. Still, a voice.

 

Arrival, and then …. A tipple,

An abrupt rupture. Impressively, she’s gone.

And then …. into the night. A book. A cloud,

A Cloud, capital C, foreign accent.

I’m drunk. Foreign accent. I’m dronk,

She who rides by night. She flies ….

Some turn. Some politeness,

Elise, now. Elsa, later, before. Lisa, never, always.

I met her in summer, an evening, and then ….

An artichoke, a weed, a shot glass, I take a drink.

Elise bought it. Elsa drinks coffee. Lisa,…

Selma. Bespectacled. Elise. Falsely: clear glass.

 

Israel. Conflict. Here, we embrace,

I’m not working next week. Call me, then ….

A Jack. A Jack of war. A trojan. A tyrant,

Jack. A friend, until …. A Jack, on the street.

In the gutter. Two. Where’ve you been? Here,

The traffic is perturbed. Here, good night.

Tomorrow, eleven o’clock. A madman: Maria,

I think she wants her clothes. Two streets over.

I’m a hardened veteran: let her pass,

I got my hours and she’s not a feminist.

Refreshing. Cat kisses are the best kisses,

To bed at seven, or high noon. Either or.

 

A screw loose, madman, Maria,

A screw loose, chair before me. A new chair.

New chair, rounder than the former,

Attractive, less. According to one.

He of all importance. A great shame,

But, he chose it. Hypocrisy: rampant.

Last night, on returning home, I could have,

It could have been completed. Now, it goes.

It goes slow. A tactic; a strategy: of lowlifes,

Barmen always stand guard over ancient valours.

A chuckle, nothing more. Chuckle of the famous,

The famous are never free; the pinups.

I pinned her like a voodoo doll, she bled,

She bled, but it was nothing unusual. Blood flow ….

 

Even the famous bleed: they break down,

No telephones in here. In here, it’s a bubble.

It bursts like a Cloud (capital C) that’s pinned,

The famous exist in Clouds (capital C).

It could indeed have been done …. poorly,

Last night, sleep, words in head, sedatives.

A city I know. A poet once known,

A poet no more. Done poorly, not in hindsight.

An old man, many women. Varying degrees,

Varying degrees of beauty: all are lacking.

 

When he spoke, they listened: his women,

Once a man of the cloth: now in whoredom.

A sing-song voice: a free coffee, for the free,

An interview, coffee. A meeting, coffee. A class, coffee.

Twenty percent, or less. Ten percent, of cruelty,

A thank you for your loose change, in a tin.

Cut open at the top, in the middle,

The middle rung, where we’ve belonged.

A head of concentration; a face calm,

You know me, and I call you …. freely.

 

A man lost, in the woods, in the city,

Bread and jam: a delicacy for a man lost.

When to go abroad? When it feels right,

A questioning word: a question word.

My path is blocked, I’m lost, in the woods, the city,

Fred, two. Fred, one. There’s no secret here.

Today I’m poor. Last night I was free, far,

A poster on the wall, all gay with colour.

Did colour exist in past eras? We see it no more,

Anarchism, anarchist, I laugh, but I hold a stern face.

This girl’s a love, a young lady. Glass bottles,

I’m distracted from my goal, the gaol house.

The jail house. The prison house. Home,

Bottles of beer. Bottle banks and heaviness under eyes.

 

Where it ends, down a trap door, a vampire,

Vampire eyes, Dracula and nosferatu are acquainted.

A coffee, prior to the request. A laugh, a smile,

Exchanged, for it’s a well known joke of friends.

Every day we meet, in black vest or in blue,

Navy. A navy cap. A cape of Dracula’s ghost.

Dracula’s eternity, swiftly halted. All that remain’s a cape,

It’s good? All’s clear. All was gregarious.

Fatigue dissipates. Where’s the need? You know where,

And, it isn’t pleasant. I apologise; you misheard.

 

Nearing home. We could have been together,

Once, we were together. Once, we sped.

In a town car, to a town house,

Jazz, from the world, uniforms, costumes.

A free coffee for those who work, hard,

Oscar worked hard, for no coffee, nor a grain.

Rice was hard to come by. Break rocks!

Now! It’s essential. Striped outfit.

We don’t enjoy our visits. You’re unpleasant,

And, how do you suppose life is, here, breaking rocks?

My soft features are hardened, by a hard life,

Hard time, as they say. It broke me, and him.

 

Buried together, to economise. Same tomb,

Same grounds. Churchyard, with gravestones.

Escape to Paris, gay, gay friendly, and marry,

Without your lover, live out your days.

A pseudonym, your cell. We knew,

A number. A number on your forehead.

On your breast, a pocket. Forever in a camp,

A site for lost souls. Here we sing, gaily.

Indeed, no parallel. A musician, barista,

A handshake, and something? If only ….

If she sees the handshake, it’s death,

I think I’m a poet …. tremors.

And think, once upon a time, life came,

To all those of my kind: we made it.

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