Eckleburg No. 17: Regarding Those Friends, Whom I Abandoned

Daniel Dominowski

by Daniel Dominowski


I still imagine the wild man, dust in his rear-view as he sailed
out of Texas with a filtered cigarette firm between his lips.

Fractured and denatured, the note that drops
hardest is often the one that means the least.

I’ll meet you in Savannah, in the back of the pub.
I’ll meet you in Savannah, down on Bay Street at dusk.

Not that it’s a matter of being art or turning
a leg or necessitating a feeble emotion

it’s merely that which rises above the noise
the cry for reality to crash down softly.

I’ll meet you in Savannah, on the loading docks ready for pirating.
I’ll meet you in Savannah, wandering from bar stool to bar stool.

The other had a pistol tucked in his straight-jacket in Mendota,
in the small green hallways of it’s labyrinth below it’s smoke-stacks,

where they take your boots and give them to younger
boys and send them off to war. There are always fantasies

to keep alive the blood that drips from the dialysis machines,
more so than the scraps of green traded between hoodlums in the dark.

I’ll meet you in Oshkosh, should you arrive
I’ll meet you in Oshkosh, bleeding words into a cup for you to drink.

We had found the junk of knowledge in triple-dipped paper.
A manic letter did follow yet never mailed, postage

costing too much, and so it remained on his desk. A child
born on the rift of reality, now grown.

Sometime at the turn of the century we bought our
own souls back in a pyramid scheme at twice the cost.

I’ll meet you in Oshkosh, drinking coffee, wearing khaki and hemp.
I’ll meet you in Oshkosh watching my breath fog.

Life is more than the mess of bills in my box, or pills,
or finding a cup of coffee. Pray death is less than

that, for I cannot manage the extremes as such.
Yet I fear the median, the wasteland of mediocrity

or the fumbling for a cigarette early in the AM.
The balance is not yet disturbed enough to shake

the notion of something more or even
to reinforce it, cement it to my heart.

Friends between the pages, between the words, between the drunken escapades.
Friends between the punk rock shows and the chain smoking and the brawls.

I’ll wait for you in Savannah, at dusk near the water.
I’ll wait for you in Oshkosh, on the point, smelling the water.


Daniel Dominowski is originally from Wisconsin, a veteran and a student attending Augusta State University in Georgia. His work has appeared in Origami Condom, The Denver Syntax, The Dream People, Mississippi Crow Magazine, Sand Hills Magazine, and The Southpaw Literary Journal.