A Jazz Quartet Life

I hear a tight jazz quartet
smacking out lead-bottomed bass
tinkling a shaker, with a half-open hi-hat

some soft-fingered ivory tickling
peppered with a gritty groan
and cigarette smoke

I sit, and listen, and
I think to myself:
why can’t life be just like that?




in the middle of a sea of egos and completely selfless
each face mirroring my own, yet my own remains blank
a featureless human
a brand new form of life
my affection arrives without cause
my desire yielding no effect
yet touching all hearts at once
radiating my light in full
in the pitch of blackness
love without return or reward
thus becomes my beacon
bringing me absolute happiness
at home without soul is my destiny


city’s nothing more than a list of ways to die
a cascading catalog of hazardous circumstances

(between Asian toys, Asian food and Asian drivers,
I may never live to visit Asia)

commuting children bearing cellular sidearms
killing me quick and slick as cancer and speeding cars

throw my slack body before the panicked rush of traffic
avoid exploding swarms of pigeons launched from sewer grates

if I do to survive the sidewalks alive with
disease, filth, and strangers waiting to pick my body bare

I may yet arrive at my job, whole and hearty
and ready to eat my soul for dinner