the man in the pizza shop

said that he was “dragged

around like an old whore”

in court but that today

he reached a settlement

while some bum came in and asked

the owner if he’s got any old slices

to give away and the man scoffed

at the rejected junkie then continued the story

how whenever he feels like a winner

he wears his best italian suit

and gently styles his silver hair

and forces the loser to sign the papers

with his fanciest pen

 

and I couldn’t really stand

the guy’s bullshit

anymore so I walked outside

into the still crumbling city

w/ half a wrapped hoagie

and half a mind to blow up a bank

and thank God I don’t know

what else the man said

but I turned around and saw

him laughing in his smart clothes

and open collar displaying white

chest hair and I wish I woulda bought

that homeless guy a slice of pizza

Camden, NJ

All this cures the bleedin’

Methadone Heroin Crack

40’s from Mancine’s

maybe a shot from The Victor’s Pub

in the old carcass of a RCA warehouse

where recorded music was invented

but now that’s forgotten

and so the blood trickles out

the red brick building spilling

onto the cracked curbside dreams

liquified and drained into the gutter

runnin’ under tricklin’ down PATCO stairs

where the junkies sleep in pools

of blood yes the blood of workers

the blood of Black people

the blood of Latinos

the blood of the Irish of Italians

the blood of women

or anyone who’s not a WASP

our blood pours thru the streets

cuz they wanna drown our voices

they wanna drown our children

in machines and equations

they wanna starve our children of art

they wanna rob our kids of poetry

of music of anything that makes them human

they rob us they rape us

and you know who they is

if not, then you them

Melody on the Cliff

If only I could hear again

the fair lady’s melody.

Her voice drifted over

the cliffs of Moher.

She played the harp

at the edge

of civilization.

Her fingers danced

like the wind.

 

If only I could hear again

the fair lady’s melody.

Under those supple eyelids

what did she see?

Was it dark blue waters

stretched beyond comprehension?

Past which, did she wonder

if distant cousins

lived, who, exiled

from the island

lost all knowledge

of the golden harp?

Her harp was glorious

in its poverty, all polished wood,

with strings which carried more colors

than a rainbow.

 

If only I could hear again

the fair lady’s melody.

Was it of light green fields

filled with barley first sprouted

centuries before bursting

from Celtic bodies

whose pockets held seeds

meant for munching on the march?

 

If only I could hear again

the fair lady’s melody.

Her voice drifted over

the hills of County Clare

where flutes were fashioned

to sound like the whistles

of local birds perched upon short brush.

Words above the burren,

songs carried for centuries.

 

She wore plain brown wool

as plain as her demeanor.

Truly emerald-esque,

modest yet cherished.

If only I could hear again

the fair lady’s melody.

cliffs_of_moher
I took this photo in May 2013 at the Cliffs of Moher.