Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chapter Seven

I spent nights over cups of coffee
Laughing at the way my skin inches down
Watching the late acts in wayward bars
The bare stragglers choking on smoke
Dull eyed, black eyed, christened by the dead
Dreams of endless head and breasts
In electric reproduction sucked by red globes
Bare lobes distressed with guitar distortion
The motion of living drawn from each drag
Fags with fags gagging on virtual cocks
Beneath Big Al’s socks and the serpent,
Rome’s steps only seconds away

Chinese steam huffs through beaten doorways
Where sideways Asian looks mingle with frying duck
And cheap goods fuck in garish display.
I strayed far from the main road
Walking like a folding chair
John street, Bush street
Up Nob hill and down again.
Victorian buildings stacked like dominoes,
Casual hoes displaying their wares,
Popping pills with low stares, strutting slow.
They catcall me and I know their bodies,
I know their souls,
Sagged and shrinking, sucked at by coffins
Promises of nothing, often,
Followed by leers of grief and sorrow
Their legs are borrowed and thrown aside
The Seeing Eye stuffed into their damp brassieres.

O’Farrell playbills decorate abandoned walls
By the beggars sleeping in cardboard stalls
The pall of filth living their creases
The city lives in patches of grime
Smeared by time over pieces of sleeping bags used as coats
And coats used as shirts
And shirts as rags for their feet.
Bums hold out their hands and I look at them blind.

My soul is an island

Shame grows in dark pools on Market Street
As cars choke the artery with eyes glowing
Always flowing in a huddle against the unknown hurt outside
Strangers never meet and part ways forever.
Humans enjoy a good slide
Until they hit the dirt.

I take my ride and leave by the east bridge.
The ridge of hills is the refuge
I refuse to leave behind.
The Caldecott hole is orange and warm
And already I feel clean
With the murky bay behind me.

I spent nights over cups of coffee
Laughing at the way my skin inches down
To the dark town, the dirty town
Where promises of nothing are often kept
Close to the yellow fog
That circles the city like a crown.