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The Riff

April 19, 2013      James Hayes Nichols
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A riff fell out an open window in Cabbagetown.  It was a saxophone riff.  The sax was out of tune and the blowing was infantile and scared-sounding, a little kid practicing for band, running his scales, bored.  But suddenly his soul took flight and he RIFFED! to the rafters a tune tuneless and gorgeous on gilded wings and out the window and into the Cabbagetown front lawn where it got stuck on the wood picket fence and sat suspended and then the dream was over; some hipster walked by and thought he heard jazz but he didn’t know any better.

In Order

April 16, 2013      James Hayes Nichols
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out from under

hazy threats and

eggshells, they danced

across pollen

parking lots—

girls, boys, old ladies,

men, women,

doggies, cats—

a visceral

heated sort

of relief

they’d remember

(at least till

the next time)

their whole lives through

Street Scene, 2/28/13

April 13, 2013      James Hayes Nichols
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From the balcony, the cityscape unfolded like a sick drunk pukepuddle in a waking garden dream, it smelled sweet and barnyardy, earthy like mildew, grainy like the inside of an old beercan, but that was only the lawn below—the exhaust managed to stay streetlevel with the walkers and the hipsters, the old ladies and the bums:  they choked it in and smiled and kept going, going, going into the urban dreams far below and away from your balcony reverie.  Up here the air was clean and sharp to the breath and the city loomed in the near distance like some gorgeous hangover from a gorgeous spiky night you never wanted to end; never now, never later, never God but you DO get carried away sometimes—summary:  a good vista on a cold day, with cold drinks, cold friends.

Don’t Call It a Comeback

April 12, 2013      James Hayes Nichols
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The saxes blew sickly

pollen notes that hit

the dusty air in dead

thuds

the rhymes were boozy

and uninspired

and when the poets

fell asleep they sweat

through the mattresses

like they were scared

but they weren’t scared

only bored and concerned

about being bored

because, being poets,

they weren’t supposed to be

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