October 27, 2005

Face

for Van Walleghen

Riding the Greyhound across Kansas, the newly minted ex-con in the aisle seat is asleep, dreaming of his daughter in Denver. I stare through the face in the black window, the inside lights off, one finger holding the place in a novel I borrowed from a friend before leaving Illinois. My sideburns are starting to curl, the eyebrows creeping back together, undermining my best efforts to keep them apart. And the nose. The nose is much too big, or at least I remember my brothers saying so when I was a kid. In high school, a girl told me I had long, pretty eyelashes and I didn’t know how to take it. Another told me my mouth looked like a turtle’s, the way the upper lip comes to a point in the middle. They’re thin like worms, a girl said in seventh grade. Her mother made her apologize. The helix of my right ear is missing a chunk, just like my uncle who died of an aneurysm at 50 and my cousin who, in her thirties, got liver cancer. The freckles fade when the days get shorter. They say symmetry is equivalent to beauty, so it’s no wonder I can’t get a date. You can already see where the lines will be when I get old. I need a haircut.
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October 24, 2005

London

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life;
for there is in London all that life can afford.”
-Samuel Johnson

Bangers and mash
	place where Dylan played
around Kensington 
	pissed up Australians
look for someplace open past 11
	drank half a bottle of Jameson
can’t wait to get the hell
	out of Planet Hollywood
hand in hand, rainy afternoon
	through the park to see
the friezes of the Parthenon
	Discus and Rosetta Stone
snowy TV, tuned to BBC
	England and New Zealand
cricket test match
	wickets, bowler, batter, tea break
no idea what’s going on
	an hour’s tube ride
to snatch a shot of Abbey Road
	the homeless all have dogs
Jason Schwartzman outside Harrod’s
	no photo to prove the story 
bed in the kitchen 
        on Knaresborough place 
barely slept, but never tired
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