Down on Duke

11 Jan

From a squalid open doorway down on Duke

Abstract Art

bare shoulders paisleyed

with curls of coarse black hair

stands sideways to the roadway

dealing out rebukes.


Leaning like a weak-stemmed peony

toward the light

of late July

his beard is grizzled, spiking outward from his chin

his throat is dry


his belt cinched well past

the last punch leather will allow.


In a voice to drown the voices

he insults the empty air

shivers with a rich-hued vision of his doom

and takes a bow.


One Response to “Down on Duke”

  1. melanie grant January 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    I know this guy. I’ve never looked at him and thought ‘weak-stemmed peony’, but now I won’t be able not to.

    Thank you for this poem.

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