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F.X. James

barroom blah


flickering lines of neon

sagging on a squeaking stool

fourth beer warming 

white suds upon a pond

of healthy piss

a cackle to my right

armchair jocks 

living thru a weekend tube

a darkened shape 

snoring in a booth

the waitress struts on sticks

of loosened flesh

(but back in the day . . .)

she leans across my shoulder

wiping the wood

with a dead man's cloth

"need another, sweetie?"

I don't but I do 

and she smiles

for her easiest tip

I sit with thoughts

of deep caves 

gnarled stalactites 

and the cold press of bone

under a drop cloth of age


color be gone


white white white

the crystalline scars of ice

not a breath to thaw the hold

every winter limb dead 

and dressed in virgin garbs

dark gray veins along the road

the bleached canvas above

abandoned by the painter's hand

and still it falls

over and over 

down and down

the relentless 

colorless cold

holding us all

in uncarved tombs

where we wait and

recall the blues and greens

the lover's touch

of spring

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