are the scars she said a fleshybrown
hook on her belly a rage of adjectives against her
skin by hand under shirt under skirt look
here where the skin broke
at the damages she tolerates
for not knowing
his rages against the surface part of her,
the retractable blade
went here, look, touch these damages
they are only torn fabric silk and muscle bleeding
dye and plasma, dying
you hear a different meaning
from the language she has given you
I kill’t my first boy when I were fifteen year old, my stomach hurt so bad.
His name was Charlie and he was showin’ off his ’61 T-Bird….
“They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul’d
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.”
Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
“What do you know ‘bout Albagon?” I ask him.
“Albagon? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Up close, I can see that he’s older than I thought, maybe close to 80. His cheeks are unshaved and he’s got a scar on his cheek that’s redder than the rest of his face, which is the color of cheese curd.
“I seen the word painted all over the place. Drawings on barns and on sheds. He signs his name ‘Albagon’. Least I think it’s a ‘he’. That name mean anything to you?”
I been driving with one hand on the wheel, the other holdin’ the gun, pressed against his ribcage. He’s too scared to lie. Continue reading Ernie
In the year of Gary Gilmore, Elvis Presley is dead. Stevie Wonder releases “Songs in the Key of Life”. And a young man named Cronic sets out on a relentless killing spree across the American Midwest. He is mamma-bound, driving a cherry red T-bird to California to find the mother who abandoned him when he was still a kitten. Continue reading Cronic: A synopsis
Downtown Handsome… it’s filling out now, thank God. Things are coming into focus: the browns and the grays and the soft umber hues of Texas Street. I need to see it better. I don’t want to die without seeing it more clearly. I don’t know why it’s important. I’m bleeding and I’m hearing things I don’t want to hear, so I need to see that street, the downtown. It needs to be real, though it probably doesn’t matter anymore. Continue reading Downtown Handsome
Our first date was in the Clatchy. Arlene was reluctant to go out with me, and I think it was only out of pity that she agreed. Certainly she did not see me as a prospective suitor. I wasn’t much better than a dirt farmer. Her family had a bit of money, and in a small place like Handsome, there was a blurred line between class distinctions. There were the land-poor sharecroppers, the scratching-by landowners, and the seeds-already-paid-for venture capitalists. If you had a five-year-old Oldsmobile in your driveway, you were considered well-off. There were a few rich folks, those who owned semi-prospering businesses, but they were in a league of their own. They didn’t mix with anyone but their own. Their purpose was to shake the nickels out of everyone’s pockets. Arlene’s daddy owned the land he farmed, so that practically made her high society. We were barely harvesting enough corn and wheat to make the rent on the land. Mom made me learn my numbers at a young age, so I knew one bad season would shut us down for good. Continue reading Arlene