Bukowski met a Dutchman
at a Philly bar in the 40’s.
The seventy-something sat
with a straight, broad back
and cracked three raw eggs
into each pint he drank.
Bukowski, a frail, twenty-something
virgin, felt afraid in the Dutchman’s
presence, this seventy-something,
still strong, a working man,
a dying breed, although immortal
now, thanks to the sickly little
man with a funny name. The difference
between each like that of starvation
and anorexia, one true, the other contrived.
It don’t matter
what it is,
whether fear or desire,
as long as it’s real,
the flame that is.
i feel like a nightmare ̶
scooped peas out of a stained sink
w/ fingers all chewed up
terror phantasmic skull cave-in
the kind of feeling that’s like a premonition
i’ve done this thousands of times
worked menial mechanized organic motions
thru spacing ̶ being there
not being there
thoughts that could make good poems
but thoughts aren’t that easy
the trick is poetry
and feeling like a nightmare
every once in awhile
The ebola necklace at the flea market
was not in the shape of a microbial
ambiguous blur, nor did its reddened
insides resonate on a blue slide.
No, the item was not an artist’s rendering
of some surreal flattened figure.
The ebola necklace gemstone
was a vial in which liquid
shifted as its steel chain-link swung
before the pale vendor gushing
about the ebola necklace.
The worm-like replication
floated peacefully in its cage
hanging from a wooden rack
among the inane as privileged customers
laughed while touching the novelty,
the disease only temporary to them;
it, the object between plump, pallid fingers ̶
the ebola necklace at the flea market.
That man sees beyond
this passing train as he holds
his son's restless hand
fingering for tomorrow.
A moment we sit
in, staring in,
thru ruins, pounded gray
pavement, crumbled red
canyons children cannot escape
from unless in death.
That man's eyes, no less
darker than the altered
ground from which his boy
are blind to mine
as I see myself standing
in his place
amidst a decayed city
grasping onto the limb
of an invisible sapling.