Never getting to Pensacola

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

I left work one evening

and stopped to get gas.

while I was pumping gas,

I observed a man wearing

a fedora, leather jacket,

and pajama pants trying to 

get a ride by hitchhiking.

I saw what looked like a 

puppy on his shoulder.

then I noticed the red cone,

beak, and feathers.

I thought, this fucker

will never get a ride

with a goddamned live

chicken on his shoulder.

I lost sight of him

and walked inside to

buy an espresso beverage.

upon exiting, 

I heard a voice say,

“hey my man, can I

put gas in your truck?

I’m trying to get close

to Pensacola.”

I’m sure he noticed the 5

on my tag denoting that

I lived across the bay

in that general direction.

I looked at the man.

I looked up at his chicken,

then back at him and said,

“I’m sorry, I’m not going that way.”

then,

I got in my truck

and went that way.

Wet in June…

weather wise today was

a regular Tuesday in June

half-bearable at 5 a.m.

god awful hot not long after

so humid that I was dripping by 8 a.m.

then a darkening of clouds

cool breezes lick the sweat

a reprieve from the gods

the rain begins

the breeze quickens and the work slows

win win

then the rain stops

those not familiar with the south

will not understand

a goddamned cooking begins

a boiling moist environment

perspiring gallons

the only relief

a small fan near the front

although work is spread amongst

numerous square footage

later at home I feel like a glass and stick

I load the grill with briquettes

pour a barrel proof drink

and toast a cigar my wife

bought for me in Boston

I’m in a relatively pleasant mood

not too much can perturb me

the sweat I’ve dealt with

the flies I’m used to

I get the cooking done

and let the flies swarm

the cigar tasty 

the drink sublime

the meal exquisite

life could be worse

Smoldering and Drained

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

as I smoke the cigar

my life dwindles and 

burns toward the end

correspondingly

as I drain the whiskey glass

my time on earth swirls

and disappears in like manner

I ask for nothing more

than a distinctive feeling

I apologize unto all existence

if that is entirely too much

you promise everything 

but give nothing

to me that is something 

bank roll my existence

forego the inevitable

have sex with my mind

masturbate with intention

colder than an igloo

claustrophobic as such 

indescribable sensations

masquerading as emotions

desensitized and mesmerized

hypnotized by the facade

painted faces and bloody cunts

long live the weekend

the towel is on the bed

an indecent desire 

beckons my sensibilities

dragging my mindset to the 

depths of earth’s core

hypnotized by the innate

led astray from moral concept

only to delve deep 

within cranial blackness

dwelling on negativity

no escape foreseeable

tedium lingers

darkness spreads

and the song plays on

You never know

most of the time grilling is relaxing

just you

a drink

the cigar

and the meat

but

sometimes it can also be stressful

your coals don’t seem hot enough

then the fuckers are too hot

not to mention hotspots

having to manipulate and

strategically place the hunks of flesh

this evening was one of those

I couldn’t even enjoy my cigar

nor the drink I had poured

in a constant battle with the flame

but I eventually prevailed

now that the meat is done

it’s just me

and outside

finally able to calm down

take the world in

enjoy both the drink and the stick

earlier today on the television

I observed a wildebeest taken down

by a cheetah and then eaten

but I also witnessed a young chimpanzee

escape from a group of irate elders

intent on causing harm

it just goes to show

sometimes life or death will get you

but if you are lucky

you’ll escape to fight another day

as I write this

a cardinal is sitting atop

the weathered wood of a fence

reminding me of the beauty of life

…and the flies can’t even ruin my night

My time to cook

I won’t get any writing done tonight

I’m just preparing a meal for the family

I arrived earlier than my wife and stepson

so I started dinner

I sometimes enjoy cooking

grilling

on the other hand 

I absolutely love

sitting out back

smoking cigars

drinking

cooking meat

just what I like 

mixed with cooking meat

but cooking inside can be pleasurable as well

tonight I made boneless

skinless buffalo-seasoned thighs

with homemade yellow rice

and broccoli with yellow queso cheese

I was sweating my ass off

preparing this meal

my face dripping

wiping with paper towels

the stove giving off

a hellfire of temperature

even though I’ve been

perspiring the entire day at work

it’s just easier to sweat

for the ones I love 

for free

Just a Wednesday evening

out back toasting a Padron

sipping some 101

I’ve got a Miller open too

it’s fucking hot

and summer isn’t here yet

(officially anyway)

the flies are doing their thing

crashing into my skull

landing on my head

trying to drown themselves in

my brown fluid of delight

I now have a new problem

on top of the heat and flies

these motherfucking gnats

can’t a man relax in peace?

don’t answer that

I won’t like what I hear

it’s a green day 

very vivid

the magnolia tree that I transplanted 

from the Eight Mile house (not Detroit)

is relishing in the Baldwin dirt

reaching for the heavens

my wife picked the first

ripe figs of the season today

I wish I liked figs

my dad and grandmother loved them

they taste sort of like sweat mixed with cum

with a slightly sweet undertone to me

we have numerous small lemons again

starting on the tree we thought was dead

my plum tree

however

is a frigid barren bitch

Loyal Servant

as I begin to write this

I’m down to about an inch

of an Olivia Series V cigar

I can’t recall

in my adulthood 

a time that I wasn’t

addicted to nicotine

at an early age

my mom preached

“don’t smoke”

but still sent me

to the corner store

to buy her Kools

I would also buy cigarettes

from the dollar bin by the register

and smoke them with my friends

I am not even sure if I inhaled

or smoked them properly

one time at my grandmother’s beach house

my mom found a pack of ‘Now’ cigarettes

that I purchased from the dollar bin

she gave me the same old

‘don’t smoke’ routine

while her and my dad

were blazing multiple packs daily

at the same beach house

lighting fireworks with my mom’s cigarette

she caught me attempting to take a puff 

she came unglued and said

“if I see you do that again

I’m going to make you eat one”

my young smart ass self told her

“I’ll eat one now”

and did

I puked my fucking guts out

more ‘don’t smoke’ lectures 

that maybe worked for a few years

then I found weed

the after joint or bowl cigarette

was a fucking religion unto itself

that continued for years

with mild attempts to quit

when my mom’s blood pressure

skyrocketed one night

she lost consciousness

and never regained it

at the hospital waiting on

a miracle with my dad I said

“I’m about to smoke a cigarette”

he claimed to have no clue that I smoked

I continued smoking cigarettes

(only this time not hiding it)

with a few more attempts to quit

I started smoking cigars

but spent more on premium sticks

than I did on my packs

so I switched to cheaper sticks

but eventually went back to the cigs

when my dad died

I started smoking a pipe regularly

it was cheaper

had less chemicals

and the taste and smell were exceptional

but I was still inhaling smoke

then I learned of vaping

initially it was the kind

that looked like a cigarette

but soon graduated to massive

box looking contraptions

that could produce an ungodly

amount of vapor clouds

horror stories and reports

on the dangers led me to quit

but I replaced the habit

with dipping snuff

in the past I would take a

dip with someone who had a can

but now I was doing it daily

I knew I didn’t want that to

become a hardcore habit

that’s when my research

led me to Swedish snus

(steam-pasteurized tobacco you can swallow)

the Swedes method is presumably

safer than the fire-cured

American counterpart

so here I am

lipping snus daily

enjoying approximately

five cigars a week

having the occasional dip

and after I brush my teeth at night

popping lozenges before slumber

still a goddamned slave

to demon nicotine

I should have listened to my mom

Thirst

today started off as 

a fairly typical one

I woke later than I wanted

rushing to get ready for work

then testing the boundaries

of my driving and the V8

it’s five days until summer 

officially starts but

it has been in the nineties

for several weeks already

I die a little each day

huffing about in the stagnant warehouse

getting this and getting that

but only really getting closer to my grave

bills need to get paid

I don’t have the balls to be a drifter

although I think about it daily

five times a day the cargo train

chugs down the tracks right behind me

is today the day I think

knowing goddamn good and well

that today will not be the day

I love my bed

my family

and air conditioning too much

I finish the day and take a detour

my destination is my parents gravesite

when I was at my grandmother’s

graveside service in the same cemetery

I went to visit my parents gravestone

I noticed the weather had destroyed

all flowers and styrofoam to hold said flowers

I should have came on Mother’s Day I thought

that made me feel like a ‘real good son’

nonetheless I bought new styrofoam 

and flowers and placed them after work today

now I’m just sipping rye whiskey

from a three ounce sterling silver jigger

and downing cheap American beer

held by a Hosho McCreesh koozie

attempting to quench

my

deep

and

gorgeous

thirst

Birthday 2005

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

I went to a parade downtown

saw floats, saw tits, saw drunks

drove to my folk’s rental in spanish fort

my mom, taking tequila shots

my dad, working shift work at the mill

a great meal offered and ingested

a great day

I thought

“is it hot in here?” my mother asked

“not to me,” I replied

as I searched for drum and bass ringtones

for my new phone just purchased for me

“I’m having trouble breathing,” she said

time is of the essence I thought

I called 911

I put a leash on the dog

as my mother went to the back

to get dressed for the ambulance

she returned with fear in her eyes, asking

“when will they be here?”

at that time

I assume

realizing she had no heart beat

I was unaware of this at that point

looking back

I should have called again

but I was in complete denial and comforting her

I watched my mother die a fast death

to her

I’m sure it was slow

suffocating, turning purple, and scared

no breath to be had

despite trying

I said, “I love you.”

somehow between gasps of air

she was able to get out

“I love you too

tell your dad”

I said, “I know, save your breath.”

no heartbeat

no breath

no hope

no help

flailing and convulsing upon the floor

not a goddamn thing I could do

but stare in shock

where the fuck are the paramedics I thought

finally they arrived and began working on her

at the hospital questions were answered

blood pressure skyrocketed

heart stopped

and lungs slowly filled with fluid

my mother had drowned from within

the lungs drained

the heart revived

but consciousness had not returned

her brain had been without oxygen for about an hour

left in a vegetative state

we waited two weeks for a miracle

or at least

any sign of improvement

or life

kept alive by machines

that’s no life

that’s not life

the machines were switched off

and I watched my mother die 

for the second time

Essentials

(Originally published by The Beatnik Cowboy)

this coronavirus called COVID-19

hasn’t been good for my creativity as of late

my hats off to all still pushing words

I am deemed having an ‘essential’ job

so I have to leave the house daily

and enter into a real life zombie land

while my stepson and wife remain at home

that in itself is enough to drive me mad

that I could bring some bullshit back home to them

with my wife having pre-existing conditions

and a weakened immune system

I feel like a diseased carrier 

every time I break the plane of the door

this shit is making everyone OCD

people with it before must now feel a sense of justification

I am sanitizing my hands, keys, phone

wallet, debit card, door knobs

hell, I’m even sanitizing my hand sanitizer bottle

when all of this started there was a run on toilet paper

you couldn’t find it anywhere

my local government closed all ‘non essential’ businesses 

including numerous liquor stores

and rumor had it that more would be shut down

now I’m all for limiting the spread of the disease

but I have to take a stand at some point

I can wash my ass off with water in the backyard

but I cannot distill my own whiskey

A day for remembrance

…(notice the flies)

sitting out back again

toasting a Padron

and sipping some Rare Breed

I also have seafood gumbo 

on the stove cooking with

added Conecuh sausage

I guess it could be considered

another fancy Friday

but today doesn’t seem that joyous

no need to celebrate

just give honor and respect

we just attended my grandmother’s

funeral mass where she was remembered

tomorrow will be the graveside service

she had to be cremated

so I guess they’ll just go

through the motions as if

the body was present

the plot was more than likely

bought in advance with hopes of a 

burial before a global pandemic 

today I saw numerous uncles

aunts and cousins that I haven’t

seen in a long while

it was good to reconnect

some were wearing masks

most were not

I did feel a little guilty

and uneasy hugging

shaking hands

and talking face to face

but they were my family

my cousin from L.A. thought

it was a welcome relief

he said

“you can’t go anywhere without a mask”

maybe they have it right

in my ‘liberal’ ‘southern’ opinion

nonetheless

the mass was nice

I got a little emotional

when her two sons that died

got brought up during speeches

one being my dad

as usual the flies are swarming

and one is in my glass

this is $50 Rare Breed

I’ll be damned if I pour it out

New Orleans Pride

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

it was a long Labor Day weekend

although weekends never feel long

I took a few days off in

preparation for said weekend

that Wednesday I hurt my knee bad

so I hobbled with every step

fucking great, I thought

I’m going to have to do

a lot of walking this weekend

Thursday

I took the dog to the vet

I watched as my dog took shots

like a champion

a cute blonde with a lip piercing

and tight scrubs hugged my dog tight

and let him lick her in the mouth

as the doctor shot him up with drugs

and inserted a long cylindrical tube

into his anus for a fecal test

this lucky bastard, I thought

tests were negative

the dog healthy

I emptied my wallet and

we went on our way

Friday

the wife and I left for Ocean Springs

ate great barbeque

drank good bourbon and soaked

in a large tub by the bed

the next day we went to an

art walk where I purchased

an original piece from a hipster

I won’t hold that against him

because his work is amazing

we then headed for Biloxi

we gambled a little

ate a lot

and saw the comedian

we were there to see

I had strong drinks from the bar

and weak drinks at the slots

I ran into a coworker who was 

feeding machines with hundred after hundred

“push it” he told me

“maybe your lucky”

I wasn’t

I never am

Sunday

we drove to New Orleans

as we were getting off on our exit

I turned to my wife and said

“I just remembered, it’s pride weekend”

we made our way toward the hotel bar

rumors have it that Bukowski stayed

there when he was in his twenties

we found a spot on the street to park

less than a block away

we entered the bar and ordered drinks

as we drank we watched

girls and guys walk by with wings attached

dressed in wigs, dresses or much less

I ordered another round and

we decided to take a walk 

I fired up a cigar as we walked

I knew what they were probably thinking

me sucking on a long brown stick

many males and females in thongs

and jockstraps

chest harnesses abound

no problems among thousands of people

everyone was so festive and joyous

dancing, laughing, and singing

it’s then I realized how they

probably got their title

I was proud of New Orleans once again

Fairhope Pier

(Originally published by The Beatnik Cowboy)

it was a humid end of December day

gray and dreary tones abound

clouds thick with sunshine peeking through

parting the floating cotton

shrubs and trees

greener than green

absorbing life they’d been without

no breeze to disturb the water

which lay flat and motionless

so still

every color of rose

available to the eye

their fragrance in the air

the long pier seemed to disappear into the fog

boats lined up like soldiers

awaiting their next deployment

latino men on the bench

speaking spanish I assume

young couples fishing

old couples walking

I was walking

then at the end

which seemed

the middle of the bay

fish jumping

birds flying

me in awe

seagulls prancing in front of me

on the old weathered cracked wood

pelicans seemingly diving to their death

only to retrieve a morsel of heart pumping goodness

my girl recalls a story about pelican deaths

they go blind and die

the constant smashing onto

the top of the water

causes them to go blind

and starve to death

I replied

save the pelicans

invest in tiny goggles