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

Our Future as Unromantic Tramping

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.

Occupy Nothing

Occupy Nothing

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.