A Day Off

Four feet, three feet, two feet
back, back — one foot
back, come on, back, back
the ordeal of parking a car parallel
a mother daughter team
Daughter guiding mom in
back, back, keep going
Mother at the wheel
craning her head around on her squat neck
eyes popping, terrified of that car behind…
I leave this, walk into the library on a Thursday
sober for a month come tomorrow
it’s noon but the new L.A. Weekly isn’t in
but my book on hold is
one dollar fine for poetry
it gets paid
and I get my Hemmingway
In Our Time
read it before — ten year, twenty ago – time again
stop, crank it, crank it
Ugh, Mom!
the auto-circus continues
rarely am I pleased to own no car
but at times
the efficiency of long legs and a good pair of shoes
can’t be over-rated
back, back ¬¬¬¬— on my way back home
on foot — one foot, two feet — on foot
it’s all slowed down
a little life on the hoof
vacant lots littered, overgrown
white picket fences
symbol of the soulless life
with a lot of soul:
splintered, rot, pealing paint, cracked, and bare wood
faded fences, forgotten foundations
things lingering from another time
into our time
as I walk home and feel
like an old man from another era, faded and forgotten
I see myself as old and I’m not
my love for relics turns me into one
aggressively ignorant
Back — back — backing my ass up
in time
terrified of what’s ahead
as the road crew takes a break from ripping out decaying
sewage lines from the street
and sinking new ones, wide guage
to take more shit
as they shoot shit, “And she says,
“It’s the same one as last time. Do you recognize it?”
And I go “Yeah.””
What the fuck could it be
I wonder, walking past —
the sign on the church reads
“Trust in Jesus, he’ll bless UR Sox off,”
What the fuck, god dammit
it’s only Wednesday
the new L.A. Weekly doesn’t come out
until tomorrow
What was I thinking?

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