Persistent November Recalls Again
November 2020-Off the air-rerunning
One Night in York
A few years back there was
this tough old heavy set
Amtrak cop who found himself
in a snotty literary in-bred
coffee house in the middle
of nowhere one November
The cop liked to write
about some of the things he
had seen in his life and had
a few of his books with him
and put them on a table
in the back of the room for sale.
Some scrawny weathered looking
stranger approached him and asked if
he could put some of his poetry
on the table and share the space.
Cop eyed him warily.
During the reading he turned
to this woman next to him
while the guy was up in front of the room
“He’s pretty funny isn’t he”
And she smiled back at him in a raven whisper.
Outside that mild Fall night
leaves descended like midnight feathers
in the street lamp shrouded avenue.
Later he looked out the big glass window
and saw the guy who was reading before
and the woman he had spoken to.
They stood inches apart
smoking face to face
cascading leaves tucking themselves
into the folds of their garments.
And he thought what music are those two hearing?
Certainly some composition
secret and profane
a very, very old song.
They looked like they belonged
in each other’s arms
and been there
for a very long time.
There was this autumn
midnight halo surrounding
them standing on the sidewalk.
Nothing or anyone else out there
touched the stranger and that
woman in his arms.
Now the tough old Amtrak cop
had seen enough wrong combinations
in his line of work.
in his line of work
was what it was all about.
What looked right.
What didn’t fit.
Nobody could appear to be so happy
with each other.
Something didn’t add up here.
These two just appear
out of the thin night air
and hover out there
And they weren’t kids either.
They both looked like
they had both been around
but not from here
and not always with each other….
That’s the part that puzzled him somewhat.
And he shaking his head and despite
himself allowing slight grin thought,
“I just know there
is one hell of a train wreck
in somewhere in there…
But as for that moment of impact
between them right now was
a slow motion derailment
a bum in the yards
with a hard luck story
a glimmer of moon
on the silent empty rails
wine in a box car
A lost drunk
praying for salvation and ten bucks
a row of green eyed
open yard signals
while on a siding
a yard goat pulled
a long heavy freight
The old tough Amtrak cop
had witnessed endless
of lost souls in
the 2 AM limbo of the switch yard.
But these two ?
All he could do right now
was file it under advisement
and figure they probably
would turn up again
somehow in his life
as in the distance
a long lost Diesel Horn spoke
telling him there was a story somewhere. 6/10
New work 8/20
(for Phil by way of da wheel)
So I’m walking into a bar on E 7th
In 1956 right after the Dodgers beat Yanks in the last World Series
That Winter February afternoon
And Spring Training was right around the corner
And all ready there was talk about them moving to LA
Nobody reading the papers was buying it-
A loud mouth regular puts it this way-
No way the Giants skip town- that’s just Stoneham putting the pressure
On the city to build him a new stadium so they can ditch that Polo Grounds dump-
I order a tall boy of High Life in bottle and a
Shot of Dewers neat
And slap a buck and half on the countertop
Getting couple of nickels for change
Head for the jukebox
While watching that new TV set that’s showing up in most places lately
Blurry black and white with the sound muted usually
While that same know it all regular pronounces – TV stinks- look at that tiny screen-
It’s just a fad- never will catch on-
Me ? rather go to the movies
As my numbers come up on the jukebox playing
Bill Hailey and the Comets- See you later Alligator
And while lighting up a Camel Straight
Wondering who was that Dish in the phone booth
Laughing out loud down the end of the bar
While smiling over here
While I wait for her to get off the horn
There’s bar stool next to me with a purse and a Pink Squirrel
With a battered pack of Viceroy
I’m not going anywhere-
After hanging up the receiver she sashays towards me
In a red & white polka dot hoop skirt and her high heels
Clicking 2 inch stiletto heels on the linoleum
Sitting down on the adjacent bar stool
She snaps some gum with crackle
Sizes me up and down and says-
So what are you looking at ? Creep.