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12. Featuring: William Taylor Jnr.

+ Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal + Zachary C Bush + Luisa Lamounier

+ Gabriele Quartero + Ray Succre + Rob Plath + Moxy Casimir + Fabio Izzo  

+ Eugen Suman + Matthew Friday + J. J. Steinfeld

 

 

Being Lonely

 

We closed down the bar

went back to my place and did the

usual things

at about 4 in the morning I said

I am going to bed now

but she wasn’t sleepy and stayed up

to watch movies

and hours later climbed into bed

she tossed and turned and made funny noises

and when the sun came up we were both still awake

and she started asking questions like

did I believe in past lives

and fairies and horoscopes

and I told her I didn’t believe in much

of anything

and that I was very sleepy

and she told me I had an interesting nose

and that my hands were small and asked

if I was always this quiet

and I said yes I was

and she asked me why I didn’t talk much

and I told her that I didn’t have much to say

and that I was very sleepy

she said she was hungry

and I said I didn’t have any food

but she persisted so I stole an apple

from my housemate

then she found some of my poems

and read them and asked me

what they meant and I told her I didn’t

know

then she found my guitar

and sat on my bed and played a Celtic song

and sang in a cracked and heavy voice about fairies

and past lives

and I said that’s nice but I am very very

sleepy and have to go to work soon

and she played another song

and then another

and then a few more

and finally stopped and turned on

my computer to check her mail

she talked to the screen as she read her mail

and then I took a shower

and when I came out of the shower

she was still there and asked if I wanted a ride

to work and I said no

no thank you I will walk

and I took her number and told her I would call

and as I watched her car disappear

around a corner

the world seemed a much better place

and I suddenly remembered that being lonely

wasn’t as bad

as a lot of things

Even His Death

 

Li Po, they say, died

drunk, falling off a tiny boat

while trying to embrace the moon’s

reflection on the still and silent water.

 

I like to believe this is true,

even his death a poem.

Poem

 

Somewhere

along the way

 

we forget

to be beautiful

 

and this is where

all other deaths

begin.

The Bones Of  Her Dreams

 

She knows enough not to believe

in much of anything

or have faith

in my words

when I speak of things like love and hope.

With her fingers

she traces the contours

of my body

trying to convince herself we’re something more

than strangers.

In her bed

we lie

using words to try and translate

the sorrow beneath our skin.

The silence has more substance

than our conversation

and the warmth of her tears

is the only thing

I truly understand.

We know the same darkness.

It eats us

from inside and out.

She says she is safe

only when she sleeps

and places the bones of her dreams

in a box beside my own.

She closes her eyes and rests her head upon my lap.

I do not sleep

 but sit up as if to somehow stare down the darkness

as if my vigil might keep her safe

from what is lurking

just beyond the candlelight

so hungry for whatever it is

that’s left of us.

The Tourists Get Drunk

 

buy t-shirts

and fondle the bones of poets

hanging in the

windows of North Beach

butcher shops.

 

The old and the young alike

sit in crowded cafes with funny hats

and beards

pretending to be artists and pretending to be

alive

 

as I make my way to the old Saloon

where the people don’t pretend

to be much of anything

 

where Bobby Dylan plays on the jukebox

and the ghost of Phil Ochs

cries alone on a corner stool

 

and I join those at the bar

waiting for a drink

a cigarette

an earthquake

a pretty girl

 

something beautiful they forgot

to take away

 

something simple

and real enough

 

that doesn’t ask too much of  you

or taste so much

like death.

The Simple Fact of Life Itself

 

The sunlight

falling

upon the girls

walking up and down

Pacific Avenue

is something

I will never grow

tired of.

 

Sometimes

the simple fact

of life itself

 

is victory

enough.

 

Temporary, perhaps

but I like to think

of death being

that way as well.

The Space That Will Exist

 

Looking at you now

I can’t help but see

the space that will exist

when you are gone.

 

I note the grace

of your fingers

 

and the curve

of your mouth as you

speak

 

already

missing you

something awful.

I Bet They Never

 

Wise men say it’s good to know

when to let go of things

 

but I bet they never saw you

in that dress

 

stretched out on the damp grass

 

with the late afternoon sun

shining

 

down

just so.