Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Four-flusher Nocturne

Joe Brooks' torpedo took a wrong turn,
ends under the East Bay docks, beneath a woman
mumbling, "I have to see a man
about a dog." She is blind and tied to a dog with wild eyes.
The crasher knocks the pilings and won't blow -
trips up a zozzled boy of fourteen,
set to cast a kitten into the depths.
He is from Oklahoma, originally. These things happen.

At home, he might have been Joe Hayseed,
here he's just another knockabout drifting
through the scraps of Holloway and St. Mark's,
caught by the impossible current.
He sneaks up on the woman and steals a hair of the dog -
An animal dream to stitch the iron one's shoelaces.
Like I said, these things happen.

Brinks is down from the mission, handing out advice
like cheese on toothpicks. We're all everything
skewered here. Want more nookie? Stay off the giggle water,
but keep it close. Everyone is starving for something, even
presidents are tapping their teeth.
What's eating you, kid? Firecracker's a dud. You're all powder
and no fuse. Get your glasses on and don't
take any wooden nickles. It all goes hollow in the end,
elm wood soft from the rot. You
slay me.

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