Stephen Nelson /I’d Rather Eat Than Stay On The Bus/

I’d Rather Eat Than Stay On The Bus


Could sit
or presently
undress my
in every corner
of this corner
& be cornered
and undressed
by her.
She collects
plates, places them
on the bar.
I’m not going to
eye anyone who
doesn’t eye me first.

Pub dew in non-violent rum.
The runners & chasers.
Isolation is not our only interior.
Pub voodoo of consciousness
cast on carelessly caring
Drink responsibly is too much
love for this winter Christ;
this guy staring at the TV,
easy raps I’ve yet to hear.
Her voice on the telephone,
when you do –

Attention is voodoo, or the music
is malevolent but my body fruit – mine,
& the phone is a pepper enchilada
Pauline picks up.
My body sparks, jerks as I write,
sits on its clean cushion,
no animation or meaningful eye contact.
Dumb voodoo warlord
cuts into corporate
glory & rocks me senseless.


nods head, cursing music shouts:
shouts in red, dead drunk.
If I have to pee,
I’ll lose my seat. I feel interior
to the babble but noiseless seas
are a bit of useless nostalgia
orbiting nostalgia noiselessly. If Sandra were here I’d…
or me or Mick & Rab
as a band not drunk
till late when Rab’s cig got sick
in the taxi home that night.

I’m on ginger ale this evening.
The last time I drank ginger ale
was with Melissa in a hotel bar.
She’s a doll, I’d say. I’m a sap, mostly
rum & running towards the glory.
The bald guys are narcissists
& the worry is that I’ll voodoo
the fuck out of them for her name’s sake.
Blonde barmaid not quite my twin.
She’s so lovely & I keep my community

Tonight is over
before I even commit to you. The sex
I had this morning,
my body smooth and glowing,
an easy landing, not a trace of guilt.
Should I talk to Pauline while she
crushes ice? My god, no!
Too busy & I’m very careless
with words – just read what I’ve written.
This guy wants to read it but I’m
self-conscious enough, for a second or two,
not a bookie but contemplative & efficient –
“Get a bet on now!” he says.
“You can bet on me, baby!” I say.
I’m a winner, mostly, & voodoo is mostly
harmless but not easy money.
I’ll never leave this seat, never aspire to fame or glory,
unless you seduce me with a pungent tongue
& a sizzling enchilada.




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