theres a toilet paper funeral

headed down delancey

a procession of shit

and threadbare conversations

the paraders are musky with intent

but i’ve lost my stomach

for their front lawn faces

well-hydrated and trimmed

they attract only children and rain

just put me on wax paper

serve me up with onions and tears

i haven’t even begun to tell you

all the places i’ve slept in this city

i used to marinate in memories

now i make offerings to a burly

wet-mouthed bouncer

a hundred dollar bill, a notebook

and a guitar to lick his wounds

“you used to run this town

now you just look run down”

i’m left crushing cans

in a west village bodega

even the genetically

engineered pets pity me

i would joke that at least

the breeze from the hudson

is free of judgment but

my laughter has turned to ash

just a dusty yawp in my chest

that crawls out as comic poetry

still this city is full of eager ears

and i believe that even jesters

have a chance at meeting kings

(new york, new york)

About Eric Skelton