Crack Vials 

A song for the eighties 


use once 

then useless, 


open like a wound, 

or junkies’ vein, 

or treatment center doors 

for rich boys with cash. 

Visiting Harlem, 

doing the stop and go 

to cop and blow, then 

drive near slo-mo 

back to Jer-Z 

at 55. 

But users 

don’t stay tourists long 

and end up doing 

life on the lifestyle 

24/7 on the crack vial. 

Law enforcement lies 

alibis drugs are on the slide. 

Not true, drugs revive 

with more lives 

than a Vampire’s wives. 

Yet Government won’t legalize 

just build more jails 

as city after city dies 

thru shootings, holdups 

and drive-bys. 

Burying in 

low level dealers, riff raff, 

or victims like school kids 

every morning 

seen skipping by 

crack vials. 

A Bar Conversation 

Then what do you do? 

she asked. 

     As little as possible 

and then more 

      or less the same. 

At what? 

       Hard to say even harder 

       to describe without 

       a painting. 

Ooh so you’re an artist 

      she said, solving the mystery. 

Absolutely not. I hate the smell of paint,

artistic or otherwise. 

Then you…  

       Yes i  am retired 


but you look so young! 

Yes, yet I’ll shoot a gun 

out the window at 3 or 4 am  

when streets are empty  

but need watching. I’ll steal money 

from vipers, pimps, or whores 

if they leave their marked 

cards on the table long enough. 

Under a blazing full moon 

I’ve turned to a werewolf more than once. 

I have half a dozen pairs of women’s shoes 

in my closet left by those 

who dared not return. I’ve been arrested, 

have a record but never sang 

to the cops. I’m working on a blueprint 

for my revenge against the world. 

Yet still I smile and yes I’m retired. 

She looked at me blankly 

said excuse me, got up and left.  

I ordered a new drink, 

with hours to go before 3 or 4 am, 

to shoot at the moon I keep missing.

To Be Found And Found Out 

I have daddy issues, 

she whispered 

in my ear after 

sitting in my lap. 

Decades younger, 

not yet damaged by 

a world more cold-blooded 

than a child killer 

smiling when he sleeps. 

My luck with the ladies 

remained or had returned, 

but of course, the price 

would be paid later. 

What does a blind man 

do when given the  

steering wheel 

with a loaded 

gun to his head 

smeared in lipstick? 

It worked for a while, 

but that first night 

I took her in every room, 

including the bath. 

I thought it would work, 

she said months later. 

I told her it did 

’til it didn’t, 

but I knew I was already 

torn in half by her leaving. 

Sleep’s impossible now. 

Too often I say her name 

with the fool’s dull whisper 

questioning all, even jokes, 

laughter still born as 

I pound the walls with fists 

’til broken like everything else.

The Devil Waits 

Husband’s at work 

or in the bars, 

at a ball game, 

or looking for stolen 

cash, coming home drunk, 

dangling in that precipice 

of one of many acts 

to commit to forms  

of unique regret. 

Time measuring failure 

like a suit or coffin while 

giving his wife moments  

to consider the mail man’s  

wide welcoming smile, 

long looks of store clerks, 

or shirtless men kicking a 

ball or putting it through 

a hoop with sweat’s  

fingerprints all 

perfect in their one 

gold moment 

in the sun. 

Married eight years, 

their chasm wide 

as the circus clown’s 

nightmarish grin. 

As time slows 

to eventual 

outcomes leaving 

death as a jaded 

raconteur with all 

its shadows of  

Subterfuge, waiting 

to deal with them, 

flaunting that smile 

they once knew, 

or assumed they did 

when first in love.

At The Resort 

The former fashion 

model left bulimic 

with a taste for 

coke and foreign men. 

She hides behind shades 

but can barely 

see her future 

and 25 is her past. 

While the rich divorcee 

who circled a prenup 

with the art of blackmail 

sleazy photographs 

a vault won’t let breathe

asks me twice why 

I don’t believe in love 

you have to pay for. 

But it’s the French girl, 

Simone, dubious. 

With a counterfeit  

smile she circulates 

in shady deals with 

real estate rich. 

Men she lives to  

bankrupt and degrade 

since those entertainments 

are hard to come by.  

At the hotel bar I feel 

a chill when she says 

for me she has plans. 

Tonight, it’s a woman 

I’ve met before in noir 

films and spy magazines, 

whose bed I’d call home 

if it belonged to either

of us. When she leaves  

it’s an escape 

as she puts her wedding 

ring back on and calls 

the concierge for a car. 

Outside darkness deepens 

between street lights 

and a shadowy moon. 

I open a dime novel 

and I’m almost settled in 

between a murder 

and an innocent 

outcast framed by a  

smoking gun… 

when there’s an impatient

knock on my door. 

Opened, it reveals 

Simone with a smile 

telling me touching herself  

and Russian Roulette are games  

she can’t and won’t  

play alone. 

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