It’s too much and I wind up
feeling bad about not noticing
brown woman in my bed.
Branches dancing in the wind
on a Sunday morning with
nothing to do.
Hands can carry beauty and
so can chins and the backs
A Cracker Jack box
A laboratory beaker
Chocolate chip cookies
and a flag waving in the
wind over a gas station.
Stop before I wind up feeling
bad about everything
beautiful, which is not
the point at all.
It’s 2:21pm on a Monday. That’s not necessarily the time to create verse, but you have to answer the call of a sweet cup of tea as it gets hot. There are hotel rooms in real crappy buildings where there’s mice and worn wallpaper and the toilet makes a ton of noise every time you flush your waste away.
But there’s still beauty at sunset when the window’s open and an old man sits at a rickety desk writing a poem. Stop the presses. There is a poem.
In the evening when everything turns purple, you try to maintain steadiness but instead it’s as if you drank four Shafers and an Old Style. The beauty bowls you over. Go ahead, try to stand still for an hour or two. If you do, the sun will set, it will get colder and eventually start raining. The beauty of a lonely branch will turn into a tree that looks dead.
For the final three minutes of the game, let me drink the beauty that I forgot to remember. There’s a restaurant that I go to whenever I go to the restaurant and on the way there if you stop on the ledge above the Catholic grade school you can see all the way to the funeral home. Cadillacs and giraffes fill the playground. A cowboy in a spacesuit plays a sad folk song on a banjo he borrowed from a hobo. On the way to the hoedown, a woman selling peanuts without salt says that there’s gonna be a hullaballoo if the Woodrow brothers don’t stop drinking. Looking for the strangeness in an orange. Valentine’s Day always creeps up like a softshoe dancer. The bite of winter will make you shiver but only if you forget to put on after shave in the morning.
For some reason, on the way to a banquet you try to count to a million but get lost in the thousands. There is a rhythm to everything and counting isn’t one of them. I would like to tell you a story about a man leaving his home. He has figured out that it’s time to look for strength not weakness. Protect what’s right and don’t look back.
No, no, no y no, says the Mexican woman in the grocery store. You were gonna put those three avocados in your basket. Instead you pack a promise in your back pocket and move on to the cheesecake section.
It really is a lie, babe. I’m sorry.
Lookin’ for a pick me up in the afternoon, you try a latte from Starbucks but after it’s over you feel like you just did a bunch of coke. There is blackness on the inside of your soul. Empty except for a couple of memories you couldn’t make up if you tried. Strawberry shakes in the middle of winter don’t make any sense but you drink them anyways. Chocolate is for all seasons. Blueberry isn’t.
Warm summer evenings bring the sound of faraway trains, especially around here. Son, give me a light for this here cigar. It’s been a long time since I inhaled, but who cares when we’re all gonna get blown up anyways. There’s a scooter shop in North Carolina that I’d like to visit on my way to Florida someday.
I played in a card game once in Martinsville, Indiana, that had two whores and a midget rotating the deal. I don’t know where they get that kind of money in southern Indiana but I suppose if you got that much land you could buy a yak any time you want. Crushed pepper on a gambler’s lap means that he just ate something he shouldn’t have. Know when it’s time to quit whatever you’re doing and go drink. That’s a talent you gotta pay attention to.
Coloring books on the kitchen table can only mean one thing – I’ve been here way too long. How did I get here? The answer is simple. There’s chimpanzees in Africa and kangaroos in Australia that make more sense than the life I built. I’m a poor boy from the farmland of Indonesia or is it Indiana? Sometimes when you’re waking up and not quite awake, it could be both. I love the reverie of half sleep and half dead. In Tokyo they have places where you can live a good portion of your life in the land of in between.
Poor and forgotten, a young man steps out on the street thinking that he wants to create. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s an egotism, really. On the way to the Laundromat he meets a girl. All thoughts of creating go out the window with one smell of her hair. I am in love with being in love and time stands still for as long as it takes for clothes to run the rinse cycle.
I shot a gun once at a man. It missed. I hang my head and wonder what would have happened if it didn’t. There’s a whole ‘nother reality I’m living in a gray concrete box. I hate that other guy for what he did but at least he’s not as tired as I am. I want to smoke a big fat joint and be real high. But it’s illegal and I’m scared of just about everything these days.
Prison and sad tulips. When there’s that much beauty around, you tend to sink into a depression that you didn’t see coming. Tears behind your cheeks start to form and you wind up wanting a drink. Sports, reading, cleaning, talking, kissing, farting, riding a bike, Jackknifed trucks, telephones, train tracks, king-sized sheets. On the way to the five and dime you dropped a ten and never found it. It would be worth a million dollars in today’s wealth.
There’s a pillow at the end of the journey. Let’s go find it.