Film Industry Interview While Walking Bloomfield Bridge

Wild this wind in Pittsburgh–
I am Bukowski reformed
twisting through steel
structures teeth gleaming.

Synthesis of former lives–
Columbus, Los Angeles
drunken pursuit of art
now an upstream leaf.

Marginalia within pages
of tattered library books–
I’ve so little to say you
hear a deep, empty well.

To march back into
my film-reel past
and gloss over poetry–
ghost cleaning gutters.

Allow some space
within my wanting.
My heart an old lens
zooming into the river.

 

(originally published in The Aurorean, Spring 2020)

The Whole World or Nothing

You suggested whiskey sours
so we left the reading
to walk the golden streets in rain
during the first warm day

which felt like hope–
a riptide cascading
through the chaos of cars
and people on city streets.

Like you, gravel is full of scars
and we trample it under our soles
without thinking.
What do we pray to but the future,

its corpuscular horseshoe
on her way? We are swift
without wind, carving footsteps
in Bukowski’s tattered ambitions.

And when we finally reach the bar’s
back patio with sour piling into our mouths
you strip to your white dress
and show me your tattoos.

We wanted the whole world or nothing.
The sun, the moon, not one or the other.
The stars’ breaths on the nape
of your neck. Every word tingles

the first time celestial bodies meet.
I am cratered with my drink,
this treat and chilled escape.
The staircase leads downward.

 

(originally published in WISH Poetry Press)