Three Poems – Jared Duran


Black and White Night Of the Soul
for Chet Baker

Three notes take flight and drift 
out the window, down to the street 
below. In Amsterdam, far from mother, 
children—one of whom looks 
like you might have if only, 
under different circumstances, 
would that you had it to do all over 
again. Your absence of eyes 
belies the sole truth—every outcome is the same. 
When there is no satisfied, 
when you are perpetually almost blue, 
all is addiction: women, cars, jazz.

There is the high and then, 
there is the next, or 
there are three notes crushed 
under the tires and feet of Amsterdam.


Crab, Tomato, and the Cat's Head Grin
(for Robyn Hitchcock)


You hold out in front
                                   a handful of seeds.

To eat the seeds, you must come from seeds 
sewn before you were born 
                                          or you will never be born at all.

Born on seeds thrown 
                                 from orifices of the sexual

organs of crustaceans long since extinct, 
all beady-eyed and furry of feelers. 

Red like tomatoes are not always red,
men are not always super—

                              Nietzsche be damned 
                              and bespectacled to boot. 

Furry of cat and the women
who move like them, dance like them—

on the tops of brick-thick walls—
grin like them and groom your face

to your chagrin, curl up in your lap
to your surprise, and purr—

oh, how she purrs.



Not Everyone Goes West
(for Joe Strummer)


Now we listen to the ghost of Uncle Joe: 
from the burning streets of London 
to the burning itch of NY City. 
All the ashes of consequence gather 
in the sad charcoal smell of burning toast. 

Uncle Joe waxes shambolic with Ginsberg—
speaks of war that has been, war that is, war that will be. 
War never ends—there is no longer revolution (other 
than that of the world, the record on the turntable) 
and the result is flesh and flame. Make no mistake; 
we are all going straight to hell, boys!

In death, Strummer and Ginsberg are two 
life-weary shamboholics sitting at the mouth of a river 
in a burned out Chevrolet. Gripped by that deadly phantom, 
they wait for Brother Bob, but Bob does not care that way. 
Ginsberg wants to experience his beard in the centuries-dry 
gas tank of the Chevy. Uncle Joe, the sole stalwart 
purveyor of soul looks out over the tops of his sunglasses. 
He knows not everyone goes West, and those who go West 
do not always find the ocean.
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About Jared Duran

Jared Duran is a writer and musician based in Phoenix, AZ. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in such publications as Gargoyle, The Suisun Valley Review, Spilled Milk, Four Chambers, Up the River, and more. He has a very codependent black cat named Alison, and has played guitar on stage with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze. View all posts by Jared Duran

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