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   t i n y    t a l e s    o f    m a y h e m,    m a d n e s s,    a n d    m u r d e r    #2 5 2

---   B E N   M I L L E R  

  What you avoid                          
       you become.                          
What you seek                          
         you never are.                          
What you have                          
        is only a daily                          
       cache of footsteps                          
and that day I spend mine looking for an old girlfriend rumored to be living on Never Again Avenue, blunt and blinkered bastion of luckless pony players and two-timed Juliets, only the slightest smell of air in the air, lamp shades crowning street lights, last year's glitter in the gutter and a busker from corporate Ireland dancing the Thingamajig in an alley, woeful lack of telephones and mailboxes, an excess of teeth in the mouth of the ex-con selling perfume: Guaranteed to ease the empty of the air!, a middling amount of vibrato in the voice of the homeless woman addressing a radio thus: I don't wanna hear no breaking news! I ain't no egg!, a more homeless poet across the street sighing: "An immaculate kitchen / is like pepper to me. / I sneeze at the sight / of the light / on the white appliances," five curb side check-cashing tents, four methadone clinics, three doves in a hair tree, by hair tree I mean an emaciated ailanthus with a low branch that resembles a comb and functions as such for many residents, reach up, pull down, rake across head, the bang-clogged twigs periodically cleaned by ooing and ahhing doves that add the strands to hairdo-like nests, me on my toes reaching for a bob that is the auburn of the her I'm looking for, Serita!, holy tip-top of Serita!, way way way up there, lodged reddish-brown in a crook between two branches, Serita!, sacred lid of Serita!, me reaching, reaching, reaching, only to be palmed a pink flyer by a neighborhood activist, my eyes zooming in on the sentence: "Waiting for the new movie theaters will be internal...,"
         leading both toward                          
        and away from                          
                    the starched point of origin,                          
                         some hospital above some                          
            soil somewhere where                          
                     for a brief second there                          
                    could be no question about                          
           what came next.                          

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