Around the corner, along the rough and tumble
cobblestone bike route,
a woman is pushed out of
the passenger door
of a Kenworth truck—
—so hard that she misses all the steps on the way down.
Her body slams the sidewalk with a hollow thump,
concrete on concrete.
The truck drives off in a huff,
the clanging of the rapidly-shifted gears
evoking the metallic taste of hunger.
Around the corner, a block down,
a little Asian girl is running down the street,
on a cellphone,
chased by two slightly older boys, her entourage.
Around the corner,
the meatiest of meat restaurants
shares a wall
with a most enlightened,
Around the corner, in a lengthy line at th’ deli
desperate throngs long
GOOD OLD DAYS OF EASTERN BLOCK FOOD STAMP FRENZY
WITH NOTHING IN THE BELLY
It’s their chance to take home
in a fancy bright orange bag
a chunk of mortadella,
(a fizzy 15% fruit juice beverage in a nostalgic bottle)
and a piece of bread resembling a flattened penis of a camel
or some other such mammal.
Around the corner, across the street,
warn each other sternly:
“hey, you betta watcha your house, huh!”
And crusty old men
at the passing lipstick lesbians.
Around the corner, downhill,
bend themselves over a splintered soapbox—
—and pour their heart out, trying to score.
(It’s tricky, but the break-neck quickie brings them over the edge each and every time.)
Around the corner, on the other side of the hill,
the best jug band in the world
plies the drowning Liquor Store patrons
with the creakiest licks of sorrow.
Around the corner from there,
in an alley,
a found note:
To the dude in need of a helmet,
I can’t seem to find one for you,
I guess they’re pretty scarce
what with the construction boom and all.
Also, Dick’s Lumber on Gilmore is hiring.
The note has a rough drawing of a cute lil pink helmet.
Around the corner from where I live,
a stylish woman in her 30s
emerges from an unkempt Vancouver Special,
yelling back at the occupants:
Thanks Joanna, some friend you are!
I’ll just go and see Chris, give him head.
Hopefully he’ll have some dope.
Around the corner, by the docks, seagulls mingle with cranes.