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Back-Up Karaoke

by Anna Ruiz

Kerouac on bivouac,
serving poems on the green grass of home,
strumming an old Fender guitar
missing the D-string.

I can hear him weeping
in this den of thieves,
words broken by the wind like cheap tricks
on the seventh day and counting,
never to be found where the bed of roses sings.

Kryptonite on Kali’s black tongue,
loosely speaking, transient mellow yellow,
and the green fairy buckles up,
shoots up melancholy
with an aging blind friend.
I think his name is Rodrigo.

Just another drunk and wayward clown
stiffening up three doors down in the barrio
across from the place called Lament of the Highborn,
if I could but read the hanging street sign right
in the absence of light.

Caruso singing “O Sole Mio,”
riding a spotted lama
on the Asbury Park carousel,
gone berserk and haywire,
taunting mules in the sun with broken stones,
carrots and mockingbird feathers.

You can almost hear the electric clock ticking
in your film noir. You can see the dust climbing
to the eighteenth floor.

Nightmares are made of such things
when you’re half past the monkey on your back.
And, damn it anyway, I never did get to see
your fractal etchings. You were just another
loan shark, and you never had a heart to give away


Copyright © 2015 by Anna Ruiz

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