But none of those were quite like Anita

The taxi-man
who hangs out on Liberty,
smokes outside his cab
with his fedora folded over to one side.

He reads the paper
with December swirling around him,
and waves to old so and sos
by the fish market.

He’s ferried boxers
to their big-time fights
and mayors and other politicians.

But none of those were
quite like Anita.

Old Jack here,
frankly doesn’t give a damn
about washed-up, has-beens who
frequently stiff him for the fare.

He was an infantry soldier,
owned his own business
even won some awards and accolades.
But he doesn’t think about his former life,
now ten years into retirement.

Alls he thinks about now is Anita.
She, with her short, dark hair,
sat in his cab for 35 minutes
and asked him all kinds of questions.

She asked him why he looked like
he’d seen a thing or two.
She asked him if he liked jazz.
If he liked driving a taxi.

She asked him if he’d ever
kissed a girl in the rain.
If he’d ever been to another country.

She then asked him about the war,
but got real quiet when she did.
He thought that was mighty cute.

She was about his age,
though you couldn’t tell on account of
her hair dye.

Anyways, she got outta the cab,
that cold December day,
grabbed Jack by the shoulder
from the back seat
and whispered something in his ear.

She wrote her number down,
but he lost the slip of paper
before he built up the courage to ask her out.

Now, all Jack does is drive real slow
when he’s on Liberty –
trying to find a girl who will ask him
some more questions.

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The words are from a poem I wrote last year for Christmas. Always cool to see the marriage of my words and design.

To keep the still in frames

2009-11-27 14.44.21

 

I take more pictures in winter, to keep the still in frames
I sometimes glimpse a bit of spring, through melted snow and flames

The chilly sent of icy rain, hangs throughout the town
The frosty breath of frozen lungs, while snow is falling down

I see a river flow beneath, coursing cold and runneth green
I see a North-bound, rusted train, barreling down with steam

The glow of warmth, bright with light, there’s one I call my home
I pray for the broken, ragged few, who spend this night alone

Where would I be, without this place, into a man been made
I often doubt and cry aloud, hoping again that you’d save

It’s Christmas time in Cincy-town, soon a city colored white
I will rest and spend good time, with my family here tonight

Bless us, Lord! Keep us safe! We fall down on our knees
We pray for much and forget to thank, but now we’re begging please

We are your kids, we hide as such, breaking all the joy you built
We placed on him all the shame, but still carry around our guilt

Take it all! And throw it out! I’ve been hanging on too long
Hope you’ll accept these feeble words, that now come out in song

I am one man and a broken one, you’ve asked to humbly serve
I will fail and fail again, because I haven’t got the nerve

The season is right and ripe with joy, only good comes from above
I pray for heaven coming down, I pray for your unfailing love

To a man without a soul:

I lost my soul the other day
I couldn’t quite remember where I put it
It wasn’t in the normal hiding places
Then it came to me
But in all the stress of losing it
I didn’t really want it back
Trouble is what it brings to me
Pain too
Maybe it would be best if I kept it off for a few days more
Do I need it right now?
What’s the worst that could happen?
To a man without a soul.