Thursday, April 22, 2010

Drums on Vinyl Counters

by S. Brady Tucker

Doom, Doom, Doom,
this simple constancy,
this doomed shade
of civilization, this
clutter of meat and
concrete and blood,
mortar, bone.

This is a town just
waking up into a city;
the streets blink their
surprise in pulses of rose
light, the sewers mouth
rank words that smell
of rotting bacon and old
mushrooms, they say, “We
will eat the sky and the earth,
all you bring to us,”
from the iron grates.

I am absolutely nowhere,
watching this town
mature into a city.
Remember, it is Sunday
morning and the streets
are filling with hung over
men and women, congested
and backpacked in oily
jackets. Importantly, they
are not going to church.

Then the streets are suddenly empty,
like eggshells next to iron skillets,
and this town (Edinburg?)
reeks of greasy diner plates
with three pound coffees and
four pound bagels, the same old
bagels they have always
been. Outside, women are going

to church now, in tight
leopard print pants and fur
coats, and the men, I swear I can
smell the darkness of morning
sex, the sweat septic and
chlorinated and swollen—
an array of gray gents
and their oily semen.

I am alone here and godless, among
these lost specters of religion,
and as I write this last line
I feel an erection burning: me, alone
in a techno café—a hardened American
prick in a town that feels more and more
like a city, and twice as empty
as before.

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