Wednesday, November 6, 2013

poem of the day 11.06.13

fifty million dollar man

dolores comes in the staff room
catches me right when i’m about to head out onto the floor

says, you might as well stay back here
because larry is looking for you again
and he’s kind of pissy today

i’m sure he’s a little bit drunk
i’m sure it’s cognac
larry is a big cognac drinker when he drinks

i’m not in the mood for him today
i’ve only been back in new york for two days
after a week playing poet and tourist in california

i’m hardly sleeping
i don’t want to be back at the job
i’ve been drinking too much again

the night before i mixed jim beam and red wine
and my stomach has been paying for it all morning

i don’t feel like dealing with larry
and the fumes of old booze that come off him

two hangover drunks in the morning make for bad news

i don’t feel like looking up attorneys for him 
because he refuses to learn how to use a computer
or talk about bogart or carey grant movies again
because he refuses to watch anything made after 1960

i don’t want to hear another one of larry’s tits and ass jokes
or stand there while he tells me that i’m getting fat
and what a cunt his ex-wife is

so i stay in the staff room even after i’m scheduled to start work
thinking it a prison within a prison

eventually i take my chances
i see larry over by the dvds and sneak into the office

i close the door thinking, i did it
that i’ve evaded the enemy again
but the knock comes no less than a minute later

then it’s larry poking his head in without being invited
aviator shades on
the smell of old booze permeating the room

him or me?

hey, kid, he says, i need you to look something up
and i wonder what it could be this time
a notary form or another hot dog vendor license

i’ve learned more about being a hot dog vendor in new york city
since larry started coming in this joint
so much that it’s now become my fall back plan
if this public servant business doesn’t work out

but today it’s a poor person’s workman’s comp form
something i’ve printed six or seven times already
so i know where to go thinking this’ll be quick and painless

but larry lingers
he talks to me about his daughter and his injuries

a twisted ankle this week, kid, he says,
a cracked rib last night

(although he seems to be walking without pain)

injuries most likely sustained after falling over
from a night with the cognac and bogart films
but larry will try and use them to work the system
he’ll claim them as old and recurring working injuries

i almost cracked my head, kid, he says
when i get up to fetch the workman’s comp forms
and i just hope ol’ larry doesn’t try patting my belly again

he says, and don’t get me started
about losing fifty-million dollars

huh? i think
fifty million dollars, i say, only i can’t hide
how much i don’t care

because larry has lost more imaginary money
than trump has made

yeah, he says, you know those fathead stickers
that people put on their walls?
the ones of football and hoops players that’re like lifesize?

i nod because i know about them
while larry shakes his head, huffing out the cognac

that was my idea, he said
i had that idea years ago
big stickers and removable wall paper
and both of them got sold for fifty million dollars

that’s too bad, i tell him

the cognac smell is making me sick
it’s making me want a drink
when larry leaves i’ll have to take a shit
or run to the drug store for gas-ex pills

i’d go to the liquor store
but i don’t want to start that shit again

not at this job
not in this city

so i got fucked out of fifty million dollars, kid, he says
so why don’t you print me some kind of
copyright infringement forms while you’re at it

i find him bogus ones on the internet
so as to not waste the court’s time

when i finally give them to larry
he shoves them in his coat pocket
like they’re driving directions
and i know i’ll be printing them again next week

i make a mental note to bookmark the pages on my pc

while larry corners me
with his cognac breath and depression and says,

so, kid, this lady with huge tits
comes walking into the bar and…                                

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