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Ronald Hobbs

Location: San Francisco, CA
Published In: The New York Quarterly
Other: Held editorial positions at The Secret Alameda, Arion's Dolphin, and Deus Ex Machina


In the criss-cross circuits of your brain

like a tinpan magpie that obscure one,
Jude, is singing
about junkie men, doctors and composers
--moorish, mean-eyed and venal
who play with arteries like noodles
and dream afflicted skin
microbial as Debussey
and end every goddamned symphony
with a crescendo of a crashing sea and every
sentence with a glob of sperm.
Is there no shame
or are foibles everything?
The women on Avenue D
want your body

The boys on Third Avenue
want your body

The rat, the worm,
the red, red ants--
it is all the metaphysical same,
a little cyanide under the tongue
a rush of Mexican mud into the thigh
and they have their way with you,
the women
the boys
the rat
the worm
the itchy red ants.
So you hide in predawn coffee shops and cigarettes
and crawl into the daily news
or catch the first mass
to get out of the rain
but nothing warms you up
but nothing dries you out
and some mysterious
pain is running up your leg
and something warm and wet begins
to dribble down
and the downtown crowd,
all coked out, are loading into cabs
and going home.