Roaming Around

By Marcus D. Niski

As a child
I would roam
around

Roaming around consisted of freedom

An essence of pleasure

I roamed around the streets
the creeks and gullies
the back blocks

through unfinished houses
through suburbia
through time and space

through mind and body
through disinhibition

through freedom of expression
through permission

to be free

[MN] 8 January 2019

Gas Station

By Marcus D. Niski

A slice of dying America

Immortalized in poems
by Bishop

paintings by Hopper

And the memories of
Millions of Americans

The allure of gas stations

Grease pits
Oil stands
Bowsers

Grease monkeys
Driveways
Tools and tool draws
Parts and carburetors

The dreams of youth
And the machinery of movement

Gone the Golden Fleece
Of my childhood

ESSO CALTEX MOBIL
BP SHELL LIBERTY

Dead and dying

Like the generations
Basking in the dreams of
nevermore

[MN] 9 January 2019

The Bard Of Hollywood – Charles Bukowski

The Bard of Hollywood

By Marcus D. Niski

He was a tough motherfucker
at least he’d like to have
us think that he was.

Everyday he’d get up
And start drinking and writing
Writing and drinking.

Yet under that
beer barrel chest
lay the heart of a lion,
a heart of gold

He gave us his best stuff
Fresh from the suburbs, the factories
the pool halls, the wastelands, the racetracks, the detritus
of urban life.

He never gave up
and never
gave in until
he gave his last
which as good as his best

He never understood
the human condition
because he was always striving.

‘He didn’t think much of them’
The Humans that is.

One of the most acute observers,
He laid his soul bare

And he told of the blood, the puss
the stink, the shit, the beauty, the horror
and the mundanity of life.

He lived life
To its fullest
despite his own queer
deviations.

Bukowski
was a one-shot deal
An original even if it’s a clique
To suggest it.

His writing lives on
In eternity
To grace us with its realness,
Its sorrows

And its beauty.

[MN] 15 January 2020

Dedicated to Charles Bukowski (1920–1994) – one of my great literary heroes.