Turning Point

when I did roofing work

I would occasionally have

to work out of town

this time it was Lafayette Louisiana

on my first night there

I left the job site and

headed to my hotel

I had to stop and get

some groceries and whiskey

trying to turn left into the store

from the turning lane was proving

to be an impossible feat

traffic kept coming

like a never ending metallic snake

I was getting extremely agitated

my blood pressure rising by the second

after approximately 10 minutes

I was finally able to turn

once in the store I bought

the few items I needed

and went to check out

when I finally was face to face

with the cute black cashier

I recalled a news story and said to her

“I heard that Lafayette was voted

the happiest city in America”

she smiled proudly

beaming from ear to ear and said

“yes, yes we were”

with a stone-like grimace and scowl

I looked into her eyes and said

“I really don’t see how with

all this goddamned traffic”

I left her in a deflated state

reeling from my contempt

later in my room

I laid in the bed

sipping whiskey from a

plastic hotel cup

and smiled

Unfortunate Sign

today I got some Americanized

Chinese food for lunch

as always it was inedible right away 

due to the scorching temperature

despite being on the counter

and ready when I arrived

they must cook with volcanic lava

the food eventually cooled to a

consumable state and was ingested

after I was finished eating

I opened the fortune cookie

I thought

what golden tidbit of knowledge

will they bestow on me today

when I read it I could not

believe what I was seeing

I thought

surely this must be a cruel joke

the small piece of paper read…

today means action

carry out your plan

“holy shit” I said aloud

I hope a psychopath doesn’t 

receive this same fortune and think

‘it’s a fucking SIGN man’

Your Title to Decide

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

as this whiskey coats my throat

swells and scars my liver

as the cigar smoke expands

cooks my mouth and hardens my heart

I’m reminded of all the dissatisfied

that came before me

never did what they wanted

refused happiness for whatever reason

all in the guise of tradition or fear

afraid to say the wrong thing

scared to take that drink

or do that drug

petrified to fuck

or fuck who they want

trying not to let a deity down

not disappoint a loved one

make a good impression on a stranger

live a long life

or all of the above

at the same time

you have only one life to live

and it is up to you

how you live that life

some feel living a life of fear

and cautiousness is rewarding

but others crave the unknown

live for the different states

feel free when actions and

speech are not hindered

a tightrope of sorts

existence balanced

still

some fly

yet

some fall

Worse than bed bugs

I was at work today

dying slowly in the massive

soul-sucking sauna

also known as a warehouse

I was about to step foot

inside the office to bask

in the orgasmic air conditioning

when I heard two female voices

out back behind thin roll up doors

I walked over to see what two

fifty-something crackheads talk about

it started off innocent enough

with one wretched degenerate 

telling the other to eat something

“I ain’t hungry!

Mike asked me if I wanted a 

burger and I told him no”

the other’s response was

“you are so far up 

his ass it’s pathetic”

I was expecting something

about this Mike character as a retort

but was not prepared to hear what came next

the crackhead that is presumably up Mike’s ass said

“I could tell you something right now

but you would think I was crazy”

a slight pause

“go ahead then, tell it”

“I’ve got people living in my mattress

not under my bed

but inside my mattress

my kids said if I come home

they are gonna put me in the hospital

…they think I’m crazy”

I turned to go inside the office and 

politely with the utmost respect whispered

“oh bitch, you are”

July Blues

today was hot

when I say hot

I mean profoundly hot

July in the south probably causes

more suicides than Wall Street

I dripped sweat from every pore

soaking my shirt and

sweat rags correspondingly 

I haven’t had a drink in a few days

but toxins I had no idea I had

came exiting from my body exponentially 

bewilderment and fatigue

are prevalent feelings

irritability at a goddamned maximum

I had to take a detour on the ride home

due to an accident on the interstate

I was redirected through downtown

where I sat in traffic on

Government for about a half hour

inching forward from light to light

I did see a man on a bench

either preaching a sermon

or singing the blues

I thought

this fucker is either crazy

or has it all figured out

part of me felt sorry

part of me envied him

when I finally got home

I started dinner and fed the dog

I poured a cask strength bourbon

and toasted a cigar my neighbor

gave to me as a gift

it wasn’t bad at all

a little tight on the draw but 

a free cigar is just that

my stepson and wife got home and

I went to give my wife a kiss

she shook her head in disgust

saying “I don’t want to kiss you

you taste like an ashtray”

I went back outside to finish

my stick and drink

she basically gave me an ultimatum

“if your ass wants kisses

then don’t smoke the cigars”

I think I will toast a Padron tomorrow

I’ll have to get my kiss beforehand

Red bird on a roof

I want you to tell

me your story

even though

I know you can’t

birds don’t speak human language 

I can’t comprehend your speech

so it would be foolish to

think any differently

however, your story

is important to me

I’m just a lowly creature

on this planet with you

working for others

slaving away in the heat

living a life not fully my own

with only moments of reprieve

but you

red bird

live only by instinct

demands aren’t made of you

no questions are asked

you hear no lies

bills aren’t due

you are probably never stressed

I’m not even sure if

you sweat at all red bird

you haven’t an inkling

that I am envious 

you just continue on

doing what red birds do

atop the weathered shingles

and you can fucking fly

Too Soon

(Originally published by Horror Sleaze Trash)

headed to get groceries and

run errands with my wife

I notice the the gargantuan flag

at Camping World, where they

sell recreational vehicles is at half mast

this flag is the biggest

that I have ever seen

I ask my wife

“what happened, why is that flag at half mast?”

she doesn’t know

she hasn’t heard anything

I haven’t been keeping up

with the news lately myself

we get our groceries and 

on the ride home get to the intersection

of 59 and 90

where roughly thirty flags fly on poles

and none of those are at half mast

then it dawns on me that maybe

nothing at all had happened

maybe the workers at the r.v. place

are just too lazy to lift that

heavy ass goddamn flag

and to justify their said laziness

assume that another mass shooting

will happen soon enough