begin the begging

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2012 by Terry McDermott

i’m so tired, weary of all this beggaring.

that might as well be buggering.

i’ve spent too much of my time

bending over or on supplicant knee.

the signs that i’ve made, scrawled on

scraps of cardboard, nubs of pencil

‘anything please, i’m hungry,’ my

toque upside down on concrete.

on concrete i sit, eyes only on my

withering, distant, dismissed hands.

sometimes if i have a few coins i’ll

drop them in my toque.

no one likes to be the first.

i only look up when i hear some

coins gagged on, but dropped, jangle

‘thank you’ i say defeated as they think

i should be. or shouldn’t be.

i’ve read, i read most every day, some

newspapers are free and the loose ink

matches the dirt i can’t wash from my hands.

i’ve gaze on this motion of people against their

own injustice, their distinctive above-me anger.

i wonder where do i fit in, is there a place?

i’ve seen my friends turned away, cast out,

turned to salt, to less than the famed 1 percent.

shattered from a would be eden of righteousness.

i have no place; have no rights, no sights.

i know when people look at me, hoping

for a couple of dollars for macdonald’s

hamburger, they see failure, see no pride.

they see a drunk or junkie, anything in my hat

i’ll convert to cheap alcohol or a needle.

all i want to do is eat.

all i want is you to see me.

terry mcdermott


charming really

Posted in Uncategorized on June 3, 2012 by Terry McDermott

reality is your fingers

and tips, not enough, leftover waitresses,

leftover food leftover.

some charmed words

from lips always fall, majestic suggestive,

i hear the same chant.

she hears like she swallows

swivels her hips as though you watched,

but she knows coffee dregs.

i wait, you go before me

i slip, under your plate, your half-eaten pancakes

a two-dollar coin.

you loiter, sun newborn

in your eyes, cigarette, fresh lit, smoke shrouds

your jesus head.

glorious in your eyesight

justice your tongue’s vision, even when no one

hears your gospel.

i listen to you like monty

your python venom, you spit as you rise to your pulpit

don’t even notice.

can’t laugh it off today

you know the issues like a teenage boy wants his allowance

and still acts obnoxious.

righteous ego – not enough

something’s got to go, treat a waitress like a trick

not worth your dime.

i remind you of life

and jobs people have, like forced laughter at condescension

for minimum wage.

and your cigarette butt

in the pancakes when you were asked, the rules of the diner

you shake your jesus head.

i wonder if she spits on food

today’s special, for those who were baptised or circumcised

with truth, wet and cut.

“why?” not a lesson but lessening

your face evacuates, your mouth screech owl laughs

“she’s a fucking food slinger.”

“christ, we’ve got to – do we have to take care of the whole world?”

i think of movements, changes, people

“christ, i think we do.”

   terry mcdermott