UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
M.P. POWERS

bourbon and coke

out of the hustling hours and
into the ripe delicious languor
of my room; i collapse upon
my couch, in a perfume of
frankincense and huddled
between these sumptuously
gasping walls, obscene flowers
of pinkish light spout from a
tiny lamp... the air is bathed
in damp indolence as the
voice of the city washes over
me its vague drooling waves
of purple thought... to which
i am wholly indifferent, and
wholly drunk, having come
here again, away from all the
dire pleasure beasts... away
from my hatreds, fears &
daily agonies, i fall deep into
the warmth of this solitude...
where deities mostly
dance, and night spirits open
unto me
the rare doors of perfect bliss


Payoff

somewhere between the truck driver
in the meerschaum trousers, the four
stevie nicks replicas and the dancing
pseudocowboy
skirts the elusive deadbeat who owes
me upwards of seventy dollars. he says
nothing when he passes, but skillfully
feigns amnesia...
as he bellies up to the bar to treat his
self, i watch the yellow light mazurkaing
about his corpselike features. whose
eyes are algae-colored
cesspools, his limp mouth is as if two
fishhooks have the corners and an
invisible puppeteer is tugging the wires.
he yanks a grin, and i soon find out
how it is. when the barkeep tells me
how said marionette,
who considers himself the premier
lothario, and dines nightly on lobster
& beef rump
steak, had racked up such a debt, they
had to shake the long
green out of him, albeit lovingly... only
then would he pay. as for me, I'm not
going to bother. $70 is cheap enough
if it keeps him away... whose word is
as good as gold
bricks, and whose smile looks more like a tortured frown.


strip club blues (and why i stay away from them)

as bouncer smith dangles participles
in his cellphone, three sailors sling back
rum in a topsyturvy ballyhoo,
and the hours pull a face of androgynous
yearning for the old man wearing armadillo
tapshoes and greenish
hair who smokes pall malls and slouches
in a triangle of buoyant shadow...
this is where all the hungry souls go, in a
full-bodied tipple of rapture, the air
cross-pollinating colors as the drunken
stage spills a sudden temptress
in tinsel getup and pasties... dancing
legato, the red hues downwardly carving
a scythe of light across her
belly... while her hips loll and twinkle
and rouse lust in the ejaculating lap of almost -

night slips on a death's head
and grins in tortured jubilee


Don't Call Me Frisco

walking down powell street
at midnight, and the cable cars are defunct...
corrupt shadows mutter fragments
of concentrated gloom
as the wind's polished gestures perfect
the air, streetlamps twitch feverish
pools of light,
and i am a wriggling of nerves
moving through the drifts
of blue-pale fog whose imaginary fingers
tickle terraces...
the conscious, satisfied feel-faces
of lovers pass by, invoking loose whispers
while a shower of leaves renders a momentary
bird, stars like divinities
dance a patch of rarefied sky, and the
street spills suddenly into the bay
which jostles one utterly little
lonesome ship.


M.P. Powers has been published in Nerve Cowboy,
Identity Theory, Poems Niederngasse, Ascent
Aspirations, and The Dead Mule School of Southern
Literature.







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