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12. Featuring: William Taylor Jnr.

+ Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal + Zachary C Bush + Luisa Lamounier
+ Gabriele Quartero + Ray Succre + Rob Plath + Moxy Casimir + Fabio Izzo
+ Eugen Suman + Matthew Friday + J. J. Steinfeld

Poem

Somewhere
along the way

we forget
to be beautiful

and this is where
all other deaths
begin.

Even His Death

Li Po, they say, died
drunk, falling off a tiny boat
while trying to embrace the moon’s
reflection on the still and silent water.

I like to believe this is true,
even his death a poem.

The Bones Of Her Dreams

She knows enough not to believe
in much of anything
or have faith
in my words
when I speak of things like love and hope.
With her fingers
she traces the contours
of my body
trying to convince herself we’re something more
than strangers.
In her bed
we lie
using words to try and translate
the sorrow beneath our skin.
The silence has more substance
than our conversation
and the warmth of her tears
is the only thing
I truly understand.
We know the same darkness.
It eats us
from inside and out.
She says she is safe
only when she sleeps
and places the bones of her dreams
in a box beside my own.
She closes her eyes and rests her head upon my lap.
I do not sleep
 but sit up as if to somehow stare down the darkness
as if my vigil might keep her safe
from what is lurking
just beyond the candlelight
so hungry for whatever it is
that’s left of us.

Being Lonely

We closed down the bar
went back to my place and did the
usual things
at about 4 in the morning I said
I am going to bed now
but she wasn’t sleepy and stayed up
to watch movies
and hours later climbed into bed
she tossed and turned and made funny noises
and when the sun came up we were both still awake
and she started asking questions like
did I believe in past lives
and fairies and horoscopes
and I told her I didn’t believe in much
of anything
and that I was very sleepy
and she told me I had an interesting nose
and that my hands were small and asked
if I was always this quiet
and I said yes I was
and she asked me why I didn’t talk much
and I told her that I didn’t have much to say
and that I was very sleepy
she said she was hungry
and I said I didn’t have any food
but she persisted so I stole an apple
from my housemate
then she found some of my poems
and read them and asked me
what they meant and I told her I didn’t
know
then she found my guitar
and sat on my bed and played a Celtic song
and sang in a cracked and heavy voice about fairies
and past lives
and I said that’s nice but I am very very
sleepy and have to go to work soon
and she played another song
and then another
and then a few more
and finally stopped and turned on
my computer to check her mail
she talked to the screen as she read her mail
and then I took a shower
and when I came out of the shower
she was still there and asked if I wanted a ride
to work and I said no
no thank you I will walk
and I took her number and told her I would call
and as I watched her car disappear
around a corner
the world seemed a much better place
and I suddenly remembered that being lonely
wasn’t as bad
as a lot of things

The Tourists Get Drunk

buy t-shirts
and fondle the bones of poets
hanging in the
windows of North Beach
butcher shops.

The old and the young alike
sit in crowded cafes with funny hats
and beards
pretending to be artists and pretending to be
alive

as I make my way to the old Saloon
where the people don’t pretend
to be much of anything

where Bobby Dylan plays on the jukebox
and the ghost of Phil Ochs
cries alone on a corner stool

and I join those at the bar
waiting for a drink
a cigarette
an earthquake
a pretty girl

something beautiful they forgot
to take away

something simple
and real enough

that doesn’t ask too much of you
or taste so much
like death.

I Bet They Never

Wise men say it’s good to know
when to let go of things

but I bet they never saw you
in that dress

stretched out on the damp grass

with the late afternoon sun
shining

down
just so.