crumb bum poetry at 2:30 a.m…

“i ain’t laughing”

daytime darkness is
made of clouds blocking
the sun.
less heat, less light,
harder to remember
all the things that needed
to be said to all
the people
that used to tell all the funniest
jokes.

underneath a sky like this
are all the fears of night;
diffused into the hours
that might be used
for working,
but instead rather slowly
crawl by,
interrupted to bring in
the language of theft
spoken judiciously.

strange people call,
sometimes write, not letters
but urgent requests; reminders
that bills haven’t
been paid in months,
that the Citi never sleeps;
they need the money.

From me. Now.

Over and over I protest;
there ain’t any money;
there ain’t gonna be.
Not today, not tomorrow,
probably not next month.
they already took my job,
my healthcare,
my health;
there’s not much left,
just another extraneous fellow
with nothing to give but
a foolish grin and a
good story.

Yet the calls never stop,
sort of polite but incessantly
pointing out my failure to pay.
the Lamarkian evolution
of bill collecting marches on,
to be what it will,
expressed in letters and
phone calls.

It’s not funny, but I want to laugh.
I want to laugh
at all the folks who keep
asking for the
blood of a stone
when the stone’s already crushed
into powder.

They’ll probably keep calling,
nameless peons without a
horse in this race;
each ring of the phone
a reminder of the greater
failure to transfer wealth
from my former employer
to my former creditor.

Only later do i realize
that I’m not that lucky.
I may be broke
but the Citi is still my creditor.
even though I
have nothing to send.

I want so badly to laugh
about how things can get
so far out of hand,
so quickly,
with or without the
greatest intentions.
Laughter is such a stretch
when you’re struggling to
breathe.

They won’t be wished away,
not with laughter
or breath or anything but
another in a long line of
something I haven’t got.
For a moment I can grin;
the Cheshire cat didn’t
have any money either.
The grin feels good,
like donning an old costume
or unexpectedly meeting
and old friends;

the grin feels good,
but it’s no place-holder
for a good laugh.

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2 Responses to “crumb bum poetry at 2:30 a.m…”

  1. slaniaburke Says:

    I like these lines more They’ll probably keep calling,
    nameless peons without a
    horse in this race;
    each ring of the phone
    a reminder of the greater
    failure to transfer wealth
    from my former employer
    to my former creditor.

  2. Me too. Fuck citibank.

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