Café de Nuit

The world is such a bore.
I look at all the blank
expressions here
at Delaney's Tap Room,
where Jake--the local artist--
makes several incisions
with his knife upon
his hand, letting the blood
drip onto this white bandage
of cloth, wiping the blood
with it, while I wonder
what's the point of all this--
I guess it's better than
being a junkie--another
nasty habit that he quit…
Another guy says all
my joking about gay shit
makes him nervous,
so I better keep away…

The world is such a bore--
these overpriced drinks,
these empty conversations
about this and that
and nothing much at all--
I hear the chicken wings
are excellent here.
My friend is doing crack.
A few days earlier some girl
would let him eat her pussy
in exchange for xanax,
though he never got a blowjob.

The world is such a bore.
I talk to Marshall--a homeless
old man, who spends his
monthly checks on booze
and cat food for his kitties,
while sleeping in the graveyard.
He has a temporary place to stay
right now. He tells me he's
the luckiest man in the world.
Somehow I don't believe him.

The world is such a bore.
Here's John who came out of jail
several months ago.  He now works
with his hands, laying shingles
on roofs of houses.
I hear Pam is now in jail for writing
phony checks, she used to fuck
for drugs and money--two hundred
dollars for a full relief.
Jeff highly recommends her.
He says he's getting married
to his latest girlfriend,
but I doubt it--he never stayed with
anyone for too long.

The world is such a bore,
as I stand here, observing this
pool game--the only thing that
seems to matter here.
Sometimes I show them my poems,
but there is such a chasm
between my vision
and what's in front of me--
this crazy circus of fucked-up people
with their fucked-up lives
and fucked-up loves,
these people, who are
deaf and blind
to anything of beauty and of meaning.

I have another beer,
as this endless game continues,
and the jukebox plays
the same old song, the same old song…

                                            July 13, 2002
                                        --Alexander Shaumyan