The Smile of Satisfaction

Coming back from the fridge 

with my third glass of wine –

hoping that it will break the logjam

in my brain and rinse poems

to the surface of the page.

Now the fourth glass and still nothing.

I yank a Pulitzer winning book of poems

off the shelf hoping to find

something to steal.

But it’s a Nebraska landowner

with a loving family

and we have nothing in common –

there’s no way for me to

forge a passable counterfeit.

The fifth and sixth glass go down

and still nothing.

I’ll bet that Laureate has 

written three or four poems

about family and Nebraska

since I poured my first glass.

When I go to pour the seventh glass

I notice that the tuna juice I squeezed down the drain

earlier has fumigated the kitchen. 

The raccoon outside my back door

notices it too.

The author photo on the cover

shows the smile of satisfaction.

Only the happy and productive

can smile like that.

The Rich Old Bastard

Why don’t I hate this guy?

Goddamn – I certainly should.

He writes of his trans-Atlantic

trips aboard the Concord.

About dining in Manhattan’s

finest restaurants.

About riding Italian custom-made

racing motorcycles. 

And I can’t put him down.

I turn each page of his poetry

like it’s a John Grisham thriller.

What’s he got for me next?

A poem called The Widening Wealth Gap.

He brags about having more money than me.

He confesses to be rich and lazy.

I confess to being poor and lazy.

We ain’t really all that far apart.

He flies the Concord – I take the bus.

Some reviewer said he wrote a poem

about making his maid clean up the slime

on his desk after fucking some girl there.

I turn the pages in eager anticipation –

damn – there it is – in all its grossness.

He’s 85 years old and doesn’t have to do 

a single fucking thing if he doesn’t want to.

But he writes poem after poem after poem.

He has the creative muscle tone of a twenty-something.

That’s somebody who loves to write.

Where the Losers are Welcome

Is there a place for people like me?

Something like a real-life version

of the Oakland Raiders for the washed up?

Never mind the strangulated hernia.

Never mind the torn hamstring tendon.

Never mind the spinal subluxation.

Just when I thought I’d hit rock bottom

I heard a knocking from below.

That night after coming out of the toilet –

thinking I had done my business –

and then noticing the wet warmness

extending halfway down my thigh –

a post-peeing calamity –

oh fuck – it’s over – I’m done for.

What am I supposed to do now?

Where do I go?

I could try to regain my youth.

Scarfing down a couple of Snickers

and a supersize order of fries might do it –

bringing back the zit-spangled face

of a sixteen-year-old.

Then there’s always fresh salads

and health club memberships

for people with the gumption

to slice tomatoes and jog to the gym.

I’ll just save my ambition for a rainy day.

The Rich Heir

The paydays came once a week.

Boss knew we’d quit and leave

if we ran out of money –

so he frequently doled out the commissions.

My paychecks varied in range from

$86 to $261.

I spent it in flash flood

of wine – whiskey – beer –

like a newly rich heir every week –

drinking commissions and pissing bankruptcy.

I could never look the liquor store clerk

in the eye when I went in there.

She no doubt thought of me as shifty.

Especially since I paid in exact change

and never ran a tab.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: