A Life

On the Road:

Saw a man without any shoes
Smoking a cigar butt
And drinking a pint.
We lit a fire
And shared some soup.
Woke up in the morning—my shoes were gone.
Hitched to Utica, gray city in smog.
Cooking hash, two buck an hour
And all the grilled cheese I can eat.

In the City:

Back to the city,
All the guys are gone
One way or another.
Loaded some boxes, sold a few
To some bums in a panel truck, COD.
Met a Mary. Met a Louise.
Found a good bar in my neighborhood
With a neon Schlitz sign in the window
And got semi-drunk some nights.

Family Man:

Adele was Italian
And her brother was best man.
Hadn’t been in any Church for quite some time.
My old man came –
Brown coat, gray pants.
Don’t know where my mother went,
Years ago—smart.
Old man’s no bargain
And went right back to Passaic.

Subway Life:

Went to work with a bucket
On the IRT
And bought curtains on sale at Altmans.
Hung them crooked, best I could.
Laid off. Rehired. Quit/fired.
Two snotty kids and 35.
Atlantic City for two weeks
On the HFC.
Can’t pay’em so fuck’em.

At the Zoo:

One day in March
We all went to the zoo.
Animals all right, strolling in the cold.
All trapped up
And getting fat.
Back and forth in their cages
Looking at nothing;
Only thing missing,
Got no bucket for their lunch.

The Road:

Sixty miles west of Dubuque
In the drizzle,
April 1976,
No friggin’ asshole
Will stop for a guy with a two-day beard
And a soft-side suitcase.
Slept in a doorway
Of an Exxon station
And stole a Coke for breakfast.

Try Again:

In San Francisco
You can see the ocean
Down by the rocks
Drinking bourbon.
Easy city.
Work the grille for pocket money
And croak a fag
When you’re running short
For the rent.

Over my Rainbow:

One day walking East,
Going home
With nowhere else to go,
On the side of the Interstate,
Morning sun in my eyes,
Boots shrunk tight from the rain, I thought it all over
And moved to the left a bit
And let the fucking semi take me down.