Three Poems by Leeroy Berlin

the devil you know

there's a devil in the corner
in a dark, well-tailored suit
watching me. wears a fedora and
smokes a Dominican Upmann
eyes and ember glowing
he's not so fond of Zevon as I am
he follows me around
and likes to leap from the
dark places of the world,
grip me by the throat, and
make me listen.

there's a devil in the corner
he keeps telling stories
to no one in particular.
it’s just me, him, and the empty room
punctuated by a clacking keyboard
and a soft electric glow
that makes the folding chairs
and empty floor seem lonelier.

there’s a devil in the corner
he followed me last night and
snuck into the back seat of my car and waited
until I was whipping around the bend
he reached forward fingers tight
around my neck and screamed
because even the devil wants
to see an end to all of this.

there's a devil in the corner
and for now we drink together
and each beer wraps him in
a little more darkness
we're used to each other
and to the smoldering hate
familiarity breeds attachment
so I lift my beer and smile
Not tonight old friend, not tonight.

dead trees and ink

I'm sitting on the floor

surrounded by loosed sheets
printed with words I wrote

and remember

the tears


and blood.
Writing one once

I tossed my laptop out a second-story window
furious that syllables refused to bend with me.

Another fell out, like some small thing lost in a suitcase,
from a week-long vicodin binge

self-prescribed for acute cardiac fracture.
I pick one up that's laying next to me and remember
how it stumbled from my fingertips

fifty-three hours after the last time I'd slept.
There in the corner I see the bastard

child of a bottle and a half of gin
and the realization that she wasn't coming back.

I poured into all of them
everything I knew de los cojones

but now I read them and
I don't feel what I used to feel

I see dead trees and ink.
It's like meeting a woman

you used to fuck
and when you told her you loved her

she left
meeting her years later and

you don't feel what you used to feel
you see this stranger who reminds you

that you can't get those feelings back.

miles of asphalt and heart-break

as I roll past Skirball
crane my neck to look

she lives down that road
half a mile, then a right

the house is just out of view from the 405
and it's not the smog

that stops my breath
or the shattering glass

crunch of steel
that stops my heart

but those things don't help.


Old 333 said...

E x c e l l e n t. Really liked those, Mr. Berlin - thanks to you and Black-Listed for the great morning read.

Paul said...

damn fine writing


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