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Wormwood Review - 1989

the media

we sat around her plush
pad and
she asked me,
"how come you never got
into the media?
you've got this talent.
how come you wasted all
those years
at common labor?"

and I sat there
with this class lady--
I didn't answer her
right away--
but I thought,
what do you do?
knock on doors?
what do you tell
them?
I'd often failed
to get a job
as a dishwasher.

then I told her,
"it never occurred
to me."

"you should have,"
she said. "it would
have saved you a lot
of agony."

soon there was a
knock on the door, and
soon another, and
they started arriving--
many of the famous:
a famous cartoonist, a
famous columnist, a
famous actor...

soon they were all about,
especially in the
patio where food was
being served.

I'm lucky to be here,
I thought, I could never
afford a place like
this.

I told the lady that
I was retiring
early
and I took a fifth of
whiskey to the bedroom,
had a few drinks
in the dark
then switched on
her cable TV
and watched it while
finishing the fifth...

after the lady went
to work the next
day
I got into my car
and drove slowly
out of those
Hollywood Hills
knowing I'd never
go back there

and I got back
into town
to my front court
with the busted
windows
and I got inside
locked the door
got a tall
can of beer
from the refriger-
ator
opened it
had a hit
sitting there at
10:30 a.m.
on that
derelict couch

it was one of the
best cans of beer
I ever
tasted.

    
The Night Torn Mad With Footsteps - 2001

media

we sat around her plush
pad and
she asked me,
"how come you never got
any media attention?
you've got all this talent.
how come you wasted all
those years as
a common laborer?"

and I just sat there
with that rich and educated
lady-
I couldn't answer her
right away-
but I thought,
what could you do?
knock on doors?
what could you say to
them then?
I'd often failed even
to land a job
as a dishwasher.

so I told her,
"it never occurred
to me one way or the
other."

"it should have,"
she said. "it would
have saved you a lifetime
of agony."

soon there was a
knock on the door, and
soon another, and
they started arriving-
all of them famous:
a famous cartoonist, a
famous columnist, a
famous actor...

soon they were all there,
especially in the
patio where food was
being served.

I'm lucky to be here,
I thought, I could never
afford a place like
this.

I told the lady that
I wished to retire
early
and I took a
fifth of imported
whiskey to the bedroom,
had a few drinks
in the dark
then got undressed
crawled into her bed
switched on
the cable TV
and watched it
and waited.

after the lady went
to work the next
morning
I got into my car
and drove slowly down
out of those
Hollywood Hills
knowing I'd never
go there again.

I went back
to town
to my apartment
with the busted front
window
and I went inside
locked the door
got a tall
can of beer
from the refrigerator
opened it
had a hit
sitting there at
10:30 a.m.
on that
derelict couch and

it was one of the
best beers
I ever
tasted.