Waffle Shop Thoughts

2 eggs over easy

with home fries, toast and coffee

Nocturnal breakfast at 12:40 a.m.

2 men talking about engines

and horsepower with background

         gurgling cigarette laughter

Just coffee for me and my

slim economic worth:

A buck and change

a clunky old Chevy

a half-pack of smokes

and a Zippo lighter

this pen and a rucksack

full of little symbolic tokens

of my life

The young boy behind the counter

stands, arms folded

sucking his cheeks

behind his full pink lips

Another cup, please...

   do I get a free refill?

My boots dent asphalt

and the motion makes

the gears churn the thoughts

               around my brain.

My skull is just a cage

and my mind would be a lion

This is stimulant breakfast

for the farmers of darkness

The ones who hit their peak

         an hour before dawn

the ones who howl like jackals

through wine burgundy stained guts.

The moon makes no photosynthesis

for me, but the stars wink diamonds

billions of light-years away where

there  is daylight.

The tribe may sleep

but will never die.

Apple pie a la mode and coffee...

delicious and nutritious, says Jack.

We stopped to dig, says Jack.

John Brinker is haiku in animation.

I stop to let the thought swim

inside its aquarium

and to light a cigarette

and Noelia floats by like an angelfish.

She's the one my poems are for.

She's the one I need.

I should find her feet and kiss them

with tears then

find my way to say

I'm sorry

I love you the best

my heart is cracked

like a broken watch crystal

I never meant to hurt you...

An old woman stares at me

behind cigarette smoke

and weary cartoon eyes

and I fantasize she could be her

or even any woman to come along

to save me from my sorrow.

She could be young

and cool

and a painter or a poet

she could know how I work

and maybe I could love her

because she understands.

She just might woo me

with a cruising southern drawl

might turn me on

like a prophet

like a panther

like libido

like a dancer.

My coffee is drained

and I look into her eyes again

All I see is hag

like she was born old

like the wrinkles have always been there.

Everyone in this joint is old

No light shines in their eyes

but for a dim tired

fluorescent bulb

This world gets me down

like a ghetto

but above the grungy concrete

and the riot boys and

the flashing cop cars

and neon signs

telling them to intoxicate

and never face your fears...

there is graffiti

Technicolor in a black and grey

permanent photograph

and there is music in their hearts

and on the stereo

and still they find their way to smile.

I think I'll just sit back and smoke for a while.


Jason I. Stutz