Poetry by Mike Faran

February 5th, 2016

 

 

 

SANS NAMES

Carl said he didn’t want
neon –
just good bricks & a door,
not even a sign

“Folks will hear the music
& maybe come in…
plenty people walking the
boulevards to

see a fuckin’ good jazz band
& drink bourbon –
neon juss a pile of bullshit!”

& ol’ Carl was right –
first night
there were people lined-up
along the bricks

waiting under a starry night –
sky & listening to a band
also with no name

 

PIANO MAN BLUES

Back room –
I sit & light a cigarette,
staring at my hands;
I can barely feel them

Doc says it’s neuropathy
probably pre-diabetic

I tell him there is
numbness in the fingertips,
can’t feel the ivories

How many years doc?

He shakes his head then
gazes at his shoes

Have you had a passion
in your life, I ask,
something so burning that
you would kill for it?

A beeper sounds –
time’s up he mumbles

 

 

INSIDE THE LANDSCAPE LOUNGE

 

We drank bourbon & listened to
Hank Gathercole on sax
cutting a throat
through heavy pink clouds of
cigarette smoke

Man was he cuttin’ it!
& all the while his feet were sliding
in & out
in & out

Then the snare drums crept in on
cat’s feet
light on the hide to save
ol’ Harold

Sometimes a man gets lost in his
freedom &
only compassion can save him

 

 

 

BEYOND GENRES

 

Cody spoke a different
language,
saw different visions

Some say it was drugs,
others say it was
that woman in Frisco

But Cody was magic on
the drums
so few really gave a shit

When he played the hides
night-fires danced in
the sky and

the universe tilted from his
wild rhythms;

everyone spoke a new
language and saw visions
and that gal

from Frisco danced on the
Golden Gate

 

 

negro nights, 1957

 

the drift of blues filtered &
flooded my young world
& it was called “colored stuff”

but to me
it was much more like warm
cream

simmering in big basins

placed precisely in different

parts of the night

 

_____

Mike Faran lives in Ventura, Ca. as a retired lobster trap builder. He is the author of We Go To A Fire (Penury Press) and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. His work has been published in Atlanta Review, Rattle, The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Slant.

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