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Tohm Bakelas

160 E. Main Street

down at the exchange
where coke is passed around
like change owed from a tab,
i sit in the darkness
with my beer and pay no mind.

in this life we all have
too many chances
but not enough fight,
not enough fight and
too many chances.

but down here we all gather,
a lost congregation
praying for continued solitude
with fading hope that
an unfamiliar face
says “hello.”

but here the coke goes to and fro,
up noses and tucked into
seamless pantyhose, blue bras,
and flannel shirt pockets.

and in the darkness i wait,
cigarette lit, beer sweating,
me sweating, while tomorrow
morning creeps in, and soon
i’ll return to a place where
people laugh all day long
when no jokes are being told,
where no jokes are ever told.

Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 14 chapbooks. His most recent collection of poetry No Destination (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2021) is still available. He runs Between Shadows Press.



Comments

  1. i saw this guy read in saint louis about a week ago, he kept shouting he was going to burn the city to the ground. incredible reader! very passionate! dare i say a bit deranged, but he was so polite afterwards. this poem hits home on so many different levels when i worked in bars in the early 90s. any idea where i can find more of his work?

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