He was a pool boy last summer. Pandering to cabana women
who spoke in scents. Mango, coconut, pineapple. Salt on the
rim of slurred s's
Easy flirt, easy lay. Three different women with the same end
gain. Nailing a young gun at forty-five with pride on the line,
dialing sex for sustenance. Even his drug habit was uninspired.
Pete was on vacation and he didn't feel like looking for someone
else to score from, so he waited
The motivation didn't come like they said it would. Ink barely
dry on his degree and he was already out of ideas. His father
tried his hand at inspiration. "You can either make it or spend
your entire life clapping for someone else," he said
Maureen sat at the edge of the pool while he skimmed Mai Thai
umbrellas from the floor
"What does the future have in store for Robert?"
The question came for his ankles. He sank below the surface,
struggling a moment before realizing he liked it better there.
Solitude in a tiled vacuum, feeling at peace with the rest of
the underground youth. He spread his arms and legs out wide
as he watched her pink toe nails kick gently back and forth
Don't want a man whose got the itch
Don't want a man whose got the thirst
Keep on walkin' prodigal son
Keep on talkin' hero complex
Sure as hell I ain't your damsel
Sure as hell I ain't your daisy
Move along Hungry Lover, dinner doesn't start with me
Oh no, strings do nothing but tangle things
But if you're here to party well,
Mosey over here friend
Cozy up to me midnight man
I've done a bad thing or two
I've done it again a few times over
I don't sweat it babe, it's okay
Come sunrise hide it away
Like a pile of dirty magazines--you could try to swear off them but
and all that honey's got
stickin' to the
on my drive in,
the traffic reporter speaks one note, softer than two crochet hooks grazing between stitches. I picture her in her early 20's playing adulthood. Making a scarf and wearing it to her Wednesday night book club. All of her friends love it because having a skill--any skill--is in right now. They dive into a discussion on Lena Dunham's memoir and by extension, the author's fascination with her own vagina. The night ends. She saunters into a cab feeling smugly progressive and slightly sauced.
what oozes pre-financial crisis more than a Hummer?
upper middle class American pseudo mansions?
florescent neon t-shirts?
I made a bet in my mind what the driver in it would look like
and it was judgmental but correct
I'm makin' generalizations which isn't typical of me but
I blame the weather
I blame the piles of tuberculosis snow lining the parking lots
I blame the crap pop songs one after another
I blame the latest version of Times Square
I blame social media
I blame the reality shows
I blame the shit that keeps pouring down on us like rain
We lived where the
in a horizon of terraces
where among three generations
I steeped in patterns
of twitching lips
and silent looks between eyes
that ricocheted a language fluent
known only by them
and that grandads and daddies
seemed not to hear.
The lady from number 6 crying
and cradling her cup
was helped out by Aunt Edie who
had just read her tea leaves
in the front parlour
where heavy drapes
newly hung and drawn
served only to thicken the odour
of polish and mothballs
And there-in the carved sideboard cupboards
I would delight in the odds and ends,
learning even then
about the process of finding
and how that which I sought most
would more than often emerge
from the bottom of a difficult pile.
as I fumble
as I stumble
Sitting on the sand
where I watch the tide,
I'm sitting on the sand
where I syllogise;
sunshine and sugar pills,
of which I am comprised.
if I'm a bum,
it's because you made me one.
"What is your name?"
, "What is your name?"
, "What is your name?"
I should meet new people but my name is Bernadette,
in the corner where I like to be. Peeling a Yuengling
label slowly, while Mayfield tells me he's gonna lose
half his ass by summer
at a pre-New Year's eve eve eve party. Not every head
turns, but I spun the ones I wanted to. You enter the
room and there's a wind due east. I've got a bitten
bottom lip and an elevated heart rate. As of late, you're
back on my mind. The year switches a digit from 4 to 5
and suddenly I can't seem to shake that time I kissed
your pelvic bones in Jonah's closet.
"We probably shouldn't do that again."
You grab my Yuengling
"Do you think we finally have to grow up this year?"
and chug it.
All of my friends were there
and their friends, too
and the friends of my friends'
cousins and their dogs
and their all-seeing aunts crammed into
ill-fitting blouses with
their husbands in New York or L.A.
and their inbetweens sending them
dirty texts and someone, I think it was
my mother, she said, Why don't you
lay in the river
And I said, Of course
The leaves fell
The birds sang a four-note phrase
and all my friends, the best ones,
they tossed half-empty packs
of gum, flower petals, quarters, pens--
anything they had in their pockets
As I passed by them I said, Remember
when we ate the poison berries and
said our goodbyes. Remember when
I played pitcher on our t-ball team.
Remember when Drew took the electric
fence to his crotch. Remember when
we threw Josh's library book into the rain.
Remember when I learned to ride a bike in
sixth grade. Remember when I kissed
you on the backseat of the school bus.
And they said, Yes. And they laughed.
Those were good times.
My brother, he was there too, he hopped
in the river and gave me a push, said,
I'll see you around the next bend.
Life number two, I said.
Life number two.