More Ghosts Than I’ll Ever Know by William Taylor Jr.

More Ghosts Than I’ll Ever Know

I don’t have much to tell you about other than
the blanketing sadness of this Sunday afternoon
disintegrating into evening, and how I’ve never known
how to write about anything other than the eventual
death of myself and everything I’ve tried to love.
I’m here at the Lush Lounge and there’s an old guy
at the bar in full regalia, a survivor of something,
he’s looking out the window with a faraway face
and he’s probably forgotten more ghosts than I’ll
ever know. A woman at the end of the bar
downs a shot and starts to bark, while another
lady buys the old guy a drink and salutes him
as he pours it down. The barking woman is talking
loud about something I can’t figure out.
I’m bored with it all but don’t feel like going home.
I look out onto Polk Street at the drunks,
the lost, the girls in yoga wear,
the beautiful and not so beautiful people
standing on corners, smoking
and talking and looking at their phones.
Some old woman stooped in rags
shuffles through the alley scouring
the asphalt for scraps of anything,
and I’m on my second beer,
writing the same fucking poem
over and over, and that’s
just the way of things.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. He recently edited Cockymoon: A Jack Micheline Reader for Zeitgeist Press. From the Essential Handbook on Making it to The Next Whatever is his latest collection of poetry.