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Friday, September 21, 2007

Look. Shiny.

Let me first distract you with this Terry Hummer poem, then a new draft of mine written Wednesday and Thursday. There's just not enough time to draft very far when it's a poem a week. What you've been getting here are the raw, sweet meats. Maybe later I'll post the revisions I've done.

Olive Bread

He needed flour, so he pawned his trumpet.
He needed salt, so he sold a pint of blood.
In an alley near the market, a stockbroker bought
his wristwatch. It was raining, and the pantry roof

Had sprung a leak. He counted his loose change slowly,
standing in the shadow of a newsstand, next
To the New York Times and the hulk of a gutted Volvo.
He read the headline. Thunder. The air tasted of gasoline.

He needed water. And olives--good black Greek ones cured
in their own oil. But where the hell
Can you get such things in the middle of a war zone?
There was a remote golden color in the sky

He'd never seen there before. When the smoke cleared,
the city yielded a poisonous odor of yeast.

T.R. Hummer
from Useless Virtues


Lightning Over Walgreens

A lone shopping cart’s chrome
flashes. For weeks nothing’s
changed. But now August’s fist
closes and the city
takes it on the chin. All
of us sucker-punched, down
for ten. Outside, the clerk
flicks her cigarette, coughs,
yells at the drunk pissing
into bushes behind
the dumpster. I leave my
quarter for a paper.
Front page: A tree, a noose
and no one cares waitress
pay is only two bucks
an hour. We all do what
we can. Traffic piles up.
Rain falls. The drivers stare,
wait for the light to change.


Mr. Hill said...

"no one cares waitress"!!

I'm one of her regulars.

Josh said...

I'm on my way to see her in about an hour or so. $2.13/hour in Kansas. Tennessee has no minimum wage law, but I don't think that means that we have the federal wage.

Everyone: always tip at least 20%. Tell your friends. Most people think 10 or 15 is enough. Well, it's not, especially when your survival depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sending me the poem. And look, I found you online.
Thank you for most enlightening conversation on Thursday.

Josh said...

KZ-- Glad you got the poem. Thanks for visiting the blog. If you want to read more, let me know. See you next week.