Post Rent-Check Blues

                        —1 BR / BA / Clear Cemetery View

One hears sick neighbors make love,

Cough through mildewed plaster walls,

Smells paint fumes, garlic stench,

Thick cigarette smoke drift

Past rock club car alarms,

Ropes pulling graveyard shift

In church bell tongues, as lit screech

Owls cast low hell-bent last calls.

LIVE NUDE bass lines, nocturnal

Dive bar animals,

Crawl neon-drenched blocks,

Claws lift plastic lids to sift

Rank trash, stripped branches scratch

Mossed rooftops wind chimes riff,

Faint hangnail gods, as weak floor-

Boards creak across dark halls.

Each ambulance breaks, idles

Side streets, vacant parking lots,

Haunts booked next for some

Funeral home car wash.  All

Night, police sirens answer fears,

Cold dead-end calls,

Old complaints lodge with land-

Lords: noise, heat, mold, dry rot.

Still, gas leaks, pipes pour dirt-

Cheap music, till steam’s caught

Off-guard, train whistles sleep-

Walk outskirts, dump trucks haul

Sad one-act scripts, mix sound-

Tracks buried in plots stalled

As blood clots (cue: throat clear,

Scream, thunder sheet gunshot).

Blinds raised as rent, ghosts, sin-

Taxed angels whose encores play here,

Dead tired, one jokes: at least

Most folks backstage remain

Near quiet.  Strangers hack through

Shared walls as air-damp stains

Set, bedsheet curtains beat applause,

Wings fall on prey, sills, deaf ears.

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