Monday, December 25, 2006

tilting at windmills on saint crispin's day

I have discovered that all human evil comes from this,
man's being unable to sit still in a room.

Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)

Breakfast alone at The Reef
a tossed green salad, italian
cottage cheese, light salt
cup of coffee, cream

Don’t know how to tell Stephanie
why I don’t want to see her and our daughters
today of all days,
something symbolic. (only period)
[insert change of pace here]
Purposefully don’t order a bloody mary. (never mind)

I swallow tiny ice cubes whose little sharp edges
tickle the inside of my throat,
melting all the way down
and never hitting bottom.

My hands tremble a bit
as I delicately manuever
a dollop of cream into my coffee cup,
it’s color the stock dusty reef brown.

A fly alights on my salad.

I am a solitary withdrawn man
behind a mask of sociability.

[you know, that pace thing, changing again]

Winston Churchill was born in a coat check room
at some bourgeois grand ball.

Mostly I just want to be left alone.

When he was older he rationed himself
to fifteen cigars a day.

But then I miss my closely distant friends.

Upon his death, the mortician saved
four hundred some odd dollars on embalming fluid
due to the levels of brandy in his blood.

Smile. Cough. Feel old beyond time.

[I made that last part up, by the way.
But it sounded good, huh?]

I wonder how large my aperture is
as I snap a shot of 4th ave,
in simple awe of this day
and what it does to people.

I guess I just wanted this experience:
A window into the world
of those who spend X-mas alone,
whether by choice or otherwise.

Last night at McCoy’s Doug and I met a very nice man
who asked if either of us had a little marijuana to sell.
We didn’t but chatted awhile; eventually he invited us up
to his nearby apartment for a little x-mas eve party for which
he obviously didn’t have anyone in attendance yet.
He boasted seventy some DVDs in his collection.
He was lonely.
We respectfully declined his invitation and continued
our exodus from the bar.
Down the street I felt guilt in my gut mixed with sadness.
He was black.
[leave open to interpretation with devious cackle]

I scrape my lack of appetite off my theeth with a dirty sleeve.
Mispell words ‘cause I write to try to match speed of mind sometimes,
always failing,
except when mind’s on empty.

And so I stumble back into breakfast slowly,
deliberately, resolving to read the newspaper today
and let it be a metaphor about new leaves
and turning them.
[this poem ends here]

then i curl into my little shell that no one knows, fall asleep for my only christmas date at the casino and reluctantly call it just another day.

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