Apr/May 2004 Poetry

Lenny Bruce is Dead

by Alex Stolis

Art by Janet L. Snell


Lenny Bruce is Dead

We walk to Chicago and Franklin
in shoes that need new soles, push
leaves out of the way and stuff
our hands into wet coat pockets;

we share two different views of the world—
yours is one of right angles and light
that burns words from the corner
of our eyes into bright red neon,

and the only way for us to see the end
of the night is when it is parallel
to the beginning of a day.

At Frank's the whiskey is so watered down
it takes hours to get drunk;
I try to cop a feel
from the cocktail waitress;
The dopeman is late, so there's no time
to score before you stutter my name,
blame me for the black-eye,
and I swear there is no memory

of Wednesday or Monday as I run
my finger over the dry film on the table
top that looks like left over make up
from—what's her name,
Sandra or Sara, the one from Nebraska
who wanted to be an actress.

The bartender remembers the names
of our drinks but not our faces,
and the police are always ready to bust
in, and we're prepared to run, but hey,
just one more gig and baby, we'll be flush.


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