Thursday, July 4, 2013

poemS of the day 07.04.13

independence day

she tells me
to come in for the fireworks
while i’m
wondering if i’ll still have
a job by july
the fireworks are beautiful
she says
as i’m shutting the blinds
and cursing the sun
they come in red and blue
and purple and green
they light up the city
she tells me
while i think about piercing
the tips of my fingers
with a rusty
bobby pin
just for the hell of it
the fireworks will take
care of everything
like the job and the bills
you just need to see
some kind of beauty
in this life
pray and believe in god
she says
while i drink warm beer
wipe away broken glass
and try to untangle the noose
she tells me that the fireworks
spread for miles
they make kids laugh
the adults feel young
all right, all right
i tell her
you’ve won this time
but the next time you call
i’ll be in the closet
wrapped up in a blanket
soaked with gasoline
wondering where
i put the matches


booze cruise

he was a nothing
a bit player in this place
before the new owners gave it the once over
and changed its name

he sat around with puppy dog eyes
clutching a sweating bottle of bud
looking for a conversation
he could weasel his way into

but now none of the old drunks come in here
he’s got his big boy pants on
and he’s the king of the bar
stuffing his fat ass into a prime seat
playing the star-spangled banner on the jukebox
a lackluster version of a lackluster song
sung by some nashville princess
with blonde hair and a botox face

when we sit down he swills half of his bottle
and gives us the once over
the nod of recognition
points at the chalk board behind the bar
says, are youse guys goin’ta tha booze cruise
on the fourth of july?

i don’t even know what the booze cruise is, i tell him
hoping that’ll end it

but it doesn’t

you pay eighty-bucks, he continues
get all of the free booze you want
take the boat right into the harbor
get so close to the fireworks and the other action
that you can almost see right up lady liberty’s skirt

he stops talking and smiles at us
checks to see if we’re taking it all in

then says
now tell me something more american than that?

before he waddles off of his stool
to play god bless america on the juke

turning back to wink at us
i look at this true blue slob and think

you, buddy,
nothing is more american than you.


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