Three Poems

by  Jake Tringali

searching for symmetry

there is a naked woman exercising / advanced mathematics in my hallway
a cute leg scuffs the wall, bent halfway / that los angeles skin vibrating
chalkboard symbols set the staging / of graphic acrobatics and ballet

nix’s mate

no one not one
real or imaginary
bankrupt of symbols
a damned calculus
without a metaphysical abacus
no origin, an extinct ouroboros
transcending limbo
nix’s mate is neither nor either
a tale told by an idiot


the killing joke

pause. “…no, the duck!”

and with this nonsense comes raucous laughter, no setup, all punchlines as nine spirits, moving as one, from preparty to downtown bar and onwards, rabblerousing through a scruffy night

these nine tender bodies, straining against the skin, aging by minutes and hours, a zigstumble trooping through the wet concrete streets, seeking the rare opportunity to make glorious mistakes, with eighteen middle fingers straight up toward the godly heavens

they toast as one, nine frothy glasses high in the air, improvising their tall tales, and begin a new drunken philosophy, a self-reflection, and that is when catchcrazy breaks loose through the group

the next bar is packed, and one tries to recall that joke, all giddyfrenzy, but it is too long ago, they rag on each other and say there’ll be no hangover, as the moon and their mortality slips forward

singing loudly of wild horses and rebel rebels, pure triumph, some hear a catch in their own voice, a break in the music, the background nightchorus steadily thumps out its own sad passage

more libation and toxic medications, to help rememberforget, out into the streets, the city’s sober eyes look upon the blinded nine friends, pinkfizz spills in the gutter

dizzyfeverish, the effervescence tapers off, among the nine, a few have left, and the remainder use a cracked part of their brain to wonder about that secret departure, and they’ve underestimated, the joke is forgotten, the immortal sun stoops low to reach a hand down toward all of them

Jake was born in Boston. Lived up and down the East Coast, then up and down the West Coast, now back in his home city. Runs rad restaurants. Thrives in a habitat of bars, punk rock shows, and a sprinkling of burlesque performers.

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