Hope to see you there.
I am barely paying attention to the priest mumbling incantations as I take the flask out of my blazer and take a good hit of warm whiskey. I reach for a cigarette and just before I strike a flame an elderly woman slaps the lighter out of my hand causing it to slide underneath the pew in front of me. I curse at her and raise my hand as if I'm going to hit her, but I don’t. Her nose looks like a beaten tree stump and I have 14 more cigarettes so what do I care. I’ll smash a bottle of chardonnay over her head in the parking lot and watch the blood fall from her scalp; who’ll be there to see it then?
Both of us are parked in the side lot so I let her leave before me and walk 20 steps behind her. She walks slowly so I do the same. When she’s about 100 feet away I put my head down and pick up the pace. I reach my car with plenty of time and unlock the back seat. Just as I reach for the empty bottle laying on the floor mat, my phone rings loudly. She looks over at me and I cough up a smile and wave hello with an upside down bottle of cheap white. She snarls.
Maybe I’ll go to Canter’s for lunch.
With a savage grip on her buttocks I toast the night sky and wonder how much longer I can live in this nook of a bedroom. Satisfaction only lingers and recently I have felt as if I was running in place. Never settle whispers the pen laying to my left. I lean in closer to the glow as if it will grant me the answer, as if running my hands through my greasy hair will clear the fog. I grab my socks out of the hamper and put them back on. I find my wrinkled pair of sweatpants in the closet and hop into them. Without comfort I am acting. Without wine I am sober. Without poetry I cannot express all of my joy and all of my despair.
thousands of green cadillacs
New York drug abusers brush away the sunlight like a spider web. Three generations of unapproachable men sat silent in the tavern, their luggage melting at their feet. I watched an old man fetch his potato salad out of the sky after he tripped on the cracked linoleum. Spineless maggots ride their misery into Quixote’s windmills. Teenagers in Florida have nothing better to do than steal taxi cabs and deliver flowers to the deflated elderly. I demand instantaneous lobotomies for all those who question the color of the furniture.
the first poem I ever wrote
Pupkin for three I said. The hostess looked up from her reservation book and into my eyes. I was fixated. We began to work together; planning, scheming, brewing up plans of destruction, plans of immortality. I followed her to the table convinced I could marry her, fuck her, touch her, complete her, make up for everything she lacked, provide her everything she needed. I imagined us as newlyweds; giddy and sexual, throwing our inhibitions out of the hotel window, room service attendants bringing us breakfast in bed. Us, together. Dining by candlelight, expensive champagne and half-eaten appetizers. So innocent, so naïve. Tremendously caught in an instant, a frame of life, a mere splice. Rich deserts with two spoons, holding hands instinctively, oblivious to doubt and defeat.
She handed me the menu as I sat down at the table, one minute older.
you want to travel blindly
I will not be held like a drunkard in the true mad north of introspection.
Visitors tip-toe past my doorway, snickering into limp collars. Luckily, most of the humiliation perished shortly after the opera. You’ve changed your names several times by now and no matter how hard I try, I cannot kiss a disappearing wall. Bald husbands laugh as they clutch heaven’s iron rings in ragged slacks and beaten loafers. I am a lost soul meant to wander the marble, tin can cries stumbling in the shadows behind me. With no direction and no motivation I can’t see what you can see and you can’t hear the circus between my ears. His voice drips from the speakers and lays quietly on my pad of paper, and although it is covering the first two lines, I blanket it with a hanky and continue writing my poem.
Nobody, not even the rain…