Five Poems by Patrick Lewis

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THE PIGEON

BOB BOB, PECK PECK
NO BRAINS BOB BOB JUST NEED.
PECK EATING PECK PECK
ANY MORSEL OF PECK REFUSE
PECK PECK THROWN THEIR WAY
PECK UNCONCERNED PECK WITH IT’S
ORIGIN PECK PECK ONLY PECK
SURE PECK PECK OF ITS DESTINY.

BOBBING AROUND BOB CARELESS
OF THEIR BOB BOB WRETCHEDNESS
FINDING BOB SHELTER PECK
UNDER EL TRACKS AND BOB BOB
BUILDING LEDGES PECK
SWOOPING DOWN TO BOB PARADE
BOB AMONG THE OTHER
BOB BOB BRAINLESS WRETCHES
WHO ENTICE THEM WITH PECK
YESTERDAY’S PECK PECK STALE BREAD
SHOOING THEM AWAY BOB WITH A
BOB BOB VARIED ARSENAL OF BOB
DEADLY BOB BOB WEAPONS.
GAWK! ONE LESS

BUT BOB BOB YOU DON’T MIND
YOU JUST PECK SHOW YOUR
PECK GRATITUDE BOB BOB
BY GIVING THEM PECK THE JUST
REWARDS BOB OF YOUR
PROCESSED PECKING

THE CIRCLE GAME

GOT UP TODAY TO THE USUAL OBSERVANCES OF WATER RITUALS…
UNDER MY ARMS, BETWEEN MY LEGS, TOES, NECK, SCALP…
EVERY INCH THOROUGHLY SCRUBBED.
WALKED TO THE KITCHEN, AS USUAL, SAT DOWN IN THE SAME CHAIR
ATE THE SAME BREAKFAST, LISTENED TO THE SAME MARITAL COMPLAINTS
AND, AS USUAL, DIDN’T HEAR A WORD.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TODAY?
SPEAK TO HIM ABOUT THAT,
WORK ON THOSE REPORTS,
OH YEAH, AND CALL HER ABOUT THOSE.

CHECKED MY POCKETS, AS USUAL. GOT EVERYTHING? AND, AS USUAL,
THE TRAIN WAS LATE…AGAIN. AND MY COFFEE WAS COLD…AGAIN.
AND MY BOSS RODE ME…AGAIN. AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND…

IS IT FIVE O’CLOCK YET? CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT OF HERE
AND GO HOME TO MY TELEVISION, MY NEWSPAPER,
MY WIFE. AND AAAHH YEAH…SEX!!!

ME AND THE FELLAS STOPPED TO HAVE A FEW…WE ALMOST ALWAYS DO.
GOT HOME LATE AGAIN AND, AS USUAL, THE OLD LADY WAS PISSED.

A LITTLE SOFT MUSIC, A FEW EXOTIC DRINKS, SOME SWEET TALK,
YOU KNOW…THE USUAL ROUTINE.
TOOK HER TO BED, JUMPED ON AND WHAM-BAM. BOY, AM I GOOD!

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TOMORROW?
SPEAK TO HIM ABOUT THAT,
WORK ON THOSE REPORTS,
OH YEAH, AND CALL HER ABOUT THOSE.

GOOD NIGHT DEAR, SEE YOU TOMORROW…
SAME TIME, SAME PLACE!

THE GHETTO

IS MORE THAN ROWS OF BURNED BUILDINGS
HOUSING THE CHARRED BONES AND MELTED FLESH
OF SELECTED VICTIMS; A MERE PHYSICAL CONDITION
THAT IMMOBILIZES PROGRESS AND STIFLES HOPE.

THE GHETTO IS AN ATTITUDE, A WAY OF LIFE.
ITS LOUD RADIOS AND GARBAGE; VIOLENCE AND DESPAIR,
A HOME FOR MANCHILDS AND CRYSTALALINE WHITE DEATH.
IT’S AN ATTACHMENT, LIKE FUNGUS ON A ROCK –
INSEPERABLE AND EVER PRESENT.

BUT THE GHETTO IS SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL TOO.
ITS FAMILY TIES AND SATURDAY NIGHTS;
STREET CORNER SYMPHONIES AND BASKETBALL AT MIDNIGHT.
IT’S A SPRINGBOARD FROM WHICH DREAMS LEAP TOWARDS
THE SUN WITH RESOLUTE SWIFTNESS AND FLY TOWARD
THE SKY ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND

THE GHETTO IS JUST AN ILLUSION.
IS IT A GARDEN OF EDEN OR A FIERY ABYSS?
A COMMUNITY HOME OR A DISGRACE?
WHOSE? YOURS? OR MINE?

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS…

BEING A GHOST ISN’T EASY,
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE A SHADOW.
EVERYTHING IS SO STRANGE IN
THIS OTHER WORLD OF APPLES,
RIPENESS AND HARD BODIES.
STILL, IT’S FUN TO BITE THE MEALY
WHITENESS OF GHOST FLESH
AND DISAPPEAR INTO A
TRANSPARENT WORLD OF NON-PEOPLE.

BUT SOMETIMES,
WHEN MOTHER HAS KISSED THE
ORANGE BLOSSOMS WITH HER FULL,
SWEET, COLORFUL LIPS,
WHEN MY YING AND YANG ARE IN PERFECT
BALANCE, I BECOME A SHADOW,
SUCKLING THE SOFT SENSATIONS OF
MY NATURAL HABITAT.

APPLES AND ORANGES,
ORANGES AND APPLES.
TWO TEMPTING TREATS PLUCKED FROM
NATURE’S BOUNTY AND TOSSED TOGETHER
INTO A SENSUOSLY CONFUSED SALAD.
SHOULD I BITE THE HARDNESS OF THIS
STRANGE GHOST FOOD OR
SUCKLE THE JUICES FROM BLOSSOMS
BORN FOR SHADOWS?

DECISIONS, DECISIONS!

WOULD YOU RAA-THA

I SHAPE MY MOUTH
TO PROPERLY ENUNCIATE EACH VOWEL
AND BECOME PERFECTLY BOURGEOIS?
WOULD IT PLEASE YOU TO SEE ME
ATTIRED IN THE LATEST FASHIONS,
SMILING AND KEEPING PACE
WITH THE CROWD?

HOW NICE IT WOULD BE I KNOW,
TO WATCH ME MINGLE AND BLEND,
TO ACT SERVILE AND PRETEND.
HOW YOU WOULD RAA-THA I SELL OUT
AND GIVE UP CONTROL,
PERHAPS LEAVING TO YOU
THE MOLDING OF MY SOUL.

WHAT DO YOU OFFER IN RETURN?
A MASK WITH STRINGS AND COSTUME ATTACHED?
A PROMISE NOT TO TWIST YOUR HAND TOO HARD
IN MY BACK OR TO MOVE MY MOUTH
TOO GROTESQUELY WHILE YOU SHAPE
MY THOUGHTS AND WORDS?
NO REFUNDS, NO EXCHANGES
OR MONEY BACK GUARANTEES.

SORRY, NO SALE!

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