. . . between new stuff and edits. Witness.
Sitting at Goth Night with Punk John
In a tin can with blacked-off windows, raccoon-eyed girls dance,
backs of hands-to foreheads. the music distorts with volume.
boys from the role-player's club lead each other around
on leashes. The next track, from an '80s movie about
Doomed Teenage Love, gets spliced under with a steady industrial thud.
We share an eye-roll.
Where some trot out the old
"they think they're soooo different . . .”
and less patient friends threaten to chuck a chair
into the crowded dancefloor, we just grin.
In this-- like nightslugging 12-ers of John Smiths up the hill,
Replacements-soundtracked chili-feeds-- there is comraderie.
"You know, if you're a math whiz from the valleys
this might be the most punk rock thing you can do."
Eventually, and against most bets, we dance.
Maybe a cut we both know. Maybe a girlfriend-pacifying measure.
maybe a whole-table migration, a sudden swirl of energy, or
perhhaps simply non-involvement fatigue.
In this-- like the room itself--
there is community.
A Brief Thanks For The Diners that Understand
The world today is an old fisherman's cringing face.
This entire district is so hungover they can feel it
in their shoulders and knees are a challenge.
On the kinsey scale of practical worthlessness
I am at least a 7.
It is with this in mind that the lights are low,
even over breakfast burritos. The waiter also has
deep grey bags under his eyes but moves with calm
precision, is reassuringly rugged but not threateningly
handsome and everyone manages a wan smile.
Let the fog take downtown and emergencies crack
the last ditch efforts of men in important buildings.
I will take this corner booth
for as long as it will have me
in another little victory.