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Life sentence

Life sentence

I had been warm and calm and comfortable, just one hour ago, 

cocooned in aluminium, unready for the world below. 

Across the divide, from LA to JFK, I had boozed and snoozed,

wined and dined, fed and pandered to a splendid sprouting lassitude.

Martinis dulled my thoughts until the thump of wheels upon the runway 

cleared my gin-fogged mind. I take a rental and drive north on Broadway

where the billboards whisper secrets to me in the darkness of the night.

Their persuasions and promises are written in compelling rainbow stripes -

No PowerPoint needed, they pitch their deal in fonts of pink and neon,

their USP a desperate intimacy amid the city millions.

I leave my rental in a lot and move toward their seductive sights

where other raffish moths, dazed and confused, also flutter in the light.

The hard, dry heat of day lingers in the cracks amongst the concrete sidewalk.

Liberated, it drenches me as I walk from car to restaurant,

from bar to hotel room and then on to some uncaring customer -

a journey which will end only with the beginning of another.

Drowning in my everlasting business trip, I swim between Hiltons,

and dream of strawberries with cream and the scent of rain at Wimbledon.

(The American sentence, defined by Alan Ginsberg, is one that contains 17 syllables).





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