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Lush on Lewers St.

walking down Lewers St. in Honolulu
twin Hawaiian bums
sit in front of an ABC store
the irony I thought,
me being sober
seeing double drunks
sitting on a street curb
I shook my head
and laughed
then it seemed
not so funny
but haunting-
was this a harbinger
of things to come?
one of them holds out his hand and says,
“ Bia kala.”
the usual conflicting thoughts
enter into my mind
things like:
if I give him money for beer,
I’d be an enabler
contributing to the problem
I began to get angry
I came to Hawaii
to get away from
L.A’s shit stains
and now
here was another one
polluting paradise
with his pupu residue
I wanted to hit him over the head
with my surf board
drag his aloha ass onto the sand
and bury the pig underground
so I wouldn’t have to
look at him
   (so I wouldn’t have to look at me!)

then the other set of thoughts
the boring spiritual ones
such as:
it’s not who
one gives to
it’s the act of giving
-blah, blah, blah

it’s none of my business
what or where
he spends the money
yada, yada, yada

I know what it’s like to
that drink
cough, cough, cough

patience, tolerance, and love
what about compassion?
sniff, sniff, sniff

and so on and so forth with
the bullshit
I was telling myself
but in reality
it was I
who wanted a drink-
sipping on a
Mai Tai
with my toes in the sand
on Waikiki Beach
sounded damn good!

some how I wanted it to be
his fault
for my thoughts
I watched him
try to play his guitar
in an alcoholic stupor
I felt his frustration-
too drunk to play a tune but
too sober to know you
can’t play a tune
I gave him seven bucks
for the drink
I wanted
but couldn’t have

“Mahalo nani!”
and the twin Hawaiian bums
were gone faster
than I could say Paca lolo!

then the miracle
the gift they always talk about
like the Hawaiian showers
the thought to drink disappeared
and a rainbow of gratitude
flowed through me
(gag, I know, cliché)
but true
I thanked the gods for my
nine year pot of gold.

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