Market Street at 3AM

Market Street at 3AM

Two quarts and a five,

splashes of

of

yellow & red,

glass shatters,

a speed freak
on crutches,

and the barefoot
drag queen

shouts

KA-POW!

“EEZEEE STORAGE”

“immediate move in”

You can Fail but you can’t Flop

as the last drunk

staggers onto the bus.

(c) Rob Goldstein 1984-2018

revised June 13, 2018

Sudden Tears

…and Rimbaud’s limb being so caught up goes be-bopping out the door into the forest through the trees – raga rag in the grass overturning picnic baskets whizzing past churchyard gates right in step it genuflects then aims and leaps over the scene over the rainbow out of the canvas into space pure space—as remote and colorless as dear arthur’s face. a face made incorporeal  full of grace.  sunken eyes—those cobalt treasures closed forever.

clenched fist relaxed wrist
his pipe turned in…

out in the garden the children are gathering
it’s not a whim. they are accurate immaculate,
as cruel as him.
they sing:
legs can’t flail
cock can’t ball
teeth can’t bare
baby can’t crawl
rimbaud rimbaud facing the wall
cold as hail dead as a doornail

sudden tears!

Excerpt from the poem Rimbaud Dead, by Patti Smith

There are Times When One Must Change One’s Story

This is how life is when you feel weak and helpless:

You lay down and die or you puff yourself up until you
look so big everyone stays away.

But they stare.

One day the puff goes out and you think that maybe you don’t
need it: that there is no one to blame, there is no one to hate.

Bad things happened to me and they still happen; bad things will
happen to other people long after I’ve died.

Weak minds and political opportunists abuse religion; they always
have, and they always will.

All political creeds are open to corruption; all economic systems are open
to abuse, the poor will always be their own worst enemies because violent
poverty causes intense identification with the oppressor.

How does one think ones way out of the hateful violence inflicted by
one’s own people?

Somehow, I’ve thought my way out, but it’s taken most of my life.

My puff is gone.

I don’t need to explain myself, to apologize,  or make myself livid with rage.

I don’t need to incite power struggles.

Not today.

Power struggles are about feeling powerless; the need to fight small battles
is about the need for distraction.

No puff…

No anger.

“Am I dead?”

“No, not dead.”

I’ve never felt more certain of my worth as a person, never more secure
with myself.

Myself.

My. Self.

The puff is gone and in its place I think I see a person; a man whose hellish
past no longer defines who he is or how he will live the rest of his life.

I think I can see my self.

Now everything is new.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2018

First published Sep 25, 2015
Revised May 25, 2018