Wednesday, May 20, 2015

poem of the day 05.20.15

angst und schrecken in der david quelle

these stairs are designed to murder a man
who’s had too much to drink

narrow, they wind like a medieval dungeon
to a bathroom that smells like death

upstairs where i left my wife alone
you can hear the six german men laughing

crowded around the tiny bar over their bottles of astra
and that black liquor the bartender keeps pouring out

i can still eat their cigarette smoke in the air down here

fourteen years off of those things
and i still think about cigarettes every day

think about them more than love or my own mortality

i wonder what i’m doing here clasping the sweating wall
in a german dive bar where i don’t belong

four thousand miles away from brooklyn problems
beers deep into an early hamburg afternoon

i’ve understood next to nothing that anyone has said to me today
i’ve done nothing to make myself heard

the light from the bottom of the stairs
looks like an oubliette

and i’m tired of trying to make this world my own

if i ever make it back up those steps
i think i’ll grab one of those german’s cigarettes
smoke it until i’m sweating and sick
like the first time i ever had one of those things

ask those laughing bastards
what their german word is for sadness or loss.

and......because Fleet Week is starting here in NYC:

fleet week

the three of them
were sitting at the end of the bar
in their starched white uniforms

like returning heroes
like princes of new york

christ, they all looked like sunburnt popeyes

drunk and liberated from their duty
waiting to go back aboard their ship
to shower with each other again

we were drinking nearby
drunk and liberated from our jobs
waiting to back to our apartment
to shower with each other again

when one of the little soldier boys asked me
is that you’re wife?

as the other two in their starched whites
just kept looking around
waiting for another drunk patriot to buy them
a congratulatory drink

for their volunteer service

or for someone to pat them on the back
and say, hell of a job, soldier

like conquering titans
like golden gods

only we’d been watching clowns like these
harass women all week in the city

he said to me, they must be fun

he started laughing
he put his hands toward his breasts
like he was holding two balloons

when the other two
saw what their sailor friend was doing
they tried putting his hands down

but then he fell off of his stool anyway

into a puddle of stale beer
and popcorn kernels

another brave soldier gone down
protecting my freedom.



No comments: