A Prayer for the Old, Mendicant Wretch

She’s sat here for a hundred years,
here, at this bar.
Before it was even built,
before the old jukebox was even installed,
she was here
winking at Johns, and Jims, and asking their story.
Asking them to buy her a round.

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Since before time began, she’s been here.
Many men have known her love,
and her fury.
Many a butcher, tailor, and sailor alike
have kicked her from the bed
in the middle of the night.
They’ve cursed her name, and her craziness,
swore up and down they’d never do this again.

There’s no need to weep for her.
She wastes not a tear for herself,
why should we?
But if you would simply pray,
spare a prayer for the wretch.

O God, if you do exist,
and are indeed merciful,
strike this woman dead, this ageless beauty.
And we will erect a pile of stones
by the jukebox, in her honour.
And each passing sailor will pay respects
she never had the pleasure
of enjoying from the likes of them
and their sort
when she still drew ragged breath
through cracked, painted lips.

BSB

Original artwork by Leszek Harasimowicz
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Imagining a Life with Her

She tells me she wants to be a baker,
that it’s been her dream since she was young.
I taste the cakes she’s prepared
and I’ll admit – she is good.
Her dream is to open a shop
and delight the city’s sweet-seekers.

I taste my new acquaintance’s sugary confection
and imagine a life with her…

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Wake in the late morning
to the smell of baking.
Roll over, and gather the pages from last night
scribbled on loose notebook paper.
Take them to the sun room, to read over.
She walks in, with a fragrant tray
still hot from the oven.
A kiss on the cheek turns my face to her.
Her smile is bright as morning sun.
“How’s the book coming, sweetie?”
she says. She lifts the steaming tray of goodies.
“Here, try one. I want to know what you think?”

“Sure,” I say, taking a cookie
and holding up the pages,
“as long as you don’t mind some reading.”

I eat the cookie
but she doesn’t read my pages
until we finish making love
and brew some coffee.

She tells me she’s an artist.
She’s always wanted to illustrate children’s books.
Asks me if, maybe someday,
she could illustrate a book of mine.
I look at her smile, glowing in the light
of a blue, neon beer sign,
and think; Shit, why not?

I brain-storm ideas
for a modern children’s fiction classic,
and imagine a life with her…

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We wake begrudgingly, together,
late in the day, in our studio.
We kick aside the empty bottle of wine
and decide to paint our bodies
while the drunk still lingers.
Paint is smeared across our naked bodies
and we and roll over blank canvases
layed across the hardwood.
Nude, exhausted, I detach
and light the day’s first cigarette
and brew coffee.
Nude, she finishes her newest piece
with delicate brush-strokes,
as I watch her, and create poetry.
We stand together, nude,
admiring our new creation.
I read her the poetry I wrote,
and we crack another bottle of wine.

I imagine my life
together, with another.
For some reason,
the dream never manifests.
Damn life, damn reason,
damn the year, and
damn the season.
Maybe we could be happy
if we wait, if we work,
if we try, if we give up,
if we move,
if we just stay here.

The truth is
I’m tired to death.
And want you to be tired too.
You, the beautiful face
that peers at me through candle-light.
We could both go to bed together
with a bottle and a dream,
and sleep in late
for the rest of our lives.

BSB

 

I Hear You, My Darling

You stand there,
doddling like a child in the corner,
the baby blues flickering on your baby face.
You mischievous kitten.
I’ve figured you out.
You’re a full woman in the mere guise of a child.

Ron Hicks

Your stumped limbs,
plumped with near-distant infant fat
belies your true nature,
rich with amorous stirs,
which initially make me feel
perverted.But the
curve of your backside
that spells the most perfect
“S” I’ve ever seen,
and the kinky flames
that rage behind your baby-blues
make me feel like a man
on top of his game.
The question remains…

Will I do it tonight?
Will I sink into that well,
once more,
poisoned as I know it to be?

I’m not sure.

Loneliness
in the very heart of the crowd
I can see written long-hand on your cheeks,
like the stains of a tear-inspiring love song.

I hear your lips say;
“Take me away,”
while your eyes whimper something like;
“Lay with me in paradise.”

run away

I swear that I can see and hear
your delicate, smooth fingers utter
in equally smooth and delicate tones;
“Come with me, fast. Let’s never look back,”
as they’re worn down
by the nervous erosion
of your restless mouth.

“How long will you wait?”
ask your arms, hips, and toes,
“before you kidnap me?
Can’t you see that
I’m starving in a wasteland?
Take me away!
Club me in the dead of night,
and steal me away to a life without borders.
A life hard, and fast,
and riding into the wind, and spray, and sun.
When will you stop carrying on this ridiculous ruse,
cast your mask to the curb-side,
grab me by the wrist,
and whisk me off to the hills already?”

Fabian Perez

The music has turned sober.
All of our minds are cursed with a chance to think clearly.
She is going home with him.
Everyone here is tired to death of forced conversation.
And,
I need to start walking.

BSB

Original artwork by
Ron Hicks
&
Fabian Perez

Greasy Spoon Day-Dreaming

In a diner on the side of the highway
my shaking hand pours coffee, flips burgers
as my cigarette takes orders at the bar.

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We have hot soup-du-jour, burgers, and eggs
for the hitchers, truckers, and farmers
who dust themselves by the door
and chat about the weather.

Doris DeLynn, with her big hair, and round hips
serves Salisbury steaks, with cole slaw, and hash.
Her make-up cracks when she winks an eye.

We stay open all night, almost every night.
Drifters come and go with bindle in hand.

Pastel blue table-cloths weep over potted petunias
plucked fresh from the little garden I got out back.

Every other day, mood willing, Doris takes me.
I flip the sign around in the door, and we romp
a sweaty, sticky mess in the old, dusty office.
Doris’s perfume stings my tongue when I mash my face in her neck
as I picture prom queens, and old flings from a lifetime ago.

The day arrives, when Doris leaves me for good.
She trades me in for a salesman, who drives a big Ford
and carries a card, a briefcase, and such.
She’ll move to the city, and grow into a salesman’s fat wife.

I’ll grow older, and more bitter, until the day I shoot myself
seated at the desk, in the office, where Doris used to take me.

And, I suppose, no one will come to that old diner again.

BSB

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Original artwork by Eric Sokol
Photograph by Gregg Obst

Rust

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if my hands were the limbs of my mind
I would understand women

if my tongue could speak the words
and emotion
lapped from your cunt
then I would know you inside out

if you could hold my cock
like something more than a toy
maybe we could be happy

perhaps
if we try

we can be people to one another
instead of locks, and keys,
and rust in-between

-BSB

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Last Call’s Final, Parting Gut-punch

edvardmunch-jealousyi1896the mirror behind the bottles behind the bar
offer a view of your girl’s face as she endures your embrace
and keeps an eye on me, waiting for a time when he will die
of exhaustion, or shame, or by her hand
and we can be together

toss your hair, dance for me
care not for his suit, his hair
his car waiting in the parking lot

you prefer the chase
the danger
and strange, new pleasure

suit yourself for now, as you will
you will never know, nor will I
and together we shall be
unfamiliar, unaquainted, forever

BSB

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Sensations of Copulation

sex is happening beside me, inside my mind
a couple sit, myself beside her
like an impromptu menage

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she rubs her dress straight on the surface of her long legs
with pointed hands and painted nails

she laughs with her partner
carelessly tossing her hair behind her
which brushes my shoulder and she excuses herself

her smile is pleasant, but her fear is ugly
the timidness of a child does not become her mature eyes

her man is weak, and cannot handle a woman like her
she owns him, and he hopes she will keep him past tonight

while she hopes that he’ll stay a man until last call

BSB