Daily Archives: March 28, 2010

Two O’Clock

Two O’Clock,
we called him.

He walked to the corner
across from the bodega
and stood motionless
every day at that time
for exactly
seventeen minutes,
then walked away.

It’s a good thing we had a clock,
one with a second hand.
we’d never have known his name.

Three years I worked there,
in that stupid optical shop,
unpacked lenses
and packaged frames
for delivery all over
the damn state,
and Two O’Clock
was out there every day,
rain or shine,
waiting for something.

A place to go
is a good thing.
I used to get paid for going to mine.
I don’t know what he got out of his
because I never saw him meet anyone
or get on a bus to go somewhere else.

Two o’clock rolls around these days
and I sit here.  I don’t do anything
at all.  Haven’t for a while,
and the money’s running out.
I might go down to the corner
one of these days,
see if Two O’Clock’s still doing his thing.
Maybe he’s been waiting for me.
He must know something
about killing time I might learn.

And he wore glasses.
I remember that.  Old ones,
with big plastic frames.
Maybe I could adjust them for him.
I used to do that too. 

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What I Do Not Care About

While daydreaming
another installment
in the series
titled, “What I Do Not Care About,”
I went completely blank.

I woke myself up
and left the house
to sit in soft mud
among early leaves.
My ass got filthy

and I shivered a lot
for the fifteen minutes
I could stand it.  Then
I stood up and realized
the kids across the street

were laughing at me.
I waved back, went inside,
showered, made coffee,
toast, sat down to resume
the daydream with no shortage

of material to work with.

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Questions For The Wee Hours

Ah, Americans,
my little ones,
the television
too often spits
the shrapnel
of distant bombings
at our spirit.
We’ve grown
to expect this
and it leads to questions:

if you hear your neighbor
in the street at three AM,
do you reach for your gun?

Are there moments
when you just roll over,
go back to sleep, figure
it’ll be worth asking about
over the side fence
in the morning? 

Or perhaps
you’ll say nothing at all
because you don’t know
his name, because no news
is good news?

What exactly
are you spending
on defense these days?

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