Monday, September 3, 2012

I Cry Paris In My Sleep (and other things drawn in the margins of my life)

The finger I use for scooping out coffee grounds from the grinder is black under the nail. If it’s Tuesday then it’s August. The usefulness of a rationale that doesn’t figure. Bee ties. Pigeon cameras. A lamprey in the bathtub. It’s a musical washbox that never gets scrubbed. Cast-iron jealousy hooked to a crane. Piddled away attention. The come-and-go charm of TV. The noisiest gum on the block. I’m mustering some third-generation Cadillac-Coupe-De-Ville courage. Desperately seeking a bologna sandwich, and the moon’s out hunting Michigan again. Talking loud so strangers will hear and be impressed. A shagreen purse and a crepe paper smile, carrying on and repointing the bricks of the past with hard-fought wonder. Casked to sell? It’s a deceitful plan, perhaps, but the mind’s conniving gets laden with grandfathered clauses. Asking starts to question itself. A dab of duck fat behind each ear makes my personality a confit of redundant charm. I brush my hair with castor oil and use rusty nails as toothpicks. Let’s make a deal to make no more wishes, to put the stars back to sleep when this is all through, and to wreck havoc on Tuesday’s blues with a few of Friday night’s neon letters. For now the Chinese Godfather’s sitting next to me on this termite-infested bench while I feed ice cream sandwiches to pigeons and tell the time by church bells. All my nightmares are made of corroded chromosomes, plugged pennies, and 15-minute lunch breaks, and they’re stitched up cheap with broken cello strings. In the last place, well, there’s a terror there that weeps sleep from boredom. Hunting Michigan with the moon when it makes the least sense. And when the girls around here get to stomping around it’s like there’s a 5.8 rambling through town. My record player skips all the best songs, and the microwave doesn’t even got enough left in it to make popcorn. Let me tell you, it gets rudimentary and mortgaged and hard up to be alive when your racing form’s all filled up with circled losers. The coffee boos me in the morning, and I sneak love from the truth peddlers. Nobody’s going to want my organs when I’m gone. You see, on this side of Palookaville there are still upsets in the making and more considerations to consider, as I shuffle the depths and swing slim from the banisters. The lady who waits on me at the drugstore is wearing a Have A Nice Day pin in her lapel. I walk outside in the blinding sun and stare up at a glass behemoth skyscraper that’s reflecting other buildings in its cascading cerulean dance of windows, and I flounder around and dance by the empty place where a bus station used to go. Tomorrow’s a dropped hat and a duel of fingers. Tosspot’s grow ragged and rig their hearts with safety-pin sadness. Sing me champagne and sweep the gutters with swizzle-stick brooms. It’s a crumb to toss to party crashers and melee evacuees. Trust the judgment of wizened crows and the cracked crossbeams in the rafters of your soul. My heart’s shattered china. I waste all my wishes on the bottles behind the bar, and I miss what the sun’s got left to make of me. I dance in movie theatres and cut my own hair. But my windows, they still stay lit all through the night.