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Ron Gavalik May 2015
In the mid-1990s I worked as a bartender
on the second floor of a local hotdog joint
near the University of Pittsburgh.
I poured beers and mixed simple drinks
for working class drunks.
The felons always had a game or a magic trick
they’d use to milk rubes for a free gin and tonic.
College students mostly stayed away,
but the ones who stumbled in ordered drafts,
paid for by daddy’s allowance
or the petty drug rackets they ran on campus.
In the summer, the best ***** came around,
**** pushed out of their tops,
*** cheeks crept below their skirts.
They knew how to find action
every single night.

Except one overweight girl named Susie
from the all girl’s school down the road.
She’d come to the bar alone,
her lips caked with dark red lipstick.
Like many students, Susie wanted to be older.
She’d order ***** martinis,
drink quietly, and she’d patiently wait
for one of the older drunks to make a move.
It never happened.

Sometimes Susie complained to me
about other girls at her college,
that they were aggressive lesbians.
All of them wanted to eat her ******.
‘Those ******* are as bad as the men,’ she’d say.
But then she’d laugh it off.
‘I really love ****,’ she told me.
‘I think about **** and *** all the time.’

One night Susie owed the bar $27.50.
She always tried to flirt her way past the tab.
I never let her get away with it.
‘Do you like me?’ she said.
I laid down my trademark response,
‘You’re the best.’
‘No, do you really like me?’
I figured she deserved a real compliment.
‘You have the sexiest lips here.’

She climbed off the barstool
and walked to the backdoor, the fire escape.
She then curled her finger at me to join her.
Outside on the small rusted iron landing,
above the roach-filled dumpster,
Susie crouched between my legs.
Both of us worked to unbuckle my belt.
A swarm of hands pulled down my jeans.
I looked up at the few stars between buildings
as those red lips and soft tongue became my drug,
a back alley escape from a ******* life.
When I unloaded, she refused to let go.
She swallowed it all. $27.50 paid in full,
plus tip.

That’s how we went for a while.
I gave Susie small escapes from lesbians.
Susie gave me small escapes from life.
Eventually, she stopped coming around.
I figured she graduated.
Perhaps her classmates finally got their wish.
Either way, I never saw her again.
To be included in my next collection, **** River Sins.
I was friended on facebook by a stranger.
Usually this means I went somewhere and inspired someone with my
Personality or
Flirtation to look me up,
Or maybe a friend, of a friend, of a friend, thinks I'm cute and
Stalked my profile.
Maybe, I'm just an attempt at a ******* to this person.
Which I'm normally super okay with,
But here's the thing.
It was a man.
Now, this is not an issue to me, specifically.
I am in fact bisexual, but that's more of a title,
I mean, I've never been
Penetrated, by a man before.
N-not that I wouldn't be.
But we don't call virgins asexual because they haven't had *** yet so,
I just say bi.
Anyway, this man starts the conversation: "hello! with a smiley face."

I over analyze this: "hello! with a smiley face."
What does it mean?!
I stalk his profile.
Is he cute? Not really, but he isn't ugly.
I've never been attracted to men physically anyway it's always the
Personality,
Or icy blue eyes that pull me in.
And this man wears drag and rocks it so I will probably like him.
I don't know why, but I have a thing for lesbians and
Lesbian like things. It's really....
Destructive.
We have a little conversation and It's fairly innocent
Until he hits me with this line:
"Pretty boys down on their luck, is a sight I am unable to stand."

There it is!
I knew it!
This man is flirting with me!
I could smell it from a mile away.
I know this game.
I've been on
His side of this conversation a million times.
But, i've never known what it feels like to be here.
In this weird space, on the other side.
Getting complimented.
I never get complimented!
At most I get a half-hearted handsome after I
Confess my addiction to a woman's beauty.
Never, am I put on such a pedestal.
I mean, this stranger clearly wants their ***** inside of me.
I can think of no higher compliment.

Things escalate very quickly. Too quickly.

"I have a big bed, and I'm ready for a night of boys, *****, and another B word."

I, an idiot, honestly can't think of the third b word.
"Uh... bacon?
Backrubs?"

"No sweetie, *******."
"*******!?"

What did i get myself into? I had
Absolutely no intention of seeing this guy
EVER and now he thinks I want to come over
TONIGHT for
*******

How did I get myself into this?
What did I say?
What possibly could have made him think i was interested?
Is it just because I haven't bluntly said no?
I scroll up and search for an answer.

"You're pretty cute yourself."

****...      
Yup, that'll do it.

He says:
"Mmmmnfff, You're adorable"

These compliments though! I get
Tingles every time he says something like that to me.
It's so nice that it's entirely worth just
Dealing with the creepiness to hear it.

And then I realized....
That this is what it feels like.
This is how woman feel when we ask to
**** before getting to know them.
It's dangerous.
Like jumping off a cliff and hoping for a trampoline.
It's almost, always,
Rocks.

He says:
"Are you familiar with what consent is? because
I've had issues with that."
"Are you going to be one of those straight boys who are just
Wasting my time?
I hate having my time wasted."

I, realizing now what I'd gotten myself into, say:
"As a matter of fact, I am...
Sorry to have wasted your time, but at least I told you now.
A lot of girls don't"
Annie Aug 2013
warm black coffee syrup
down my esophagus
it's a shame
you kinged me when you did
because i have more to offer
than those sweet mint nights
out in those cars
and as much as i wish
i knew how to whisper
to the bees,
I'm glad I can't
I'd rather keep the sting a mystery

I hate to sleep in my own bed-
it is already filled with ghosts
and everything plastered on my walls
is a reminder of everything
i have failed to achieve

your elbow excites me
because the angles
tell me stories of when dew
settled on grass

but those stories are
strictly for my dreams
zebra  Feb 2019
The Scarlet Woman
zebra Feb 2019
scarlet haught
queen of mirth
dog ****
drooling jewelry red splits
pulled by a chariot  
of six hundred million house cats
dissembling for freaky insertions
of scarlet bud flowers uterine tube

breath of spit
while ballet toes kiss fingers and tongues
glazing thickly tides sweat
bamming greased ****

Christ *****
"once upon a never more"
bi-sexed up
**** twitch glistening holes
drizzle fish
in red tents overturned
for fabulous *******
and angelic *****'s
flirty dance the come **** me  

her throat a never ending squealed gullet
sublime Madonna of Oor
bare thighed and pulpy spread
scissor strokes and stride
wagging tongue for rosy oleo sticks
and **** pastry rectums pulled tight
in lop sided temples of split flesh

another ambulance to the emergency **** ward
in a dreamland of leggy nurses

sacred fig of Freyja
Goddess to **** toys
and pretty pretty who go that way
hocus opus poke and stir
freckle face **** mouth
a lapping menagerie

i gird my ***** and follow her
into a cologned room; of dark rim box butter
***** yelping for
a slow grind in a belly of clams

red and velvet pageant
she nests in the heart
a midwife disturbia
to pregnant lust
being pushed down and worked up
till loosened in thick ****
and black whip afterbirth
like flowers of curves and blood

her banquet; a platter of wet orifice
trilling vibratos ******
and anxious kisses crawling through her mouth
like fallen angels flying
dire sister of knock out *******
pleading goth nuns for lesbian heated
Satan loving veiled Christian crotch
and a thousand delicious gaped
******* **** poundings
and mouth ***** **** plunge

crucifix of wrack and *****
****** and beaten senseless
instructions from the  book of night
of **** and spite
written by
Abrahams primitive nations
arms of the cross she is nailed to
sweet ***** waifs beaten dead
in a tillage of brokenness

mans club
shore of incinerated witches and tortured justice
shut up when your talkin to me
clan of honor
duo troupe
almanac of hell
Llahi Fuego Aug 2013
And she confessed, and she cried, and she apologised, and I asked,
You ******* ****** him off?
It was nothing, she said, I didn't feel anything. I swear, please forgive me baby, please.
I can’t believe this, I said, get away from me. You ******* disgust me.
She began apologising again, profusely, and I said, barely in a whisper
But you *******... ****** him off?
I said it to myself really, to let it sink in, to fully process it.
She placed a shaky hand on my chest and said, I didn't feel anything at all, I swear,
It was like I was just going through the motions, I swear. You've got to understand me, baby.
Stop ******* touching me, I said. I was truly and absolutely disgusted by her.
She looked scared, nervous. She moved back. She was not used to seeing me this way. There was a pause,
Silence.
Slowly I moved towards her, deliberately, held her face in both my hands
And looked at her,
She was still sobbing softly, looking up at me like a frightened child
I carefully studied her face
Her lips
These lips, I thought to myself, as I moved a finger to touch them gently
These soft, elegant lips
That each night I kiss, touch, linger on... wrapped around another man’s ****?
She was probably on her knees, his **** half way in her mouth... No. ****. I’m only punishing myself thinking about it.
I took a step back and looked away from her. I mustn't think that way.
Her lips are exactly the same as they were before, nothing about them has changed.
The damage is within me, I understand that. Nothing has changed physically, just my perception.
Just my thoughts. Thoughts can **** you, I swear.
If only... if only I could... I don’t know... these words seem to die before they leave my mouth, respect for her has long since dissipated.
I thought we had something. I really did. I thought we’d made promises that only us, broken souls, could keep.

What about us? Huh?
What about the beautiful mornings walking along the shore, the day before us
Wayfarer shades hiding your eyes, Canon camera hanging from your neck
Me sidestepping pebbles and hot coral like why didn't I wear slippers?
And the not so beautiful mornings spent hugging the toilet, puking
Holding your hair back, saying I’m never gonna drink again, never
But no, Llahi, don’t be silly, I didn't say get rid of the Tequila bottle.
That's Sunday morning after a wild weekend
The afternoon is lazy, torpid, us feeling ****** up
But the night is quiet, cool
And these conversations we have at 2 am lying on your mom’s living room sofa
Sharing things with me that you couldn't with others
Sharing things with you that are more intimate than ***,
Sometimes a dreamer needs a realist to ground them
And sometimes a realist needs a dreamer to help them fly,
That was what we said, what we were
But it has all disappeared before a fleeting moment of lust,
Nothing is the same
Nothing is the same
Nothing is
Nothing,
See how much smaller we've become?
And I never want to see your face, not for a long time
But maybe I just want to kiss you this last time
While your tears are still streaming down your cheeks
Tasting of regret, of broken promises, of ringing emptiness
Because you have failed me
Or maybe we have failed each other
Surely, the universe has failed us both
But you don’t know how much I love you, you ******* *****,
I wonder if the sunsets will taste the same
Without me.
Joshua Haines Dec 2014
This is what she looks like when she's sad:
The human condition effective immediately.
Winter shades shift side to side,
exploding out of each iris.
Skin falling off,
when lunging forward to kiss me.
Fingernail daggers dig into my pores.
I'll bleed under her fingernails,
if she'll drag them down my torso
until her knees click the floor.

This is her tongue inside of my mouth:
We taste each other before we waste each other.
Hip bones parallel and our eyes rubbing shoulders,
my hands surfing her rib cage
and it's all the rage because she moans.
And when she moans,
color tones orbit around her head.
Planetary tumors dancing around her skull;
jump roping with her hair,
eating morals and removing plurals.

Those are her lips around me.
Her head moves up and down
but her eyes focus on me.
She makes eye contact
and I empty my dreams
into her mouth.

We are a public forum.
I ache with alcohol poisoning
and liberal undertones.
The terrain that is my face
bleeds oils that would lubricate
the axle of the car that she drove
into the tree
that we carved our name into.

Come back to me.
I miss you so much.
I watched you die.
I watched you die
and there was nothing I could do.

They told me that she wouldn't make it.
They told me that she might make it.
My hand gripped at blood stained blanket.
I think she said my name under the air mask.
I could tell if she saw me;
her eyes rolled back into her head
after she gazed a thousand yards away
into the field of black
that sheltered the tall grass
that we would chase each other through
and get lost in
as we got lost in each other.

I love you! I ******* love you!
My back, a membrane coil
that rises my stiff neck
that cares my head full of memories.
I turn on the light and you're not there next to me.
I put my hand on your copy of The Thornbirds
and know that you've read it more than the notes
I leave in your inbox,
hoping that it'll say that you have seen it.

Walking to your grave,
I am a darkness that the abyss has swallowed
and I have followed myself into nothingness
that is such bliss
that I forget
your kiss.
hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically that’s called hamming the bone sitting on a street curb singing making up lyrics i got a transitor sister loves cossack named jake he rides Cherokee chopper all he’s ever known is hate he’s going down underground where a man can be a man wrestle alligators live off the land ebb flow i don’t know racing chasing hair-pin turning at 150 miles per hour downshift to 3rd spread the word sweet sour naked flower touching skin deep within defies all sin with a grin speed speed speed all i need i’m getting off coming on you tawny scrawny bow-legged pigeon-toed knock-kneed Don Juan Ponce de Leon Aly Khan all wrapped up into one going to have ******* good time good time tonight i feel like an orphan mom and dad seem so far away tonight i feel like an orphan you make me feel this way hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically hand bone hand bone

Odyseuss drifts job to job construction worker office assistant waiter whatever he does not understand how road to recognition works continues showing portfolio to art dealers but they react indifferently he does not know how to attain notice in art world begins to suspect there is no god watching over souls instead he imagines infinite force juggling light darkness creation destruction love hate Mom and Dad insist he can earn respectable income if only he will learn commodity futures like cousin Chris Mom says you can work down at the exchange and paint on the side a part of Odysseus wants desperately to please his parents he considers perhaps Mom is right for the time being maybe build up nest egg it seems like sensible plan he wonders why Dad and Mom never speak about money how to save manage they treat the subject as forbidden topic Odysseus has no idea what Dad or Mom earn or investment strategies Odysseus is about to make serious mistake the decision to get job working at commodity exchange needs deeper examination why is he giving in to his parents what attracts him to commodities trading is it Chris’s achievement and the money? does Odysseus honestly see himself as a winning trader or does it simply look like big party with lots of rich men pretty young girls is that where he wants to be why is he giving up on his dream to be a great artist does it seem too impossible to reach who makes him think that? is he going to give up on his true self? he halfheartedly follows his parent’s advice begins working as runner at Chicago Mercantile Exchange several friends including Calexpress disloyalty for entering straight world commodity markets are not exactly straight in 1978 clearing firms pay adequately hours are 8 AM to 2 PM over course of next 6 months Odysseus runs orders out to various trading pits cousin Chris rarely acknowledges Odysseus maybe Chris feels need to protect his image of success perhaps in front of his business associates Chris is embarrassed by Odysseus’s menial rank and goof-off attitude maybe Chris senses what a terrible mistake Odysseus has made

Chicago suffers harsh winter in February Roman Polanski skips bail in California flees to France in April President Carter postpones production of neutron bomb which kills people with radiation leaving buildings intact in October Yankees win World Series defeating Dodgers in November Jim Jones leads mass-****** suicide killing 918 people in Jonestown Guyana in December in San Francisco Dianne Feinstein succeeds murdered Mayor George Moscone in Chicago John Wayne Gacy is arrested

darkness descends upon Odysseus his heart is not into commodity business more accurately he hates it he loathes battleship gray color of greed envy he resents prevailing overcast of misogyny he meets many pretty girls yet most of them are only interested in catching a trader it is rumored numerous high rolling traders hire young girls for sole purpose of morning ******* remainder of day girls are free to mingle run trivial errands commodity traders typically trash females it is primitive hierarchy Odysseus bounces from one clearing firm to another then moves to Chicago Options Exchange then Chicago Board of Trade on foyer wall just outside trading floor hangs bronze plaque commemorating all men who served in World War 2 Uncle Karl’s name is on that plaque Daddy Pat bought his son seat hoping to set him up after war Uncle Karl’s new wife wanted to break away from Chicago persuaded him to sell seat move to California Uncle Karl bought car wash outside Los Angeles with Daddy Pat’s support Mom and Dad encourage assure Odysseus commodities business is right choice they promise to buy him full seat on exchange if he continues to learn markets they feel certain he can be saved from his artistic notions the markets are soaring in profits cousin Chris is riding waves a number of Chris’s friends are sons of parents who belong to same clubs dine at same restaurants as Mom and Dad Odysseus is not alpha-male like Chris Odysseus is a dreamer painter poet writer explorer experimenter unlike Chris who has connections Odysseus starts out as runner then gets job holding deck for yuppie brokers in Treasury Dollar trading pit Odysseus holds buy orders between index and middle fingers sell orders in last 2 fingers arranged by time stamp price size in other hand holds nervous pencil he stands step below boss in circular pit in room size of football field full of raised pits everything is traded cattle hogs pork bellies all currencies gold numbers flash change instantaneously in columns on three high walls fourth wall is glass with seats behind for spectators thousands of people rush around delivering orders on telephones flashing hand signals shouting offers quantities every moment every day calls come in frantically from all around world space is organized chaos sometimes not so organized fortunes switch hands in nano-seconds it is global fiscal battleground rallies to up side or breaks to down side send room into hollering pushing shoving hysteria central banks financial institutions kingpin mobsters with political clout daring entrepreneurs old thieves suburban rich kids beautiful people pretty young females abound big guns **** in same air stand next to low-ranking runners everyone flirts sweats sneezes knows inside they are each expendable Odysseus is spellbound by sheer force magnitude he feels immaterial only grip is his success with girls it is not conscious talent he grins girls grin back Chris’s trader friends recognize Odysseus’s ability they push him to introduce girls to them it is way for Odysseus to level playing field he has no money or high opinion of himself he simply knows how to hook up with girls

1979 January Steelers defeat Cowboys at Super Bowl Brenda Ann Spencer kills 2 faculty wounds 8 students responds to incident “i don't like Mondays” in February Khomeini seizes power in Iran in March Voyager space-probe photographs Jupiter’s rings a nuclear power plant accident occurs at Three Mile Island Pennsylvania in May Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime Minister in England in Chicago American Airlines flight 191 crashes killing 273 people in November Iran hostage crisis begins 90 hostages 53 of whom are American in December Soviet Union invades Afghanistan 1980 in November Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter one year since Iran hostage crisis began

he meets good-looking younger girl named Monica on subway heading home from work he has seen her running orders on trading floor she is tall slender with long dark brown hair in ponytail pointed nose wide mouth innocent face she confides her estranged father is famous Chicago mobster Odysseus recognizes his name they talk about how much they dislike markets arrant disparity of wealth between traders and themselves Odysseus says i hate feeling of being so disposable worthless Monica replies yeah me too he tells her if i was a girl i’d ******* myself to several handsome generous traders Monica acknowledges that’s an interesting idea but who? how? which traders? do you know? he answers yeah i know exactly who and how Monica says if you’re serious i’m in i have a girlfriend named Larissa who might also be interested i’ll call Larissa tonight following day Monica approaches Odysseus at work agrees to meet at his place after markets close that afternoon Monica and Larissa show up eager to learn more about Odysseus’s scheme Larissa is petite built like a gymnast giggly light brown hair younger than Monica he lays it all out for them cousin Chris and his buddies the money ******* both girls are quite lovely he suggests they rehearse with him he will coach them on situations settings techniques girls consent for 4 weeks every afternoon they meet at Odysseus’s place get naked play out different scenarios he shows girls how to pose demure at first then display themselves skillfully fingers delicately pulling open ***** spreading wide apart buns working hidden muscles he directs each to take up numerous positions tasks techniques then has them switch places he teaches them timing starting slow gradually building up rhythms stirring into passionate frenzy having two mouths four hands creates novel sets of possibilities one girl attends his front while other excites his rear he positions them side-by-side so he can penetrate any of all four holes he stacks them one on top of the other many other variations after reaching ****** several times making sure to reciprocally satisfy their eager needs Odysseus dismisses girls until following day finally after month of practice Monica and Larissa feel confident proficient primed Odysseus arranges for girls to meet with 2 traders through Chris most traders have nicknames Twist who is hosting event is notoriously wild insatiable on opening night Odysseus behaves like concerned father Larissa and Monica each bring several dresses and pairs of shoes Odysseus helps them choose suggests Monica ease up on make-up he styles Larissa’s hair instructs Monica to call him when they arrive again when they leave he requests they return directly to his place Monica wears hair pulled back in French twist pearl earrings sleek little black dress black stiletto heels she stands several inches above Odysseus Larissa wears braided pigtails pink low-scooped leotard brown plaid wool kilt just above knees brown suede cowboy boots he kisses each on lips then pats their butts warns them to be careful mindful Monica winks Larissa giggles more than an hour passes as Odysseus sits wondering why he has not heard from girls suddenly reality hits he does not want to be commodities trader and certainly not a **** this is not how he wants to be known or remembered Odysseus wants to be a painter and writer Monica and Larissa are good sweet girls whom he has misguided he calls Twist’s place Twist answers Odysseus asks to speak with Monica when she comes to phone he questions are you all right Monica answers yes we’re fine we’re having a fantastic time why are you calling what’s wrong he explains you were suppose to call me when you arrived i began to worry i think maybe this whole arrangement is a bad idea i want you to call it off and come back home i don’t want either of you to become prostitutes i love you both and don’t want to be associated with dishonoring you Monica says it’s a little late to call it off but we’ll see you when we’re done kissy kiss bye Odys another hour passes then another he frets wondering what they are doing after 4 hours as he is about to call Twist’s house again doorbell rings Monica and Larissa both giggling beaming Odysseus can spot they have a coke buzz Monica announces you should be proud of us Odys we got each of them off 2 times we left them stone-numb and tapped out the girls open their purses each slaps 5 hundred dollar bills unto table Monica says this is your cut Odys we both got a thousand for ourselves he replies i can’t touch that money we need to sit down and talk Monica demands no talking Odys take off your clothes he insists i’m serious Monica i’m never going to send you out again Larissa claims there’s no turning back for me i had too much fun Monica  pleads come on Odys we’ll be good we promise now take off your clothes Twist and his buddy never attended to our needs i’m ***** as hell Larissa where’s that little bottle of dust Twisty handed you

Chicago Monday night December 8 1980 Cal and Odysseus sit at North End they're on 4th round feeling buzz the place is lively adorned with holiday decorations Cal says you’ve changed Odysseus questions what do you mean? how? Cal says the commodity markets and your cousin and his friends they’ve changed you when was the last time you painted Odys? are you dealing coke Odysseus looks Cal in the eyes answers they’re so ******* rich Cal you can’t believe it one drives a black Corvette Stingray another a ******* Delorean anything they want they buy girls cars clothes condos boats yeah i’m dealing coke to Chris’s friends it’s my only leverage remember the Columbian dude Armando we met at tittie bar? i score from him and keep it clean Chris’s buddies pay up for the quality i don’t remember my last painting maybe the black painting i never finished after breaking up with Reiko Lee a girl falls off bar stool crashing to floor at other end of bar Cal says Odys, you better play it careful you’re messing with the devil got any blow on you suddenly bar grows quiet someone turns up TV volume they watch overhead as news anchorman speaks slow solemn camera pans splattered puddle of blood pieces of broken glass on steps to Dakota Building Cal looks to Odysseus John Lennon has been murdered Cal waits for Odysseus to say something tear rolls down cheek Cal glances away stares down at floor they drink in silence
Ottis Blades May 2013
It was the weirdest thing, for a lack of a better term. Some would find it hilarious, I found it confusing. But she used to bring me flowers whenever we got into a fight. At my home, work, the barbershop. You name it.

-“Ottis your girl is here...and she bought you flowers!”

I didn’t know if I liked it, or if I should be giggling like a teenage girl whenever she showed up with fresh-cut daisies or a bouquet of roses at my doorstep. I would hang up the phone on her on some serious mental rage and I would get flowers the next day- “I am sorry baby” she would say, -“I love you!” -Was I THAT sensitive? Did I brought out the mom in her? Have our roles been reversed? Doesn’t she know that all men are just content and happy with the two B's? (Beer and *******) or has the great battle for equality between men and women finally come to an end in the form of a dewy-eyed, raven-haired woman that found it romantic to bring her man flowers? It’s widely known that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his *****, then his stomach. So, WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN? I would say to myself while gushing in pretend shock and saying to her “Aww, you shouldn’t have, they’re beautiful!”

She quickly became known among my friends as the Flower Girl. Her answer to all our problems where with flowers. She stands me up: flowers. She forgets to return my calls: flowers. She didn’t like my cooking: flowers. She disappears for a few days: flowers and more flowers. She used to carry my fragile woman-heart in her purse pocket. I unwillingly found myself wearing the skirt in the relationship before I knew it and it had to stop. I had to put my manly pants on, one leg at a time and stop letting them sag to her bidding. But they did smell nice though, and they were pretty, especially those yellowish-orange tulips she bought me that one time with that giant teddy bear with a giant heart-shaped card that read “Ottis” on it. That was nice.

-“Kara, listen to me, I don’t want anymore flowers, I’ve had it, they are nice and all, but I am the one that’s supposed to give you flowers!” -I said firmly and secure in the manliest tone I could mustard. -“But you never give me any” -she retorted with the sweetest, most adoring kind of voice that would make the softest of Care Bears look like ****-out gangsters. Needless to say I felt like a monster, like Charles Manson’s long lost child. I surrendered to her charm and became Silly Putty in her hands once more. But at least the flowers stopped after that day, so did the calls, the dates, the ***, her unparalleled lunacy, until we were nothing more than a memory in a pantheon of many. Last I heard, she went back to Switzerland, suffocating, bombarding and smothering the new poor schmuck she’s dating with, you guessed it, flowers.

Atlantic City, 2007.
Stick with me, friend.
I’d like to make a distinction:
I revere writers but do not deify them.
My heroes and role models must be grounded,
Must have so-called feet of clay.
And there’s always something more in my craw,
Whenever I see scribblers carved in marble,
Glorified to the point of divinity and magic.
Because in my heart of hearts,
Reverence for writers,
Is an odyssey of disillusionment and

I fancy myself a man of letters,
Although “Humanoid of Keystrokes,”
Might be more apt; an appellation,
Digitally au courant.
I am a man on verbal fire,
Perhaps, I am of a Lost Generation myself.
And don’t you dare tell me to sit down, to calm down.
You stand up when you tell a story.
Even Hemingway--even when he was sitting down--knew that.
Let us go then you and I.
Moving our moveable feast to Paris,
To France, European Union, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
(Stick with me, Babaloo!)
Why not join Papa at a tiny table at Les Deux Magots,
Savoring the portugaises,
Working off the buzz of a good Pouilly-Fuisse
At 10:30 in the morning.
The writing: going fast and well.

Why not join that pompous windbag ******* artist?
As he tries to convince Ava Gardner,
That writers tienen cajones grandes, tambien—
Have big ***** too—just like Bullfighters,
Living their lives all the way up.
That writing requires a torero’s finesse and fearlessness.
That to be a writer is to be a real man.
A GOD MAN!
Papa is self-important at being Ernest,
(**** me: some lines cannot be resisted.)
Ava’s **** is on fire.
She can just make him out,
Can just picture him through her libidinous haze,
Leaping the corrida wall,
Setting her up for photos ops with Luis Miguel Dominguín,
And Antonio Ordóñez, his brother-in-law rival,
During that most dangerous summer of 1959.
Or, her chance to set up a *******,
With Manolete and El Cordobés,
While a really *******,
Completely defeated & destroyed 2,000-pound bull,
Bleeds out on the arena sand.

Although I revere writers,
I refuse to deify them.
A famous writer must be brought down to earth--
Forcibly if necessary--
Chained to a rock in the Caucasus,
Their liver noshed on by an eagle.
In short: the abject humiliation of mortality.
Punished, ridiculed and laughed at.
Laughing himself silly,
******* on one’s self-indulgent, egocentric universe.
If not, what hope do any of us have?

Writing for Ernie may have been a divine gift,
His daily spiritual communion and routine,
A mere sacramental taking of dictation from God,
But for most of us writing is just ******* self-torture.
The Hemingway Hero:
Whatever happened to him on the Italian-Austrian front in 1918
May have been painful but was hardly heroic.
The ******* was an ambulance driver for Christ’s sake.
Distributing chocolate and cigarettes to Italian soldiers,
In the trenches behind the front lines,
A far cry from actual combat.
Besides, he was only on the job for two weeks,
Before he ****** up somehow,
Driving his meat-wagon over a live artillery shell.
That BB-sized shrapnel in his legs,
Turned out to be his million-dollar wound,
A gift that kept on giving,
Putting him in line for a fortunate series of biographic details, to wit:
Time at an Italian convalescent hospital in Milano,
Staffed by ***** English nurses,
Who liked to give the teenage soldiers slurpy BJs,
Delirious ******* in the middle of the night,
Sent to Paris as a Toronto Star reporter,
******* up to that big **** Gertrude Stein,
Sweet-talking Sylvia Beach,
At Shakespeare & Company bookstore,
Hitting her up for small loans,
Manipulating and conning Scott Fitzgerald—
The Hark the Herald Jazz Age Angel—
Exploiting F. Scott’s contacts at Scribners,
To get The Sun Also Rises published.
Fitzgerald acted as his literary agent and advocate,
Even performing some crucial editing on the manuscript.
Hemingway got payback for this friendship years later,
By telling the world in A Moveable Feast,
That Zelda convinced Scott he had a small ****--
Yeah, all of it stems from those bumps & bruises,
Scrapes & scratches he got near Schio,
Along the Piave River on July 8, 1918.
Slap on an Italian Silver Medal of Valor—
An ostentatious decoration of dubious Napoleonic lineage—
40,000 of which were liberally dispensed during WWI—
And Ernie was on his way.

Was there ever a more arrogant, world-class scumbag;
A more graceless-under-pressure,
Sorry excuse of a machismo show-horse?
Look: I think Hemingway was a great writer,
But he was a gigantic gasbag,
A self-indulgent *****,
And a mean-spirited bully—
That bogus facade he put on as this writer/slash/bullfighter,
Kilimanjaro, great white hunter,
Big game Bwana,
Sport fishing, hard drinking,
Swinging-****, womanizing,
*** I-******-Ava-Gardner bragging rights—all of it—
Just made him a bigger, poorer excuse for a human being,
When the chips were finally down,
When the truth finally caught up with him,
In the early morning hours,
Of July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.
I can’t think of a more pathetic writer’s life than
Hemingway’s last few years.
Sixty electric shock treatments,
And the ******* still killed himself.

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So why am I still mesmerized by,
The whole Hemingway hero thing?
That stoicism, the grace under pressure,
That real men don’t eat quiche,
A la Norman Mailer crap?
I guess I can relate to both Hemingway the Matador,
And Hemingway the Pompous *******,
Not to mention Mailer who stabbed his second of six wives,
And threw his fourth out of a third-floor window.
One thing’s for sure: I’m living life all the way up,
Thanks to a steady supply of medical cannabis,
And some freaky chocolate chip cookies
From the Area 51--Our Products are Out of this World—Bakery
(“In compliance with CA prop 215 SE 420, Section 11362.5,
And 11362.7 of CA H.S.C. Do not drive,
Or operate heavy equipment,
While under the influence.
Keep out of reach of children,
And comedian Aziz Ansari.”)

So getting back to Hemingway,
I return to Cuba to work on my book.
During the day--usually in the early morning hours--
When “the characters drive me up there,”
I climb to my tower room,
Stand up at my typewriter in the upstairs alcove.
I stand up to tell my story because last night,
Everyone got drunk and threw all the ******* furniture in the pool.
By the way, I’m putting together my Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
I can’t decide between:
“I may be defeated but I’ll never be destroyed,” or
“You can destroy me but you’ll never defeat me.”
The kind of artistic doublespeak they love in Sweden.
Maybe: “Night falls and day breaks, but no one gets hurt.”
God help me.
I need to come up with a bunch of real pithy crap soon.
Maybe I’ll just smoke a joint before the speech and,
Start riffing off the cuff about literary good taste:

“In my novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, for example, I had Maria tell Pilar that the earth moved, but left out the parts about Robert Jordan’s ******* and the tube of Astroglide.”

Stockholm’s only a month away,
So I’m under a lot of pressure.
Where’s Princess Grace under Pressure when I need her?
I used to work for the Kansas City Star,
Working with newspaper people who advocated:
Short sentences.
Short paragraphs.
Active verbs.
Authenticity.
Compression.
Clarity.
Immediacy.
Those were the only rules I ever learned,
For the business of writing,
But my prose tended to be a bit clipped, to wit:
A simple series,
Of simple declarative sentences,
For simpletons.
I’m told my stuff is real popular with Special-Ed kids,
And those ******* that run
The International Imitation Hemingway Competition,
AKA: The Bad Hemingway Contest.
The truth is: I always wanted to get a bit more flowery,
Especially after I found out I got paid by the word.
That’s when the *** and **** proved mighty useful.
        
I live at La Finca Vigia:
My house in San Francisco de Paula,
A Havana suburb.
My other place is in town,
Room #511 at the Hotel Ambos Mundos,
Where on a regular basis I _
(Insert simple declarative Anglo-Saxon expletive)
My guantanmera on a regular basis.
But La Finca’s the real party pad.
Fidel and Che and the rest of the Granma (aka “The Minnow”) crew
Come down from the mountains,
To use my shower and refresh themselves,
On an irregular basis.
At night we drink mojitos, daiquiris or,
The *** & coke some people call Cuba Libre.
We drink the *** and plan strategy,
Make plans for taking out Fulgencio Batista,
And his Mafia cronies,
Using the small arms and hand grenades,
We got from Allen Dulles.

Of course, after the Bay of Pigs debacle,
You had to go, Ernesto.
Kennedy had the CIA stage your suicide,
And that was all she wrote.
And all you wrote.
Never having had a chance,
To tell the 1960s Baby Boomers about class warfare in America.
Poor pathetic Papa Hemingway.
Lenin and Stalin may have ruined Marxism,
But Marx was no dummy.
Not in your book.
Or mine.
Honey why don't you ever write me something romantic?
Those eye's of my once teenage wife looked at me in that same way whenever I knew I better cave or the fun time factory was going be closed for awhile.

Well honey you know that's not really my style and especially after getting back form the war and all it just seems like something inside me died.
But you weren't ever in the service.

Yeah I know that's what's so ****** up about it.
What?
Once again my use of choice yet altogether confusing ******* had worked  kids there so easily impressed  with *******   no wonder those ******* twilight books sold.

Gonzo !
*******.
Huh?.

Dam you Jedi mind trick you never ******* work!
***** you George Lucas for mind ****** me as a child  not that I watched those films.
What do you think I am some kind dork who post's **** all over the net  for cheap
laughs cause he has no true life?
Okay that was a bit harsh I have a life well kinda.

Gonzo! Are you listening?
My demented little ****** with a heart of a gold card asked?
Of course I'm listening duh you know I'm a artist I'm like always deep in thought
about serious ****.

Okay like what?  

Well if your a hand model and you book a gig is it called a *******?
Are you ******* nut's.

No sweetheart I'm a drunk.
Seriously?
Your right I've always been insane with a chance of brilliance in some misspelled ideas.

Look Gonzo I'm not joking just listen okay.
My little ****** just went speaking and like any good man I paid no attention and just shook my head in agreement it's a trick I learned from my grandfather.
Course now it's no longer a secret being I've let all the chicks no ******.

She kept rattling on all the while I thought pure sweet thoughts while staring at her *******.
I was lost on a sunny meadow  where all was soft and gentle.
I'm kidding it was more like a ***** involving  Jennifer Aniston ,Rihanna , and that total **** who was all the rage you know that former kids star you know Betty White.

It was all going pretty normal well aside from the pool of ranch dressing and Justin Bieber's
head on a goat's body I always knew he was into devil worship.
I just hate we have something in common.

I couldn't take anymore so I ran I ran so far away.
But still I couldn't get away.

So we have a deal?

Yes what dear lord what had I agreed to?
******* Betty White that Hanna  Montana **** ******.
Oh thank you baby so much  I just know it'll be great.

Yes it will.
I had no clue what this strange little female was speaking of for one I was lost
and I felt all naked and vulnerable to bad no hot stripper ****** were in the vicinity
yeah I know that's a big word for me thank you Dora the explorer sure I was disappointed
it wasn't a **** at first but you really have opened my horizon's.
That just sounds wrong but enough with the foreplay kids.

I was silent deep in thought and finally before I could ask my semi faithful
****** spilled the beans once always beats cutting them yeah girl farts they just take
all the fun out it.

Baby I cant wait to read your new romantic write.

What dear lord!
It was a nightmare from which I couldn't wake it was impossible task
a myth like if you take yoga you can blow yourself.
Gonzo cannot write romance.

It just doesn't happen hell I'm Gonzo and even I know that.

Baby after I read it   I'm going to give you the best gift ever.
It's something you always wanted.

My mind went spinning as to this want that would be worthy.
Hmm lets see .
So you mean were going to ****** Justin Bieber  and bathe in his blood ?

No baby even better.

What could be better than that ?
My mind was working overtime ****** I hadn't thought this much sense
that old teacher asked me what I wanted to do with my life.
Course then  I realized when he asked me to find his candy bar in his pocket that he was just a perverted janitor.

Yeah it's a long story don't ask.

You know baby you me and my friend  and her other friend and this time you'll actually
get to join in.

It was like Christmas for a pervert.

So looks like I was going to be writing a romantic story.

I could do this especially for some twisted freaky ***  hell it's what are country was founded upon.
Duh I mean bribes people they didn't invent freaky *** until the 60's.
You know right around the great depression.
Yeah I bet whoever invented the ******* put a smile on someone's face.  

See not only in my long winded writes do you get ******* you get culture and that history ****.
yeah I know your welcome high five to *******.

I was selling my soul but it's okay it wasn't anything I hadn't done before.
To create this masterpiece I had to get alone with my thoughts yet still have a good
internet connection duh  how else would I write this *******?

What do you think I am some dinosaur that writes on paper.
Do I look like I'm Amish yeah that shows about as real as my crystal **** operation
I have in the garage.

I'm kidding I don't have a garage but my grandmother does yeah like I'm going to blow up my own house.

I was off to my secret hiding place to be alone and write the greatest romance story off all time.
It would surpass all the greats of the past.
Like Gone With The Wind or that story of those two **** pirate cowboys you know
they made a movie about it called Wayne's World.

Will Gonzo be able to concentrate for more than a half second.
Avoiding ***** and freaky things on the internet like I didn't know you could fit that up there dot com.

Will anyone actually get to the end of this without falling into a coma or getting more **** not that my readers smoke ****.

Will little Timmy make it out of that well to find grandpa and lassie having a quality
peanut butter session  don't ask.

All this and more will be answered in the next exciting  and even more long winded
episode of Go **** Yourself A Love Story. Part 2 coming soon to poetry site near you.

Yeah I know I'm not right .

Cheers kids.
And if you think this is offensive just wait till the next installment.
Z Trista Davis Mar 2017
I was a *****
When they told me that I “needed” to wear a bra in the third grade
like my eight-year-old body was too ****
And they would want things that they shouldn’t
Like it was my fault for being this way

I was a *****
The kind that got sent to the office for too short skirts and too much cleavage
Already guilty because I had hips and thighs and *****
And I was guilty of making them look of being big of taking up space
My body was an ugly indecent thing

I was a *****.
Not the ******* in the bathroom kind of *****.
Although, given the chance I might have been.
I was the kind of ***** that loved them seeing my body.
The kind of ***** that was great at ******* and better at stripping.

I was a *****.
I was the kind of ***** who faked ******* with the best of them.
Because watching them when they heard me, saw me, felt me coming.
Was unbelievable.
It was empowering.

I was a *****.
I did what they asked because it made me feel like I was worthwhile.
It made me feel like I was valuable.
It made me feel like the pits in my heart had finally been filled.
It made me feel like he didn’t leave me when I was eight months old.

I was a *****.
I pawned myself out like answers to the history test.
Because he smiled.
Because he was the kind of boy that made you want to say yes, yes, YES
And I did what I wanted.

I was a ***** because I couldn't say no,
Yell no
Scream no
Whisper no
When his hands twinned around my wrists like handcuffs keeping me there in the silence

I was a *****
Because even though his hands were touching me
I was too afraid to say so
Too afraid of it all falling apart
Too afraid of being the thing that broke it

I am a *****.
Because you don’t stop being one.
Just because you learn that *** is more than a strategic move.
Because you see the scars it’s leaving.
Because you finally start to hear your broken heart.

I am a proud *****.
I refuse to be ashamed.
My “number” is a badge of honor I wear right above my *****.
Because being a ***** takes refinement

I’m taking it back one word at a time.

*****.
*****.
******.
***.
*****.
****.
****.
Daddy Issues.

I am a *****.
But now I’m the kind of ***** that backs away when it starts to hurt.
When they get rough.
When they bite too hard.
When I can’t hold back the tears anymore.

I am the kind of *****, who stopped giving.
Giving *******,
Giving it up,
Giving little pieces of myself,
Giving a **** what you think

I am a *****,
My ****** is singing rally songs and yelling protest chants
It’s wearing a sticker that says “I voted”
It running around barefoot in a sundress with nothing holding it down
And it’s backing me up in every fight

So call me a *****,
Because I’m the kind of ***** who won’t stop fighting until **** is always, always, always a crime.
The kind of ***** who will never be afraid to say no again.
I’m the kind of ***** that’s going to tear down your patriarchy one ******* brick at a time.
And I won’t stop until I am ****** and aching on the ground where it once stood.
This started out as my personal ****** monologue (which I was challenged to write around the time I performed in the show), but I realized that it read more like a poem than a monologue.

— The End —