Poems by Leo Lovechild
A poem about… (2019)
5 minutes. Waiting once again, the burning oil hits the faded lamp. The yellow platform is rusty and caked with the dirty scum of the bottoms of the people’s feet, and we all know there ain’t nothing good there. 4 minutes. Café Bustelo and his silver harp start to play away my blues. Good sounds are radiant with vibratos after long walks through the underground. A young woman in black and gold strobes having too much too drink smiles mercilessly, but she’s grasping at sincerity. She fishes for something, but two fives are all she’s got. She feels bad — then she realizes she needs a 20 spot back home, and her brain goes elsewhere. Guess she’ll have to go home dry now ‘cause the next train “to Manhattan” departs in 3 minutes. Black clad fellow whistles by, chain round his neck looking shiny but tacky. He’s antsy, flying high off the walls like a kid in his first bar in a foreign city. Bustelo is singing the Kinks now as he plays his metal honky tonk machine; “Waterloo Sunset” and it’s perfect timing as my mood has merged with the peak subway hour, just before deep nightfall and the waiting gets too rough. He looks like he rode in from another time on the top of a buick and nobody sees ‘cause it’s too many years down the line but damn he’s making me feel like a kid again, two of my dad’s VW Golfs ago on some road escaping and we caught a good moment on the radio. 2 minutes. The whistle is in the distance now, rumbling in towards the clearing, our path back to the center of the loin, where we can make our stay for a hot second. I am on 14th street, and I’m in my dad’s old car on the highway somewhere, and Waterloo Station, all at once. It is a happy feeling. I’ll be sad to have to go. 1 minute. The people are anxious to move on. The groove is on the tracks that are rusted but hold a strange sense of elegance, history, like Bustelo. They skipped the count now, but unlike the rest of us he isn’t rushing towards 0 minutes, as the orange letters signify our victory over the obviously devious city government and its transit authority. The wait is over. Goodbye stranger, man from the cover of Aqualung. Please play your love songs all night long.
O #2 (2018)
Here today, Here today. Where the green grass grows Only you can say. Greener still are the stops on the subway, So green, so green, Like the thoughts you’re inciting. I’m inviting you to but you can’t listen. You have two good ears too, but There’s something missing. The fishes would all swim to you if they could, They surely would — Look at how the world curls before your amber eyes. You told me you felt paralyzed. I held back tears. I said That I can empathize, And I wasn’t lying. Please try me.
Sad Clowns in Chinatown (2019)
Dim sum Tuesday Noodles in gravy Save me. I’m waving to the waiter I think he sees me. Sometimes I’m patient But today I’m feeling needy. Too many Misplaced possessions Lost concessions Sometimes I perish quickly And then drive my car Straight back to heaven. But I’m still blessed. Everybody knows Comes out in droves like mosquitos At all these shows. Pretty women smile wide And it brings me hope. It’s fucked up, but then again Life is a joke. Things are getting heated now. The band is playing twice as fast as normal And I’m forgetting what normal is. The world is my stage But this basement room’s a tomb. Cold walls and colder glances from strangers But your eyes, a nice surprise, are warm and blue. Entice me. I’m wondering whether it’s all worth it. Device me. you’re bothering me, and it’s worthless. I’m squandering any chance of excitement now. Forget me. I’m wandering Down the aisle like a tumult, somersaulting Saltined green beans and Idaho blue jeans Hand in hand It’s a love potion. Nine lives and the time flies It’s a love poem. It takes time to make time, baby And not every line has to rhyme As long as the melody sits. Right and wrong are drag casual Technical and beyond factual And back when they wrote the rules I was too busy studying the gospel To understand the difference between what’s real and what’s actual. Lawrence told me neon isn’t a color. I laughed “The answer isn’t always in the make believe. Sometimes romance is brief.” Lawrence says I should stick to reality But in the end we’re all drastically dissident And who really gives a shit about the difference between staff and faculty? My faculties are waning. My head Is in pain. Pills can’t save me now! Front end first to kill what hurts But it only gets worse. Scrolls of crimson ribbon Elaborate chiffon Turkey drippings Thanksgiving is gone. The Indians stole it back from the from the British Dr. Pentagon found his sixth sense so he’s quitting Drown the rest of them I’m winning! I’m sitting with the big boys now ‘Cause daddy said to milk the kowtow. He was right, you know. They love you when you’re down. I’m the sad clown. Pull my strings And I’ll shine for you. I’m the lost sound. Clap your hands And I’ll lie with you. Please don’t sacrifice me to the monkeys! I’ve got a burden on my back but I ain’t no junkie. I’m poisonous But I’m good for you. I’m the river’s edge when the dogs come out A mean dream cast in shadow. The lights are low for the curfew — It’s not personal. Some say the curtains should always be drawn and tidy. I disagree, though. It’s more interesting with some lighting. That way at least I can see it when the sidewalks cry. The roads are dry and dismal on this island. Sorry, Shel, childhood is over and my shelves are empty. The telebox generation has replaced all coherent thought with nothingness And all I can do is look at myself in my own reflection. The streets never end in New York, they just cry, And if the sidewalks do too, I’ll never make it. Mary dressed in drag tonight Comes out in green and yellow lights Hidden by wisdom. Hiding her wisdom She’s a vixen. Skin like ivory Eyes wide and fiery Dark red hair droops down to the ground like it’s slowly dying. She sings like the wind on a cool, mellow morning Thin and hollow A whisper in an otherwise silent dream. For a brief moment, I recall a time when I was a child And the sky wasn’t so bleak. The moon was fading fast as I waved it down. Silicone sirens billowed out across the hardtack floors Where mystics and vagabonds lay peacefully on open beds of sheet metal and good vibes. It was chilly, but summer was still fading into winter with no fall in between. After a few minutes, the years had gone by before my eyes. One stop on the subway and suddenly I’m 15 again Close to something, yet so far from tragedy Drama yet to begin, hopefully still to come. Then I remember my headache and I’m lost again Swimming with the Chinatown fishes.
Brown and Out (2019)
Love me Hate me My heart is brown for the taking Somewhere between red and black Often turning to a nasty yellow-green I smoke mad weed Love me Hate me My heart is brown and ungainly A lame duck tattooed to my chest Like Ed Norton’s swastika in American History X My mom sees history repeating itself so she says to put down the pipe and take heed Love me Hate me My heart is a brown brokedown race car Drifting in the sea See infinity and scream One day I will run off with a lover to live in limbo because I am a recluse indeed Love me Hate me My heart is the brown myth that made me Bronze and glistening when the light hits it right Dark as hell when the day defaults to night I drain myself to sleep to avoid my dreams Love me Hate me My heart is brown like the pavement I stepped in a pile of dog shit when I was 7 and I never looked back Potato peels in the sack When I was a kid I dreamed so much there were no dreams Love me Hate me My heart is brown tired please take it I would let you own me but I have too much pride I would fake it but I’ve never been good at indifference That’s why I smoke mad weed
Waiting once again,
The burning oil hits the faded lamp.
Tempted by a glimpse of surprise,
An unwillingness to be O.K.,
The hunch-face stranger might appear like a drag sometimes,
Ragged, dirty, and rusted in all the most delicate places,
Hung up and dried out on life’s laundry line
At a young age, soured by the wisdom of 10,000 thieves
Squandering no chance at the minutiae of temporary satisfaction.
Plagued by the sheer brutality of his worldly vision,
The stranger is just a man
Like I am.
Though the buckles on his waistcoat may be fierce,
Though the fiery gaze of his neon eyes
May pierce the skin around my temples,
Though the wits and presence that walk by his side,
Steeped in the potent leaves of too much indifference,
Shine like the silver spark on a just cleaned butter knife,
I must always remember that he is just a man
Like I am,
Imperfect and forever seeking like the rest of us.
Micro-camera-phone, see me, hear me, feel me, believe me, fear me! Leave your wife and kids at home. The timescape is crawling with dissonance — nobody’s innocent. Picture this: two cartwheels and 5 yellow hoops later, you are standing in a filthy crater of your own misery. You are inept. Your secrets could have been better kept. Your past ignorance is right there before your big brown eyes, and no one can help you dig a deeper hole. The world is hollow inside. Your old friend Jim used to ride for you, so you’re scared when you see his picture. But do you really care? Mushroom Mary still wears her gentle smile, but you know no one sees it there. Her eyes are so sad, two poofy pillows just bursting at the seams, ready to rain like the great, gray Ohio sky somewhere in your memory. Motor oil is on sale now. JB always comes with the best deals. The green mountains are in the background still, but it’s hard to tell with Late-night Linda’s reel-to-reels. Can you be artsy and sexy at the same time? Is art sexy? Is sex art? Lost in a spiraling sea of tempered compassion, all empathy has been endlessly squandered, drowned in the depths of ignorance and too much time to sit and and think. Reality has been sacrificed for nothing, and nothing waits at the center of the spiral. You are alone again. Alone. Micro-camera-phone, See me, hear me, feel me, Believe me, fear me! Leave your wife and kids at home.
I’m tired of the butterflies I never got to see
I’m tired of the empty space where the pages used to be
I’m tired of the concrete floors I have to walk on every day.
I miss the time when uncertainty was welcomed
With open ears and a hungry heart
When race car drivers and checkered flags weren’t so far behind
Back before security was everything and profit was just a false sense of hope
Before wall street rained on everyone’s parade
Before my parents couldn’t stand each other anymore
When happy families still showed their faces in public
And confrontation wasn’t so necessary.
I miss baseball games by the river
Cartoons with dinner.
I miss the way it felt once to put two and three together.
I played chess one time when I was on acid and all I could think about
Was the fucked up power dynamic between the queen and the king.
Any pawn can eventually become a queen, but there is only one king,
And if the king dies the whole squad goes down with him.
Today, I’m bored.
Bored of chess
Bored of acid
Bored of life
And so tired
So, so tired.
12 stops on the F train//the mirror (2018)
With the days of purple hopscotch far behind, it’s no wonder the milkman hasn’t come around lately. There’s
too many perverts in paradise anyway, and I’ve got no choice but to look back at my mirror of misconception
with some kind rationality, even though it shattered years ago when Monty tried to dance his way around the
drunken piano. There it still lies, every day when I brush my teeth and shave my war torn face, scattered in
uncountable shards on the crooked floor, a reminder of all the pieces I picked up and put back into place so
many years ago.
My Meeting with the Lysergic Devil (2013)
Deathbed of hypocrisies,
like a wild river
of tangential dreams,
caste out upon the endless sea
of wisdom, and glory,
and all the divine spirits.
Cracked back, tortured mind, and broken heart,
you all glisten before me,
your beauty so wise but so vulgar.
Will you take me to the temple?
Aching like a prince for his maiden,
adolescence weeping for old age,
I am shielded in my misery
by a thin line of virtue,
a think tank of horror and the great beyond.
My spirit before my own eyes,
I am crying like a majestic fountain.
Royal purple snapshot of ten thousand years,
please love me like a child,
the orphaned infant,
the fighting slave,
the sacrificial offering,
and the blood, the blood,
the holy blood of the desperate vagabond.
Clothes torn to shreds, hats thrown aside,
I can see the medallion now,
like an echo of disaster
it beckons me, but I dare not
This time I will conquer the madness,
I will meet the common foe,
the fog within the nightmare,
the cruel, ugly mystery
that disrupts the balance.
I will understand the fury,
I will overcome the burning rage,
I will wrestle the lysergic devil
to the ground.
I will meet him on an empty, stormy beach,
where the black sands writhe
in the toils of an underground city
of hopeless pilgrims,
bound for an endless drift
There, the swift wind
will gracefully carry me centuries forward,
mysteries still hanging over head
waiting to be unraveled,
into the deepest depths
of the magnanimous sky.
You try to put on your shoes, but
you just can’t quite do it.
So much power lies in the depths of a single button, all you can do
is push it.
You follow each and every sign, but
You might try to drive it, but
the road drives you.
You deserve the right, but
you turn left.
Wild skies grow so high and wide, but you
sink so low down.
The pen holds the wisdom and the glory if
you can write it.
You stare into lit hazel eyes, and they
stare you down too.
The full moon bends so bold in the shaky night, but
he’s just one.