Laundromat

Always thought the laundromat would be good for writing. In a dark poetry, seedy underbelly, Tom Waits kind of way.

But, there is scant sad beauty to be had in that one sock left behind at the bottom of the machine.

The dryers aren’t hot enough to burn away your sins. Not at six minutes for a quarter anyway.

It’s been weeks and I have yet to hear any secret, sobering wisdom from the mouths of crazed junkies, if I’m lucky enough to find one.

Shame how life won’t imitate art.

Guess I should be used to disappointment by now.

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Dream of Her

He dreamt of her last night. Her death, and then attending her funeral. Waking in tears.

He didn’t cry when it happened. Not when his father could see.

The sadness had belonged to the old man then, more than himself. It had been his turn to be strong. To soldier on. For his father. For the other mourners. Maybe a little bit for himself, just to see if he could.

For years after, he had forgotten to grieve. Never really learned how. Never took the time.

This morning he wept, the memory of her face lost except, in that dream.

Too White Shoes

 

There’s this one thing
I can’t seem to do,
That’s stop looking down at
Those too white shoes.

They didn’t quite fit
On some other guy’s feet,
And were given to me
‘Cause they’re something I need.

They’re a real brand name
And look strange I suppose,
When worn with my thrift shop
And bargain store clothes.

They’re not really me
And it looks and it feels,
Like someone else’s feet
Have been attached to my heels.

Out of place they may be
But they’ll just have to do,
And I’ll make my way out
In those too white shoes.

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One-tenth of a Photograph

If a picture is worth a thousand words, is that a metered transaction?

In exchange for any old photo, should we expect, in return, the appropriate number of words?

Should we count every very and like?

Could I get two selfies and a haiku as change, for a landscape?

Does the value depreciate? If you hear, “Dogs playing poker,” do you have that image in mind? Is there need to detail the placement of the chips, the color of the table. Has familiarity reduced the painting’s value to three words?

Then this notion probably isn’t worth one-tenth of a photograph?

Possibly Henry

I should probably get
A plant for my desk.

A small piece of greenery
To fill the large brown space,
Between the lamp and the stapler.

Perhaps a Jade
Or maybe a cactus.

Something sturdy that might survive
The inevitable neglect that
I will no doubt heap upon it.

It should have a nice pot,
Something subdued.

I think terracotta would compliment,
The tawny wooden surface,
Of this battered old desk.

It could sit next to the books,
That I promise I’ll finish reading.

I’d possibly name it Henry,
And speak quietly to it
While I pretend that I write.

This Tree

There it’s something appealing,
About this tree,
Though I don’t know what.

Something in its angles,
Leaning back in revulsion,
Away from the road.

Away from the place where,
The trunk forked early in its life.
Where its conjoined twin
Was removed at the base,
So as not to impede traffic.

Bone like arms,
Reach mournfully upward.
Stripped of leaves,
For the winter months.
Leaving only scraps of Spanish moss,
Clinging to its grey nakedness.

Dried seed pod husks
Hanging from long fingers,
Like brown leprous flesh.

I saw it today
Possessing a new beauty,
Unseen when in full bloom.

Glorious Morning

What a wonderful feeling,
To have woken up late,
on such a bright new day.

To have shrugged off, for just this once,  
The unreasonable demands of the clock,
And silence its scream for attention.

Having nowhere particular to be,
And no need to bend to the whims,
Of an all too practical world.

To taste your coffee once,
Then let it just cool a moment,
Before the next lazy sip.

To sit and just simply enjoy,
Even for a short time,
The warmth of wanton idleness.

Oh such glorious mornings,
You will never know
How much you are missed.

Old Cat

The old cat lay in its warm spot on the grass.

Its fur tattered and patched, teeth mostly broken or gone.

It rarely bothered to get up anymore. Its spine hurt with age. Its back legs barely worked through the pain of old injuries.

The others would go and rub against the small girl that stopped by everyday to pet the strays on the lot. 

It just ignored her through its crusted eye.

Wondering if the old woman was going to come by to feed them today.

Laying there, waiting out the remaining days in its little patch of sunshine.

I Never Meant to Sleep

I never meant to fall asleep,
Before my work was done.

I felt so weary,
I just laid my head down,
Only for a bit.

The room was cold,
I draped the blanket about me.

My eyes burned,
My head throbbed,
I drew down the blind.

I dozed for that perfect moment,
In the warmth,
Soft and dark.
I dreamt of abundance,
A world of peace.

You threw the blinds open,
I was awake once again.

Jagged rays of midday declared,
Here still is toil,
A place full of strife.

I never meant to dream,
Before our work was done.

Thursday’s Plans

“What are your plans for Thursday?”, the same phone call every year.

As if  he might not remember what day it was or forgotten their conversation about priorities, he clearly wasn’t one of hers. He had been cast aside. Left in need to satisfy the wants of other people.

Now those wretches surround her.

Each year feeling guilty, alone, and used, she called with the expectation, he would come sit at their table for scraps of feigned affection for the sake of tradition, and her absolution.

Once again he declined the invitation.

The phone would remain silent for another year.