Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jay Passer- A Poem


I crashed my bike
At the very gates
I fell down the stairs
Stone stairs leading to a canal
Ancient stone like ballast for wooden ships
Stairs clogged with dead leaves
I lost my keys
I never knew wisdom
I lurched home at 4 a.m.
In the pelting rain
Nothing open
Nobody around
I was new to the city
I parked my Buick station wagon
In a handicapped zone
It got towed away
But that’s another story
Luckless with cars I am
For instance
I totaled the ’71 Duster
I bought off a pal’s ex-wife
For 3 bennies
To ‘keep it in the family’
I blew a .2 something
I was arrested immediately
And then
A shitty lawyer
Shot my case along with a load of insulin
In the confines of a District Court broom closet
Failing the treatment program
I ducked the law for weeks
With furtive over-the-shoulder-like glances
Till the cops finally
Double fisting the warrant
Rousted me
One fine morning
Out of my apartment
‘No funny business, Passer!
We know you’re in there!’
I spent 55 days in County
Yet by some
Miraculous combination of
Charm steeped in stupidity
I didn’t lose my job
And once released
To find that my
Hungarian squeeze
Had cheated on me
With who else but another good pal
A sycophantic painter of abstracts
‘We only kissed, it was nothing!
We just had a little too much to
Drink’, she swore
So I fell into a hedge
Wait a sec
I leapt into the hedge headfirst
And was stuck there
Suspended in space
Believe it or not
I lost not only my keys
But also my ID
Blame it on lack of wisdom
Or a propensity for falling
It wasn’t long till
I fell out of a helicopter
I fell out of the space shuttle
I fell off Uranus
Those were the days alright
I’d fall in love
Twice a week
I threw my typewriter
Through a window
I smoked amphetamines
Out of a light socket
I fell asleep in a shopping cart
Parked on the train tracks
In Tacoma Washington
I thought I was prepared
I thought I was in love
I wore out shoes at an astonishing
I took the wrong bus
I ended up at the airport
I passed out under a chair
Of the view of
Endless legs
Hustling to destinations
I woke up in a dim trance
I found myself rooted in iniquity
I put my fist through a
Plate glass window
Not in some gangsta B&E attempt
I was simply too drunk
To recognize which building I lived in
I broke the key in the lock
Every structure looks the same
When you’re wasted
And blue
All the trumpets twisted
The timpani blown out
The string section quarantined
It’s all about the fall
I fell out of a tree
Into the lake 
With my damn pants down
You see
I was trying to take a leak
I held my hat up above the water line
As the sky abraded my thoughts
With steel wool
In wintertime Lake Union is pretty chilly
Frivolous at best
Seems to be
The best I can do
So what if I don’t make films about
People making films
At the same time
I would rather feed dog meat to my
Closest relative
Than engage in light banter with
Let’s get this straight
Here and now
I know that the world is a shit pile
Everybody putting on some facade of
While ultimately
Out to rip you off for
All you got
Without realizing you never had a damn thing
To begin with
And to top it off
Nothing at all to clutch at the moment of
What could be called
Narcissism in reverse
And yet still
Like some stunned or retarded beast
I never caught on
I wasn't trained to adapt
To protocol
I worshipped the song
And the sun
The shouting incandescence of simply
Boy was I ever mistaken
I just never had it quite figured out
My grasp despite heroic intentions
For some notion was fleeting
I foresee flab and tomfoolery
Consuming all the smug smiles
I fall in line
It’s perfectly sensible
Bell rung with a shotgun
Shattering the nappy of the
Newborn tot
‘Here thee!’
I can see the future
But it’s not seeing and it’s not the future
I’m good that way
Damn good
Like a virus
Like an earth-borne asteroid
Like a bitty drop of cyanide dribbled on the dictator’s lip
At world war’s finale
I see it
Like a lucid dream
At the final curtain
It’s all about
Because when all’s told it’s cats 
That have it down
The feral instinct finely tuned
Ask the Egyptians
Cats got it made
They don’t give a good goddamn 
They don’t care if there’s dolphin
Mixed in with the tunafish

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