Saturday, August 2, 2014

Richard Schnap- Three Poems


When I finally awoke
After decades of sleep
The world had changed

Soldiers were turning
Their weapons on themselves
Becoming their own enemies

Prisons were as common
As churches or temples
But more overcrowded

Children carried guns
Like they were toys
And death was a game

The TV showed visions
Of worldwide atrocities
For a low monthly fee

And I wondered what happened
But all I could do
Was go back to sleep


There was the schizophrenic writer
Who loafed at a coffeehouse
Chain-smoking cigarettes
As if it was his calling

And the punk rock bassist
Taken down in a car wreck
Fulfilling its creed
To live fast and die young

And the painter whose portrait
Of his musical girlfriend
With the hair-trigger temper
Was a violin in flames

And now they’ll be forgotten
For on these worn, broken sidewalks
There is no Walk of Fame
To keep their memories alive


Here is the record store
Where the crippled hang out
Searching for ballads
That once made them dance

Here is the thrift shop
Where the unemployed browse
Seeking disguises
To mask their defeat

Here is the coffeehouse
Where the indigent loaf
Chain-smoking cigarettes
As they read last week’s news

And here is the bar
Where the tired old men
Linger for hours
With the ghosts of dead friends

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