Friday, November 19, 2010

PoemS of the day 11.19.10

today is my brother's 33rd! Happy Birthday, Kid.
so we'll have an old poem in his honor and then today's.

the king

my brother calls to tell me
he is playing “kentucky rain”
over the loud speakers
on an endless loop
inside the retail store he manages.
it is driving the college kids mad
and the customers out in droves
when all they wanted to do was
a little mindless work, or some
measly holiday shopping.
i laugh when he tells me this.
i am hungover and tired,
battling red wine, insomnia,
and ray carver’s poems.
november is back,
it is cold outside and the wind
is roaring.
until that phone call
a cat’s body was keeping my legs
warm from the chill of the apartment
and the horror of my coming work day.
next it’ll be “suspicious minds”
he tells me.
i laugh again, sadder this time,
and then he has to go.
we hadn’t really talked since may
and it was good to hear his voice.


the bus

riding the bus home
friday evening
listening to coltrane
as babies cry
and people make dinner plans
riding the bus home
as black men rap into cell phones
and chinese ladies shout
unshaven for two weeks
eyes red
nose and cheeks red from
bad water and bad booze
two magnum bottles
of red wine in my bag
to be drunk tonight
with the shades drawn
riding the bus home
my back slouched
as wide and as long
as a bankrupt country
two scotch and waters
three beers and two bottles of wine
riding the bus home
friday evening
fifty-five dollars in my wallet
that will be gone
by monday
gone to the bar
gone to pizza slices and fairytales
riding the bus home
on friday
at a low ebb
my reflection in the window
bloated and mean
my long hair greasy and gray
big bad brooklyn, a dark purgatory
riding the bus home
coltrane plays the saxophone
soft and mournful
just the thing
it’s just the thing
for riding the bus home
friday evening

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