Poetry by Paul Brucker

Don Juan

Iguana man, I saw you at the Jewel on North Ashland.
You were buying a dark leafy thing for your pet.
I told you to “get the bunch” but forgot to ask your iguana’s name.
Tell me over coffee.

Samantha, you work occasionally at Four Eyes on Clark.
Last month you showed me frames and we joked
about the tablecloths people wear as shirts.
I’d really like to talk some more.
It’s so hard meeting cool people.

We met at the Shelter around 11 p.m. Your name was David.
You kissed me around 1 a.m.
I will never forget the kiss.
I drove you to your car.
You said “all types of music have good and bad examples.”
I’ll play my sax. You judge if you like it.

South elevator bank, 53 W. Jackson. Pensive fool dumbfounded
by your unexpected entrance, amazing blond curly hair and shy smile.
Regrets not being courteous enough
to say good-bye on 12th floor.
Would like to extend a gracious thank-you
for a nicer, brighter and happier afternoon.
What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Banana Leaf, you were watching and sucking finger.
Would have loved to talk
but obvious circumstances prevented it.
You had a small scratch on your left cheek.
Did our eye contact mean something?

Cannonball messenger with cool funky helmet.
You rode behind me, commented on my fake Harvard T-shirt
and said, “hey, girl, wanna race?”
Before I saw your beautiful smile and sexy legs,
I said, “Naw, you’d beat me.”
You took something from me.
How else to explain the emptiness inside.
Let’s talk? I have excellent componentry.

SWF, 23, in advertising from Wrigleyville.
I circled your ad both weeks, called and didn’t leave message
for some reason because any approach is awkward.
I meet all of your criteria and you meet mine. Call.

Mona Lisa, picture perfect napper.
Watched you fall asleep on the 156 LaSalle.
You asked if you looked OK asleep.
Whoops, my big feet got in the way
when you exited at Goethe
and I laughed when the doors attacked you.
Care to exchange more pleasantries?

Matchbox 691888. I’m the 29-year-old SBM
that thinks all the messages he left for you from Dec. 19 to Dec. 24
was too many and may have turned you off
because you weren’t expecting that many messages from me.
I was not trying to turn you off.
I was really hoping I could meet you because I’m very interested
and think we could make a good match.
I want you bad. Call me.
I’ll make your wildest dreams come true.

I followed you into Jewel and bought useless items
like Halloween cookies to get a better look.
You, red coat, glasses and short brown hair.
Me, a blue sweater with white stripe.
We ran into each other in every other aisle,
even joked about it. You gave me a rise.
Next time care to give me a lift?

We both got off at Madison, parted ways at State Street.
We were cruising each other, weren’t we?
You were afraid that I thought you might be following me.
Wish you were.

Anna, we stood next to each other during the Bowie concert.
You told me to shake my butt.
You put your hand on my face
and I kept thinking you were going to say something.
I couldn’t hear a thing. I hesitated
because I had to catch an early flight the next morning.
If I could go back, I’d cancel that damn flight.

Jenny, American Airlines flight #394, 7 a.m.
I was in seat 4B. You handed me my coat and warned me
to stay out of trouble.

Bamboo Bernies, you work for Motorola and spilled Goldschlager
on my head. Then your buddy (who is getting married and is a cop)
spilled some of his on my foot!
You bought me a beer to make up for it.
I want to talk to you more about James Dean.

Neal, I miss you on Sundays. Me, at the beach with dog, Harrison.
You were Mr. No-one-in-particular who turned into Mr. Wonderful.
I was wrong for being so impatient.
My mind was racing with bad thoughts,
then you weren’t around to talk.
Once you find your direction, look around to see
if I’d be too far out of your way.

You were the altruistic redhead who gave me number 89
at the deli counter (while you took 90).
You haven’t come into my shop after all.
I am definitely interested
but it won’t last forever.
So, whatever you’re doing it, drop it.
Before it’s too late.

You appeared on the cover of “Babble” on May 31
two years ago. You’re a shaved head.
I shave my head likewise.
I don’t care two pins what the fellas will say
about this desperate ploy for attention.
You are too cool and sexy.
Care to exchange “Tracer” razors and more?

You were observing a very large arachnid
at the Belmont Stop on Thursday, 8/13.
We had a conversation about the inadequacy
of detergent ads. We both prefer Tide.
Coffee? Tequila? Clorox?

To the beautiful boy (northbound, Red line)
that I followed from Belmont almost all the way home.
Where did you learn to walk like that?
My roommate and I followed you until you were following us.
I’m the one in the orange silk tunic who waved.
Hope you’re vain enough to look here.

Punkman, 1989, at The Edge of the Looking Glass.
I danced for you, my dress slipped off my shoulders.
I wanted to go into the alley with you.
I’ve looked for you on the train for years.
You were my dream man (big, tattooed, with shaved head).
I’m available now. Not like in 1989.

We met briefly on Halloween, 1996, at Elixir.
You won the costume contest as the Grim Reaper.
I was big foot and was R.I.P. (a real interested person).
You’ve haunted me wherever I go for months.
Now this is the last time you will ever hear from me.
I hope you really have a great life.


About Paul Brucker

Paul Brucker, a marketing communications writer, lives in Mt. Prospect, IL, where “Friendliness is a Way of Life.”  Active in the early 1980s Washington, D.C poetry scene, he put a lid on poetry writing when he went to the Northwestern University grad ad school in a questionable attempt to think like a businessman and secure a decent income.  Nevertheless, he has succumbed to writing poetry again and has been published in many magazines, most recently Audio zine, The Barefoot Review, Borderline, Crack the spine, and Ink Well, as well as the anthology, The Pagan’s Muse: Words of Ritual, Invocation and Inspiration.