Again I step forth
through this nauseating network
of boulevards and by-streets,
a stray dog prone to bitch fits –
I am the finest example
of wildlife in the asphalt jungle.
All bite busy biting through bark
and with an outlook so dark,
I often can’t see
that I’m biting up the wrong tree.
Enter a voice sister with reason,
on a mission to place the last piece on
and set down her foot –
as to kindly remind me that I’m gnawing on wood.
(So I’ll drink, and I’ll smoke, and I’ll curse, and I’ll take a deep breath,
for endurance is something that spooks and blue devils respect.)
Were women art, she would’ve been a masterpiece
of grays encased in black and reds bordered by white,
fit with a subtle grace, the kind you blink and miss.
She fit her hand in mine like it’s where it belonged
and let it linger for a moment’s gentle squeeze.
A quiet chemistry to burn louder than vows,
like making matches with phosphorous and sulphur;
there were no tricks of mind, nor games of cat and mouse,
just hands and eyes. The two of us, we had enough
issues between us to start a publishing house.
We spoke what little words there were to speak, then spoke
only to hear each other speak, then simply sat
as sentries for silence to veil us in its cloak.
Our faces met like magnets with a mind to take
gravity, bend it out of shape and leave it broke.
So strong this force of magnetism, it forbade
our lips from leaving. A kiss out of bad movies,
or dime a dozen books, that managed to degrade
a thousand words into a quick exchange of looks.
She was my Queen of Hearts, I was her Jack of Spades.
Perhaps I was a fool to run away so soon.
Perhaps I was a fool to think no man alive
could take two broken clocks and make them tick in tune.
And if I never looked behind, it’s ’cause I was
walking backwards when I left her that afternoon.
Sometimes I think her tongue and lips must’ve been laced
with stuff only Greek gods could take, that years later
the thought of her alone is like an aftertaste
of caterpillars; butterflies in the stomach
that line my guts in ice and grind them into paste.
Pute a rugină-ntre cartoane,
La capăt de oraș, într-un tunel,
Unde urcă fum din tomberoane
Și petrolu-mpinge prin burlane
Cenușă peste grinzile de fier.
În mahala, un maxilar de crom
Scârțâie-ntr-o tocită față
S-aducă aleile la viață
Printr-un strident, “Oase vechi luăm.”
Și mașinile fac șir spre piață.
I’ve got the blues about me like October ’29,
I said, I got the blues about me like October ’29,
Y’know, they’re ramblin’ in my head and weighin’ on my mind.
They came by in the mornin’, thought I’d walk them for a while,
Well, the blues came in the mornin’, thought I’d walk them for a while,
And I almost broke my shoes, ’cause I couldn’t stop for miles.
They came back in the evenin’, tried to drown’em in the glass,
Then the blues came in the evenin’, tried to drown’em in the glass,
But I almost drowned myself, they must’a gone to swimmin’ class.
And they came around last night and they wouldn’t let me sleep,
Yeah, the blues dropped by last night and they wouldn’t let me sleep,
Y’know, I started laughin’, then all I could do was weep.
The coat hung, heavy on his shoulders
And his pockets ran too deep.
His finger trembled on the trigger,
He wished that he was home asleep.
And silence broke the engine’s rumbling.
The steel felt cold, but drenched in sweat.
Throbbing veins parted his temples,
So thick the fumes, so short his breath.
And seconds drifted far apart
The closer the hands struck to three,
But left no room for second guessing,
“You’re just a man – but so is he!”
She was a babe to bring brains lesions;
a dame to die for, dressed to kill
what moved to move minds to the ‘bin –
all swayin’ to the sultry sound of trumpets
like God gave her those goods to fill
His monthly measure meant for sin.
She sauntered by on stockings stretched for hours,
then firmly fixed a finger to my lips
and leaned to lecture lowly in my ear –
all, “It takes two to tango, dear.”
And I was dancing with the Devil.
blow through the streets,
biting cold rips to the bone.
Under the dim torchlight awaits
a skeleton alone,
all a longing, all a moan.
Struck by love, and melancholic,
breathing fumes of gin –
misshapen by scoliosis,
facing slow metamorphosis –
the skeleton will understand
that we are dead,
and so is love.