Two Poems by John T. Trigonis

Pale Imitation of a Rusty Old Night Club Performer

I play this ragged piano every night, and every night you waltz away to
the beat of another song, leave me scenting the stale surround

for your fish bone embrace. I become a paler imitation of Tom Waits, drunk
and brokensouled, watching brokenhearted itineraries slow

dance on shattered bottles of rusty Bud, each escorted by a crushed-smoke
concerto filtering its memories into the ceiling fan of this small,

downtown night club ticking and tocking for a bridge that may never come.
The rustled cheeks of loneliness, that sour milk taste of leftover

jazz, open mic amnesia peacocking amidst the barflies and brooders; here,
I remember each menthol-laced word you'd ever lit up against my

coarse, matchbox heart. Yet this piano is a ransomed Polaroid alibi tossed
into the musical ashtray wasteland, lost, and all I can do is play

for my soft, blue winter, switchblade romance; my sacrificial requiem, my
blacked-out supermarket conversations (with no one in particular);

my turbulent zoot suit detective, half-eaten Joan of Arc; my wet dream on
the edge of a razor; my dirty protection, want of stability, of

rekindled peace; this, my one more encore performance invoking your sweet
animus home for more and more of our old, replayable war.


Things of Consequence, Certainty, and Similarity

Milky gray skies of September, bullets that eat their way through
desert camouflage, Kevlar, steel and bone, to the source.

There is no waiting sunshine where sand shakes hands with blood,
where armies upraised in dust ambush a portent smile,

peaceful greetings nearly bestowed from the moist caves out their
cracked, deserted mouths (In some other country, perhaps.)

Chemical rain flushes away the refuse of soldiers, once infants, children,
young men with tomorrow as their guide; here, those hopeful,

bright eyes have died, welded shut by melted black lies poured into
their obedient ears, once with the freedom to choose, now

no choice but to defend that freedom. Buried on foreign shores of earth and
thought, only dark lies blanket them all, and these bodies,

once men, women, children, friends and enemies, are nothing more than
sand and ash mingled in one another’s boots (insincere to whose);

a thing of consequence before. And after? Nothing at all.

John T. Trigonis