Author

Angie of office 93

She works in office 93,

A third floor view of a parking lot and a tree.

It is nice enough. At least she can see something.

A cold cup of tea upon her desk

A telephone and a computer

Stare her in the eyes

And ask her, ‘what is the point of all this?’

He left her last week, emailed her a note,

‘Get checked,’ it read, ‘I may have given you…’

She shudders.

‘I got it on the night I didn’t come home.’

She thought about the email and sighed.

Now she looked at the cold cup of tea

And dreaded having to get another

She didn’t want to have to talk to anyone.

The street at five was terrible and cold

The clouds hung on the tops of the buildings

And the advertising signs glowed redder than hell.

She let herself into her small cheap room

with no space for a proper kitchen

The bedroom just off the hall.

She puts on some music and cooks some food, enough for two.

At six a knock at the door

And she lets him in; she hasn’t seen him in years.

He was handsome when she knew him in high school

But now he’s turning fat

And his eyes are watery and always red

But she is glad to have company.

They ate in the cold room,

He looked from her hair to her breast.

She watched the clock near the door.

They sat on the bed and turned on the television

And soon he made his move.

She let him go, and he went all the way.

She was awake when he left, but she gave no sign.

He didn’t lock the door.

She turned to the window and looked at the darkness

A glow came from the city ten miles east.

Outside the street lamps glowed,

The man, his clothes wrinkled, his long hair over his ear

Tried to keep out of the puddles.

 

 

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Below the city clock

She has a dream in her eyes

And heaven in her lips.

 

Treat her gently

So her love will grow.

 

The window, wide open

Allows the breeze to wander in,

Lifting the white curtains and reminding me of childhood.

She has a pair of jade chopsticks on the dresser.

Her books line the windowsill

And fill her bookcase.

The time has come to go,

Rain falls gently in the street

Turning the world black and shiny.

When it rains

Go to your window

And watch the drops rush down the pane,

They race and join, until they disappear.

Breath on the glass, my love,

And see the world mist.

Your sweet breath, your sweet touch,

Hides the world and I can rest.

Walking home to you

 

Along the streets of the city

I pass the open windows and see the yellow lights

Blazing in the cream rooms.

I can smell dinners cooking,

I see the children running to the front doors of home

after playing, the afternoon sun lighting their games,

but now the long shadows of the buildings create pools of darkness.

I hear music playing as I pass, someone speaking Russian,

A young couple fighting, their shouts rattling and short,

I hear two people making love, somewhere upstairs.

These are the sounds of the city.

Nothing is happening that will make the news,

But these are the things that keep the city rolling.

Roll on great city,

With the dreams of teenagers in their rooms, eyes of their idols on the walls.

The cars are parked

Pray in your Church

Hold your eyes to heaven

And remember your room as a teenager

Where you had dreams

And you played in the street until the sun fell behind the walls.

What happened to the time? It went by like the evening train.

 

 

Please look at:

My latest interview

Mostly Mr. Hyde.

There’s a guy I know,

And he sits around all day getting mad,

Or he works at some store or wherever he can get a job

And then he goes out at night running.

He looks for fights; he looks for trouble.

He’s crazy, and he’s angry

He’s never been in a stable relationship.

He starts dating girls; then he starts to agonize about their past boyfriends

Or over thoughts that he’s not good enough for them

Or they’re not good enough for him,

And he starts to break them down and drive them away.

I tell him he has low self-esteem

I tell him not to worry about the things he worries about

But it only gives him more things to twist over.

He tucks a knife into his running shorts

And then he’s off into the night, running all year around,

In summer heat or winter rain,

He goes for hours.

Sometimes he comes back and you can see he’s been fighting.

Some car driven across a driveway, and they don’t give way to him

Or some teenager yelling something at him out the window of a car

While it’s parked at a red light,

Or someone won’t get out of his way.

Most of them regret doing it when he loses it,

Sometimes he finds guys just as angry as himself.

One day, he’ll stab someone

And he’ll go to jail.

I wonder: what’s he got to lose anyway?

A refrigerator full of beer

And some poetry books.

That’s all he has.

He writes poetry sometimes too

Like me.

His writing is good, but that’s not enough.

He’s a mad dog, tearing at his own fur.

 

In New York City

In New York City

She stands on the corner, in her raincoat,

Its pattern reflects in the street light and glistens with raindrops.

Her hair is pushed behind her ears

And she tilts her head down toward the street a little.

There is a golden puddle in the mountains, the water in that puddle

Is fresh and pure

There is a puddle on the street turning brown

And it is kicked by feet moving along in the crowd.

She stood on that mountain, in green summer grass

And I remember how she smiled as the sun sat upon the clouds and filled the valley with gold.

The sun has set on the street now

And my little room above the bodega is emptied of light.

Organ music plays down the hall

Someone is crying in a room nearby.

As I look out the window, the rain falls heavier still

And that woman moves slightly. In the electric light of the street.

She looks up; the light catches her eyes

I see that it is a stranger.

That woman, who spent that summer on the mountain with me six months ago,

I see her in bars, on buses, in theatres all the time,

 even though she is not

In New York City.

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Death and Roses

“We’re all going to die,” she said softly.

“It all ends so soon, just like our days off from work,

Sunday never lasts long enough.”

She would often say things like this and become sad.

“We’re all going to die, and there’s nothing we can do,

No matter how much fun we have, it all ends and ends terribly.”

I would never say anything to her when she became like this,

It was best to let her become quiet and sit in the dark

Like someone mourning every loss, and only the shadows give comfort-

But that comfort is nothing at all. Like eating ice for hunger.

Her friends were there once when she said this and they became angry.

“Why do you have to say that?” they wailed,

“We know we are going to die, what good does talking about it do?

Life isn’t just sadness; you’ll never be happy when you get like this.”

I watched her face become darker still as they responded.

When they left, she turned to me “They don’t really understand

How things change.” I listened to her quietly again, as I always did,

Like someone listens to the sea.

“They don’t think about things properly.

You aren’t you, what you were at six is not you at thirty,

That six-year-old is dead.”
“But it’s still you,” I answered.

She shook her head, “No, that is gone.”

I did not see her friends again for a long time,

We are all on the same path,

But for her to be reminded of death

Was to ensure she made special effort

To look at things carefully and truly love.

 

That girl

As the leaves turned yellow and Autumn tread among the trees

We drove black roads to see the colours of life.

The girl with me

Urged me to run down animals we saw in our way.

I laughed thinking it was a joke

But she was serious

No good came of that drive.

Later, standing alone at the bar, deep in the heart of the city

In came loud mouth Joe, laughing and wearing a coat he stole from the second-hand store.

He came up beside me, holding a letter like a fox might hold an egg.

He sits down on a stool, hard,

But lays the letter down soft

And points at it, inviting me to read.

It’s from a lawyer

Joe leans across and runs a dirty finger over a line

“You do not owe her any money.”

I know what it’s about, the eighteen-year-old girl he made pregnant

The girl I knew well.

“What’s this about?” I ask him

“I don’t owe her any money?” he yells

Slapping the paper, forgetting himself.

“It’s your baby; you must owe her something.”

“Can’t you see what is written in the letter? I don’t owe her.”

I stopped speaking to him, and watched him drink.

A young girl came across and sat next to him.

“Buy you a drink?” he asks.

She laughs, leaning across, her hand brushing down his leg.

He takes the letter and shoves it into his pocket.

Into the street, I step down out of the hot bar

Steam rises out of a grate; water shines like oil in the gutter.

I walk home in the dark, under the huge concrete overpass I stop and look one way

Along the dark road and then the other, toward a lighted pedestrian underpass

And I wonder what became of her,

What becomes of anyone?

 

anvilsoul1a

 

A day outside

Out my office window,

I watch the ducks rummage in the grass

The topknot pigeons chase each other

Lusty with desire,

 and the blackbirds surround and tease the plover.

The blackbirds seem to laugh as they dance about.

Red-headed green parrots step out of a low bush

And stagger as if slightly drunk and hold seeds to their mouths

With their clawed feet.

No blackbird ever teases a parrot.

Once I saw a hawk

Swoop down and rise like a god

To hover, its shadow passing coldly across the green lawn.

All the other birds disappeared, they did not fly away,

They melted away.

They fear the hawk.

I sit in my office and realise they are out in the sun and air

And I am in here.

True love

 

He found me walking home one day, and he started to walk with me,

Every house we passed, he would run in and check for any food left out

And see if he could win a bite,

But then he’d catch up to me and walk at my side with happy pride.

He followed me four blocks

Until we came to a highway

And I turned to him and yelled at him to go.

His face turned to hurt fear and he left.

I crossed the road and regretted what I had done, turned and returned to the other side

and searched for him,

That black and white dog,

But he was gone and I couldn’t find him.

Chances come and go, but I had a chance to love and I let it go.

She stood in the morning light, a sad determined look on her face

And told me to leave.

I left and turned, looking one more time at her standing in the doorway

And my mind goes back to that black and white dog.

The real mistakes I have made haunt me, again and again,

They come like spirits at midnight and dance in front of me, screaming.

The woman didn’t matter, she found someone else and moved on

We did not suit each other,

She’ll never starve.

But that dog! What became of him?

 

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