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Archive for June 18th, 2011

Pastoral

By Scott Stoller

(after Samarov)

Nothing says winter like frozen barf in a snowbank.
It seemed like such a nice neighborhood
to have bad habits in.
He says he’s just coming off a three-day painkiller bender
and didn’t even know where he was this morning.

An earnest young man I picked up from The Continental
informs me that since I don’t appreciate ideology in art
that I’m completely worthless,

but every tentative step I take
towards participating in The Art World
makes me miss driving a cab.

Now I’m stuck behind a tow truck on North Elston Avenue
hell-bent on running other vehicles off the road.
Sometimes it’s like Death Race 2000 out here.

I just rescued four terrified yuppies from The Hideout.
They didn’t even go in—
Now they’re safely on their way to Rush & Division
to be with their own kind.

A girl gets in and says, “Let me tell you where I’m goin’…
I don’t know the address.
I’ve been drinking all day since two days ago.”

A man in a bowler and white scarf,
back lit below the Belmont overpass,
walks toward my cab
like a scene from “A Clockwork Orange”,

gets in and asks me how my novel’s going.
(Was it the beard or the corduroy jacket?)
He says next time I let people have sex in my cab
I should really make them use a condom.

It’s plastic surgery disasters
outside Charlie Trotter’s, as always.
What makes people think
that if a cab has passed a dozen others flagging,
their waving hands will magically make it stop?

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