I set in the livin room with the whiskey on the table;
Listenin to the thrust of the pendulum
Of the grandfather clock,
Mixin memories ‘n desires.
The cigarettes that curl onto muh shirt
Were rolled by apathetic hands.
Who wants to roll cigarettes?
(The old timer by the corner store with a crusty beard,
Gettin blind in the spring sun?)
I don’t want to smell like ‘em.
But I do.
‘gainst the door’s muh gun,
It smartly reports to muh glare.
It admittedly beckons muh stare.
“He who lives by his gun kills by it,” gallantly read in the light.
I had thought it was an intimidatin quote but now it’s
Most nearly faded off the barrel.
The trigger stares me in the eyes;
But with each hour that’s struck,
Each thrust of the clock,
I get closer to forgettin the cruelness of spring.
Muh mutt sits kindly on the rug
And chews on the stock of muh gun.
Jeremiah wanted to put ‘is kitten in the backyard today.
I told ‘im no;
The dog already’s got them squirrels to worry about,
At each thrust of the hour
To a pack that hasn’t roamed here for a hundred years.
There are a few rows of stores downtown,
Nearly five streets;
Only been in ‘bout half of ‘em ‘fore.
People move in and away,
Havin no trust in the economics.
Rusty car-doors melt under the sun in a vacant lot.
Mattresses grow weeds through their springs out of the door of an
I just drive by once today,
To look at the people on the sidewalks,
Smiles plastered on their faces so tight
That the mouths have trouble talkin to one ‘nother.
I see a kitten like Jeremiah’s eatin a moldy piece of bread next to the baker’s.
She swallows and whimpers.
Daybreak is hot and
I am not refreshed from sleep.
This week is fishin week.
My brother and I set on the bank smokin
Cigarettes and smellin like ‘em.
I don’t speak.
Nor does he.
He lost his job, five years back,
And fishin usually makes ‘im feel better.
I could live on fishin.
Except during the spring.
We are out near the middle of nothin,
And the silence is almost pretty;
I can hear the sweet emptiness
And the flies buzzing on mah ears,
Findin a place to
I flick muh smoke away,
And I can’t help but look, by the blue rusted door,
To the place where muh gun lays,
With a chewed stock;
Chewed by the thrust of a clock.
I stare at my loose-ended line,
And try to turn the spring to summer air.