© 2011 Stephanie Simons     


Night Eyes whisper and nod
and I lay back quietly
relaxed in my seat for the first to appear
but nobody comes
i fidget with my pencil
the broom in the corner is waiting
my coffee cup is waiting
I’m sure the waitress is waiting but that’s her job
I turn in my seat
Night Eyes smile
i know the time’s right
the piano player’s smoking a cigarette
the drummer and bass player are playing solitaire
the bartender’s pouring a glass of wine
god knows somebody’s sure to come
i get impatient and start to leave
i hear an old lady and old man start bickering
    in the corner
i turn and come back to my seat
everything’s quiet
i take a pin and let it drop from above my head
i hear it as it hits the floor
and everyone stands up to applaud
i feel embarrassed but pick up the pin
put it in my pocket and finish my coffee



They discover you later, years later after they've eaten the
salads, the roast beef, driven their new Mazdas past the
hundred thousand mark & already have grandchildren. But
then you were into something rich too: something about
sentences, making paintings which might just knock them
on their ass. you watched how the great filmmakers did it on
the screen, how actors – high on a wall – moved through
their roles giving you something memorable to talk about
years later over coffee & cigarettes. Then you'd go back to
your apartment and try to do something with the typewriter
which would be years before anybody would ever read. Then
after completing something you'd turn on the tube to
Roseanne or Thirty Something and see how they did it but feel
somehow neglected because you were doing yours all alone.
But then sometime during the night while you sat up in the
kitchen with a cup of coffee, you would look around the
room. The radio would be playing in the bedroom, but you
weren't listening; you were looking at the walls, at the
paintings you made which could be as tall as buildings. In
the morning you got dressed and walked outside alone and
had a sense of something else while the morning air grabbed
you around the lips and you knew you were alone, but tall –
somehow as tall as James Dean was on the screen in Giant.
While you were walking in that cold morning air you were tall
– as tall as tall buildings.

Click here to hear a reading of Tall Buildings



It always happens in the end:
They might see me as a comic
when I’m doing my best to be a serious actor
then the acting starts:
I put on my makeup, my eye shadow, comb my hair
it’s night time, the moon is full, the sky is black
I take two steps forward, turn, then two steps back
and turn again. I’m turning all the time
then jesus of sweet dreams puts on my overcoat, and necktie
Lila comes in, we dance and have fun; I take a glance

and she’s gone

Isn’t it cute the way we die; all wrapped up in costumes
and silver tin foil, packaged and sent to the
north pole!