Simple As That

Locked in a small room in East Berlin,
       sitting on a wobbly white-washed
wooden chair, a white screen
       staring back at me, the cursor in the middle,
blinking. My altar. The Computer God.
       I lean forward to about eighty-five degrees.
My back aches, my legs are sore.
       I have been here all day, but this is the only
thing I know, and where I go
for healing. It doesn't matter if nothing ever comes
       of my writing. I do it because

it's what I do.
       The shark lashes its tail
and never gets paid
       for it. A pelican will never gain fame
     for eating
its own heart.

We act according to some strange & mysterious
       guiding force within,
and in the end,
things end. It doesn't matter if you were Sappho,
       Attila the Hun, or Tom
Thumb. No one leaves a trace; the sun burns
       out; the dream
will fade; and you
       never had a choice anyway. You do
what you do
       because of who
you are.

Get It Over With

it's only a matter of time before
some woman
comes along and sticks her finger
in my heart, digs around and pulls me in.
i should be thrilled about all the time i've had to myself lately.
and i am, mostly,
but sometimes, a rift opens up. the vulnerability

inside me, deep as the red sea, tall as trees
cruces, more desolate than death
valley. the fact of me, the indiscernible

wretched duality of me,
the crack in the marble eye
of me. it's only a matter of time

before she comes bearing warm compresses,
allergy pills, fever reducers,
aloe vera, ky jelly, muscato, mondavi, victoria's
secret. all, poisons. but i'm sure

i'll cave. it'd be
better if she just brought me


I am alone with the proprietor at a Turkish
internet cafe/boilerroom in Kreuzberg. It cost me
.60 cents to be online here for an hour.
The keyboard is multi-lingual. There are umlauts
and other strange intricacies I don't recognize.

I already failed once. In trying
to hit the underscore, I hit some other underscore,
the false one, and the screen shrunk. I hit it again
and it got smaller. Finally it turned into a tiny dash
and did a mad scurry up
into the far tiny left hand corner of the screen.

I asked the proprietor
about it. He shook his head, withdrew
a paisley kerchief from his pocket, swabbed
his forehead. Then he booted
up another hot box. Now he's running a vacuum
cleaner around my feet.

There is no use denying it or trying to prove otherwise.
I am worth .60 cents to him.
And someone moved the Y
to the bottom left hand corner of the keyboard.
As the vacuum
cleaner bangs against my feet.

M.P. Powers lives in Miami. He has been published in The New York Quarterly, Rosebud, Slipstream, Main Street Rag, Milk Poetry Magazine and many others. More info here: http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/mppowers

2004-2011 Underground Voices