Billy Burgos

two poems

The Hubert Alleyway

I’d decided days before
it was where they converged
at the mute end of sleep.

The Hubert Alleyway that
bordered the flat asses of graffitoed
walls and hairy back gates.
Waffled on the chain link
fences in a slow boil.

The barely capable garages
that yawned at dawn and
again at dusk. Ate the Towncars
and Devilles of old women.

But it wasn’t this or then.
The moments that nudged life along.
It was when life lumbered softly
in self conscious obesity.

After the kitchen lights
In the rear of homes go black
and the drunks have argued out
their angry voices. Left with only
the weeping parts of life to ponder.

And the only figures still standing
Are the homeless Freezers
with doors dismembered. Maybe
a stray over killing an old
couch with spray.

All the things abused and beaten
like the Merchant traveler
In some Christian parable.

And down further, where the
darkness ends abruptly without
reason (there is no logic to this place)

Where it grates the paint chipped
walls and light has nonchalantly
passed over with its beam,

and the only life is the stray
Pit with swinging teats. Childless and
barely alive, but still staggering.

I’d decided days ago on this place.
Judged it as “evil” in my daylight mind
while tossing the junk over the gate.

Reasoning in mind that the
Frigidaire steel and injected plastic
would be gone by morning.

But only now, with the clock
ticking past midnight and the
sounds of things shifting about
In the back alleyway do I dare
Question at the “how”


We are occasional
beings at best. Maybe
the karma of a moment
in time. Blended within
the fabric of quark and ether.

We are not the solidness
of our earth but merely
the epitaph of its existence.

Or maybe less. A billboard
that narrates an ephemeral history.
A blemish that heals and
scars for a fraction of time.

We are emotion more
than we are motion.
Only in love or hate do
we coruscate like pinheads
lodged in the blank cushion of mass.

And only when the heat of
such emotion sparks us bright
and lights the space within the
quinquennial goal posts
do we leave a permanent mark.

Only then do we recrudesce,
and truly live beyond existence.

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