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Open Mic



Intrigued by the film noir flyer
sealed into the corner streetlamp.
Seduced by the scent
of sublime stogies
and murmuring macchiato.

The grizzly, lazy-eyed
sidewalk strummer
fingering linear chords
like a lost virtuoso
looked up to greet me,
as I eased inside past
the local university boys
(sporting the same haircut
displaying different shades of plaid)
to a worn, orange, recliner.

Narrow girls
with lifeless hair
crossed tapered legs
on wicker chairs
waiting for boyfriends
to belt out blasé songs
from their indie bands
with commercial names.

I sat, glad snapping is passé.
Sentiments stemming from my
Latino lineage—

Dad’s machismo explained:
his calloused thumbs,
my propensity for double entendres,
and Mom’s friend who visited
late-night while he was away.

Though I’m a jr.,
I didn’t inherit his ways.

I just wanted to sign the sheet.
Read my meager poems,
hoping one of the narrow girls
would notice and say,

“Damn. That was good…”

* a previous version of the poem appears here
** sorry mom and dad for making up the part about you


About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

4 responses »

  1. Egad! A new blog format?

    Very nice, I think you’ve neatly summed up the atmosphere of such venues…

    • Yeah Joe, I got bored with the old one. Trying this one out for now. And yes, those places are very similar (not always in a good way).

  2. Thank you Ari. I like it 🙂

  3. sounds good mr. romo


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