Al Winans: EARLY MORNING INSOMNIA WALK

EARLY MORNING INSOMNIA WALK
I rise at six AM to walk the streets
slow-step my way past a coffee house
a lone worker preparing a caffeine fix
for zombie trance workforce

Make my way to the Mission District
bars soon to open for the Living Dead
old men slumped over bar stools
eyes vacant as cattle being
led to the slaughterhouseHalf-Indian Sarah stands on the corner
of 16th Street in search of a fix
ignores the police cruiser
with the last of the cowboy cops
looking for a shoot-out at the OK CorralGot me the slow walk blues
got me a pair of worn down shoes
pawn shop a-calling young couple ballingGod’s messenger with a billboard on his back
looks for Jesus finds nothing but punks
hanging out at the corner parking lot
dropping a dime for the undercover narc’s
one step closer to Nirvana
down in the streets of Havana

small time two-bit goons
straight out of Looney Tunes
lean against a battered Buick looking like
an old-time drive-in movie marquee

I walk past closed down Burlesque House
flashback to my childhood
the Lone Ranger and Terry and the Pirates
eaten by locusts and crazed rats

The smell of fall in the air
strips my senses bare while down in North Beach
the last of the Italians wages war with Asian clan
in a territorial dispute over who owns
the rights to the boccie ball courts

no more will I be an agent for
the demons camped inside my head
let them write their own poems

walking these streets is wearing me down
I keep slipping into the past in a failed attempt
to communicate with the future

my life has become a marathon walk
leading me to endless coffee shops
taken over by expressionless aliens
with laptop computers and cell phones

I rise each morning like a prisoner waiting
on the executioner’s gun
the years hung out to dry like
wet laundry on a frail clothesline

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