Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Smoke Alarms


Smoke alarms
in the center of the night
shift gravity with
the shovels full
of noise as the cat knocks
its plate of dried meat
off the balcony,
to the driveway below.

Helicopters scour the ground
with pools of light
that scurrying up alleys walls
and over parked cars,
there are cans rolling
into the streets,
shopping carts
slamming into mail boxes,
this is where everyone wants to be,
tight and napping at the beach
in a corner room,
over a dumpster,
next to chain smoking neighbors.


Nothing to but grumble,
shake my head,
seek your hand, mumble,
light a candle and
curse the darkness.


And just as the night
seemed to blink it's
last straining thoughts of fun
and give in too its darkness,
its warm, heartless interior.


Parties across the bay,
patios that hug shore line,
planks that stick out
like chins needing to be slugged
with a hand that closes and hardens
into the instant weapon that
comes in handy
as it reaches and unstrings
the paper lanterns lighting
hard sand with frantic,
dancing light, fireworks,
boats on the water, enjoying the music,
no one takes tickets in the
middle of the bay,
there are other things
we still aren't done talking about,
snore as we might, dream
where we may . . .


Your news of your mom
dying two years ago
after the phone was shut off
and mail gathered
at the front door,
in a pile, under the slot,
addresses of advertisers
selling shares in futures
no can see anymore,
You hold me
and kiss my hand
and wonder aloud
when the next set of fire works goes off
following the next thing
the cat knocks over
Complimenting a contrapuntal
Groan of guitar
from stereo on the patio
someone was just pushed from
to the hard, packed, cold sand below
why it seems to be still in
the apartment,
the air not moving,
the dark of the room
disturbed only by a television screen
that throbs with images of abstracted passions,
sleek icons wet with desire
that seems a burden in a time
when there is a good guess,
of how much time
there's left to play with
the toys you already have,

I wonder too,
and whistle something
that starts off as Charlie Parker
and winds up a Sousa March,


There are only so many
days left that really have nothing to do
with shopping, I say,


The cat grunts, spits something up,
the fire works stream across the bay,
flames burst from the explosion
and engulf the patio deck the rocket it,
screams from the balcony,
smoke alarms in the middle of the night,
screams, electronic bass and rap assuming
a burnt tinge that colors the holiday, I kiss you,
I wish I was kissing you, wherever you are,

There are lives that haven't touched me yet,
nothing breaks the calm waters,
and no oar violates the lake surface.

There is only noise, commotion,
a city consuming itself,
lurching into the next decade,
empty as a can.

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