Saturday, March 15, 2008


Good Money

Gimmie some death, he said
as he slammed his empty pint glass
on the counter.
I'm sick of this shit. Sun up to
sun down and I'm missing it all,
surrounded by somebody else's
empty dream.

The hum of electric motors,
the squeals of rollers and
old pulleys, the click – click –
click – of the wrapping machines
dividing my days into each painful

It's good money, everyone tells me,
all of them doing it better
just happy to see me eking by.
Their kindness, slithered down
from well manicured towers in
pats on the back that feel like cancer
in my bowels.

It's good money all right, he says again
after a short stare into his beer
got me divorced with
3 kids that I never get to see.
Till she gets done with it there's
barely any left at all. I got a two-bedroom
flat above the newsstand on the square,
a rusted out old pickup that runs
except for when I need it to
and this place
this stool
this beer
and all of you (he was referring to the 5 or 6 of us
strewn about the shadows).

It's good money, he says
and it buys good beer and
if I drink enough of them
it almost feels
like a good life

what we are left with

everyone thinks that the man is so funny. I guess
there was a time, perhaps
when he could link a few clever phrases together and
shake a primitive chuckle from these despairing lips;
when that one catch phrase was still fresh enough
(though never any good, anyhow) to save
the show when the rest of his prepared lines
became too overcooked to swallow.

I saw an advertisement on the tube last night
showing him starring in some comedy film; an otherwise poorly acted
"b" movie attempting to strike it big on
his name. hell, he may have even wrote the damn thing,
I dunno.
it looked like it could have been a
by-product of thought
secreted from his amniotic brain.

what humanity. schleps like him make millions
on talent-less shit. talent-less, and
separated from the rest of the talent-less with shameless promotion
and a comatose audience
ready to laugh on cue. what's worse is
it's everywhere; the sitcom, the evening news,
meetings of congress, the FDA, late night talk shows, sports, music.
it goes on and on.
the comedy isn't funny
the music has no rhythm
government has no sense, even
the news doesn't tell us anything
of value

everyone is so worried about the war
and terrorism and their finances that
they'll swallow whatever you feed them. heads like glass and
half full IS half empty and the smallest shred of
originality sends the agents scrambling for a contract so that
millions more can fool their senses
into stimulation.

"you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours,"
and ain't that the way it goes. I'd sure hate to
be around
when they take all the books away.

setting up in the mold

spun on the rotisserie
never ending
me and those four walls
that room, my home then
no bigger than a large table cloth
with a slender bathroom and a spit
of a kitchen that doubled as a hallway
and sometimes study

nights there were good times
the six of us stuffing our mouths of fungus
staring at Mt. Vesuvius from the
shaking ripe dreams
from the branches of youth
as time stood completely still

there was just enough room
to squeeze in a sleeper sofa
when it was unfolded
it became the floor
and we all had to duck
a little lower
the black and white 15 inch
didn't receive shit
so we made our own fun
and sometimes the girls would come
though not very often
it was always something
to try and impress them
with that little room
it made everything else appear
so much larger though
which never hurt

$325 a month and with that you got;
water, trash, electric and
lousy fucking neighbors
up at all hours
at each others throats
some of them were ok but
they had the thermostat on their half
and their kids
would always be fooling with it
my door would be wide open
in the middle of February
just so I could fall asleep
without being cooked

those four walls of
that square little room
I'm thankful now that it wasn't circular or
any other shape then the square it was or
these words might still be floating
like a memory tied to a something that's
never even been
this page would be empty and
I'd probably be supervising
doing less with their life
than they'd like


M.D.G. said...

Thank you for posting this. Lester is a fine young american voice as I'm sure you can see.

Bruce Hodder said...

Definitely. More people need to be aware of what he's doing...