Early on the 13th

Early on the 13th

I heard the church bells down the street

I saw a reflection in my lover’s eyes

I caught the sun breaking through the curtains.

 

I thought of dedications and declarations

Hymns and poetry and movements like wine or ivy

All short enough to ensnare attention.

 

And I wondered if I’d found balance

Or if I’d stray like abstracts or jazz,

If I lit down in a country of romance

Would I meander like a fickle tourist?

 

Things crowded my mind

Early on the 13th.

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Coming from the Cold

I got lost on the way

Didn’t know what for

Looking for a side road

I’d never seen before

 

I wanted to call you

Exhausted in my pride

But forgiveness was out of hand

And shame so close behind

 

I’d come to you with teary eyes

If I knew you’d take me in

And I’d drop to my knees to tell you

How good it felt to be back again

 

By the burning stove

I told you all my tales

All the times I reached the top

And the many times I failed

 

You looked at me with pity

I came to you with pain

Didn’t matter about the story

The ending stayed the same

 

All the forgiveness you could hide

I searched but I could not find

Those words you’d buried deep inside

They hit harder than any of mine

 

I wandered from this life

I strayed far from this love

The pieces all lay scattered now

Beneath the foreign sky above

 

I offered my understanding

It’s easier now to see

The reason why we began at all

And the fact we’re finally free

Ideal Party

The parties I want to attend

Throw champagne in your face in disgust

Then scratch your car; and

They play something smooth like honey

On the speakers. You talk to a narcissist

Until you’re ready to beat them with the bottle.

No matter your turn of phrase you somehow manage

to demean and offend the artistic upstart

who you’ve been listening to for the last hour.

You fall into the pool

And the ripples make the moon light dance

All around You. Then you stand in a dripping

Blue suit, smile, and walk out.

Motel Blues

False cowboys take up motel rooms.

You’re in that weary state where you mumble phrases

Like: “I don’t know man” and “just give me the key”

And you want to wave goodbye

To the ugly landscape. The person at reception

Tells you the pool is closed. There’s no barrier around the pool

But you don’t want to take a chance. There’s one room left.

 

A cowboy stands idle under the sad yellow light

Blackened by flies and acting forlorn.

You know for a fact his mind’s on the steak he had

When he was seven and his father came home early.

 

Motel rooms scream secrets

But you’re too tired for degeneracy – anyway,

The mayor of a nearby town is entertaining in room 207

Dressed as a gigolo Santa in July. Never the less,

The orange heat of the dawn sun

Coming through the blinds in the desert morn

Is as welcoming as any waterfall.

Ode to someone

You light my heart like an opportunity

That I let pass by me in the street;

An excitement, like rushing rivers through my veins

Or a hand promising everything for nothing.

 

And I see you in the moon when it’s late

And the last bus is leaving.

To me you are everything I wanted.

 

You stand there on another plain

And I wonder: if I held you would it be enough

To burn away the storm that is currently

Falling on me?

Lost in New York

Wandering around cold New York

Lost between the towers

Rising high through the clouds

And the cars pass me by on their way

To the highway

And men are breaking down in the doorways

Where they had sheltered their girls from the rain.

 

And everywhere there are parties

In the glittering night

Filled with stars who felt they shone the brightest

Off Broadway

And their connections are as endless as the river running

Away with the diamonds to the sea.

 

And me? I’m confused in leather shoes

Looking for road signs;

I’m new here, got the blues here for the first time

Riding the city bus

Counting out my change

Figuring it’ll go my way pretty soon.

 

And underneath my feet the street is roaring

Like the tide

Rumbling in the subway tunnels

People hanging on for life and happiness

Wanting to be home again.

 

I’m reaching for the electric moonlight

At a quarter past midnight

And I’m stumbling drunk with joy

And taxis speed by me in their lanes

While high above like steel doves

The sky is crowded with tired and lonely planes

Bringing families home.