Tag Archives: drinking

The Rise and The Fall and The Loss

I feel the weight of the loss of my county’s history
And my soul sighs for what my child will never see

This isn’t a diatribe against the epic leaps of progress
This isn’t a diatribe against our country’s growing pains

This is a search for the less amazing things we grew up with
The things we never knew we’d one day miss only now we do
The things that are lost now – lost to time – lost to decay – lost to life

My country’s history is not always an inaccessible concept in a too heavy book
Sometimes my country is simple in its story – unfettered by class or by nationality
It can be a phone with a dial and a party line shared with the upstairs neighbors
Or a one-piece clothes pin that snaps when mother is hanging sheets out to dry
But makes a great milk-bottle game to play at your birthday party

My country’s history is a brilliant tapestry of rich colors and dazzling hues

Much of my country’s history is crumbling before my eyes and no one seems to care
These aren’t renewal projects that signal the advance of a civilization – these are different
These are decay and apathy and a shameful loss of vision and potential
These are anger and spite and the idle hands that are the devil’s pleasure

Mother doesn’t even hang the laundry out on the line anymore
Mother doesn’t even host birthday parties anymore
I’ve had enough birthdays – I have enough history

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The Sun Struggles Up

The most natural feeling as the sun struggles up is my bones grinding against yours
You are jarring and crushing and breaking your promises to the ghost of my childhood
Still a whispered breath trapped within your vena cava keeps me cold and you alive

The ribcage forged of your love protects the soul of my past and memories of my father
Washing the bony joints of our crippled fingers the dirty water runs down the baby’s face
The weak understand this is a baptism of desperation and consolation but not redemption

The charred remains of a dream I couldn’t afford and you couldn’t live without haunt us
Our bones have been put up for the first thaw and there’s something burning on the stove
We argue His presence in the room but we don’t deny it as we watch the sun struggle up

On This Cool August Evening

Business is brisk along Cicero Avenue on this cool August evening
Blue lights flash like a monochromatic carnival ride
Familiar smells of frying meat and grilled corn fill the cool air
The language up here dances around our heads like spastic butterflies
One simple kind heart reaches out with cool water and warm love
Urban hieroglyphics share a story primeval in sun-baked flesh

Business is brisk out here on Garfield Boulevard on this cool August evening
Blue lights flash like they’re rolling back the prices
Tinny – shitty music blares mercilessly but barely sooths the toothless tabbies
This scene plays over and over – night after night with little variation
It is cool tonight so that has to mean something – to someone – somewhere
It is cool tonight so everything is going to end well for those who let it

I Will Lift You Up

When your heart is finally broken
And the final words are spoken
When you feel you’ve had enough
I will lift you up

When the flames of love have died out
And your tears have all been cried out
When the course is getting tough
I will lift you up

I will put you on my shoulder
Comfort you if you get colder
I will lift you up and bring you home.

Come with me – take my hand
When you need someone to love you
I will lift you up

When the promise loses reason
And your love’s accused of treason
When you’ve finally had enough
I will lift you up

When you’ve been held down for so long
I will sing you one more love song
When the going gets too rough
I will lift you up

I will put you on my shoulder
Comfort you if you get colder
I will lift you up and bring you home.

Come with me – take my hand
When you need someone to love you
I will lift you up

Mr. Phillies

Stubby finger caresses
the shot glass
vintage Phillies cap
contains the matted mane
more spaces less teeth
shriveled gums
sweat drips down his face
sweat drips down the bottle
soaking the cardboard coaster
cigarette burns stain
between the knuckles
My old lady never did love me

We All Laughed

We all laughed at the road worn jokes that line our pockets with foreign silver
We all laughed while the lady rolled past us – some never noticed her beauty
A few of us laughed when the same old tired lines still didn’t work – did they ever?
A woman laughed too loudly at a story told too softly by a man she hardly knew

“I got games,” he said to me and I set down my beer – Heck I like games
A back as strong as the old oak that sheltered the white church out on Route 12
I was too tired to argue and I like the games so I played – no beer in my hands
It was an old swindle – an old con – and soon he was working the room with fever

We all laughed at the muffled voice through the tinny speakers – old school
We all laughed when you couldn’t speak as clearly as you would have liked to
I heard you laugh while the pink beer cups refilled themselves – magically delicious
This guy – no one recognized him – laughs softly and talks to the men about love – life

The sign on the highway said there was an alert for a missing child
The sign said she was last seen in an old Chevy pick-up – white – twelve years old
The truck – not the child – they never said a thing about the child – the truck was news
Driving home I couldn’t be bothered – new construction – lanes closed

6-23-04
1:00 a.m.

Good-bye Old Man

(for Charles Bukowski)

Good-bye old man
Good-bye old drunk fuck
Mr. Chinaski to his friends
The Suicide Kid
The original Barfly
Looks nothing at all like Mickey Rourke
Good-bye you dirty old pervert
Using your ugly old dick
as a metaphor for your ugly old life
Good-bye to the man who screamed from the balcony
that he was insane enough to live with beasts
The man who made sense out of feeling alone
The man who brought cold dogs to the courtyard
The man who caught my heart in his hands
The ugly – pock marked postal worker
Who lived in the shadow of a rose

You know that heaven has no room for you
And your decadence and perversion
And hell is just a little too tame for you
I wonder where you’ll go now
Probably back to San Francisco