Just Another Dave at the Yella Dove

we should have known by his halo of ill
luck . . . another dave.     he and june kissing
over shots and taking shots at each other
between beer chasers and the next song playing
on yella dove’s new jukebox,   all cd
and mostly seedy  —  such mélange of rock
ballads heavy with big hair and faggoty
guys in earrings and retro-future fits
of mtv fashion   . . .   and june just off
her meds after her twelve-round bout with
eddie and cocaine;   that poor dave hadn’t
a geisha’s chance in a baptist judgement day
and none of us decent enough to warn
a piteous stranger of scorpion stings   . . .

david m pitchford
3 August 2013

Anonymous Reunion

hey how are you      ya look good old buddy
eyes are bright but a wee bit bloodshot     clear
though    not bleary      lost some weight I see   slimmed
quite a bit and lost that beer gut          face is lean
too     without that washed out look I recall
are you still on the wagon       on again
on again     goes that way trying to get
sober after so long livin in bottles

me        yeah been drinkin too much coffee same
as ever since my first meeting and   .  .  .   well
you remember how that went and now I’m
sponsor to them sponsored me those years ago
but that’s the program and it sticks with you
if you stick with it   —   how much time ya got?

Crossroads Staircase

that glass cross atop the mirror?     you ask.
there’s a story . . . given me by a glass
artisan at a meeting,     convention
or rally,     call it what you will,     of folks
prone to meetings if you take my meaning.

I recall only his bright eyes and genuine
disposition,     his eagerness toward earnest
and devotion to the steps   —   his gift an
act of the twelfth as I lingered somewhere
near the fifth,   soul as hollow as hungover

eyes   .  .  .   my road to sobriety one of
potholes and suffering infrastructure   .  .  .
the cross is to remind of higher powers;
mirror to remind:   lonely is not alone.

David M Pitchford
2 September 2012

Paradise Dwells

for decades    I sought
Paradise   —   in beauty
         in bottles         in women’s hearts
                                                             between their legs   .  .  .

a few years back
            in a rock-bottom
                                drunkard’s dream
I found the most open secret   —

now     I carry Paradise
                                               with me
                              worn as a smile
everywhere
                           I go

David M Pitchford
10 Aug 2012

One Morning . . . Another Hangover

half past noon, he’s having a Klondike bar
for breakfast.     empty bottle at the foot
of a motel bed, he stares from bloodshot
eyes out at August sun and shadow cast
by a young eagle overhead, sweeping
over highway 27 and New
Circle.     what happened last night.     memory
seems to have stopped recording some time late
in the evening   —   after dinner yet well
before unconsciousness assumed him, lucky
to be in a bed, though whose bed it is
he cannot guess.     grateful for their unplanned
hospitality, he helps himself to
a dose of aspirin before taking his leave.

David M Pitchford
8 August 2012

Holiday Hard Times

on whiskey sometimes, I channel some black
poet who’s a big fan of the jimi — hendrix
for all you purplefied pedestrians — tonight
he’s high again and lovin’ life and lovin’ his
own little stretch of river under mcluggage
up toward the anus of illinois, pe-o-ri-a!
he ain’t had a meal in seven days and six nights
but for a dram of brandy some gen’rous
soul gave him sunday night in the season’s spirit
and something akin to human decency—
compassion ain’t too hard to come by ‘mongst
the shitpoor street-lickin masses these days,
and TeeCee ain’t no ‘ception to the rule
o’ dog-eat-dog and beggar kings give no orders.

David M Pitchford
14 Dec 2011

Back in – What – ’97?

late last thursday kendra and me down at
yella’s had a lovely conversation
over whiskeys — eartha kitt on the juke—
and she bought a round and next we danced to
old jackson browne and a few others before
elvis costello came on and there’s just
no dancing to that elvis, and so we
called it a night and she drove us up to
doc’s out on one-twenty-three, we picked up
a bottle of chivas and she drove back
to her place . . . the sun shone in her window
and brought me to sometime around mid-morning
to find her passed out in prayerful pose
before the porcelain altar all saintlike.

David M Pitchford
15 Nov 2011