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Runcible Spoon - 1970

the shit shits

yes, it's dark in here
can't open the door
can't open the jam lid
can't find a pair of socks that match;
I was born in Vienna in 1915 and never thought it
would be like this.

at the races today I was standing in the 5 win line
and this big fat guy with body odor
kept jamming his binoculars into my back and I turned and
said,
"pardon me, sir. could you please stop jamming those god damned
binocs into my backbone?"
he just looked at me with little pig eyes--
rather pink with splotches of gravel for pupils
the eyes just kept looking until I stepped out and
got sick, vomitted in a
trashcan.

I keep getting letters from an uncle in Vienna who must be
75 years old and he keeps asking,
"my boy, why don't you WRITE?"
what can I write him?
there is nothing that I can write.

I put on my shorts and they rip.
sleep is impossible, I mean good sleep, I just get
small spurts of it, and then back to the machine where the foreman
comes by:
"Klienholtz, for a piece-worker you crawl like a snail!"

I'm sick and I'm tired and I don't know where to go or what to do.
well, shit, at lunchtime we all ride down the elevator together
making jokes and laughing
and then we sit in the employees cafeteria making jokes and
laughing and eating the re-baked food;
first they buy it then they fry it
then they bake it then they sell it, can't be a germ left in there or
a vitamin either.

but we joke and laugh
otherwise we would start
screaming.

on Saturday and Sunday when I don't have money to go to the track
I just lay in bed
I never get out of bed
I don't want to go to a movie
it is shameful for a full-grown man to go to a movie alone.
and women are less than nothing. they terrify and
bulldoze me.

I wonder what Vienna is like?

I think that if they would let me stay in bed long enough I could
get well or strong or at least feel better
but it's always up and back to the machine
searching for stockings that match
shorts that won't tear,
looking at my face in the mirror, disgusted with
my face...
but nothing to do
nothing to do.

my uncle, what is he thinking with his crazy
letters? did he do any
better?

we are all little pieces of shit
only we walk and talk
laugh
make jokes
and
the shit shits.

someday I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of the blackbirds
ants out of berry leaves.

I will sleep and laugh and sing until something
kills me.

    
The Pleasures of the Damned - 2007

the shit shits

yes, it's dark in here.
can't open the door.
can't open the jam lid.
can't find a pair of socks that match.
I was born in Andernach in 1920 and never thought it
would be like this.

at the races today I was standing in the 5-win line.
this big fat guy with body odor
kept jamming his binoculars into my ass and I turned and
said,
"pardon me, sir. could you please stop jamming those goddamned
binocs into my ass?"
he just looked at me with little pig eyes-
rather pink with olive pits for pupils-
and the eyes just kept looking at me until I stepped away and then
got sick, vomited into a
trash can.

I keep getting letters from an uncle in Andernach who must be
95 years old and he keeps asking,
"my boy, why don't you WRITE?"
what can I write him? unfortunately
there is nothing that I can write.

I pull on my shorts and they rip.
sleep is impossible, I mean good sleep. I just get
small spurts of it, and then back to the job where the
foreman comes by:
"Chinaski, for a pieceworker you crawl like a snail!"

I'm sick and I'm tired and I don't know where to go or what to do.
well, at lunchtime we all ride down the elevator together
making jokes and laughing
and then we sit in the employees' cafeteria making jokes and
laughing and eating the recooked food;
first they buy it then they fry it
then they reheat it then they sell it, can't be a germ left in there
or a vitamin either.

but we joke and laugh
otherwise we would start
screaming.

on Saturday and Sunday when I don't have money to go to the track
I just lay in bed.
I never get out of bed.
I don't want to go to a movie;
it is shameful for a full-grown man to go to a movie alone.
and women are less than nothing. they terrify
me.

I wonder what Andernach is like?

I think that if they would let me just stay in bed I could
get well or strong or at least feel better;
but it's always up and back to the machine,
searching for stockings that match,
shorts that won't tear,
looking at my face in the mirror, disgusted with
my face.

my uncle, what is he thinking with his crazy
letters?

we are all little forgotten pieces of shit
only we walk and talk
laugh
make jokes
and
the shit shits.

some day I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of the blackbirds and
lions out of berry leaves.

                  (uncollected)