Squirrel Hill


Mark Garstka

Thanksgiving Morning

A seashell shard of moon
casts a silent presence over the ocean
my beloved stirs
in the other room

I like to think that when you leapt
from that window no glass broke
as your blissfulness fell
into the unwavering arms
of your guardian Angel

was he the one you loved
is that why you jumped
knowing that for a good piece
of eternity

you'd sing and dance
barefoot through the halls and mirrors
of this mythic hotel
entering dream-filled rooms
at will

Sad Ti Jean

Sad Ti Jean
poor tired old Bhudda
lonely sick drunk Jack
bennies phlebitis and port
Jesus Mary and Joseph
all over just beginning
everywhere nowhere and back again
up and down the road
beautiful Angel sage prophet
beat man jazz poet
in your dream I saw you
kneeling before a blue Madonna
with the Mexican Saint
Tristessa ... Goddess of despair
"I am seek" she says
needle still clinging to her arm
you pull out a smoke take a light
from the votive candle
lying forever lit
you sit back and take a drink
all la vida es dolorosa

Old Bull El Indio
and all of them wounded vets
from both sides of the great war
all mad ... madly in love
with the great pain killer
the great opiate shadow of death
seducer Morpheus
you might have been happier
up in the mountains
you might have found Gerard
drinking coffee in some diner
eating pancakes and sausage
watching the sun rise and fall
making love with the Moon
you might have found peace
instead of dying at 47
with a hole in your stomach
and them damn pains in your legs
oh sad Ti Jean beautiful Angel
all la vida es dolorosa
all la vida es dolorosa
Ave Maria

Ave Maria most holy Queen
I pray to thee on bended knee
heal this wound inside of me

Ave Maria most holy Mother
please give us the strength we need
to further glorify you

Ave Maria most holy Virgin
please give us the faith we need
to carry on