Friday, July 31, 2015

The Smallest Edits.

You know, they have never made a movie about a writer that shows the part when he pulls the stuff out of his typewriter and reads it over and over again for three hours to his disinterested cat and his wine glass, but that is an essential part of the writing process because that is when the smallest edits happen. I would totally watch that movie.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Punched Clean Through.

Punched Clean Through
by james bezerra
It has
occurred to me
more than once,

that I may
just be
a spent shell casing.
15 years ago my buddy
bought a police auction
Ford POS,

used in a bank robbery.
The floorboards still jangled
with empty brass cases.
If the destiny of a bomb
is to go off,
of a bullet to fly,

of me
to be in love with you,
what do we do now?
That car ran great though,
with only
a single circular hole

punched clean through
the driver’s door,
and some stained upholstery.


Half-Drunk on Fremont Street.

Half-Drunk on Fremont Street
by james bezerra

For me
it was like
touching the face of God
when, half-drunk on Fremont Street,
I realized
the Las Vegas strip club
in my favorite novel
was real,
with just a slightly altered name.

I don't have
a Mecca,
or even
a Galilee,
but as I stood there
beneath that
high bright
blinking canopy of light,
I briefly vibrated into tune
with the appallingly strange
and randomly merciful
of everything.

G-string Sirens beckoned
into the air conditioned blue light
scented with lotus blossoms
and thick with Blowback.

Heaven likely
doesn't have strippers
and Hell
likely doesn't have
a two drink minimum
at nine bucks apiece,

But what a revelatory
few moments
I once was
gifted while
half-drunk on Fremont Street.



by james bezerra
Been thinking a lot
about death lately,
because one can only
write so much cloying poetry
about old girlfriends,
and drinking,
and I think
the existence of ghosts,
while wholly impractical -
though no less so
than that of angels -
would certainly explain a lot,
like who is using all of
our old pagers?
Our dial-up modems?
Who still buys crap
by calling the number
at the bottom the screen?
Or what is my old friend doing now?
The one who fussed too much
with her curly red hair?
Who had cancer twice
before 24?
And who beat it only once?
Where might she be now?
Because I always forget –
and am always surprised
to remember -
that she isn’t just sitting
in her mother’s house
knitting or playing with her hair.
So what is she up to now?
Because she can’t possibly still
be getting skinnier every day.
I tend to think of that
as just a phase she went through,
as we all tend to do
in our early 20s,
after all,
I had a really bad moustache
there for a while,
but I outgrew that.
Surely by now she’s gotten bored
with the whole dying-of-cancer thing.
I can’t picture her aging though.
Can’t imagine her cradling
the baby she always wanted.
Although – and how cliché is this? –
I do think I see her so frequently
out of the corner of my eye.
It’s because so many girls now
dye their hair that color,
like desert sun glinting off copper,
and so I always turn to look at them
and they always think
I’m some dirty old man
with a thing for redheads,
which –
of course -
I am,
but that’s not the point.
They make such lively ghosts
youth trapped in amber.
It makes me think she’s out there
somewhere, my friend,
bending beams of light
to bounce off ginger curls,
just to say hi.


Neon Jesus.

Neon Jesus
by james bezerra

The Korean
Presbyterian church
down the street
from my apartment

so painfully,
used to be
a Circuit City,

that I encourage them
to erect
a neon Jesus.

So big
it puts to shame
all previous
giant Jesuses.

It shall cast about it
such supernova
brilliant bright
pink light

that no one
ever again
shall even see
their sad old Circuit City.


Early Indicators.

Early Indicators
by james bezerra
Like the stamping horse
that feels
an earthquake coming,
or the shark
smelling blood
from a distance
I'm learning
they can sense it on me,
like bourbon
like smoke,
like red ink,
I emit
a vibrating little wave
of broken.
I think women
can calculate
the sad of me,
that I haven't yet
been emptied out,
that toxic asset love
still on my books.
My collapsing emotional markets,
a wholly optional earthquake
they don't need.


We Who Secretly Somehow Seem Still Alive.

We Who Secretly Somehow Seem Still Alive
by james bezerra

We who
used to
buy PBR
or Seagram
when we wanted to splurge.
We who secretly
knew and loved so very much -
at each 2am -
that one liquor store in town
with the ten-minutes-slow clock.
We who somehow
always needed ice.
Who were hated by our neighbors.
Who sucked every drop of marrow
from each bottle.
We who seem
to have only halfway,
or only temporarily,
properly transitioned
to adulthood.
We who still
hear The Pixies,
The Velvet Underground,
Jeff Buckley maybe,
whenever someone strikes a match.

We who, alive,
miss so dearly
our dead,
of which there are so strangely
so many.