J de Salvo, October 2013

The Poem as Cliche

Woman dancing, Tai Chi
In Washington Square
Actually Chinese,
Not just a collector

I take four hours to
Drink a fifth of vodka
And eat one
Apple Fritter

These beggar’s banquets
Have become luxuries

Remember camping here
This same bench
Tried to sleep anyhow
Too crazy, manic, cold

I didn’t for
The better part
Of a year
Just “rested my eyes”

Like Granpa used to say
Except he was actually sleeping

There are dogs
And there are dogs
And there are dogs and
Still more dogs

Sun’s going down,
Reading soon at City Lights
Of course, seeing Brautigan
There by the statue

Everything feels a bit used,
a little too
The same old shit
Writing about writers, now, to boot

Not enough selves
Left to go around

Don’t try it, a fool’s game, it’s
Over, “No Smoking” now in this park
I cup my fag inside my palm
Chew another bite of donut

I haven’t had a drink
In ten days
It was supposed to be thirty, but,
All bets are off

Some poet has already
Been here



J de Salvo is a proud native of Los Angeles. His poetry, fiction,
and articles have been published extensively in print and online. He
is the editor and publisher of the Bicycle Review and the Pedestrian
Press. He lives in Oakland, CA.

A collection of his poetry is forthcoming from Leaf Garden Press. In
2014, the Pedestrian Press will publish a more extensive collection of
selected poetry and prose.


Promote. Poetry.
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