From under a cavernous wig he threw irrational
looks to the bottom of a depressed town,
unreal, & very wayward, which still seemed
to ridicule anti-being, dress up in dawny desires
who was he & where was he headed
on harmonica notes thrown in suburban ponds
powered by streams of incubated office buildings
reflected in run-down soapy tenement windows
which no one wanted to renovate
& people who never needed renewal
as they comfortably settled down, low on
feathered pillows, gazing from their windows
& balconies, straight into the abyss of everyday life
delighted with the view, tangled with space
distanced by the sky

From the roadside stone he was watching
roundabout traffic – events, systems & coalitions,
erotic anemics colonizing
supermarkets, the ongoing battle
for plastic hands of asexual shop assistants,
whom the doctor keeps talking into
therapy for imaginary mothers
so they’d finally forget about dogs
crowding trams every night
agents of rain, interfering with reality
he threw his harmonica into the gutter, asked,
“Who was he?” – the one who this morning
dreamed, planned & reviled
one who died half-young, sunk in jelly
of exclusive aesthetes’ club
& poured himself with the sauce
of psychedelic mushrooms

From under his American bandanna he stared
at tax collectors, ladies’ men, one-day millionaires,
undiscovered bands, weddings, funerals
& the hospital silence of birth, death,
resurrection, choosing exhibitions, for which
no one ever came, “Who was he?” – asked the
newspapers this morning, announcing
end of war & peaceful vigil in the wind
but he wasn’t there – he observed
jazzman’s fingers steeped in insanity
cafe chats of waltzes, French bohemia & fashion
Old Market‘s everyday-backing
where in addition to tourist-strays
rolls on with smoke & soot
the left to old age life
of semi-young diers
which will not be given a chance
of even a single look back
not to mention the chance
to tell their story
before the golden snow wrecks everything
& the hearse arrives too soon

Copyright © 2012 by A.J. Kaufmann. All rights reserved.