Thursday, November 5, 2015

Jay Passer- Two Poems


too many appliances going at once
and the power shuts down
then you’re left in darkness
in this modern city
only equipped with flashlight
a book from the library
a set of lungs and grasshopper heart
the lamps are down and the window fan
kettle off and hot plate
the one pot bought at Goodwill with the tight-fitting lid
write me a recipe book for how to score 3 Michelin stars
in squalor
it’s as simple as milking a guitar
or prying the moon from orbit with a toothpick
you’d think with what we spend to live in exclusivity
repairs ought to be foremost on the minds of those in charge
but we don’t complain
it’s like post-war Paris or the Depression years
or landing on Mars and being stranded there
like that guy in the movies
but it’s nothing like that really
we’re stranded in time
that’s how it is for the disenfranchised
we shop at the Asian stores for cheap rice noodles
vegetables without English names
frozen fish from God knows 
what planet
in the end you sit in the dark and
you want to say something crazy
or shout and scream about the unfairness of it all
the stench of the suffering addicts on the streets
the relentless sunshine exposing the underbelly
the politicos upending morality in favor of 
fat padded offshore bank accounts 
but we digress
and move on
to the thrift store for some cute shoes practically new
maybe a little avant-garde proclivity to spice up the oeuvre
young poets going on and on about
fellatio and sugary breakfast cereal
scatological postmodern ditties meant to empower
but even with the lights out I can still see your eyes
even through the creeping fog
like headlamps way out in the distance
check which century
check the time-machine ordinance of poetic license
say an old Model-T rollicking 
along country roads dirt-scrawled
radio only available from town to town
ice box waiting for the future to defrost
the raunch and sleaze just a breezy ringtone on your smart phone
but we don’t complain
the young ones keep coming
expectorating change
being at the center of it all and sneering like it’s never been done before
proving the tar pits and golden oldies are fateful as sin
and perfectly righteous in claiming such vanities
the power is out
the sirens overwhelming and sleep
well sleep
there’s plenty of time for that in the afterlife
I got my chef’s knife and it’s sharp as a prognosis of cancer 
there’s just no easy way to define a


I wait for the library to open
I find it difficult to sleep nights
mice confound me
I never turn off the ceiling fan
I am reading Great Expectations
pop music disgusts me
I walk the alleys despite the smells and dangers
I carry my silent partner sharpened to a razor edge
I eat leftovers from the restaurant where I work
cold carrion and spent pasta shells
I cadge free rides on Muni Metro
the last woman I fucked was a black whore named Kiki
I have never owned a television
I drink red wine cold and white wine warm
left to its own devices my hair stands up on end
cheeky young sluts make my day brighter
I hate doing laundry and dream of maid service
trees outside the window shelter me from despair
insecticides confound me
I crave me some hoanh thanh mi vit tim
I do not look forward to tax adjustment specifications
the garbage trucks are noisy as hell
several times a day I contemplate suicide
I have an aversion to tunafish packed in oil
I have let down many people with false charm
I use my inhaler to circumnavigate polluted skies
rapture disgusts me
I hate having to submit to daily bodily functions
why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
qu’un coeur devenu son miroir!
I use Comet when soap would do just fine
I meant cyanide cyanide was what I meant
living in a cave a man needs supplies
Ray-Bans don’t hide the bags under my eyes
they lied to me when they said everything would be alright
platitudes confound me
my nose was broken by a baseball when I was nine
I missed the season
I play Velvet Underground on the jukebox
I’m waiting for the man
I add ice to my glass like Frank Sinatra
mañana la-de-da it does not yet exist
are you sure you don’t want to hear my New Year’s resolution?
my elixir is a glass of tap water
I hate airports
no one pussy is especially delicious
I collect Japanese teacups
I flail and flail to no avail
jazz music used to arouse me
I still scan the Sporting Green while eating breakfast
children scare me to death
I am not prepared for the apocalypse
some say I’ve got it made in the shade
Great Expectations is falling apart in my hands
I used to merrily snort methamphetamine
my fomentation dives off cliffs in hot countries
a Jew chewing pork chops that’s me
I play Iggy Pop on the jukebox
the infinite slays me
Whiskey Thieves is a bar on Larkin and Geary where I’ve been 86’d for life
my sandals are manufactured in Syria
it is condiments that make the sandwich
my mind swirls in the turbulence of a Turner canvas
I live in room #421
I hate waiting for the computer to load

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