THIS IS A POEM ABOUT SUPERMARKETS AND DON JULIO TEQUILA AND SIDESTREET CLAIRVOYANTS ON IVAR 9.7.16

9.7.17

 

how far did you say the store was?

if it’s walking distance we should try

because the upside is enormous.

we could be sitting here in fifteen minutes

with cold beverages in our hands

and pride inside our hearts

of men who have achieved something.

 

i’ve got to be honest with you, man

i don’t like who i’m becoming

and i don’t think it’s possible to change.

but i fantasize about possible reinventions

like getting on a bus and traveling,

someplace, anyplace

and stepping through the bus’ hydraulic doors a new man.

 

is this what is meant by change?

 

is change just an idea that once accepted

turns itself into a reality, like how alarm clocks

are programmed to animate themselves once

a day? or is it something i actually must attempt

that carries with it risk of failure? because i’m tired, man

i can’t attempt any more things that i might fail at.

 

how far was that store?

and what time does it close?

i think i’ve been there before, or one like it

all stores are the same, brightly lit,

toxic substances, receptacles for us to plunge our money into.

it’s better that way. if they keep our cash

we can’t spend it there willingly.

 

(i used to visit the liquor aisle in Ralph’s so often

that whenever i needed something else, like toilet paper,

i’d turn left at the entrance and travel through the liquor

even though the TP was the other direction, and i’d get trapped in

there, leave with a fifth of ON SALE don julio

and return home with nothing to wipe my ass with)

 

i refuse to go to supermarkets, man

mom & pop, these fucking corporations

are draining life, no, i’d rather just go

to these smaller liquor stores because i like

the people who own them, and their names

are always straightforward and to the point.

 

IVAR LIQUOR

SUNSET LIQUOR AND SPIRITS

CORNER CIGARS AND LIQUOR

 

wait, what? what were we talking about? change,

that’s right. the sky just reminded me, how five minutes ago

it was blue and now it’s reddish pink, like a freshly punched face.

how is that? the atmosphere, gasses, i know, i know, but i’m saying

how? do you understand the gravity of the question? how?

how is it my apartment cost me $1700 when it had a view of

industrial waste and bums who defecated like dogs on the sidewalk?

 

how is it that three years ago we were fine?

how is it that me at 24 would shoot himself in the mouth

if he saw what he’d turn into. how is it that i care for nothing?

how is it that every time i talk to my mother she reminds of how

badly i’m fulfilling my sonship. how is it that we still have not

gone to the store or even established if it’s a place worth visiting or

how far it is from here?

 

great, it’s dark. i hate taking the bus when it’s dark.

the same people are on in the daytime but at night

they are more menacing, and they can look nowhere else

at my face. fuck this place. nothing changes.

i think i’m going to live out my dreams. i’ll get on

the first bus in the morning, headed to wherever,

even a few blocks over, i’ll get off at ivar and start

a new life as a sidestreet clairvoyant.


Written at 6:52 at night, in my office, in Agoura Hills CA. 

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