CARNIVAL TIME


by John Grey



On this street,

eyes struggle to get wide enough.


So much happening,

to the honk of many horns.


Red lips leap from faces,

plant themselves on strangers' cheeks,


Steam jettisons grids and manholes.

A man in dress and hardhat


accompanies a woman

with painted blue moustache.


Vendors sell voodoo dolls with sausage,

beads and books of prayer.


Forks clatter, waitresses flutter

through cluttered sidewalk cafes.


Music's full of itself, blows out of

floating faces, speakers dangling from high wire.


Beggars ask for cash, get to dance instead.

In hats of coins, pesos brawl with dimes.


Drumbeats work their insistent way toward heart-beats,

and the tap of shoes on concrete paths.


Revelers pour from the arcades.

All along the avenue, beer climbs aboard their throats.


From dusk till morning,

marriages fall on their drunken swords,


new affairs flash, dissolve, like fireflies.

From shop to tenement to dilapidated warehouse,


the rich come down to get their kicks.

The poor are generous with their kicking.



John Grey (he/him) is an Australian born, US resident poet with a passion for music, art, movies, theater and literature with a penchant for collecting things like early editions of Mad Magazine, vinyl albums, classic foreign films and reproductions of early American newspaper comic strips.


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