Hotel Doorman Passes the Time of Day, Mexico City
“New, that one’s suit, bargain sale somewhere
but see, the woman with him: style, not ‘a la moda,’
just herself…and him? chingada! beltless jeans,
baseball cap, leftist for sure (they’re all alike),
that one hiding fat with shawls, ah! look,
politician—silk shirt, chin shaved so close
it shines (narcos buy Rolex watches,
Chargers t-shirts, whores wear open shoulder blouses,
spandex pants), banker that one, necktie
with a bit of swirl (see the clasp?)
and here? aerobic miss (who else could wear
jeans that tight?) Faces lie but clothes?
Clothes don’t hide what people want to hide. “
Lennon, after the First Hamburg Tour
Drank orange juice, ate eggs his foster
mother fried, watched re-runs on the telly,
sketched obscene cartoons. Beyond the ironed
curtains, Naugahyde, formica counters,
lights flicked off and on, the tour
from this perspective like a plunge into the id,
rooms filled with pinballs lighting up at once,
all balls in play but disconnected
from the score—or hands that might have thumped them
into meaning. He drank tea—drank lots
of tea—recounted money he had earned
(and blown on drugs, on boots, on birds) then flung
himself out of the house (to bum a beer,
he thought) but wound up in The Cavern,
sitting in, playing guitar again.
Pro Boxing Comes to Tijuana (1886)
“After four rounds the referee, who was no less than Wyatt Earp…declared O’Neal the winner.”
— Paul J. Vanderwood, Juan Soldado
The boarded platform creaked beneath their plunging
back and forth, O’Neal’s nose smirched
with blood, Nugent’s eye half swollen shut.
Winchesters cocked, two soldiers monitored
the bills, the gold, wagered jewels.
Earp, between tequilas, darted to and fro,
the two combatants huffed and cursed
as bettors yelled and women hid their faces
in their shawls. Earp (for all we know
the only judge) shoved O’Neal’s hand upright
and “T.J.” as we know it now—red lights,
free drinks, fat whores and graft—gorged
itself on what would be: alter ego
for the vice-enamored voyeur Yankeeland.
against its gauze
trapped in a net
but swimming hard
Jolly Old Fellow
They asked how old he was: Lost count!
he lied. Memories? A fleeting wind
savored, gone… Yesterday
the same as fifty years ago:
lovers, wives, kids and baseball games…
Forgot their names but hey!
re-doing office walls slapped coworker
with a little paint, ha! Irate!
Had to pay her new hairdo, so what?
It could have happened yesterday…by God,
I think it did! Again he laughed. End of the line?
No such thing! Endings need beginnings
—when does rain begin? Comes down,
evaporates, comes down again. Like life,
rain is. Like love, he smiled: is, just is.
Robert Joe Stout is a freelance journalist and poet who is originally from Wyoming but now lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. Some of his writing is political (Hidden Dangers, Why Immigrants Come to America) others have social or literary themes (Miss Sally, The Blood of the Serpent). His books of poetry include Monkey Screams and A Perfect Throw. To learn more, visit his Amazon author page.