Tom Waites and The People of the Night

He understood the down and out,

photo by hungrybison

bumming cigarettes, and ill fitting clothes

that once belonged to another man.

He had no hometown,

spent his youth on the Mexican border.

There is no need for a hometown,

when one lives permanently  on the run.

He often could not explain his actions or

his love of a good beat-down.

He survived in a melancholic. alcoholic world.

It  was LA, 1974

he was an outsider, a troubadour from the noir world

of this city’s past.

This was California.

Southern California,



suntans, drugs and money.

This was America, but not his “America”.

He was from a more “pre Rock and Roll”,

more “Grapes of Wrath” America.

It’s 2:30 am,

I’m eating eggs in a ancient metallic diner,

with those who washed up on the

shores of the Promised Land, but

missed the bus to prosperity.

They sip on endless cups of coffee as the night

hides the reality of the streets outside the greasy windows.

There is a sense of freedom here.

There seems to be a tradition that

resembles despair, despiration,

but is something quite different.

Here they live free lives,

the drunks,

the loners,

the tramps,

the whores.

Here some keep to the old ways,

here in the night,

here in California.


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Filed under American West, art, lonliness, micro stories, original photography, original writing, poem, poems, short stories, Short stories and essays, thoughts, writing

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