A tawdry thing
When put there in the lamplight
But chosen with the utmost care
Pretend it’s just kitsch
And not some rubbish you’d throw away had someone else gifted it.
It's Friday night,
And it's almost ten,
So I've hit the dirty streets,
To meet with some friends.

I've left my car keys,
"Forgotten" my wallet,
And taken the Metro
To where Main Street begins.

I found them at "Deans,"
Up a floor and a half,
Smoking some Black Magic
In the elevator shaft.

My two best friends
Are about to perform,
But they've both got stage fright,
As such is the norm,

On a Friday night,
On Main Street...

Before they start playing,
They take one last drink,
Then the music begins,
Before I can think.

When it's over,  they're happy,
It was a nice crowd,
But now it's time to pack up,
And get the hell out.

So we left their guitars
In the bass player's car.
To go for a walk,
But we won't get too far,
Until we see shadows
And signs of life,

On a Friday night,
On Main Street...

They tilt from the corners,
And lean on the walls,
Their palms are held open,
Their gaze always falls.

They ask for a dollar,
Or something at all,
A smoke or a drink,
A simple phone call.

On Fridays like this,
I so often give thought,
To those unfortunate souls
Our "fair" city forgot,

In this land of  the plenty,
They have nothing at all;
Just a lonely spot,

On Main Street...
I wrote this after meeting some friends downtown for a show. The stark contrast between the cheerful partygoers of a Friday night,  coupled with the desperation and poverty within the inner city is often quite striking.
Standing across the table - there were no chairs in the house - was my father, Emilo. The table itself was a sturdy rosewood, and one of the last items in the home. We had sold our belongings after mother had died - we said it was to help pay for school. We had each kept one tattered shirt - which we wore now - and one nice shirt which I would wear to class every other day. We had one pair of jeans each - both tattered and mended with old quilts taken from the tailor's trash can. We also kept three of mom's blouses - one for me, one for father, and one for her. We were close to pawning hers, though. On the table, near my father - away from me - was my semester's grades and a polished bottle of amber liquor. His arm - quite skinny - swung across the table, smashing the bottle of gasoline-smelling alcohol against the bareness of the dry, wood wall. The liquid seeped into the pores of that portion of our home. It never really dried. Two weeks and three days later, my father would flick the ashy edge of a cigarette butt into the wall. He was too drunk to know he wasn't in Hell.
I tried to write a prose poem -- I hope I did it alright.
Iska Feb 4
The false crisendo of your words
Grate against my every nerves.
Wandering round
With bloody feet
How many expectations
Have I failed to meet?

What more do you want
Of my bloody soul
When I cannot bring
My self to breath anymore?

So I watch your hopes
all tumbling down
It feels quite cold
Down here in the ground.
I'm sorry that I wasn't enough
I tried to be what you asked of me
But I didnt think it'd be So tough.

My weary bones creak and ache,
My wrist all burned and bloody,
Can you not be quite just once for my sake?
I know I need to make some money.
You say it's a joke but it's not all that funny

I understand the gravity.
I know Im failing at life,
But you dig right in,
spreading the cavity,
How to ignore the strife?

Whispered arguments bleed through the walls
How much longer until we fall?
Through the floor straight down to hell
All because I could not tell.
If only you knew the pain I go through
Day after day, it would steal your breath away.

Should I weep in pain,
And slave away,
To satisfy you're whimsical ways?
Should I sell my soul,
And bite my tongue,
Just to keep the wallet full?
But "your so young,
You've no excuse,
So bend your back,
Put those hands to use."

Welcome to life.
Put away your pain,
No time for strife,
No time for play,
Just nod you head,
Exit the stage,
And get a job,
So you'll be payed.

Oh how I hate the green blood.
That oozes from the paycheck above.
I'd sooner live a poor church mouse,
Then lose myself in persute of a house.
But no, I'll smile my candy grin,
And talk with sugar sweet.
Hide the weight of the pain,
So your expectations, I'll meet.
Some times it's just not enough.
James Court Feb 3
On his unmade bed
he lies betwixt pizza box
and dirty laundry.

He spends too much on
cannabis and calories,
clogging arteries,

can't afford his rent,
writes songs to the universe
in distress and pain

asking what he did
to deserve a life of such
pure heartbreaking bliss
joel jokonia Jan 28
i never even got to see your face
and you never gave me the chance to explain
that whatever you were looking for i had none
from behind you stabbed me
taking the life out of me just to score some

scrambled through my pockets
as i lay in my pool of blood
trying to reach for my daughter's locket
just to stare at it for the last time

you found no treasure on me
i was just a broken soul
trying to put life's pieces together
just a poor man

now a dead poor man lay at your feet
and you had no benefit
is you satisfied?
old man, sitting by the freeway
he’s begging for money—
that’s what he does all day

dark skin, messy beard, wrinkled old clothes
red cap, where he got it—?
no one knows

stands up and yawns; no teeth, just gums
i hope an amazing miracle comes

mexican man works to sell flowers
working his ass off for countless hours
he’s broke and must support his family
thank god—
a miracle has come, finally!

all these strangers are here for a reason
some go crazy and suffer treason
and some reach their goal
while some don’t make it, though
may god bless them all
and protect them when they fall

please bring peace/ and protect these strangers
kidbiko Jan 26
just as a riot is the language of the unheard
your greed is the consumer of your hollow soul
as you frolic in abundance,
you feed your own destruction with oppression and scarcity

but soon...
soon indeed,
rabid with neglect
dead and deaf to cries for mercy they know all too well
the rich will be eaten by the poor
You are weak, you don't know how to love. I know this to be true because you were able to sit across from me at the coffee shop after trying to steal a kiss from my lips and then tell me that you loved her. I laughed. If that's love then I want no part in it. I looked you up and down and asked myself what I saw in you for so long. I thought of our relationship and my head began to swirl with the messages you would send . . . to girls that weren't me. So I asked you. "When did I become not enough for you?" You blinked and glanced down, unable to meet my eyes. "Taylor, you became too much."

You're damn right I did. Any girl who has self-respect, ideas in her head and love for herself becomes too much for you. You like easy, I will no longer shrink myself to fit into the mold you lay out. Poor you. Poor her.
Chris Neilson Jan 17
Agnes Holden sat at her window
with a cigarette forever between her lips
hacking a cough between sips
of tea by the side of her fire's glow

A widow aged beyond her years
children long since left the nest
tar building in her inflamed chest
hiding her lifelong hopes and fears

Sitting on her step in summertime
watching working class people
in the shadow of a church steeple
reminiscing on her childhood prime

Lung damage too from factory smoke
all her life in the same cobbled street
talking to bobbies on the beat
her late husband a fine upstanding bloke

Poor Aggie was a lonely soul
hanging around the local shops
using neighbours as emotional props
to fill the void of a sorrowful hole

Asking for credit with butcher and baker
the poorest among the city's poor
wolves never far from her door
no money for her undertaker

Failing hearing, eyesight and health
that smoker's cough omnipresent
birthdays passing with no present
in an inner city without wealth

Agnes passed on a December day
a pauper's funeral near the graveyard gate
scattered offspring returning too late
but Agnes' legacy is here to stay
My family still talk about "Aggie". This is the bygone age of 1950s/60s industrial inner city Manchester with poor health and poverty
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