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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Bed of roses

When I go home
Drunk and fucked up enough
Right off Line 9
There’s a garden
A Parisian garden
It’s small
There’s only one rose bush
Growing up in there
With no friend
That’s all there is
A single rose bush
I’m not even sure it has thorns
Parisian garden
But every spring
There are roses there
Pink, like roses should be
So, when I go home I was saying
And it’s summer
And there are roses
Coming home drunk and fucked up
I stick my nose in one of those roses
I even pull the stick
So I don’t have to bend
And I stick my nose into there
Like a slob
Like I’m a Viking or something
I know there could be malevolent insects
Biting my ass for being so sensible
I don’t care
And I smell it
I smell the rose
And I don’t know how to describe
What it does to me
Not enough words
Fucking roses
Right there
For all
Surviving like nothing else matters
So I’m thrilled by the scent
For the second it takes to come to my senses
Then I have to go home
Get there, in the elevator
And you get home
And you look at the clock
And you don’t understand

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