• detroit ed can't decide.mp33:26

detroit ed can't decide

three fleet week boys at Heinold’s play the card game “first queen buys”
spilling much as sipping hoppy tap-poured Racer 5’s
discoursing on the finer points of sea-legged popeye theory
whether dames are merely diamonds in disguise
beneath the clock with frozen hands detroit ed can’t decide
as his past steps bags and all into the bar
to meet the eyes and shake the hand and buy a round of highballs
or turn his back and peace of mind retain
recalling mother’s wisdom as he overhears the sailors
that a dust storm’s just a dirty diamond rain
they howl and bark toward the moon and stumble out into the square
but cannot see the sky beyond the lamplight halos ‘round their heads
without the stars to steer a course back to pin-ups and pillows
planked benches on the boardwalk serve as til-the-bugle beds
watching them from Heinold’s door detroit ed can’t decide
if a moment should pleasure defer to moments still to come
as a hint of saxophone drifts through the port front’s salty air
or if each minute living is a diamond from Time’s mine
a priceless jewel to be revered as one of a kind rare
its carats left uncounted and its details uncompared
voraciously indulged despite a value undeclared
the predawn feeding flock of ‘gulls squawk early reveille
so the mermen with their cottonmouths arise and readjust dress whites
rushing ‘fore the anchor weighs with alibis aligned
already scheming for the next port’s liberty delights
waving them a bon voyage detroit ed can’t decide
as he bends toward a cola can discarded on the ground
if diamonds need not only light but awestruck eyes to gleam
or if they shine before they’re even found
as sight unseen beyond the sunrise still sparkle those distant stars
and deep beneath a fresh tattoo there yet resides the covered scars
statue back to
orange whales of ships & whitewashed cargo cranes
posed mid-gesture point unfinished
argument unpunctuated audience dispersed
replaced by morning walkers and their wolves far too domesticated
would not recognize the wild or dare to answer if it called
standing before Jack Griffith London detroit ed can’t decide
as he spits and with his jacket sleeve wipes clean the figure’s bird shit crown
if the polish on the bronze improves the lustre
if sauvignon blanc white wine improves the oyster
if cut and set on solid gold improves a precious stone
if forever is a promise anyone can buy to own