Saturday, March 3, 2007


David Elsasser has been a co-host of the weekly, monday, Saturn Reading, at Nightingale Bar for, five years. He has featured at many venues. He is also a photographer who particularly enjoys taking pictures of other spoken word artists performing.


she half shouts, half purrs in our ears. We each feel like it was our individual ear. Maybe that’s the sign of a really good bartender. Or maybe it’s magic. Maybe we all hear important messages through one great generational ear somewhere. Personally I suspect it’s the one hanging on a neon-sign on Varick St. An oracle hidden in plain sight. But I get funny ideas.

The bar-keep needs us to know she’s on our side. She’d give us the universe. Only time is growing short. Oh, it’s not up yet. There’s still time for one more good go-round. One great draft of life. But we have nowhere near as much future as we once did. You know, back in those bygone days when we believed in forever. Our forever. No one could tell us different. Though of course they tried. It was hopeless. But then they knew that.

Now there’s only a finger-thickness of tape left on the feeder spool. We hear Kate starting to warm up in the back room. The barkeep senses us growing sullen. She pulls off her beer-soaked sweatshirt and liberates her pony-tail from her trucker-cap strap. She wriggles out of her jeans and jumps up on the bar, shaking her long hair free.

She is wearing only the g-string she stores in a shot glass behind the bar for emergencies. The Rolling Stones come on the Juke Box. She smiles eternal bliss at us, holding the large print version of the bar menu before her. I can’t get no. A no, no, no. Her gyrations follow the beat. She is wall-to-wall message, and we all read the writing. It’s all good now. But what a decision we each face.

All possibility gapes before us, on the menu. It’s like the sign outside this establishment reads: The Bar Set High. So what to go for? How far can you leap? Her dance goes on. And on. She is Artemis, Isis, Mary, promising our resurgence. One and then another, and then another of us start singing with the music. Only everyone is singing a different song. Each sings the song they hear. His or her own song. While we sing we study our choices.

We harmonize surprising well. We sound like The Beach Boys, or the Supremes, the Beatles or Billie Holiday. It all depends who’s listening.

We sing and contemplate: For starters, there’s the Pleasure Punch Cocktail, I second that emotion, there’s the Major Life-Swing Margarita, looking for my, lost shaker of salt, the Inner-Seeking Micro Brew, ripple in still water, when there is no pebble tossed, nor wind to blow, and the Wistful Manhattan, slow down, you’re moving too fast, I’d like to make the morning last. I should stop right now, because maybe none of these are for you. There’s many, many other choices. You go over it yourself. I know what I want.

Oh, and by the way, I had a conversation with the bartender earlier. She says forever isn’t all that wonderful: You get so tired of yourself. Not to mention the endlessness of human destruction. There are furrows on her graceful forehead.

Now she washes glasses as we speak. This is the part she likes, she says: hanging out, mixing, watching our breath come and go. She takes our orders. We all move along.

David Elsasaser – 2/07


In protest of the Chinese Government’s South Street Seaport exhibit

Thank you silent men
your shed skins illustrate
globalization dissolves difference
but something’s more sinister
than Cheshire smiles suggest.
Sorry I won’t see your
body politic revelations.
You’re too sanguine for me
sinews of cooperation
flexed in laminated ease –
you two high-fiving,
is it good governance
or good riddance you salute?
You thumbing a ride
is it to melting pot
or glue pot you go?

Air of executed men
I fear your gallows giddiness.
What pitiful plea bargains
your hides bought.
Murderers in the flesh, maybe
but you, your meditative stare
recalls Falun Gong. And you,
breathless shout forever sealed
did you sound freedom’s call?
You with tireless climbing step
you look Tibetan.
Cares gone with epidermis
you all look lighter
if suspiciously good humored.
So what portent
your ghoulish second coming?
Is it less mayhem you signal
or just a clever scheme
to stash the bodies?

David Elsasser - 5/06


susan said...

David, I want to join you during the last call. Make mine a Jamison's and make sure he's hot. I love your work and your images.

"OBSIDIAN!!!" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"OBSIDIAN!!!" said...

sorry for the very late reply Susan...butthis is merely a blogsiteof contributed poetic works, from various artist...if you want toreach Dave you will havetocontact him via email or facebook. Perhaps he reviews this site from time to time & might see yiur comment. Thanx for perusing the blogsite