p.m. December 31, 1999
my front steps I have a view
of the crazies
more exciting than Mardi Gras.
Old Margaret has thrown out
leftover spaghetti again, to dry
into crisp worms, that I always tell
her will never fool the birds. She walks
past me murmuring like some crazed
carnival bear. Her plush breasts
encased in a rancid purple sweater,
her greasy curls peering out
from under an aluminium beanie.
not worried yet,
the blue mist between
me and the Baptist church down the street
is being engineered by the government
or maybe aliens. Still, before they get here
I'd like to try talking to Crazy Margaret
or ole man Benz one more time.
The thought makes me dizzy.
A chorus of singing drunks are heading towards the mist,
a lurching syncopated harmony
that gets the street dogs to howl and trail along.
I watch the carnival going down my
street and into the blue mist
in front of the Baptist church. I resent
that I'm wasting my thoughts on Crazy Margaret,
or Bob the neighborhood eunuch,
I admit, my thoughts are pretty meagre
compared to the wild display
of lost souls wandering in the street.
Like ole man Benz.
I wouldn't say we were always
on speaking terms, but tonight
he lifts his toupee to me and says,
and brush my hair out of my eyes,
wish it was auburn and curly
like in one of those old Italian paintings.
Memorable, at least, a beacon.
I search the sky for a trail of fire.
Too late my eyes catch water sliding
down the sides of the Baptist Church Steeple:
luminescent under the last full moon
before the crash
that annihilates us all
into blue Baptist mist.
2River View, 1_3 (Spring 1997)