Singing Loudly: Shamus

Singing Loudly

Sunday, April 24, 2005


A poem written a few years ago while I was in undergrad...

A chip of paint falls from the doorknob into my eye.
Welcome to Los Alamos, Alamo City, briefcase
hung from a maple tree. I am Shamus. Pink neon
sputters through my blinds. I am svelte.
Don't touch me I am having sex. I say, welcome
to Los Alamos: movie stars sleeping in craters.
The landlord scrapes my name from the frosted glass.
I fall out the wind and a hot dog vendor catches me
in his weedy arms. He shouts a warning in my ear:
my girlfriend might betray me with the sinister millionaire.
Somebody's fingerprints smear across my eyelids.
Had I known it all along? I fashion a telephone
from string and a discarded soup can and call my client.
My client isn't happy. His memories are part
of someone elses's dreams, but whose? An envelop
full of cash creeps from under a manhole cover.
I peel a leaflet from my chest. Then it hits me: Moline.
My girlfriend, Moline Kansas, is now among the missing.
In a rush, I purchase a newspaper and prop myself up
against a lamp post searching for her name. Of course.
Nickles fall from the sky. Automobiles are consumed in flame.
Moline. What have I done? Someone sticks a gun
in my back. Thank God. My back is killing me.


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