not in peace

I sat down

where the great man wrote

to take a look

read from his book

& heard what he heard

saw what he saw

& I understood the words

had already fallen

for the idea

some time ago

felt the sense of place

exit from cities

foul humanity

dirt squalor disgrace

but I was not the only pilgrim

others had been before

& no doubt more

will come

like those who leave their litter

bottles cans paper plastic

homage corrupts if the wanderer

comes for bragging rights

not in peace

Cold morning

down at the self-service gas station

saw him in the trash cans

rummaging for 20c bottles

& all I had in my pocket

was two dollars in change

I thought I’d give that over

quiet to him here you go

& as I passed it

he said in Spanish

necesito café (I need coffee)

sure I said sin alboroto (no fuss)

waving goodbye ok ‘dios

as he tried to pull me in close

by the hem of my coat

I retreated back to my car quick

no he comido nada desde esta mañana

(I haven’t eaten this morning)

he was calling out to me

but I had no more to give

adding lame halting

hecho lo que puedo hombre

(the job is done my friend)

& drove away

leaving him to the trash cans

the cold

& wondering if i could’ve

done better there

feeling both of us had lost somehow

a better night

One time I quit you
laying on a hot bed in Paris
you didn’t want to walk
anymore
everything was wrong
the city was much too hot
you didn’t have the money
to sit in a street bar & stare
& the booze we kept cool
in the bidet was all gone
you were throwing things
a baguette sailed over my head
out of the seventh floor window
it was time to go
about time I let go
& you said c’mon babe
take me out for a drink
we went out in the sticky streets
sat at the back of a long bar
under the neon close by the ac
counting the minutes until
thinking of sartre’s hell is others
your good mood had returned
I was losing my mind over you
wanting to run to the hills
knowing deep you were no good
hating only me in this love for you
the minutes ticked on
you needed cigarettes
turned on the charm
as I bought camels from the machine
lets find the flea market
find something for home
the drink was kicking in
a couple more
& we’d buy bottles for the bidet
this would be a better night

can i come over & talk?

She wrote to me
said
can I come over & talk?
when I called her on the phone
she had a voice to put the hook in me
so I said sure
why not?
it was a slow day
& you never know when love will come
I needed some excitement
well
that didn’t happen
she came over
she talked
& talked
as I opened bottles in the hope
that good drink might just
slow her down some
& that didn’t happen
either
it got late
it got later
& still she talked
of ex husbands
ex boyfriends
lovers
losers
men
who came & went
how she had yet to find true love
how she loved how I wrote
felt my honesty deep inside
even if sometimes
I was cruel
the more she talked
the less I felt
so I poured more
until around one she said she had to go
that I heard clear as a school bell
called a cab
& she was gone
I sat for a while
feeling the silence out
tried to remember
all the things she said
there was not one thing I could hold onto
not one whole sentence
stood out
except the all men are bad trope
without any recognition
it just may be her judgement
at fault
much like mine
in inviting
her in
I threw the trash out
pulled the covers over
& slept her away