Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Bob Bradshaw

Why Are Things So Hard?

Spanish: three semesters of the stuff
and I can't remember
the word for sombrero.

Why are things so difficult?
You will learn to love
each other, my mother says.

But I am like my dog,
I can't comprehend
what Sheri wants. I howl
and whimper. I fetch.

She resents my dirty paws,
my unwashed laundry.

Why am I surprised?

I sit at a piano, running
my fingers along its keys.
You suck, Bradshaw. The critic
in me is unforgiving.

This is what I know of the piano:
I push the keys down
and like bars of soap in a bath
they pop up again.

Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise

You flip through Doors' albums
like flipping through photos
in your wallet,
as if the Doors were your brothers.
You remember our lyrics
better than your father's advice.

You talk as if we shared
the same jail cell together,
or at least the same womb.

You long to be famous,
but fame is someone listening
to your proposal for a film project
when otherwise
he wouldn't know you
from the bus boy
cleaning off his table.

Fame is drinks being shoved
at you as quickly as the papers
you haven't autographed yet.

Fans, they'd idolize a junkie,
so fogged out the band's turned
his amplifier off,
as long as his name's famous.
If his name's bloated
and stands out like a vein
on a junkie's arm, even better...

My fans heave empty bottles
as if my grave
was the edge of a highway in L.A.
But who wouldn't want to be famous?

Wilde is my neighbor.
His fans stand in the rain
and bring flowers, not empties.
I have a jar for lilies, too.
My fans urinate in it,
fame a vase full
of piss.

©2010 by Bob Bradshaw

Bob Bradshaw lives in California, a state drifting slowly towards Asia. He is reading Chinese poetry and studying the Japanese Tea Ceremony in preparation for the docking. Recent work of his can be found at Driftwood Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Review, Writers Connect, Orange Room Review, and Greensilk Journal.

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