Divisadero Street in the early morning,
always a guy with some sort of club,
thick tree branch grabbed from a backyard,
metal rod of bed frame picked from a post-eviction junk pile,
carried like a rifle in present arms position.
Sometimes the traditional baseball bat
tucked into filthy trousers like a cop’s billy.
Often it’s the leg of a wooden chair
that’s been broken to pieces, the leg-club still with screws
poking out of splinters.
One time I saw a guy wielding an orange traffic cone.
(okay, not a club exactly, but close)
It’s hard to tell if they’ve been up all night
sliding into a self-absorbed frenzy
or just early risers marching to Divis
after waking up drunk in the Panhandle.
(humm, never seen a guy with a skillet)
He’s always outside a coffee shop ranting,
or else silent as the broom stick or golf club he’s holding,
only glass between us.
Sometimes the guy comes in swinging
and it’s interesting to see how people react:
maybe a barista or patron calls the police
or a believer in de-escalation takes control;
usually people laughing – geez what new drug
is this guy on ha ha ha;
me always talking to myself, man
I hope I don’t wind up that crazy.