The Howlers

Many of the clubs downtown are connected,
even if some of the girls
are not.

That overwhelming flood of lights.
The promise of cheap drinks.

And all the howlers out front
trying to bring in the foot traffic
with the promise of “WALL

Handing out all those bogus free drink cards
to get you inside.

The muscle always close by
so that the howlers feel emboldened.

Jump right in your ninety-proof face.
Across from that under the table tattoo place
where all the dirty girls get their coochies pierced.

And the girl with the purple hair offers
a free blowjob with every Prince Albert
off the clock.

Hill of Fire Ants

I recently took this shit
that just sat there like a hill of
fire ants piled high in the
far corner of the bowl.

Light brown clumping earth
if you have ever seen that.

Even the other smaller pieces of shit
would not go near it.

They seemed to know better,
have some strange brown intelligence
of their own.

That I was now shitting full nests
of fire ants could no longer be ignored.

No wonder that sting then
from my ass each time I wiped.

Front to back,
I’m not some bog boy Neanderthal
for Christ sakes.

Weaponizing His Smiles

He started going with this one
he met at a bar
which never ends well.

Not even for the bar
or barmaid who stood over
happy hour introductions.

And his car is rusted with scurvy.
And she told him to stop weaponizing
his smiles.

He doesn’t even know
what that means.

I told him to chop up
a bunch of hotdogs and stuff them
protruding from his mouth.

To tell her they are missiles
pointed right at her drunk dial mouth.

He laughs
and says he is impressed I know
what a drunk dial is.

Thanks me for my advice
but says he’ll take a pass.

Drives off in that gangrenous chop shop mess
with four doors like some sputtering
junk in the trunk Rushmore.

Not Even Pilots Wing It

Not even pilots wing it,
so what of putty in shortened
lifeline hands.

Voodoo queens with beaded doors
the dead claim to walk through
on their way back to sun
without the shine.

Those voices the dark tear
right out of the sweaty living.

Those tommy-gun lymph nodes underarm
so the printers without paper
can perspire.

An evening of dry mouth
at some familiar crotch rot bar.

Competitive foosball tables
tipping poorly as some strung out
gangplank informant giving $5 handies
in the back parking lot
after a fresh rain.

Plug and Play

The working man
should have a place in the world:
simple, salt of the earth;
that hardly seems revolutionary,
provide for family, give loved ones
a better life than came before;
I would go to prison before I went to war,
no telling when the patriotism
left me, syphoned off like a tank of gas
you can barely afford;
I just never seemed to care about
what everyone else was hot on,
not the haughty grade school girls
demanding a tasteful dance
or the plug and play line worker
like failed trimesters—
no way I continue, there is a sickness
that was never mine and only a small part
of you; see you grunting hopelessly
around a muddy microwavable pen;
the titans just gods in waiting so that history
is nothing but upper management
laying out spreadsheets instead of randy
gin-soaked lovers that leave the light on
when they fuck which is as honest
as anyone can be.