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Dwelling On Steep Rocks
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Dwelling On Steep Rocks

Poem By Charles Chaim Wax

Frank Lawlor
watched the vast Atlantic
with me
as we stood
on the Pier in Coney Island
John Doyle
at our feet
passed out
from who knows
how many bottles of Thunderbird
“I like to stay awake, ” said Lawlor,
“drinking‘s not my thing
like to see what’s going on
cause if you’re drunk
and got your eyes closed
someone could
smack you
and you don’t know who did it
so I want to be awake to see who did it.
“But guys
like Doyle
want
to be out of this world.”
“Fellow I know
sick and tired of life
got five kids
wife left him
29
and he knew her
since she was ten
only woman for him
now stands in the middle of the street
saying, ‘I don’t want
to live no more.’
drinks everything
she left him
cause even when
she was with him
he drank
didn’t care
what happened to him.”
Suddenly
Doyle’s eyes
fluttered open
“Got a taste, ” he mumbled.
‘Stop the booze, ” Lawlor said.
“I guess
that’s a No, ”
I slipped a five
out of my pocket
lifted Doyle to his feet
and passed him the bill
he took it
kissed my hand
then tottered away.
Lawlor shook his head.
I said, “Never forget
the other suffers
had that line in my head
since I was twenty-six
can’t remember
if I read it somewhere
or made it up
myself—
anyway
he’ll be happy
for awhile
and happiness...
what a blessing! ”

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