2 Latino street whores
ignore the stale, downtown rain
as though it were the familiar piss
of some $20 trick washing away
the dime store make-up
off their sullen, sunken faces.
They huddle together, stay warm
in the glowing desire for heroin.
Still no cab.
Traffic splashes by
in random, uncontrolled spurts
like a 16 year old boy
stumbling upon sex for the 1st time
between the sticky pages
of a worn magazine.
This is day 7
of my alleged detoxification,
& this soiled mattress
laying limp on this worn wooden floor
reeks a bit more of flesh
than it once did.
Sometimes I sleep to dream of mirrors
but awake to only windows,
as though this city
were some extension of my soul,
& like the cheap, petty artist
I search for a metaphor of self
in the broken streetlights
& trash scarred alleys...
in the disembodied
& disemboweled voices
that grip me from sleep
to pull me into
these sweat drenched nights
to watch 2 whores wait for a cab
beneath this hotel window.
Seven days & I feel clean again,
but I still don't trust myself...
it somehow turned on me
like a dropped stiletto in a gang fight.
Turned & twisted like a secret
whispered into the ear of a lover
who doesn't need me anymore.
But I have no lovers now.
Just demons with fangs like syringes
& voices like drunk fathers
reminding me I'll never amount to shit.
2 whores drift like ghosts
into the backseat of a yellow cab.
I light a stale
hand rolled cigarette
& fall back into bed
beneath the blinking cliche of a neon sign.
There is a "vacancy" here.
Spent Angel Blues
In this room of things which strain to move
time lies overdosed
on the cold cement bathroom floor.
There are no cigarettes left
to ease its passing.
No songs remain
to fill the empty spaces
where once drifted the subtle strokes
of its blood beat.
There is only stillness,
a tea spoon of cheap Mexican heroin
my friends are dead
strung-out, jailed, or
trapped in between
the cynical Styrofoam walls
of mental institution
like freshly hooked trout
in an ice chest
waiting to be gutted.
They've left me here, alone
to only the stale glow of a butane flame
in which to perfect this dying art.
To sing anarchistic odes to our youth
shattered like a glass syringe
against a red bricked schoolyard wall.
the memory of Traci haunts me.
The night they found her
naked blood caked body
tossed away like a cum stained Kleenex
right on the sidewalk
in front of 100 screaming tourists
who till this day don't believe
the pretty bright lights of Hollywood
are fueled by the charred mounds
of runaway teenage flesh
searching to fulfill childhood dreams
but only end up filling their tiny orifices
with whatever perverted disease
the man with the $20 bill wants.
So I continue to walk
this death row promenade of memories
perhaps the way
a sergeant walks a post war graveyard
wondering if all these bodies
should somehow add up to something more
than a few medals for his chest...
or a few scribbled lines in my notebook.
And as the heroin begins to burn
like napalm through my veins
blood rises in the thin syringe
like a scarlet mushroom cloud
over Hollywood Blvd.
and for the spent angels of the apocalypse
another personal Armageddon
always so fucking temporarily
to a close...
RC Edrington's latest collection, "Apocalypse Generation", was published by Tainted Coffee Press and is available through Zygote In My Coffee. His website is www.rcedrington.com. It contains links to his previous collections, reviews of his work, and links to journals and magazines he has been published in.