Halloween night at Karla’s,
Television din in the background
Instead of a Poetry Slam in the foreground,
Some forgettable cop and robber flick
Has too many people’s attention—
If you want mindless entertainment,
Take it home, please, boost those Nielsen ratings.
I came to be aroused
I came to be challenged
Talk of The Terminator
Instead of Bukowski,
Poorly relayed by a barfly
Later misinterpreted and translated by a gadfly.
Plain vanilla words like “responsibility” and “obligations”
Culturally influential (Egad)
Ideologically exceptional (Egregious sin).
Line ’em up, bartender,
Another round of waste,
Barrels of hot, putrid air
Passing themselves off as whimsical waves of whiskey and wisdom.
Ambiance for the uninitiated,
Candles glow but the minds flicker,
Too warm, warm enough to sleep,
Not live, nor leap.
It’s Halloween, damn it,
Your temples should be pulsating,
Rather a headache than a numb head.
Enough spirits in this one blasted furnace of a room
To fill a concert hall
They’re watching, these spirits, as bored as you,
Nudging one another to keep awake,
Waiting for someone, anyone
To have an original thought,
Get off your cell phone, Mister,
There’s something real missing here,
It’s as real and ugly as a bad poem gets on a hopeless night at Karla’s.
[Poetry Break Editor Note]