Lake Merritt Serenade

The salty, longhorn lady puts on her pearl necklace & starts lighting up as the fuse burns shorter & firecrackers down in Chinatown announce nightfall on Lake Merritt.

Picknickers pack up in a hurry,
joggers change their pace to a scurry
as the brown paper bag-types start their slurry,
looking for a a workout of an entirely different kind
near their waterfront-property tents & benches,
asking, “What’s your status, Gladys?”
Stay still & you’ll quickly make an unintentional acquaintance.
All of a sudden you’ve navigated yourself unto an un-navigable situation.
Skilled admirals would be lost at sea under similar circumstances.
How about that, the county courthouse is conveniently located on your left.

Yes, normalcy is at a premium.
Even the birds get odder at this hour.
Money talks, sure. It talks back with a raised voice, too, reminding you to sit back down – a message that’s fallen on deaf ears around this corner of town.
The church bells ring nine on the other shore.
Don’t you just love the smell of algal blooms at dusk?

Tunafish sandwiches & Swishers lure in the gulls & the gals.
Shots downed across the bow as hungry ghosts slip out of their keyholes,
tummies rumbling the shallow waters, keeping the broken-up couples & blue Bolero crowds company during the late dinner hour along Oakland’s favorite haunt.

There’s a film in every direction & what else can you do but let it come to you all sweet & seedy?


(2/18/2017 – Adams Point, Oakland, California)

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