• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 11
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Rock Bottom

Parachute personalities gather ground level,
drop in uninvited, drearily, drolly converse,
seek superficial game-changing identities amid
crowded corners, elbow to elbow under a Tiffany Feather
hanging lamp, shedding multicolored panels of
light over Harlequin card players and standing
stooges who talk in pairs, encircle the table
like groupies clinging to a common diaspora,
preferring claustrophobic fellowship to wide
open spaces threatening a solitary existence.

Alone, the second floor’s soft shoe exhibitionist
spreads salt across linoleum covered baseboards;
toe tapping percussion kicks life into the dead kitchen,
kindling fire below garish orange walls where the
hoofer commemorates humanity with a single photo,
neither menacing nor welcoming, just an imperturbable,
solo audience enduring riches to rags stories, as
Wall Street fortune tellers rub shoulders, compare notes
pinpoint precise moments where wealth and notoriety
parted ways, morphing like a Rolex watch losing time.

Between three open windows, ebon partitions
separate floor levels with soot-smeared planter boxes;
third story track lights draw down on pastel purple,
fading into lime green wall paint; a pale blue door swings
like a one-way portal to a minimal quixotic community,


Rock Bottom

quiet and quaint as a monastery, all vital vespers keep
dreaded, independent anxiety at bay; muffled voices
echo up the furnace grate from far below, an energized
reminder of intertwined lives whose inherent values challenge
aesthetic vows: loneliness masquerading as self-fulfillment.