MIKE BOYLE

Lying on the sidewalk

mike talked me into
going to an after-hours
club
at 2am after last call

i didn't even have
any money left
but was drunk
in some depressed state
i got into
at times for days
weeks
months
we caught a ride
across town
went in
mike started talking
to all these people
someone
bought me a beer

which i sucked down
quick
feeling bad
not just drunk
bad
told mike
i was leaving

and he said
he could get us a ride
back
cause we both lived
about 4 miles away
i mumbled something
left

started walking
down paxtang st
after a few blocks
a car pulled up
next to me
mike leaned out the window
said
get in man!

i mumbled something
about fuck you
and your friends
going for a walk
man
they laughed
said ok
drove off

felt better
then
walking along
had my $10 deck shoes on
no socks
made it
another mile
laid down on the sidewalk
to look up
at the stars
for a bit

woke up
just before sunup


In the bunker

as twilight dips into
these unknown curtains
they set off fireworks
and i'm a mile away
from the river
where this is going on
circling around scars
of corporate structure
that put spineless yes-men
in charge
that pushed their kids
into columbine killers
and all the others
that went into the workplace
schools
with guns
that push suv's off
the highways
and talk on the cell

it's a thin line
this america
wants you to walk
poetry is subversive
i've heard that telling
your story
is a political act
of defiance
dunno
maybe

phone numb
in my hand
we're gone
in the past
and we know
i try to paint
a pretty face
on the monsters
we have become


The Blues

Robert Johnson
was crawling out of my
kitchen
and I grabbed my
guitar
and slid
as the cars ran
down 2nd st
3 floors down
and the lady next
door
was yelling at her man
through my walls
to get a job

I had the thing tuned to
an open g
and sung
soft and low

like I remembered
Satchmo
singing
last night
in the Midtown Tavern
in the song I played
on the juke

What a wonderful world
and the girl
I was on the fence
with
a few blocks away
didn't call

last week
she did
and I had hung up
on her
because
she had been yelling
like the woman
in the walls
and

Louie
got it right
sang it
soft and low
like it was something
beautiful
when
you knew
it was almost
killing him


What the shrink said

you're a ticking
time bomb
that will be back
on the stuff
if you don't get
with a program
na or aa

i told him
that's for people
that don't know
they're done
and

after some more
talk
and noticing
his coffee cup
with god loves you
on it

i walked out
of there
feeling the hate
like a new-born
child



Mike Boyle is 46 and lives in Harrisburg, PA. He was a singer, songwriter
and guitarist for a few bands from the late 70's to mid 90's and has had
things that look like poems published in many small press mags over the last
15 years. Recent work has appeared in: the-hold, Thunder Sandwich, Remark,
Zygote in my Coffee, Gypsy and Spent Meat. He says he's not a nihilist.






2004 Underground Voices