Michael N. Thompson


The old pier isn’t nearly as desolate
as when Amie taught me
what having “my sea legs” meant

I could hear kids laughing
from the penny arcade above
while Amie and I
gave each other face
until the only sounds
were the waves lapping
against our ankles

She moved to Arizona
for a more subdued life
while the arcade and tattoo stand
have left for Venice Beach
although that famous Ferris wheel
hasn’t moved an inch
and appears to be
some kind of landmark now

Rent-a-cops chase away
the old timers and their fishing poles,
pockets can’t get lined with them in the way

Nobody rides for free in this new age,
but just because something’s shiner
it doesn’t make it any better

You certainly won’t find the genuine article
down by that pier anymore,
it’s much easier selling
a cookie-cutter tapestry
to the unsuspecting public

Michael N. Thompson is the result of a debauched threesome between Neal Cassady, Anne Sexton and Darby Crash. Although born in San Francisco, he grew up in the Pacific Northwest before returning to his home state in the early 1990’s. His poems have been published in numerous literary journals including The Montucky Review, Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and Lummox Press. He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being Verbal Alchemy (Blunt Trauma Press, 2012) and the forthcoming A Murder Of Crows (University Of Hell Press, 2014). Michael lives among the pastures and pines in Northern California. His website is www.michaelnthompson.com

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