The Stark Comma

Grifted from the madness of it all.

’58 and ’98 Made Me Drink

The only way that I could
pump out words tonight was
put a couple slugs in my
liver.

See, sat down sober and
stared at sheet till
look up saw “Dharma Bums” and
“Bone Palace Ballet”; those
fucking ink jackals made
me secede to store to
spend my last greenbacks on
suds to slide back into
ilk.

Goddamn, got Duke burning
now, got a buzz now
brimming baby, and got a
whole lot of
du du du du ding.

I’m weak for words. And
I wanna be heard, even
though I might not have
much to say ‘cept micro
prose columns about
booze, dames, dens and filter
waft-
Soon. Soon will come the
narrative meat. But

till my typewriter becomes a
till, I’ll bob my head, drink
swill and slide that carriage
like a fever mill.

Hula Hoop Paradiso

Hula hoop paradiso is
on its way. Firework

benevolence parachuting
colors over a heat that
goes into the night deep. Porch

swing coolers clink with
bare feet tapping to
a cicada serenade. Compassion

rises with fahrenheit- tundra
penumbra now a trampoline
other era. Ice

cream parlor trips we
become teenager traipse in
held hand trace. Lay

in the blades under
twinkle tooth canopy. Feel

everything in between as
life becomes a lover again.

Geneva Saturday With Ella and Loneliness

It was a warm and beautiful day so I decided to sit outside of a coffee shop and drink some drip and read a book.

I’m in a good mood for whatever it’s worth. My loneliness still in tow but waiting in the car. I left the radio on so it wouldn’t get lonely.

A once busy patio quieted down, now just a group of three girls sitting to the left of me, college age. The ringleader telling a story of having to drag a drunken friend out of a random dorm room one morning to get her to class. I only listened to half of it cause the amount of “likes” got irritating.

Younger parents around my age, sat to the right with their two young daughters; I only knew one of their names, Ella, and she was bullheaded and fiercely independent. And the only reason I knew her name was because of the patient but stern chorus of, “Ella no.” “Ella, stop that.” “Ella come back over here.”

They got up and began to leave. The mother and father headed down the brick walkway to the sidewalk with the youngest daughter but Ella stayed behind. She stood by the stone steps near the entrance with her arms folded and on the verge of waterworks.
She yelled with all the breath in her 5 year old body, “I don’t wanna go home!” Mom and Dad looked at each other and shared a smile. Mom gave him the, “Take care of it daddy” look. I could see the fear in his eyes.

He approached her slowly and she stamped her feet and gave him a scowl; channeling all of the challenging women he had met in his life. The apple of his eye was not budging.

He got as close as he could get and opened up his come here arms but she bolted to the black railing on the stone steps and gripped those bolted black bars as tight as she could.
“No!” she screamed. The actress began her scene and angrily cried.He calmly said, “Come on Ella, we gotta go sweetie.”
“Nooooooo!”

He gently tried to pry her away but she held on boy. Like a clawed cat to a window screen. she scrunched her face and coughed out “No, no, no!” a few more times through the sobs as he gently tugged her. She finally conceded and let go.

He picked her up and carried her close against his right shoulder. Tried to kiss her cheek but she turned away. Ella settled down a bit and off they went.

I smiled throughout the whole thing. What a sentimental sight. I felt the warmth and love that swirled around that family. They’ll be fine.

Then, loneliness approached with a limp and sat down next to me. Told me it hot wired my car and crashed into a building a block down. Asked me, “What are you smiling about?” I told it what I had just seen and said it was a beautiful thing. It said, “Don’t get any ideas, we still have a lifetime ahead of us.”
I said, “I think I want that though, I think I want a family.”
It looked at me confused and asked, “Still selfish?”
I nodded.
“Still don’t want a relationship?”
Nodded.
“Still set in your ways?”
Nodded.
“Still got that bottle of whisky on your nightstand?”
Nodded.
It grinned and said, “Still with me.”
I hung my head.

It slugged me in the shoulder and said, “Alright, let’s get going. There’s a train station down the road.” It looked up at the sky, smiled, “Looks like it’s gonna rain.”
I lept up off the chair, ran to the railing and held on tight. And with all the breath in my 29 year old body, I screamed, “I don’t want to go!”
But it peeled me off without a fight and carried me away.

How Bout I Just Recite the End

One day I’ll sip some coffee in some cafĂ© that faces the sea on some street in Pescara and tell you all about it with a laugh;

Baby, there was a time when I couldn’t afford to have a bank account. A 20′s drifter who thought luck to be every other man’s word.  When I grinded out odd jobs in odd towns for a Shakespeare playbill . When I was just so damn angry. Angry at the sky for wearing a lighter blue. Where a small victory would be how polite a lit mag’s rejection letter could be. Drank and chased women and smoked and gambled. Baby, that time is rear view on some dusty scrapyard era gone by.

But now look baby, I got just enough in my pocket, got my third book going shinkansen, got luck and got you; the one who is giving this sunset fits. I’m full.

“I’ve heard this one before,” she said with a smile.
“Oh have ya baby?”
“But, tell me again.”
“How bout this, how bout
I just recite the end.”

And the sunset melted enviously into the sea.

Poem During Work

Mindless.
I just want to go home, drink wine and sit in
my underwear at my olivetti;
write.
Cause right now I have to put up with
mindless work in a cubicle where the
fluorescent bulbs above cloud my head, dim my eyes, dim my being.
Out for a smoke,
“At least the wind died down,” coworker says,
smile and reply mindless meteorology. I don’t care.
I just want to write in my underwear and drink red and fantasize about
all the beautiful birds that I have
yet to screw.

A Feast to Last

Fuck I’m lonely.

I have brief visions of meeting her on a sunny afternoon in our rain.
Two Murakami
characters trying not to think too much, trying
not to despise humanity.
She comes over and asks to sit,
takes a spoonful of my gelato without asking,
goes into a story about when she was a little girl,
holds back salt glisten til she can’t,
I’ll dab away a single droplet with my thumb
I’ll tell her about my anxiety disorder and issues with my father
she’ll comfort me with just a look.
We walk the town whose namesake has occupied time longer than we care to to think
about
she kneels and pets a german shepard, smiles for the first time
tells me she paints, but hasn’t in
months- depression paints her.
tell her I am a writer of rubbish and balled up sheets- the trashcan is my
biggest fan.
share a smoke on the steps of a cathedral
we don’t believe in any of it; just
feast on the brevity of
novelty.
stub cig out on a gargoyle;
stand up, sigh and grip each other hard enough to haunt forty
more years.
Then we go our separate ways.

In these visions, I always wonder if she looked back.
I sure as hell did.

Slum Night

I want to keep the night turned to sorrow;
there is an elderly black woman in a bonnet picking flowers across the street, a lovely petal study.

The night kept sorrow;
drunk flies skipped stones across mighty oak weight, begging for mosquito itch.

“Sorrow,” the night said;
I pissed in the sink and mumbled lines from some play about some man who lost a horse race, the fool and his ripped ticket.

Sorrow the night wept;
trite words punctuated on the edges of yesterday’s times on and on and on until newspaper boy’s yawn throw, a stoop riddled sorrow.

Coffee Lid

She left lipstick on
her coffee lid after every
sip. I asked her the color;
she told me to scratch an
itch on her
shoulder but then got it herself. On and
on about some squabble
with her roommate; I submerged with
steam wand.
She noticed and stern washed,
“Why are you with me? Sip.
Coffee lid-
Thought, Is it carmine or more of a cardinal red?

Patina

I am a critical human being. My past
lovers knew this yet
they stayed till the end; a
slow methodical critique of the
things they could not provide me,
that no one could provide.

I am a loner. I prefer a jazz roll and
typewriter punch over conversation and big
to do’s. My friends
know this and don’t invite me out
anymore. They know the no. I do make
appearances though, in the way that
washed up actors make appearances
at low rent conventions. I do it for the
currency of material punch.

I do not date much anymore. My parents
know this. The who are you dating has
lessened as they have learned their
lesson. Nothing compares to the woman I
have in my mind. She revolves; and to
the women that try for coupling, it is
not even a fair fight. She’s got class.

I eat lunch in my car at work. My
co-workers know this and have stopped
with the where should we go eat
today. I’d rather stare at my cigarette
smoke stained visor than bullshit about
tube shows or what their dog did over the
weekend.

I stand by myself at parties for the most
part. Other attendees know this. I’ll drink
their booze and eat their food while
looking at picture frames. Get drunk
just enough and then make a pass at the host’s
best friend.

I am an asshole and I know this. Well, not an
asshole per se but rather a critical loner who
prefers solitude over

Port Paint; There Just Wasn’t Enough

She parted her hair like
a harlow. Said it was her harlot
doo and due to this, the
postman hadn’t come ’round in weeks; “I just throw ‘em away.”

I poured her some port and
she dumped it on the carpet,
pushed her fingers into fibers and
painted; “Rambling red droplets,” she sang.

She lit a candle in my bathrobe, blew it out just
as quickly. Then disrobed and folded
it like flag; placed it at the edge of
our bed-
“I don’t know who I am anymore but I must find Kafka.”

With that she left.
I went to the window, looked below and saw her;
naked and washed in a late night humid rain, hailing imaginary yellows.

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