Small and Inconsequential Landmarks

I’ve watched him in alleys,
Plentiful alleys, where
Occasion strikes like
Descending dumpsters,
Almost weekly the opportunity
For an old machine to
Bandy the breath of new
Life.

Looking upon
The object that consigns
To a dying cause he draws
In the breath of livid life,
Arm-strong alley life that
Rears fat felines, fresh paint,
Plump poetry writ by rubbish and
Unapologetic potted plants.

It steers me and a friend of mine,
Or it steers me and a love of mine,
Or just me. And if I can’t bear to look
At you, or him, or me, my gawk can
Sit on the slow smoke of shortcuts
That canvass the moping rooftops
Making lazy breaks for parking lots
But if not then, then at least

Block by block. Alley, dark alley,
Bolted back doors and matted grass,
Lard lane garnished with shards of glass,
Your yellow lamp light has
Been called sick yellow
Lamp light, lighting steaming
Pot pools and keeping concealed
The hunches of sick dark men.

Is that a grown man on a pogo stick,
Thick gray skin bouncing
On a thick gray spring?
Sure, he’s bouncing next to
Where he wrote four weathered
Lines on stones and street and glass,
Four lines for tires and trash
And his love to pass.

Fanciful Aspirations and Phantasmagoric Intentions

The only king, the crossing
Bones, the constant scourge,
Here, crouches as myth with
Cold cut out figures that
Linger stiff but linger still
And always linger on the
Next block in alley ashes
Always over the next hill.

This is not the place you’ve heard
Described before. There are no pistols
Here, no pistols save Hector throwing a
Brick on which he wrote “Fuck.”
And, yes, there is a scorned
Father and husband shivering
Wet with anger and disdain,
Finding friends where he may.

Less than pitiless more than
Pitiful, here the kids top their
Voices with crude arrangements
Of curses, and your property
Fights the same battles as the felines,
But no bodies dragged stuffed
Left lumped -though Rudy drank too
Much, walked too far in the cold.

I’ve tracked the route; a brazen apology
Realized with the swift rapt of a
Soft swelled knuckle. When it is
Cold. This cold means something.
This cold brings her same Saturday
Footsteps a pair of Monday clarity-
Eyes; It is blue adoration and sweet,
Or short, the becoming of abomination.

Once when the power of the city
Lurched short we wallowed and
Wondered about safety. The Juke
Box died and the credit wouldn’t
Whir, and such. It was dark and some-
What silly, but there was our common
Mistrust walking us. “Rotten bananas
For brains!”