The Poet by Adam Kluger

 The city was hot. But not like last week. Humid, sticky, murderous.
 
Bart walked the streets.
 
The warm stench of urine wafted up from the grates over the subway.
 
Trudy was working.
 
She was always working.

 
Usually, Bart enjoyed taking a stroll around the city. His mind would fire with interesting thoughts like fireflies in the woods at night.
 
Today he went to the local Schlockbusters looking for a movie.
 
It was hot in the store.
 
No air conditioning. No good movies either.
 
He went to a local Great Buy. Nothing good there either unless you had four grand and change to spend on a flat screen TV.
 
Nothing in the music dept. no new CDs or music videos.
 
Then he went next door to the bookstore. All the new books looked the same. They looked like a scam. Like something unreal. The famous faces on the covers were all ugly and self-important.
 
He made his way over to the classics section hoping for inspira­tion.
 
Bart flipped through a book by Ernie Humdinger on writing.
 
Even when old Ernie tried to sound humble in his letters to other writers… He still came off as a pompous jerk.
 
Perhaps he should have written a book entitled “How to take yourself too seriously.”
 
Or better yet…’How to be your own worst critic’…kablam!
 
Bart walked past the homeless guy with the face of a croco­dile outside of the drugstore. He would stay there every day and sing to himself. Not a great job, but seemed like he had tenure at least.
 
The world just was not creative anymore.
 
There were no great writers, musicians, filmmakers or intelligent life forms in all of Hollywood.
 
Every day a stupid new reality show was being perpetrated on the public. The latest had a bunch of rich kids on a cattle ranch.
 
It was a rip off of another rip off of an old idea that was re-heated and re-cast.
 
Bart felt like he was inhaling sand and chewing on sawdust. To make things worse…everywhere he looked it seemed like new strange little birds were crawling in the dirt or in the bushes or flying over his head just a little too close for comfort.
 
An uneasy day.
 
Even the letters he strung together on his computer didn’t seem to
 
fit. He tried to write a poem:
 
That’s What Happens
 

They come to me
at the strangest times
 these images
of alligators playing croquet
a psychedelic Buddha
pink and white undies
underneath that blue and green tartan skirt
 they come like lightning bolts
 and dripping water
images of
leopard headed monkeys
 with emerald eyes and tails
 that never end
in the shower
 or on the john
 they crawl through my windows
with slimy tentacles
 slippery and silent
 pigeons explode inside my brain
 horses and hippos
 bathe in pools of
 rainbow-glo blood
 I guess that’s what happens
when love
goes away.

 
He immediately crumpled it up and threw it out the window.
Fuck this Goddamn building he thought…no goddamn AC! The anger seared through him…  another poem was making its way into his brain…he grabbed a pencil and a piece of scrap paper.
 
Not An Artist
 
really bad poetry 
keeps pouring out of me 
like peacock blood 
unicorn vomit 
and mermaid gas 
really bad poetry 
like a mountain 
of fool’s gold 
is easy to mine 
but useless to all. 
really bad poetry 
flows from this pen 
ruining perfectly good 
loose-leaf paper 
words with 
no order 
or rhythm 
or depth 
dance away from my 
fingers 
and glare back at me 
with righteous indignation 
bad 
bad 
bad 
bad!!! 
with no purpose at all 
just to fool a fool 
who is 
not an artist.
 
Again, Bart crumpled up the paper and threw it out the window.
He stood up and looked at his reflection in the metal lamp pole on the desk.
Distorted.
He grabbed for another piece of scrap paper.
 
Roxy’s Cat
 
You’re asleep 
I just know it 
while your cat 
patters about on a 
black velvet carpet 
of night 
you’re asleep 
I just know it 
while my heart screams 
your name 
I listen to my air conditioner 
it tells me to stay calm 
be a cool cat… 
while time washes me down the drain 
my face 
my smell 
my laugh 
my love 
you’re asleep 
I just know it 
that water dripping 
in my bathroom 
told me so.
 
Once again, Bart crumpled up the poem and threw it out the window.
He walked over to the refrigerator.
Opened it.
Looked in.
Closed it.
Stood there.
Took his pencil and wrote a note on the pad attached to the door with a magnet.
Then he went into the bedroom.
Packed a bag and never came back.

Adam Kluger

Banner Image: Pixabay.com

9 thoughts on “The Poet by Adam Kluger

  1. Here I am again at one of the loneliest white boxes surrounded by a field of blue, utterly amazed by Mr. K’s continuing demonstrations of hard knock verse and flowing verse. Men named Bart have hard lives. Fresh starts and AC is the only way

    Like

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