"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

07 February 2012

Skid Row

This is an old one. Positively ancient. At one point, I considered rewording it slightly to use as a song in one of my stories, or even the self-published book I did once. As it stands, this is what I purged one night in black India ink at the old Saint Mark's coffeehouse within the monoliths of downtown of the greater metroplex.

Coffee and cigarettes
cloak the air,
Steamy jazz rhythms
play in the background

Young lovers fucking
on rusty stairwells and in back alleys,
Desperate copulation
pleas for affection or attention,
First time?
Last time?
What's the difference?

The smell of rotten apples
and cinnamon sex,
Muffled cries
and whispered promises,
It's all forgotten by morning...

Neon and moonlight
methane and steam
Forgotten faces-
Forgotten promises-
Broken dreams

Does the sunlight
wash it all away?
How easy is it
to hide from our sins
during the day?

Until then
try not to think about it,
It's just another neon night
here along skid row...-7, February, 1998CE


  1. Evocative. Sweaty and full of drunken promises.

    I loved it.

    Do you smell stale cigarette smoke?


  2. The imagery in your words? I was there, with all the sad despair and lost hope of your neon night.

    I always like your writing; this piece I love.

  3. Thank you. It's flattering to see that something I spat out over ten years ago, as an angsty twentysomething still has some resonance.

  4. This evokes a raunchy type of anger, maybe even disdain. I like it.

    1. You know, you've mentioned that self-published book a couple of times, and every time, it gets my curiosity up. I have questions, but I'm scared of being terribly nosy. Is it fiction work, or memoirs, or what? (am I being too nosy?)

    2. You're fine.

      It was a dark fantasy work, which I started when I was twenty-five, and finally published it a part of a novel contest when I was thirty-two. it was supposed to be the first in a series, but it was an angry, angsty work, created by an angry, angsty young man.

      At one point, I realized I was no longer in that place, and the things I was creating-pretty much what I do nowadays-was much more in line with where I am now. Hokey, yes, but that's the long and the short of it. If memory serves, the book, a clapbook, to my mind, is still up at Lulu.