Peter Jacob Streitz





I spied her

From three stories up

Through the blinds


Black hair

White skin

Black sleeveless top

A rounded white logo


her Lolita breast

As she squats

In a semi-circle

Like pre-dawn man

Around a campfire

With her street boys

One and Two

Hunkering out’a sight

But on the lookout

As One removes his

Doc Martin

Vigorously cleaning

between his toes

With a finger

Preparing the spot

While Two

Rolls his shirt sleeve up

And repetitively

slaps a vein

Like a nurse

drawing blood

There’s no interaction

Nothing said

Only life and death intensity

While other denizens

. . . like pigeons

but disguised as men . . .

Spot the trio

—pecking at their morsels—

Turning squabs to birds of prey

Skulking closer

As she pulls a compact

from her pocket

Purses her lips

and rouges

Her highly narcissistic


While One jams a needle

Deep between his toes

Two doesn’t even

tourniquet his arm

Just balls his fist so tight

the vein’s for the taking

She hungrily follows suit

The scene is a verity

of stalker and game

As she drops her compact

The mirror shatters—

in perfect harmony

With the now molten . . .


kneading her brain

Her chin nods

. . . down to her chest bone

The chalk white radiance

of a slightly exposed breast

Beckons . . .

like a homing beacon


The encirclement tightens

The street is sick

with addiction

and need

Amazingly, she lifts her head

A grim slip of satisfaction

crosses her lips

With an unseen lipstick

she hastily reddens them

. . . like an open wound . . .

As rival shadows of violence


Within feet of her and

her shrinking Twosome

When a silent shriek

of warning

—from a suburban bygone—


Her preciously hooded lids . . .

flutter with a fleeting memory

Of some Teddy Bear past.

* * *

Clutching her belongings

to her bosom

She teetered to rise

Before toddling

. . . a step or two

Clownishly attempting . . .

an escape

Down Julia’s alley.




That shitfaced


Nah, macho man


The limbs

Of ladies

Or the fattest


With smallish


And suckable


Like the quim colored lips

Of dead


Where beer


In winy utterances

Mixing sex

With fucking

Then love

Or appreciation

Of mirrors

Healing acne

With wisdom

Or cocktails

That pussy foot

From sacks

To racetracks

And back

To paddocks

Of saddles

And whips

Plus horns

And leads

With harnesses

That mount

And cinch

The saddlebags

In stirrups

Of lust

As fleshy bits

Rope heartache

To the rhyming

Of losers

And winners

Who’re eternally


For never

Having placed

The bet

—that women who blush—

Train their flanks

To lap

The track

Where mares

And stallions


In a world

Of wonder

And words


Unless the final



Human nature


Human nature


the last word

Of his story.


The tweeker’s

Boggy, alcoholic eyes

Bulged unblinkingly

Within inches of mine

Setting the stage

For mere players

In this mosh pit

At the intersection of ol’Frisco

And modernity

While the watery whirl

Of rush hour washed‘round

And Dino denied I’ve come—

To that very corner


For the past twenty years

Awaiting my love’s return

from work

But on this day

Where the subway


And the street cars clank

Like two ships

Passing in the night

I unknowingly missed her

As she unknowingly missed me

But Dino didn’t miss a beat

Manically orating his resurrection

As a bookseller

And one who

Only reads the law

And fuck that storytelling


With his countenance

Increasingly inscribed

In an ominous glaze

And his lids hoisted

At half-mast

He pulled back the curtain

For the briefest moment

To inquire

Do you read?


There was no answer

Other than His . . .


Leading to

his sidewalk bibliothèque

Where ten tomes of prose

Sat dog-eared and dirty

Along with a soiled sleeping mat

And a rat

Disguised as a pet

Entrapped beneath

A milk crate

—Much Ado About Nothing—

Was crammed into my hand

While two bucks

departed this fool

And his wad of money

Filled Dino’s head

With sugar plums of theft

Or thirst for some complicity

Whose outright criminality

Got quenched with past drinks

And blackouts

At whore houses

In Alaska

And racist chases

In Texas by Rangers

Who took exception

To the pilfering

Of black velvet


when shit and damn

My cell phone vibrated

And a distraught

Wifely voice

Rung down the curtain

On two role players

In another performance

Of their life.





Unless you consider

They eat the same crap

But you’d be wrong

These low flying


Of the cityscape

Got zip codes

And statues

And ordnances as white

As the driven snow.

In some hoods

They’re the only fauna

That doesn’t attack

And kill

As ordered

Or destroy the trees

With piss and shit

And forget the grass.

Instead, these citizens

Of aerial reconnaissance

Clean-up after bums

And partygoers

Doing such civic duties

As eating

the rice and beans


By soup kitchen


Or their counterparts

Boogieing in

From bedroom


Leaving their suburban


For clean-up

By those living


On the ledge

With only one way

To fall


And no safety net

Dying alone


In their mourning suits

Having seen it all

On the hardest streets

. . . yet nothing . . .

Of remembrance

Not even the homage

Of never more.




I hate

waking in this alley

Where crack-shits


like chocolate sauce

At least I’m not

a constipated


Like that Suit . . .

in the crosswalk

Look at the poor bastard

Probably escapes


Every morning

Like his tits

Are on fire

Leaving the brat—

bastards behind

To burn

And his wife

Time to think

About new ways

Of getting laid

Shit, I’d smile . . .

at his fucking dilemma

If I only had teethIt’s one

Of the downsides

Of crank

Besides believing

You got a crystal ball

That sees a pathetic prick’s


Looking down

On scumbags

Like me

Probably deluding himself

with the thought

That I screw crack whores

For rock

And a blow job

. . . that he don’t get . . .


Plus, how the progressive

. . . pansy-asses . . .

Give me a hand

A hand-up

Like the hand job

He’s forced to give himself

As I’m thinking

The sad bastard’s

Even gott’a pay

His own medical bills

Shit, I just OD

And whoppee-doo

I’m scraped

from these urine

. . . soaked streets . . .

To lie pretty

As I please

On clean sheets

With the city

Paying the freight

Unless of course

One of them lazy wetbacks

Is hoggin’ the space


At the border

As they don’t know shit

About how we

Run this place

Or the rat race

That ol’ Suits . . .

And I

Live our lives





Peter Jacob Streitz—I’m an old fart who was born an iconoclastic hick in upstate New York; raised by a single mom after my dad flew the coop instead of flying The Hump–over the Burma Road in World War Two–where he won the Distinguish Flying Cross by losing both the Japs and his mind. His inevitable departure didn’t affect me—as I morphed into an All-American boy and athlete who was awarded a four year, full-boat scholarship to Alfred University (which I rejected upon further review) before counter-culturing my way towards the only degree ever given by Boston University in Alternative Education.


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