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Alex Cigale

Nightlife; Biloxi, Mississippi



My skin was crawling as with night’s own ants.

The death certificate read “Toxic Syndrome.

Luck be a lady.”  I cowered at the prospect.


The pair was dancing in a drunken stupor,

rolling around the sawdust on the floor.

They wooed each other well who fought so long.


Sixteen knocks on my nape with a hammer,

the shirt off my back!  Boy, I feel stupid,

ankle deep in dip-shit, my ass in a sling.


A sock to my gut!  Where the sun don’t shine!

Don’t take no genius to figure that out;

I had been barking up the wrong tree.


Let it burn baby!  Make him belly ache!

The living daylights.  I was like “Whoa!”

When she leaned over wrong I bopped her.


“What’s the damage then?” I bawled, proceeding

to plunk down my wife on the carving board.              

“Never date a chick with more tattoos than you.


I done it once and lived to regret it.

You can keep the change!” and I laughed so hard

I had to loosen my leather sarong.




Composed in Late October, Grand Canyon



Paradise dashes itself upon the rocks

having fallen in love over winter’s precipice

with the dusk-tinged-dimpled eminence of moon.


The stars hunkered down in their dark firmament

under the blanket of evening hanker after

a solid night’s work stirring from the day’s sleep.


Flush among the brash cliffs and jagged crevices

the river wends its way through the dim recesses

of the side canyons while the proud bighorn


slumber in pairs on the wind-blown mountains:

even the peaks lay down their heads on their arms,

crouched behind their desks in elementary rows,


and the rocks withdraw their pockmarked faces

abashed by their smarmy, sangfroid girlfriends.

Yes, indeed, the seeds of paradise are dozing


amidst this aimless night’s bright promises.

Did I tell you already that God and his sister

are sitting on heaven’s throne in stone temples


along with their deputies in Thebes’s kingdom?

The eyes of Isis and Osiris, Wotan, Zoroaster,

Bright Angel’s luminaries, glimmer, dimming.

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