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By Steve De France

A genderless sub-human dirt bag
draped in telephone cords bumps
around the corner talking, loudly.
People don’t notice
but knot together at the bus stop.
Everyone has a cell phone.
All talking—all the time.
I try to clear my head
whistling Bach’s Brandenberg # 5.
Too late. . . a telephone
migraine is coming on.
A car jumps the curb,
bumps over the corner,
its driver shrieks,
turns the wheel with one hand,
cell to ear with the other.

I escape into the Paradise Movie Pavilion.
In the darkened movie theatre
is blessed quiet….until soon
a bevy of phones begin to ring.
Some…..Rap
others do Gregorian chants.
some chime, yet others whistle,
a few croon, several emit
roaring lion sounds,
the remainder chirp
like insects.
I grind what is left
of my teeth.

Outside the Nirvana liquor store
street people spit into cell phones,
gasping out brainless twaddle.
I grab a fifth of Port.
The clerk studies me. . .
asks “are you from Bombay?”
I laugh & shriek,
“Yes, how could you tell?”
He said he was a trained India detective.

I collapse on a bus bench & start
scribbling lines on an envelope.
Soon
I give up—instead I listen
as a toothless couple
next to me scream on the cell.
We share my port wine—
they ask if I need to make a call?
They slide over on the bench.
What number do ya want”?
I spoke very clearly: “666.”
“What’s the dude’s name?”

“Ask for Pluto. . . “

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