Monday, December 31, 2018

Sirens By William Taylor Jr.

I wander the city with my tourist's
heart half drunk on fear and desire,

the listless afternoon
heavy like a dawn
nobody wanted.

An old man on Market Street
plays a violin, the sound of it
giving voice to the ancient
sorrow that surrounds us
like a mist.

A  kid on a corner
sells maps to dead stars

 as a skinny girl says into a phone,
 please don't look  for me no more.

People in lines at grocery stores
wave expired coupons
like so many flags
of conquered countries,

while billboards flash and offer
yesterday's machines.

The air is filled
with the songs of sirens

and not the sexy kind
with breasts and soft music
to lure you to your doom,

but the ones that come searching
and screaming for you
when you're already
pretty much there.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of SanFrancisco.  Heis the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction.He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 KathyAcker Award. He edited Cockymoon:Selected Poems of Jack Micheline,published by Zeitgeist Press in 2017. From the Essential Handbook on Making it to the Next Whateveris his latest collection of poetry.

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