searching for dreams (don’t do no good in the real world)

in bed
curled around
her sleeping self

I think
this is what
I’ve always
wanted

to whisper
in an ear

that she’s
my one
and only one

but I don’t
realizing
that’s not me
that’s not her

it’s just an idea
in my head
from a song
Taupin wrote
about one of his
ex-wives

and what
does that
tell you

(D. James)

calling

phone calls
text messages

and no one
gets back

what to do

feeling disconnected
feeling like no one’s
out there
feeling like no one
wants me

it’s only a thought
they’re all just busy
right now

in an hour
everyone
will call back
at once

and I’ll have
3 voice mails
and 5 text
messages

while trying
to get through
to my sister
in Tucson
to say
I love you

(D. James)

down day

Thinking
of giving up

packing it in
leaving

Always looking
for support
someone to prop me up

or just lean me
against a wall

Feeling like
it’s never
gonna be enough

Swimming
in a pool
of self-pity

not wanting
to take
responsibility

wondering how
everyone else
seems to do it

so why
can’t I

(D. James)

the last poet

When the night
is over

and the final
cigarette
has been smoked

what will
the last poet
say

After all
the evoked emotion
failed relationships
dead boyfriends
abortions
abusive parents
drugs and alcohol

laughter
and pain

have been spilled
out
in some cases
artfully vomited

what could
this last poet
have to say

How to summarize
this night
these words
life sentences
bad grammar

poetic license
driven to excess

How to follow
the girl who told
of losing all her hair

the guy who
crashed his car

the gay biker
who longs
to be dominated
by a she-wolf
of the SS

the boy
who lost
his virginity
so late

the girl
who lost hers
so early

the words
of so many
who want change
yet stay
right where they are

What can this last
motherfucker
have to say
that can top the
triumphs
tragedies
surprises
sorrows

What will
the last poet
leave us with

as we file
out of this
basement grotto
into the light
of dawn

Do we expect
too much
as he steps to the microphone

the crowd
too drunk
to hush

even the white
of the spot light
seems a bit dingy
as he steps into it’s shaft

The last poet
will speak the
last poem

and we will leave
to sleep it off

Whatever he says
will be the final word
so our expectations
are far too high

The last poet
poor fucker
has nowhere to go
but down

unless he’s more genius
than genius itself
more brilliant
than all of us

The last poet
clears his throat
touches his lips
to the mic

the wait
has us spellbound
and half-hopeful

Even so
when we wake
in the afternoon
hungover and
full of piss

will we remember
any of this

(D. James)

the four corners of love and belonging

See the tall girl
standing on the corner
a cell phone to her ear

Oblivious to the traffic
rushing by
a boy
talking in her ear

He tells her
“I love you”
but she doesn’t
believe it

She turns west
and hears him say
he can’t live without her

She turns east
and he says
please don’t leave

When she looks down
at the ground
is that south?

Up at the sky
north?

He keeps talking
pleading
wheedling
whining
but she stopped listening
long ago

Behind dark sunglasses
she quints at the bright sunlight
of a Los Angeles afternoon

It’s after she throws the phone
as it skips along the hot tar
and is run over a few times

she realizes
her mistake all along
has been looking for love
from without instead of
from within

(D. James)

Nowhere, actually

They talk
and talk
then talk
some more

Saying the most
benign things
about the weather
or what someone else
has already said

I look for silence

But still they talk
and talk
without really saying
anything

In the end
I wonder …
do these words
really get us anywhere?

(D. James)