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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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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Who Couldn’t Love That Smile?

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His cheekbones pronounced, his slight bristle of stubble, his brows immaculately-shaped, he positively glowed from the picture frame.
He could have modeled. Perhaps not on the runway, for his demeanor was too humble, too approachable. He lacked the stark, cold angularity usually reserved for runway types – those exiguous flesh mannequins, paid to shut up and look fierce, or bored, or merely apathetic.
But he could be useful on some poster or brochure selling a car, or a vacation, or a cup of coffee.
Did his girlfriend ever say things like, “You have such a nice face, you should be on television?”
Did he give modeling a go?
Was he chewed up and spit out by the heartless fashion industry?
Did he write postcards from a broken-down Los Angeles motel room?
Or was he simply happy being who he was? A bank manager, newly promoted, newly moved into a two-bedroom, Yaletown address, newly murdered?

BSB

Just a Bukowski Tonight

let’s cut through it
I’m just a man, nothing more
and the way you did your eyes tonight is sexy

the shape of your face reminds me
of a girl I used to know
someone who used me

not her fault, I deserved it
she was sexy too
so is your face

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I can’t tell the shape of your body
but I’m sure it’s a bit of all right
Fuck

I’m not a poet tonight
I’m just a Bukowski
without the books

just a dirty, old man
with stubble, and resentment
for anyone with anything less
than vagina
or booze
to offer

BSB

When death lurks on your morning stroll

baked by the fresh, morning sun
the streets reek of boredom, panic, and piss
decide to practice increased tactility

practice keeping my head from bowing to track my shoes
practice my breathing
practice regulating judgmental tendencies

achieve temporary reprieve
enjoy a brief taste of peace
until I remember that there is horror

horror and death, that floats above us all
ready to set upon us at will and whim
there is danger, and blindness, and strokes, and insanity, and…

and then, I remember women
I remember sex with a woman
feel myself growing lighter, in shade and weight

feel myself getting hard
and suddenly
I’m not thinking about dying, anymore

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Behold, the Illustrious Lady

The buxom beauty steps upon the scene
Applause erupts like frightened doves in plume
Beside her clings a mouse in gabardine
Who now becomes the envy of the room

O’er table-tops their twinkling fingers glide
As eager social climbers salivate
And though their desp’rate reaching is denied
They may yet gain some chance to elevate

This prissy mob, this empty, paltry game
Inspiring awe that’s tainted with disgust
These shallow proud believing not in shame
Nor any shining diamond turns to dust

The dream persists that someday seas will rise
And wash this gaudy vision from our eyes

BSB

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