I was sitting
in my favourite café
sipping an iced coke
when this dame


behind me
(in conversation
with some guy) said
and he already


owes me
a thousand pounds
in maintenance
for the kids


(the kids came
into view now
and then
as they played


around the tables
and he wanted them
as much as I


the guy she was with
pumped her questions
about the marriage
(maybe he was a friend


or perhaps
he was hoping
to get his leg over


along the line
of time)
and he seldom visits
she said


and every child
needs a father
but they
rarely see him


and I say to him
you need to see
your children more
(the guy's voice


behind me is soft
and concerning)
children need a father
need that security


he said
I tried not to listen
just sipped my coke
looking at the people


nearby who I could see
but all the while
this dame's voice
opens up and continues


mind you
he never was
much of a lover


the guy said
well not
100% committed
she said


there was always
something else
going on his head
you know what I mean?


she said
the guy said
and I imagined


he nodded his head
(maybe thinking
I'd be a much better
lover than he)


I allowed
a cube of ice
to enter my mouth
cold it rattled


against my teeth
how long is
he going to leave it?
she said


the back payments
are already a thousand
and I have the kids
to feed and clothe


and the mortgage to pay
and Daddy
will only pay so much
she said


the guy fed her
more questions
I didn't quite catch
the words


(quiet speaker
unlike her
who spoke loud)
she laughed


and I sipped
more coke
trying to listen in
on the words


of the joke
jazz was being played
from the in house radio
some Miles Davis


I think
early stuff
I drained the remains
of my coke


and got up
put on my cap
and grabbed my stick
and as I turned


I casually gave
the dame a look
(a kind of fill in
for my picture book)


a blonde
and the guy


in a tee-shirt


and jeans
as I walked off
with my stick
and a head full


of information
I gave them
one last look
back at their table


I couldn't see them
as bed fellow
least not
in my book.

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Tiffany's and Iced Coffee

I’m in that mood.
The one you feel when it’s Friday.
The one you feel when you watch the end of Breakfast at Tiffany’s,
The one you feel when it’s a cloudy day,
And you put on a sad song,
A song that was written today, but should have been written in the nineteen-fifties,
Or sixties.
The one you feel when you want someone to love you,
And hold you in their arms,
But no one’s there.

I’m in that mood.
The one you feel when you’re in a car,
And you want to be in Las Vegas at night,
To see the lights.
The one you feel when you drink iced coffee,
Sugar-free, nonfat milk,
And it’s ten o’clock at night,
And it’s too late to be drinking iced coffee,
But you do it anyway,
Because you can.
The one you feel when your heart hurts,
For no reason at all,
Or lots of reasons you don’t know about,
Hurting over things that haven’t happened yet,
And you’re frustrated you can’t get them to happen.
So you wait for when it does.

I’m in that mood.
The one you feel when you grab a Pepsi the fridge,
Diet, on ice, in a glass,
Not in a cup,
And it’s eleven o’clock at night,
And it’s too late to be drinking diet Pepsi,
But you do it anyway,
Because you can.
The one you feel when you want to take a trip to a gas station,
To buy M&M’s with the peanut butter inside,
But not peanuts,
And more iced coffee,
But the gas station doesn’t sell iced coffee,
So you buy hot coffee and put it on ice,
And pretend you bought it that way.

I’m that mood,
The one you feel when you see a plastic bag in the parking lot,
And you know you should pick it up
and throw it away,
But you don’t,
And you feel guilty,
But then it goes away,
Because it really isn’t a big deal.
The one you feel when you want everything to be in black and white,
And you think about your life,
And how time goes by so quickly,
And how you never want this moment to end,
Because it’s perfect,
And you love the bitter sweetness of it.
And it’s too late to feel bittersweet,
But you do it anyway,
Because you can.

French Girls in a Brasov Cafe

Let the quiet girl speak
She waits like a goldfish, large parted lips
Gobble up flakes of girlfriends' conversation
In the soft liquid atmosphere, cafe in the rain
Moisture, Heat, Music
Lying like Transylvanian haze upon hardwood

Let the loud one be silent at last
Coloured pigeons scuffle over specks of attention
Pink wings parted under bra straps
In sandals, feet shuffle nervously under the table
Hair Dye, Cards, Earrings
Blending like kaleidescope in gray afternoon

Let them flutter off into the drying street
They hesitate like sparrows on high cable
Make plains for distant rendezvous at the hilltop fort
In a daze, i watch them take off suddenly
Wet Clothes, Eyes, Teacup
Burning like underground coal 'neath the mountain

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