Thursday, November 6, 2014

poem of the day 11.06.14

stuck inside of brooklyn
with the san francisco blues again
--for kristofer collins

at work we were
talking about travel

people reminiscing
about italy and germany

places they’d like to go
like the amazon or to some beach in the caribbean

i was talking about the places that i’d been

doing it more for myself
than for the sake of conversation

then i was talking to the nineteen year-old part-timer
about what she’s going to do when she graduates

she’s a history major
like we were english lit majors

maybe or maybe not
there’s a long road ahead for her

but hopefully not

when she mentioned
wanting to move to san francisco

the bells went off in my head
something had been awakened

i was back on that campus with you
like twenty years hadn’t gone by

and we’re skipping class like usual
we’re on forbes avenue picking at dry bagel lunches
looking through used records and cds at jerry’s

or in the bee hive drinking cappuccino

showing each other poems
talking about nineteen year-old girls
acting like we knew a thing or two about the world

the west coast and jazz and kerouac
and all of the dreams that we’d put on hold
until we finally got to see the pacific
floating around in the haze of afternoon cigarette smoke

the after graduation road trip
with pittsburgh burning behind us like some
sodom and gomorrah of the mind

but time has shown me, old friend
that things worked out differently
no worse and maybe even better than we’d hoped

only we never made it out west together

and this morning i’m sitting here
stuck inside of brooklyn with the san francisco blues again

visions of you
visions of me

so glad that i didn’t tell that kid
the sad old man shit that i started to tell her
about how expensive everything is

about dashed dreams
and how plans change on a dime

i’m glad i stopped myself and didn’t do that
i just said, go to san francisco
go live in that glorious city
like some hapless benediction that she didn’t even need

because who in the hell am i, old friend?
except some guy sitting here
trying to write my heart out to you

about time and the promise of golden cities

a few fleck of gray in my hair
a few dreams still stashed in a frayed pocket

my years a deluge of memories
hoping that this levee doesn’t break.                                        

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