Wednesday, October 23, 2013

poem of the day 10.23.13

crying over kerouac…again

i wanted to do some damage
deep down i wanted damage
i had four scotch and waters on the rocks at vieni vieni
as 1970s cop shows played on the tv
and some blonde kept glaring at me
because she probably thought
that i was some kind of tourist poseur
and i probably was to her
drinking in her dive bar
on the recommendation of a writer
whose first book was sitting in my bag
but i wanted damage
i was on my way to damage
because i understood car wrecks
better than the passive ocean
so the scotch and waters kept coming
i watched the blonde glaring at me
as old man heads fell like soldiers
on the battlefield
another day shot to shit
and i left vieni vieni giving the blonde
a smug drunken look of significance
as she did shooters of some brown poison
meant to help her forget her life
and in the hotel room was a bad bottle of red wine
which got drunk to baseball games
to the chatter of chinatown
and car horns blaring down broadway, san francisco
while i thought about where i was
where i was going
six months to forty years old
with the hangovers getting no easier
the poems getting no better
my belly hanging over my belt
life a brick wall on every garbage strewn street
and inside vesuvio’s cafĂ© i went
considering damage
considering pictures of jack kerouac
hanging on the wall
young and vibrant
holding cigarettes
holding court
his eyes wide with angelheaded hipster majesty
and i looked at them while jazz played
while sucking down sweet dark and stormy
after sweet dark and stormy
thinking jack you fool
jack you fucking fool
you could’ve made it through the storm
until i felt it well up in me again
like an ancient volcano coming to life
my vesuvius in vesuvio’s
waterworks for a dumb, dead ghost
crying over kerouac
and again
and again
as my wife sat there staring into the black neon
of west coast glory
holding my hand
the sick blubbering husband of her youth
until the waitress came over and shook our glasses
asking that eternal question
care for another round?


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