Poetry Incarnate

At night we drank

like we always have, by the river,

along the eastern bank of the Schuylkill,

which may mean hidden, and may be appropriate

now in the present, with gray architecture

consuming confluence.

At night we drank,

but not anything domestic, as you think

it’s all swill. The tide never

reversed although you said it will.

I looked at you for an instant,

(I would like to say it was infinite,

but I would be lying because it isn’t)

then into you

through your obsidian eyes,

which were even darker than your charcoal

complexion. And inside your body I still saw

strength.

 

You read me a poem.

You were speaking to cellular attackers.

The ones that are trying to destroy you.

You called it an inside job, but it’s not.

 

Agent Orange. Viet Nam.

 

I am dying.

At least that’s what you say now,

after a year of denial.

 

I will be employed by poetry (a bond)

to carry a poem, a man, up flights

of decaying wooden stairs.

I’ll try not to trip.

1:30 in the AM in Camden

I’m sorry man I don’t got no money.

“Can you spare some change

for a cup of coffee?” I could

possibly. Although I got pains

and aches and a train to catch.

I’m not bitchin bout the cold

cause it’s my own fault I’m under-clothed.

And I’m sure nothing’s your fault neither.

No I don’t have a problem no more

with high pitched haunting machine sounds.

And I’m a little regretful about being so full,

cause none of it is nutritional.

Fried chicken and cheap lager.

I’m for sure restless in this empty street,

three minutes before the train leaves.

Sucking in carcinogens.

I’m underground and I was wrong

about the sounds now penetrating my skull.

Dive inside the metal coffin just in time.

Shaking in this unsure compartment,

this inanimate entrapment, enticing me

to free myself, but the end is not yet.

November Poem

When thirst is a kind of pleasure

in and of itself, that’s when you know you’re fucked

up. And when hunger pervades

you’ll know it’s time

to not give up. It’s around the temperature

in which water freezes, and you know

enough to realize that you’re mostly made

of the stuff, but the warmth of tequila and beer

keeps you going even though you know

the stories your mentor shared

would be more permanent if you weren’t incontinent.

The interior of this train

that I keep writing about is yellow,

even though I feel like it should be blue.

The former color is ambiguous

and doesn’t bring back any memories.

Just because I didn’t write the poem

doesn’t mean

that it

doesn’t exist.

Different shades of light

are (collectively)  a meaning.

I’ve never seen the new moon,

nor the full Luna in an untainted environment.

My view varies only slightly. In Ireland

I forgot about the sky,

perhaps because all the grass and flowers

were intoxicating.

I am amazed at my

own feebleness.

And

so I walk around

cities in poetic

neurosis.

I climb

through the trash

in my mind, but more

often than not

I am intoxicated

and so the words rot.