Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jay Passer and Morning Winos, Evictions, the Barracuda Tank, and Chocolate Nail Polish


about 6 a.m.
after a food fight,
eyes reeking
from after hours,
the garnish of love

these are the details of victory:

so we celebrate,
decide eggs and a steak
drive to the store over
paved-over soil
jacked on foreign crude,
buy some beef
salt and pepper it heavy then
kitchen good and filled with smoke,
drinks in hand, smile of wine, traffic going by
not a care in the world.

there is a sun on high and
guess what, it’s just
and me
and the urge to toast, ‘to the roasting flesh’
can’t wait to eat, yank it out of the
fire, slice off
ends against the grain once taught to do by a sot
at a campfire years ago
after a U.S. Government commodities score
at St John’s, Santa Fe, New Mexico:

that bastard used my pocketknife he later
pocketed for good


first the lethal drummer across the hall
then the next door yoga girl with curly red hair

systematically replaced with robotic urbanites
a pain and panicky twitch inside while the doors rattle

they’re moving in!
well-oiled laughter, secret mechanical lives

and betrayal of my well-kept silences,
inevitable lonesome blues intuit

a brisk knock on early morning door,
notarized invitation for

perhaps a nice hot cup of eviction.


treading through pools
of molten lava
laundry day requiring
IQ of a thousand

mint tea steeped on the moon
Valentine postmarked

chocolate nail polish
sunshine leg balm
sparkly cigarette lighter

noticing a haircut
or a hard-on

it’s the little things
the alternative being

clown shoes
on a tightrope
teetering above

the barracuda tank

Jay Passer's work has appeared in print and online since 1988. His latest chapbook, FLOWER OMELETTE (co-authored with Misti Rainwater-Lites) is available from Lulu. He lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth.