Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where Are the Saints?


I watched as the people kept on arriving.

Baggage wedged in-between serenity and insecurities like
fat babies suckling from maternity.

Fiends and whores stride in Velcro against the flow
of arriving angels like capillaries pumping

oxygen through weekend toxins,
confidence playing chess against
skeletons and ghosts.


The devil danced in front of me.
I drank a beer and read the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

The moonlight at midnight liberated
the Prince of Darkness and his dance of deception.
His shadow pulled up a chair to the left of me.

“Why don’t you pay attention to the dance?” the shadow said.

“I don’t have time for you right now,” I said.

Demonic disco moves continued
in front of the shadow and I.

“Come on, you know you want to get up and shake your ass,” the shadow said.


One of men on the Most Wanted List had killed
eleven people. He kept the right hand of his victims as
he traveled the Midwest,
going from job to job.

Another was a woman who had poisoned her plastic surgeons.
Apparently, some things you just can’t get used to.


I heard numerous voices cheering.
The devil had started a hoe down.
Folks were all around,
slapping their knees,
embarrassing themselves.

There was an absence of banjos, fiddles,
people blowing in jugs.

“Looks so fun. Doesn’t it just want to make you join in?” the shadow said.

“This is boring,” I said.

Two elderly women grinded on Lucifer’s crotch.
Others in the group were waving me over
to join in the dance of pathetic pulses.

“What if I got them to play some James Brown?” the shadow said. “Would that get you evolving?”

“What if I got them to do shots of Holy Water with salt and lime?” I said.

“You’d do that. Wouldn’t you? You heartless fuck!” the shadow said.

I kept my eyes on the dance moves of the devil and his posse.
All the while, facing the shadow like a jealous lover
pretending not to notice
the possibilities of darkness and broken promises.


I stayed fixed to the Most Wanted List.

The shadow started to fidget. Agitated reluctance to reality.
An almost defeated sadness of unanswered prayer.

“Damn it, man! Get out there!” the shadow said.

Those who danced slowly dissipated from themselves.
Good, Norman Rockwell types
being inked into Ralph Steadman caricatures
right in front of me.

A weaker man than me might have wished for
Robert Crumb legs to rush from the moment.
Overgrown appendages for trucking,
a fast get-away from the reality that other perceive.


“I can tell you’re not getting out as much as you used to,” the shadow said.

The wind badgered the windows and door.
More people arrived to the beats of false clarity.
Phonies looking for a quick fix.

I might have found myself there once, maybe in the future, but tonight
I’ve got on my windbreaker. A strong polyester thing;

Made in USA is what it is.
A safety net of protective mockery and
dissidence lines skin and bones,

mutes the soul.

“No sympathy for the devil, or myself, for that matter,” I said. “Grab the waiter
when you can, so I can order another beer.”


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