Polacks of the world

When I’m drinking
On the bench
People come to me
And somehow
They think
I’m Santa Claus.
Do you have money ?
Do you have a cigarette ?
I know then that I’m
Richer than they are.
Some consolation !
This time it’s dark
Winter, cold in Paris
Extreme funk I call it
When only real drunks
Can withstand
The mean wind.
These two fucks show up
They’re already fucked up
Money they want
So they ask for it.
Good luck motherfuckers!
They look like Polacks
They’re drunk like Polacks
I know they’re Polacks.
“What are you Polacks doing
Bumming in Paris
On a cold night like this,”
I ask.
“I’m only half Polack
My mother is Russian,”
Says the young one.
“My friend here is Russian,”
He adds.
Then you know for sure
They’re Polacks.
When you meet Polacks
They’re never Polacks
They’re Russian,
German, Bielorussian
Or Estonian or Lithuanian
If they have imagination,
Like it stinks
To be Polack
And maybe it does
I don’t know.
“We’re artists,”
The young one says.
“Sure,” I say.
I mean it,
Whatever my friend,
Who am I to argue ?
That’s the good thing
With Paris
On extreme funky nights
You’re still not alone
You can count
On Polacks.

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Black Magic Woman

There I was
Drinking on the bench
Minding my own
When this black woman
Rather young if not pretty
Comes and talks to me.
Her hands are
Tattooed all over
Up to the wrists,
Not her face
Body I don’t know
Just the hands
Tattooed like a beautiful
Work of art.
“Why just the hands,” I ask.
“I was at a wedding,” she says
As if that would explain everything,
“But it ain’t gonna last.”
“Nothing lasts,” I say.
She laughs
Shows me her hands
Let me touch them
And I can imagine those hands
All over me
Understanding
Not judgemental
Soothing.
Then she has to go
Of course.
I look at my bench
Someone had carved a heart
In the wood.
Old story I guess.

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Keeping honest

I drink beer, a lot of beer
And lots of beer on funky nights
In the morning, my beer shit
It’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki
With all due respect
To Sake and Lemon Sun.
People offer me wine
Or spirits
I usually stick to beer
I explain that with beer
I never lose control
No blanks
Where you wake up
Somewhere
Not knowing
How you got there
With beer I always
Find a way home.
But that’s not why
I like beer
I like its bitter taste
It reminds me
Of myself when I was a
Poor young fuck
In poor part of town
And beer, bad beer but lots of it,
Was the key to elsewhere.
It still works though
When on my bench, drinking
Still poor
Still looking
For elsewhere

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