Parliament Hotel, December ’82

Sherbourne Street beneath streetlights

Upward gaze through snowy veil

as Christmas eve fell white

Wonder for a day, then rain

and the grey beneath washed clean

A foreign body amid faces unknown

Present yet unaccounted

Dispossessed and liberated

Arrived with other vagabonds

and continental rejects expelled

Reflux of a cold war, forgotten like me

Shabby hallways, dimly lit

where hardwood floors groan under burden

of near a century’s bootprints

My own strange soil deposited

left in cracks that go unseen

We shared roll your own Drum in silence

two liters of vodka for a Christmas feast

Discovering our common ground

Western man’s universal disdain

Austin 82

Mid summer, sun retires late

across the courtyard

Shadows crept into the eve

Lights out, on the floor

we watched through the bottom pane

Only television flickers

The Braves on TBS

The Fixx on the stereo

Moonrise on crank whores

Stand or fall

They queued for that peanut butter

Stand or fall

Communion from a needle

Red lips and eye liner

a parade of sad clowns

They only had one way out

and in the morning gone

Yet every night the same