Sunday, September 5, 2010

poem of the day 09.05.10

today is D-day for getting the new PC. so i'm posting a poem
today, instead of tomorrow, because tomorrow i'm hooking the machine up
and expect, as per my luck, to be on the phone with
the customer service rep of my choice asking why my MS Word
no longer works, why I can't get my Internet to come on, and why
my MS Word XP docs won't convert to Windows 7. so here's a poem in
case you don't hear from my for a while.



i’m not that surprised
to find mona sitting at the bar
when i come in

they tell me she’s been
coming back in here for a few weeks now
since benny beat the shit out of her
for fucking all of his friends

benny is out on long island, rehabbing,
maybe still trying to kill himself
and nights here at the joint
have gotten quiet
without his and mona’s constant bickering

nights here have become predictable and dull

there are poker nights now
and the fucking u.s. open is on the television

this is how an era dies

mona smiles at me
when i sit down
she smiles again and then i take
a long pull on my beer
thinking that woman could tear my eyes out

i’m not scared of many people
but i fear mona

she gets off her barstool
and stumble-walks down toward me
the beer and johnny walker shots making it all okay

mona leans on me
puts a hand on my shoulder
while i try not to smell her breath

her teeth are yellowing
her face is puffy in that irreversible way

maybe she used to be attractive
before benny and this bar got to her
maybe she’s always been damaged goods

i suppose i’m no prize either

i check her face for signs
of the beating, but there are none
so whatever benny did is a visual memory

mona stopped wearing sunglasses
around brooklyn a week ago

i haven’t forgotten you, she says

it takes me a moment to figure this one out
what in hell did i do to her?

your books, mona says
they’re still at my apartment
i just saw them today

i’m going through a transitional period, she says
i’m moving soon and things are everywhere

that’s okay, i tell her
get the books to me whenever you can

i’ll just leave them at the bar, she says
i don’t know when i’ll be back in here

that’s fine, i tell her
leave them with jason, the bartender

then i have another pull on my beer
thinking that i’ve now become the kind of guy
who has things left for him at the bar
maybe b.j. will just leave the dvd i let him borrow
with the bartender too

i’m not sure what to think about this
except that maybe life has taken a few
wrong turns for me

all i ever want to be was dostoevsky

well, anyway, mona says
she removes her hand from my shoulder
stumbles back down the bar to her seat
the one she’s been in for the three years
that i’ve been coming here

goodbye mona, i think
i raise my glass to her, and half finish the draft

then i turn to the television
one blonde from russia is playing tennis
against another blonde from russia

they are sweating and grunting
and i wonder if anyone else here finds this hot

old man, john, is reading a chuck palahniuk novel
nursing the one beer he buys

at least i still got him.

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