The Boogeymen (II/III)

Benjamin Jenkins, life, poem, poems, poetry, writing

Walking down the concrete

At the witching hour’s peak.

Heavy with twilight.

The rain for the day

Has lifted and the air is warm.

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Alcoa Bakery

Benjamin Jenkins, life, poem, poems, poetry, writing

Tables with serviette stations stand

Spaced apart, like livestock grazing linoleum.

The atmosphere is Easter and will be for the next month.

No matter what’s ordered-

The price is around $5.85.

Moving on varicose veins,

Vision tipped with red billed visors,

Dusted in flour, selling Lotto tickets and cigarettes,

The women behind the counter

Could be any body’s grandmother.

Two televisions play soaps and soccer.

An elderly, male audience;

Scratching tickets, drinking Sumol,

Consuming caffeine of heated espresso bean.

I order a black drip and Pasteis de Nata to fit in,

Then reveal my Macbook Pro.

Peer into Davenport, through steel roller shutters

Plants that hardly need water obscure

A riotous display of motorcars and humans.

CASH ONLY.

The ATM: The heart and soul.

Electrically alive;

The only polished gem.

Built from sole to brow

On egg, salt, sugar, and flour;

Portuguese pastry, deli meat, and cheese.

Duplicate chocolate cereal boxes

Live in spare real estate.

I see no harm in it.

A man who looks homeless begs cup of coffee from the barista.

She obliges without a word or coin exchanged.

The vice won’t turn him into an abomination,

Water costs nothing in the business.

It’s a gold mine disguised as a salt pile.

Don’t think fiction, just look up and type.

Amongst the 25 cent candy, tattoo, toy machines

Amongst age that lived everything I have learned.

They sit in their leather jackets and Scally caps.

Cigarettes in their front pockets,

Index finger in an espresso mug’s loop.

I sit with white iPod EarPods,

Soaking my perception in underground hip-hop.

iPhone on my hip,

Spliff folded in wallet, tucked in back pocket.

We stand up and depart,

Decades apart.

BJ&K#9

Benjamin Jenkins, poem, poems, poetry, writing

Electricity sprays through my veins

I maintain this same ink stain-

A mundane selfless act

Of writing my thoughts.

I light another cigarette-

Watch the embers flick

Flash turns into ash

Smoke turns to my breath.

 

The Walrus said:

The time has come-

You fell from grace and

I just wanted a small taste.

As we skip along this

Redbrick Road-

Viewed by topographical vantage points

Step on a crack

Shatter your Mother’s facts.

Like the sidewalk’s weeds-

Peeking for the slightest hint

Of Vitamin D

Crevices spell the initials

Of love-sick Scarecrows.

Abstract ink bleeds

Like mascara streaks-

Only the cowardice in the Lion knows

This ink is the doubt that grows.

Condensation of lust soaked skin

A sticky situation when

There’s no lubrication for the Tin Man.

 

In the pulmonary arteries

Of the Hemingway Reincarnates

Rhythmic typewriters click-

Splashing ink into nonsense.

Summerhyme in humid air

Bleeds the present into past tense

And while we all wait-

The tides will undertow us

Away with the wake.

BJ&K#6

Benjamin Jenkins, poem, poems, poetry, writing

He opened eyes to a deep ocean blue,

Knew it was time for the sublime.

The birds called his name

And the same came from the sun.

She was the one.

Beside his pillow,

She winked a furrowed brow,

Whispered a soft growl.

Interlocked fingers, overlapped lips,

Eyes locked, and tongues dancing.

Time passing too fast to savor the moment.

They were told to stop and smell the roses,

Weary of the pricking thorns.

 

Over caffeinated and under stimulated

They begged for more.

Forlorn on the shore

Of lifetime memory.

Opening their mouths to speak,

Cracking a smile,

Laughing away time,

Falling in love with eternity.

Forever seemed too soon;

Tomorrow too far.

 

Stolen kisses and weighed words,

Speaking in similar tongues

But missing the subtext.

She caressed his neck

Whispered “What comes next?”

His answer: “Don’t come too soon”.

They fell into a monsoon.

The mascara streamed from her eyes,

They kissed in the driving rain.

Drowned the cries:

Of the screaming city.

 

Still on their midnight run,

When up came the sun.

Red skies at night

Sailor’s take warning.

Avoid the sirens and incessant mourning.

Those who came before,

Those who were still to become.

The starlight twinkles while

Smiles break into molecules

Of eternal black matter.

A Convenience Store in Toronto

Benjamin Jenkins, poem, poems, poetry, writing

The concrete

Streets were as

Cold as the weather.

April was

A month of

Rain and mud.

I walked down

The sidewalk

Shopping for

IMAGES.

IMAGES.

Screaming, at the streetcar stop.

Clinging to the train, posted to lamp posts.

Written in jet fuel on a blue canvass sky.

Pecking in the grass and plastered, wind-rippling, to a chain fence.

Chalked to windows, floating about the man-made floor.

IMAGES.

Flashing provocatively

Like badges upon

The fire crowned girl’s-

Green summer jacket.

Whose fingers link mine.

I try to avert

My eyes from those ads

Right when she smiles.

Dodging the wrong shell

To my beating heart.

I come eye to eye

With the pavement

And the trash I tread over

And my own images

I follow the commercials to

A store around the corner,

Dubiously dubbed:

CORNER STORE.

 

I tinkle a coin

Into a stubbled,

Down trodden man’s

Raggy-glad tin coffee cup.

While he preaches

From a sewer pulpit.

I step in-

The doorway.

Shopping for

IMAGES.

A man stands before a

Wall of silver buyer beware doors.

There were plenty of

People purchasing

At seven p.m.

Adolescent school girls

Flocking around the sugar

Amorously eyeing

Multi-colored, candied keys.

Some buzzed professionals

In the Miss Vickie’s.

A lone yoga instructor

In the XXX water.

Godmothers in the

old avocados

an unintentional prop

affirming that the

store has everything.

 

And, is that you?

Allen Ginsberg?

By the shake N bake? A peephole?

Eyeing the ladies licking keys?

Or the narcotic tobacco?

Over Ginsberg’s gaze

through the Shake N Peep

I spot the wayward

Grizzled man step in.

Swinging his tin cup.

His grey beard points down

Empty offerings.

Three sixty-five,

A bottle cap with

A cigarette smoked

Half, puckered and brown.

WHITMAN LUMBER

Is printed on the coat,

Hunkered shoulders.

An ironed felt badge

Over his heart tagged:

WALLY.

 

The overseer of the register

Tongs him a sweating dog

From the grease splattered green house.

He wipes the coins and butt

Back into his cup

And leaves gumming

Into that frozen wind.

I dash, bumping my voyeur mate

Spilling pasta and toilet paper

The sense, the senses, the sensations!

I banged through, the door jangled

Hoping the sound caught

That grizzled man.

I was only in the cool city.

Wind swirling with a

Whisper of snow.

The unnatural trees poked

Through their allotted plots

In the concrete as though

They chose to grow there.

Where are we going?

WALT WHITMAN

Where are we going?

Watch Your Step

poem, poems, poetry, writing

My single Americano

Spins towards me in a white cup

Atop a white saucer.

The classic simile

As to what a coffee should be.

Spoon-less,

Black,

And sugar free.

Accentuated by the small, looped handle.

Mimicking hands, whirling

A face of numbered time.

Just above Bellwoods

At Dundas and Shaw.

Near where Sammy Yatim

Was gunned down by the law.

Scrawled through osmosis

Upon the bricks

Of the Lucky fruit convenience

Is this:

Watch Your step or you may fall.

 

The wall is littered

With peeling plaster

And fluttering confederate flags

Of promotional entertainment rags.

The basement washrooms

Of trendy booze monsoons

End in harsh stone slabs

And unfinished corridors.

A sign at eye level bawls:

WATCH YOUR STEP, OR YOU MAY FALL.

 

All in all,

It was a good summer.

Autumn has come in Early August.

All the drunks remark on the wind chill.

Leaning, in cold brick alcoves.

Huddled around that winking cigarette.

Made sweeter by the cold breath,

Ramrod chasing that burning powder,

Shot, and lead bullet

Into the cul-de-sacs

Of their chest cavities.

They don’t remark on this.

They cough rolling thunder

And spit black matter

Onto the concrete ladder,

Stretching for blocks beneath your feet.

Grumbling: “Watch your step or you may fall”.