• lake merrittocracy.mp33:56

lake merrittocracy                                        

east bay eggs roll hard on the boil
graffiti sprayed silver and black
long gone mama goose served with waffles side order
rough to the touch with scarred shells chipped and cracked
a lake for a face to identi-empower
better not to imbibe the free water
though they that true thirst don’t discriminate drink
as the boat that can’t float don’t discriminate sink
while the wildlife wait gathered for stale bread providers
and wonder why ancestors fished for their dinners
four biblical extras encountered while walking
four chances four choices four mirrors four tests
I prepare my straight stare and tune eardrums for pleas
paced on rhythm of jingle of pocketed keys
nothing too spareable nothing too needed
four quarters in change for the night unbetrothed
I finger their ridges and guess at their stories
the purses they’ve ported/ the sins they’ve resorted
lost tickets they’ve scratched/ good fortune they’ve flipped
loads they’ve rinse cycled and coffee shops tipped
lizard the lean works the circuit eighteenth
the lucky’s the pho spot the baggy’s and walgreens
he slips back and forth from one side to the other
as he spies saints on errands and hustles to offer
thin arms for load labor at karma based rate
but I’ve nothing to carry or feeling of tire
and his casual cadence shades shy of strait dire
I deny his petition of need without slowing
he too on the move had asked already knowing
our daily routine of one wanting both going

beatle on BART with his bum strung guitar
last ghost of the lonely hearts club scene
strums and howls as the rails banshee backup
swimming under the bay like a grey submarine
“I’m the walrus” he claims “and I play for my son”
as he plucks and he pulls at the instrument’s strings
his bucket flows full by the time the song’s done
“may a peaceful night pay well a refund” he sings
with his charm and his polish and talent-won rent
he gimps from the car at the embarcadero
top one percent of the base one percent
with half of my coins in his pile of dineiro
not so much to the wind or the chill but the dark
red the hen has a manic aversion to night
so she diners and lobbies and bus lines about
with two two gallon purses clutched by the straps tight
curly hair ever bowed winter coat ever on
she chases the morning til catches the dawn
then benches and parks and solar revives
til the cycle completes and the black threat arrives
creeps nonchalant to a chair in the corner
struggling steady across the tiled floor
not yearning for change but a respite of quarter
for a minute to minute to one minute more
hands clasped and eyes closed she resembles my mother
the hour is late and the lobby is vacant
yet I nudge her awake her and exit door take her
lest a guest be aghast at the sight of a vagrant
sidewalk starfish splayed wide on Larkin
perks at the scent from my pork bahn mi
posture of buddha with zen scoliosis
accepts smoke donations but not EBT
sarcastically thanks those who don’t seem to notice
camouflaged by the context of Tenderloin trash
like a petal of pink on the lip of a lotus
or a tower of babel in town balderdash
same gender same age same all the breaks tone
woe be done to the one who thine own self denies
I thumb flick a quarter as sympathy shown
though it more my good luck than goodwill implies
as I pass by the lake on my night’s final leg
the morning commuters and joggers share lanes
the geese grass their breakfast like unioned groundskeepers
and hiss into motion late-waking lawn sleepers
who shakedown the bins in dream famished pursuit
of the downtown beat version of low hanging fruit
while my still unspent coin tries to reason evoke
from the random rulebook at the yoke of the Oak