Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Michael Frissore: Two Poems


 This Train is for Cockfosters

This is what it said on the train
from Heathrow to the hotel.

Whether this was the last stop
on the train or I was being insulted,
I’m still repeating the phrase
and calling everyone a cockfoster.

A Night in Amsterdam

Three English soccer hooligans
accost us whilst we’re trying
to pick up two American girls
at a live sex show.

They asked for volunteers,
but I had stage fright
(the people running the
sex show, not the hooligans
or the American girls).

The Englishmen follow
us around, shouting,
“Hey, Americans!”
whilst my comrade
tells them to beat it
and I alternate between the
scary, silent type and
the jokester, trying to
keep things lighthearted
so we don’t get trounced
amid this handicapped
tag team match in the waiting,
because you know the
girls don’t have our backs.

Three A.M.,
we stop for French fries,
with ketchup or catsup,
I discuss my comrade’s
shagging chances with
the other American girl,
and a hooligan calls to us,
“Hey, Americans,
your chips are all bloody!”
But that’s how we like ‘em.

In the end we part ways,
three separate factions,
no one gets the girl,
no one takes a punch,
just another night in
the Venice of the North.

Back to our quarters
for what I think will be sleep,
but our friends are waiting,
ready to go out again
to yet another techno club.
It’s Five A.M.,
I resist, but they hand me some
Ecstasy and I take it.

“Now, you have to
go out,” they say.

I don’t think so, but we do,
four more hours in the city.
I try to dance, try to have fun,
the Ecstasy not fully kicked in,
but everything’s blurry,
which could be fatigue,
or claustrophobia,
or social phobia.

All I want is out,
fight or flight,
and I fight for some reason,
standing, pretending to dance,
and thinking I might die here.

When it all ends,
happy, tired, confused,
we get back to our quarters,
it’s Nine A.M.,
I want some breakfast,
I want to sleep,
but what I truly want is you,
somewhere in Columbus, Ohio
or Worcester, Mass.
you are missing me
like I’m missing you
and I wonder
how your evening was.

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