Left Him Alone While It Rained

Paul sat at a cafe table.
A sign stood on his table with the words
Arguments five dollars.

He played to his strength
since he was not good at reading
tarot or palms.

Business was not brisk.
In fact a cafe patron took pity on him
and brought him a burger with fries.

Paul looked her square in the eye
and said he asked for ham and Swiss
on pumpernickel with chips and a dill pickle.

The woman walked away in huff.
She failed to read the fine print on the sign
that said he accepted barter.

Paul would have added Coke no Pepsi
in quasi-honor to John Belushi
but the woman had brought him a ginger ale.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Holding The Door Open

Even though Paul requested a seat
at the counter, the hostess
lead him to a corner table
and ignored him
when he spoke up a second time.

The corner was the corner
farthest from the door
and shadowed
so the crowds of young
men and women
probably would not notice him.

He took out a sketchbook and pencil
and wrote lines and lines in it
that might eventually be arranged
and rearranged into poems
or prose poems.

Paul immediately discarded the idea
of imagining all the young people naked.
Instead he attempted to discern
their particular behavior
if they attended a dinner hosted by Buñuel.

Their own aged version of Benjamin Button.
What skeletons hid in their closets.
Who each would invite to their ideal dinner party.
And, last, what it was about this place
that compelled them to arrive and leave repeatedly.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney