Inventory—To 100th Street

I

To John Bernard Myers


In the corner lot
where they parked
green banana trucks
fruits
palmed in paper straw
I smell
bedbug & kitchen-cockroach
summer afternoons
Somewhere
tailless
one-eyed cats
doting in fat garbage cans
screaming with the stench
of rice & beans
strawberry tampax
piled
high as the smell
(I was small & slick)
the covers tilted
like the hat of a rock-look wino
in a deep
knee-bend nod
on a beer
can-street

Sunday morning

There were always
time-thick
empty nights
of nothing to do
but listen to the
ethereal
(she lived on the top floor)
I-go-for-more screams
of Charlie's pimp's woman
when he beat her
for his good
business principles
joy-pop the block
with morning-talk


I hear the dim iron dawn yawning
(I lived on Third Ave.)
rattle
nights into
Saturday morning
flag-bloomer
eclipses
just before the hunt—
they were as big—
the cats
like jungle bunnies
fierce with fleas & sores

I see window-people
hanging out of gooey-stick slips
sweating
strange
below-the-button drawers
crouched junkies in hallways


with monkey backs
eating cellophane bananas
on a g-string
waiting
for that last bust
Spies with cock-comb
hair fronts
ear-gulping mambo music
eye-lapping pepperican flower
crotches

I can hear the streets whispering
in the ears of yelping kids

inthe fun-gushing that
rippled my blood
in the pump

but the kids
are dying in the lot
like the tarry-blown feet
of the rain
jingling
on the rusty-green
of yesterday's
fire-escapes.

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