A New Poem

A New poem, being a slice of life in which the author takes you on an everyday journey that at first hints at being more than a mini-travelogue, but unfortunately does not make good on its promise. Also being a poem in which the title is nearly as long as the piece itself. Perhaps, dear reader, quit while there’s still time?

On the way in to the glowing white Circle-K
at 9th street and Van Buren
a Mexican kid on his way out
attempted to hold the door
with his foot.
“Good try,” I said, appreciating the effort.

in line
the young man in front of me
is wearing a motorcycle helmet
from behind his proportions are silly.

He asks for a pack of Merits
and the clerk asks for i.d.

When the man hands it over
I wonder aloud
if he’s wearing a helmet
in the license photo

He says no
a breathy, shy sound –
emanating like a thrown voice
from behind the helmet –
and we laugh.

Driving east on Van Buren toward the main post office
I unconsciously drop in on
my never-ending internal monologue
like conducting self-surveillance

I break away from the stream of thoughts
and reflect that for a moment yesterday
I was able not to think,
momentarily freed
from the cascading narrative
ever bubbling beneath.

Menudo Time!
broadcasts a small sign
in front of  a 24-hour Mexican restaurant

and I know what I will say
the next time someone asks me for the time:

What time is it?
it’s Menudo Time!

further up the street a huge billboard, uh billboards
the name of a nearby restaurant:

Crazy Buffet

there is nothing more to say.


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