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
Communication sent between colors
has no meaning. Meanwhile, you yearn
for purpose amidst plaster safe-havens.
The children fall asleep in city streets
and dream green and brown covered
in red and blue, anxious for the day
that all they have to worry for is starvation.
Which will be the first for your sepulcher?
Exposure or drugs or any other unclean
invader of your sterility? And yet you crave
the sick man sitting only two amputated feet
away, smiling around others also in pain,
knowing running in the light is more tedious
than nothingness. Yearning for that instant
of beautiful survival.
Even if I did have money
I wouldn’t give it to you
How many junkies
Do I pass each day?
All the same
I give coins and cigarettes
To old black men
Thinking out loud:
Fuck trashy white kids
epidemic spreading throughout
perfectly capable young people,
drowning in misery disease widespread
this detriment hungers for quality
those afflicted hold no potential
an old friend slumped against something
in an alley she didn’t recognize anyone
knowing not why she’s there
no one could convince her otherwise
We got drunk with homeless people
in tents outside city hall
in the frigid air last fall.
The movement fell apart,
and the city would rather tear up the pavement
around the half-abandoned administrative center
for an indefinite amount of time
than have the wrong people transparently living
out there in the middle of the city
for everyone to see.
At least now the vagrants and troublemakers are scattered
about so no one can pay attention once again.
Someone got shot there during fourth of July;
thousands of people were herded through the gates of hell,
“to celebrate fascism” as a nice old man commented to me
as I walked by, I didn’t know what to respond.
We left as soon as we got there because it was beyond suffocating.
There is a lack of understanding in everyone, and it is exhausting not being naive.
Philadelphia will remain static on the outside.