Chophouse Wake by Dennis Villelmi

As usual, the ceremony began with coffee and mockery
of each other ‘s penmanship when we pulled out our notepads.
You said I scratched my ditties in “Sanskrit;”
and I always accused you of recording your waking wet dreams
in “Hebrew.”
With us, it was always a study in pretense, wasn’t it?
I still think it a precursory cruelty, our preferred bistro being full
that evening.  Very unusual.
Never before had we walked in to find all booths and tables taken;
that’s why we liked it: the sparse patronage; near absolute quiet,
if not for the kitchen emissions and the shuffling feet of the silvery waitresses.
It was the suggestion of coming in off the streets of Atlanta, straight for Abaddon, for a repast before the send off.
But that evening, as if the stiffs had come back to snack,
we got our java and took to the side alley where there were
crate seats and sufficient light for us to continue the ritual.

This is a request to a shattered mirror: whatever reflections
you could give me now, please.
I’m running on filthy, and I’m trying to pull off a garden of redeemed daemons atop the wreckage of the writer I used to be.
In you I believed I’d found an antidote to bad endings;
sure, I had a knack for hook-shape intros, but what good were
they without a fillet knife finale to get to the bare bones of any
story?
I had the one, you had the other-
we were alpha and omega and between us we had a hope for
a Moby of a breakthrough.
Then, Vegas in homage to Hunt…

…I can’t figure;  did our ritual summon him-
Saint Saturday Night Special?
I had a notion to begin with a modern day rogue; you had
the ending: ‘Kid, we’re just hip shits and you don’t wanna step in
us.  What cash we had we’re sipping now, so this ain’t worth a trip
up river-”
The kid ‘s answer was, of course, well calibrated enough
for a finish. Yours.
You, me, and Saint Saturday- we came up with a story, surely;
FrontPage.

Another joint now, other side of Atlanta.
I was absolutely quiet during recovery;
they caught Saturday by the day after,
and I fished him out of the mug shots they brought me
with fresh coffee.  -Shit!
I bury my silence in this chophouse shiva,
and chant aloud till the stiffs tell me to hush.

Dennis Villelmi 2
Dennis Villelmi is co-editor and interviewer for the dystopian webzine, “The Bees Are Dead.” http ://www.thebeesaredead.com He’s had numerous poems published in online venues, such as “Duane ‘s PoeTree,” ” Black Poppy Review, ” “Dead Snakes,” to name a few. In addition to his native English, he’s also been translated into Albanian and featured in publications in Albania and Kosovo. His out-of-print book “Fretensis” was released briefly in 2013, but with the prospect of a revival. Mr. Villelmi lives in Virginia.
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