Safety in numbers/surviving the inquisition

So there’s safety in numbers?

don’t believe any of it

don’t think that you’ll be that face in the crowd

the guy in the Macy’s parade wearing the hat

the guy in the bank line wearing patent leather shoes

don’t think that you are part of a movement

…there is no movement.

Don’t read the papers…they don’t exist

Don’t think you will survive the inquisition

they know where you are

they know you’ve worked in shipping

for the past seventeen years, and

they know you’re 63 years old and

you drink too much.

They know you…they can pull you out

of line whenever they want

and stick a cold, soup-line finger into your chin

ouch…it’s 1932 all over again

bite your lip. Stand up straight.

So let them do it.

You’re a little punch drunk now.

In half an hour you’ll realize that

…none of it matters…

You’re Just a frazzled old beatnik at heart

Writing poems, and

telephoning friends before

looking around for a bus ride out of town.

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a short poem about eternity

don’t talk eternity with me
until you’ve sailed out to the offing in a rental boat
and considered the molecules in the sea
and the sand on the shores of the Dry Tortugas

don’t remind me of the million year rain
or the damned great beasts,
just curl up behind me in the night
when the wind is high and the last new moon
of the year is about half a mile behind
(and remind me that the old traitor
is afraid of the dark)

It’s raining so kiss me
like there is never going to be
another geologic upheaval
don’t pretend that you and I
have not been smooching
like this for at least
ten thousand years.

Take off your clothes
and listen to the waves
slap up against her hull,
she’s been around for a while
but she will never sink,
not here
not tonight

 

 

 

toothache on Sunday

 

Don’t say it doesn’t hurt

just go down to the clinic on Fremont

where the 83 year old

dentist with the

rented drill hangs his hat.

Be there at 8AM and ask if he has

had a drink today.

He doesn’t care if you

pay today, so

ask if he can drill

a little carefully

(is he steady?).

Can he send you back

to the brick factory

intact?

Ask if he can pull the

offender out of line.

Make him press

the arrogant bastard up against the wall

and put a pistol to his head,

make him talk, and

threaten him like an aging

third world dictator

with a glass eye

and a case of syphilis.

Old dentist doesn’t take shit

from any offender

or so he says…

I say,

screw the orders

screw the old dentist

with his rented 1950’s drill

“give it a rest old man”

there’s no oil in that hole…

no gold in that mine

I’ll just kill the pain

with a stop at the Freeway Pub

I’ll tell them all

I have 97 more years left in me,

At least, so

they can’t stop me now…

…if it’s not one thing

it’s something else,

pain is good for the soul.