Quincy Lehr Brummel sound
It always fucking feels like laundry day.
I’m sure you’ve had the thought.
It’s always clothing spinning round,
a partnerless sock that’s caught,
wedged in the dryer door, its pattern subtle.
Its colors, though, are bold—
or were. The fabric’s fraying now,
worn until it’s old.
This boredom’s not a case of irony
dressed in drag as wit.
It’s not a drink in Prospect Park.
It’s not the way you sit
behind a glass of piss on Friday night,
trying hard to bear it,
the wink-nudge grin, the footsie fling.
How did we inherit
these walk-up flats, the upward trudge of rents
for places to put the cat
on the other side of the BQE,
blocks from Where It’s At?
Who’ll preach the jeremiad? Where’s the man
descending from a bike
to make the prophecy? He waits
at Friday’s open mic
to say what everybody almost knows,
although we all digress
from the thing that’s obvious:
Our wardrobes are a mess
of kitsch and smirking cloth quotation marks.
It’s best to know your roots
in struggles against the landlord class
while wearing vintage boots.
You swear you’ll make it last another year
like one last baby tooth,
like one more hit on mp3
by an aging Sonic Youth.
Where’s Comrade Brummell? Where’s his white cravat?
When will he come in view?
I’ve hankered for his fashion tips,
but all I see is you.
The laundry seems to blossom every day
and quarters disappear
as money fails to stanch the tide.
The slogans seemed so clear.
“We are the people!” Or was it “Yes we can!”?
I somehow doubt that’s true.
I wanted work with elegance
but ended up with you.
The laundry spins but never seems to dry.
My socks are always damp,
squishing around inside my boots.
Back home, the bedside lamp
illuminates the text but gives no warmth.
It seems I’m almost through
with one more book I hoped I’d like
but kept discussing you.
Let’s hear that witticism one more time.
Let’s hope that we don’t rue
its syllables that snapped around
the fucking mess of you.
Perhaps the end is coming soon, or just
another thing that’s new.
I prayed for a new Jerusalem.
No one replied but you.
As first published in the current edition of The Poetry Bus (PB3) a magazine of poetry and illustration with audio CD.