Chris Gill

Poems II


City Nights Alcatraz

You wonder why I choose to live like this?
I can't describe the feeling:
A blind subway penetrates blonde suburbs
while a bittersweet chocolate
is smeared on love's face;
a perfect melancholy... a sun drenched pity
a neon oasis in a tropical wasteland.
Is it a lie?


      1.

Shadow boxing in brown shoes
I can hardly taste my breath.
Cold sweat fondling velvet skin
a bag of red juice wrapped
in a stony shawl...
Headed toward the underground
a ticket stub in hand
past the Palms Cafe
wheedled by the man.
Odd Italian subtitles
coming from The Strand
flicker in the dark... flicker in the dark
Is it pure light...
or a trillion shades of fright?


A stream of headlights drowns my face
while I salute the curbstone with glistening palms.
A sudden shudder and I realize
the pale shimmering of an old dream:
multiple shadows... anonymous heads clatter by
brick alleys with Spanish graffiti enclose
a wire fence beckons....


THE CITY FALLS LIKE A BLACK NET ON A SLIM CHANCE

I feared it would come to this...
I'm quite content.


      2.

I cut smoke on the straight edge
It was a mainstream experience.
Half of me was alive...
I learned to close the book on it.
My penchant for ironclad truths
obscured more honorable pursuits
and I rejoiced the irksome ruckus.
It is impossible to defile scum
It's an article of faith.


      3.

Into the night for a free fall
I was fit to be tied,
fearing a bullet with my name on it
or a vicious sort of afterlife
A silent face came out of the shadows
We met... she said it with darkness:


"Surrender your caress...
it is not shameful
to have sad eyes
or walk the streets aimlessly.
This is not the second coming...
your expectations may be met
your mirror may be shattered...
Whose dream is this anyway?"


I stumbled and fell
She caught me and said,
"Let's explore the moon tonight."
We satisfied our hunger
and whet our lonely appetite.


       4.

Certainty is not a pastime for night people
Sleep is not an object of great desire
Only when limits are stretched
does the pipeline open
its cavernous mouth and envelop slumber.
Reality is a day job... imagination wild
You emerged so suddenly


Did you really think this was all there is?

      5.

A soothing silence falls
on a green and black portrait
and opal bracelet left on the night stand
the blinds nearly drawn...
Another rainy night in the Elysian Fields
where the glimmering of ancient bar signs
collects water in droplets
on blue and red tubes.


The streets are damp
the dusky hills glisten
with grainy starlight
a misty wash upon us.
Standing naked before you
I need your grace
The dawn appears backwards
through window shades
in a 3:00 A.M. kitchen.
Your small shoes lay
on the floor as a reminder
of unplanned comisery.
You cut a blurry figure
your bathrobe slung
over your tired shoulders
your stomach white
and smooth to the touch
your lips stark raving mad


You took me to the moon
we fell into old habits
sleep overtook us
like a trashy magazine
we dreamed simmering
pulsating... there is
Life after breath!


Undulating indifference
is the fly in the ointment.


My God!
The skies can't
be this terrified
Can they?


      6.

There was a time
I shuddered with regret
I flimflammed the flimflam man
I shot the neutral flame
into the mind's heart
I would not assassinate time
if i could help it...
I take my detachment
black with no sugar.


       7.

Transformation roots
yellow and black tones
a bumble bee buzzes
transfiguring me
Ouch it hurts!


Do you know the hypotnuse of sleep?






© C Gill 1990
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Tangled Little Love

What is a wilderness to do
my tangled little love
in blonde ambivalence
and polar opposites
from sea to shining sea?

With my old compass, a blue scarf,
red knife and the plastic bracelet
which broke when I got kicked
by angry strangers outside that
Mexican restaurant situated in
the middle of a leafy green nowhere,
I walked a railroad track
and skinned my knee (it stung
but not as much as you did)
when I returned to the solitude of one
and left you for a foreign land.

Did you think that kiss in your white
car in the rainy restaurant parking lot
was enough to keep a lost love alive?

Chances are…I took a lot of risks.
Chances are…I roamed wild streets at night.
Chances are…I ached at being alive.
Chances are…it was all I knew.
Chances are…you were somewhere else.
Chances are…I survived an invisible war.
Chances are…you did too.

I spied the uneven parallel.
You shook the unforeseen past.
We ran an impossible mile.
Sometimes it was a forced march.
Sometimes we fed ourselves on ether.
Ether way, we were doomed
to love this way, my tangled little love
in blonde ambivalence and polar opposites
from sea to shining sea.



© C Gill
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A Whale Forgave Me

A whale forgave me…
for treating you so grievously.
I thanked her…and cried anyway.
I hopped a freight train
to get away from my clumsy dancing,
but my feet came with me.
A plump exotic bird gladly showed me
how to dance the wooly two step.
My feet did not rebel…
I sent you a postcard…
a picture of a whale,
and did not mention dancing.



© C Gill
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Impact
(New impact

deep total Kafka

The Rose rose
in
central ventilation

99
sweeping
asserted).

a camouflaged
desertion

beaming up

before
a light spectacle
consumed

a shitty little vision...

is that right, fat man?


© C Gill
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Mutants

Consumed… I retrofire… to an absent, white imagination.

Flaccid blimps drip, on a lemon day,

while French kiss hearts cry foul,

and bleed uncool percussion.

While indoor lips empty their shells on cool shady streets.

It's 103 degrees, and I am freezing!!!!!


Those mutants are breaking glass again…

those mutants are breaking glass.


I am inebriated and sapped…

and sit hunched

beneath their bellicose weeping willow.

The brain police attacked, flagellated and pistol whipped my non-existence,

and it still doesn't hurt enough to knock my lassitude

on its skinny little ass!!!!!


Those mutants are breaking glass again…

Those mutants are breaking glass.



2000



© C Gill
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I Bought the Farm

I bought the farm today

I laid a dozen eggs

I dipped the pickle

I cried wolf

I called 911

I flirted with disaster

But she wouldn't take me.



© C Gill
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