Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


See how they look at me? Like blind mice looking into a blind mirror.
Except the mirror isn't so blind.
"Doesn't he know we're at war?" they mutter to themselves over and over as they saunter past in holy disgust.

Yes, bastards. I know. I know.
It's there in the pride of silly sweethearts and on the brow of heartsick mothers. It's there on the front page and in every barber shop, saloon and bankrupt whorehouse lining this filthy town.
Yes, bastards, I know as well as you.
But I ask you, dumb bastards,-do you know of Belleau Wood? Were you there in 1918 as I lay bleeding and crying out for a death that wouldn't come?
Did you run to my cry and cringe to my blood? Would you like to see my back, where the bullets went in and never came out?
Yes, I thought not.. well fuck you all who think me irreverent.
Let me ask you this, bastards, have you seen my wife?
No? Well, me neither.

So much for pride and heroes, and good riddance as well.
Heard it told, Birmingham, or some other such shit-hole with some other such asshole.
So listen up bastards, -do you hear me? if here and now I find solace in the dark, comfort in the gin, and rest in alone, then leave me be. I've earned my misery and hard way.

Except for her.
She doesn't look at me that way. Her eyes speak another language, and my own look back because they can't help it.
She's different. Not silly and stupid like those phony birds that gather in the market and chatter endlessly.
She comes here alone, like me, and I think mostly for the music but who knows.

I watch her move, sway and lose her mind to another place far from Baker Street, and I find myself wondering where it is and if someday I might go there.
Always a pleated dress and I find myself wondering what might or might not be under it. She doesn't wear her hair like the others, either. She really doesn't do anything like the others.
Sometimes I catch her looking at me over her glass as she drinks, and I suppose she catches me as well.
It's always the same. Four glasses of Zinfandel making for a perfect timepiece to a tapered mood.
I've thought of buying her a drink, but I haven't. I've thought of joining her, maybe talk to her, maybe walk her home-wherever home might be. But I don't.
I imagine her the finest dancer if only she did and I could. But we don't, and probably never will.
So we come here alone, together.
I try to leave before she does just so I can watch her walk away. She traces the brick work with her fingers both high and low as if inspecting for flaws but I think she just likes the coolness on her skin.. Her feet nearly dance as she remembers the music and sometimes she glances over to me, dipping her head sideways and smiling across the street to my lean against the lamp pole. I keep my hat pulled low so she can't see my eyes but I think she knows, as I blow my cigarette smoke into the empty street and echoe of silent music.
Maybe, I wonder, she has a husband in the war going off to find his own Belleau Wood. Or maybe he already has and this is just her way. Maybe she's not all there; not quite right and that's why she looks to me.
Perhaps there's a sick mother she cares for.
Hard to say.
But together, alone, we find warmth and rest in the music, comfort in the drink and acceptance in each others eyes.
And on Baker Street in 1942 with a steady rain falling, maybe that's enough.