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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let's Have Coffee

Sometimes I drink coffee or tea
Needing something warm
Chases the chill of being alone
Alone with others surrounding
They know me not
Tied up in their own versions of what I am
To serve their purposes
Mattering none, I’m just there
It doesn’t matter
They are what they are.

I’m alone. Cold
Coffee is my mistress
My secret comfort
Holding me tight inside
Her body gives me warmth
That no one else can
Her bitterness is delicious
Bites me so right
Gives me her all
Makes me feel human for a while
I can brew more
Let’s have coffee


The last time I was in this bar
everything I owned was in a backpack on the floor.
There were fights, loud music, cheap beer.
everyone was gritty and real.
The place seemed like a dump. Dirty, grimy, and smelly.
People smoked in the beer garden. A contact buzz.
I was grateful.
Women wrestling in Jello had made me fall in love with this city.
I drank until I could ride the bus all night on a pass
had to sleep somewhere.
I Didn’t want anyone to see me.
Didn’t want anyone to know me.

But it was my adventure.
To say that I made it, having been that low.
Prove to myself that I can do such things. Be the American Dream.
Pull myself up by the bootstraps, make something of myself.
I was so stupid then, but it was what I had, stupidity
What a bunch of shit that is, but I did it. Sort of.
Took years of sacrifice and suffering, hard work

But here I am, walking into that same bar again, alone.
Many of the same people are there, not much has changed
I meet everyone again as though they’d remember me
Looking back turns out to be more bitter than sweet
But sweet is something that sells me short
shuts me out of the good in life
Bitter is something better, more attractive, savory
Boredom in life is a waste and a tragedy.
Better to suffer and struggle, to live

I stand there drinking, enjoying the delicious raw music
There is another fight outside. Does not involve me. Not much does.
Guys are heartbroken that women don’t don’t like them
They miss the point entirely. It’s to their advantage.
No one notices my existence.

I hate the words last call. Can there be a bigger kill joy?
My eyes burn, my heart yells that after all these years
I still have nothing my heart would like
My guts react to the realization
I have to go home to that empty apartment
Going to be a long walk home. Being home punishes my soul.
At least all the beer I drank will help me fall asleep
Make the next day half conscious
I chug the last of my beer, choke back the shittiness
Things were a lot worse the last time.
Now they’re better, except where it seems to count most

I drag myself down the street
Tell my heart better none than bad.
Better this way, safer.
The street swallows me into nothingness.
Like I was never even there.
It’s as if the world cannot wait to erase evidence of my existence.
And not just on those streets or in that bar.
I am grateful.


I saw her trying to hug him, wanting more
They stood on the street in full view
He towered over her, tall, fit
She was shorter, thicker
Very long hair, good for pulling
She held him tightly, eager
His hands pat her back, not hugging
Doesn’t want seen holding her
He could have anything, everything
In every way imaginable
He worries about image
Image over experience
Over living

Not Mine

An emptied apartment
It wasn’t to be like this
It was all it could be
Marriage was over
Another fresh start. Alone.
Take a walk, so bored
The sun burned my skin
A lone bar amid sprawl
The few there are hardened drunks
All they have is in emptied bottles
I sit there drinking, wasting
Watching my money
No one I want to know
Bottle emptied. One more won’t hurt
A man approaches too drunk to say much
Wishing someone were able to feel what he does
From his emptied bottles
I’m not there. Not going to be
I drink my beer faster
Wanting to get away
Money in the juke box
Timed right
I walk out the door
“Welcome to paradise” plays
It is paradise, just not mine