Hunk of Rock

Nina was the hardest of them
all,
the worst woman I had known
up to that moment
and I was sitting in front of
my secondhand black and white
tv
watching the news
when I heard a suspicious
sound in the kitchen
and I ran in there
and saw her with
a full bottle of whiskey –
a 5th –
and she had it and
was headed for the back porch
door
but I caughter her and
grabbed the bottle.
“give me that bottle, you
fucking whore!”
and we wrestled for the
bottle
and let me tell you
she gave me a good fight
for it
but
I got it away from her
and I told her to
get her ass out of
there.
she lived in the same place
in the back
upstairs.

I locked the door
took the bottle and a
glass
went out to the couch
sat down and
opened the bottle and
poured myself a good
one.

I shut off the TV and
sat there
thinking about what a
hard number
Nina was.
I came up with
at least
a dozen lousy things
she had done
to me.

what a whore.
what a hunk of rock.

I sat there drinking
the whiskey
and wondering
what I was doing
with Nina.

then there was a
knock on the
door.
it was Nina’s friend,
Helga.

“where’s Nina?”
she asked.

“she tried to steal
my whiskey, I
ran her ass
out of here.”

“she said to meet
her here.”

“what for?”

“she said me and her
were going to do it
in front of you
for $50.”

“$25”

“well, she’s not
here… want a
drink?”

“sure…”

I got Helga a glass
poured her a
whiskey.
she took a
hit.

“maybe,” she said,
“I ought to go get
Nina.”

“I don’t want to see
her.”

“why not?”

“she’s a whore.”

Helga finished her
drink and I poured
her another.
she took a
hit.

“Benny calls me a
whore, I’m no
whore.”

Benny was the guy
she was shacked
with.

“I know you’re no
whore, Helga.”

“thanks. Ain’t ya got no
music?”

“just the radio…”

she saw it
got up
turned it
on.
some music came
blaring out.

Helga began to
dance
holding
her whiskey
glass in one
hand.
she wasn’t a good
dancer
she looked
rediculous.

she stopped
drained her drink
roller her glass along the
rug
then ran toward
me
dropped to her knees
unzipped me
and then
she was down
there
doing tricks.

I drained my
drink
poured another.

she was
good.
she had a college
degree
some place back
East.

“get it, Helga, get
it!”

there was a loud
knock
on the front
door.

“HANK, IS HELGA
THERE?”

“WHO?”

“HELGA!”

“JUST A MINUTE!”

“THIS IS NINA, I WAS
SUPPOSED TO MEET
HELGA HERE, WE HAVE A
LITTLE SURPRISE FOR
YOU!”

“YOU TRIED TO STEA
MY WHISKEY, YOU
WHORE!”

“HANK, LET ME
IN!”

“get it, Helga, get
it!”

“HANK!”

“Helga, you fucking whore…
Helga, Helga, Helga!!”

I pulled away and
got up.

“let her in.”

I went to the
bathroom.

when I came out they
were both sitting there
drinking and smoking
laughing about
something.
then they
saw me.

“50 bucks,” said Nina.

“25 bucks,” I said.

“we won’t do it
then.”

“don’t then.”

Nina inhaled
exhaled.
“all right, you
cheap bastard, 25
bucks!”

Nina stood up and
began taking her
clothes off.

she was the hardest
of them
all.

Helga stood up and
began taking her
clothes off.

I poured a
drink.
“sometimes I wonder
what the hell is
going on
around here,” I
said.

“don’t worry about
it, Daddy, just
get with it.”

“just what am i
supposed to
do?”

“just do
whatever the fuck
you feel
like doing,”
said Nina
her big ass
blazing
in the
lamplight.

–Charles Bukowski

Nightstands Sing

on the nightstand are three empty shot glasses

she reaches across a squeaky mattress

to pour herself another

and another

until the levees break

such a cliché she thinks

slamming down a few more drinks

kicking the animal twisting in her covers

can you get out now

i prefer to sleep alone

he rolls onto his back, grabs his sneaks to leave

she tries to cuddle up with her sheets

but they smell of him

Throwing on some clothes

she stumbles onto the streets

as the clock reads 4am

the flood gates open

singing, voice booming with lightening

so loud

she doesn’t even realize she’s screaming

the city deaf blind and dumb to her pain

wandering, lusting for connection

spiraling into a migraine

she falls into a tricky building

enraged she kisses her forehead to the bricks

They call her gorgeous

They call her brown eyes and silk for how she feels

in that moment she might’ve wanted to die

but she stopped short of an concussion

banging her head like percussion

shook a few screws loose

nameless she couldn’t

remember her address

just this lingering scent of a boy’s shirt

lost

she searched for him long gone

passed out on a park lawn

caked in her own juices

found by the  day

bathed in sunlight

knowing she was alone now

more than ever

They call her sugar and grit

They call her baby and Ms. Independent

And she’s got children somewhere

that should call her mother

Burnt Brown Sugar

I wondered if it tastes like brown sugarimages (14) the way you’d kiss my skin hungry You never told me that your lips like plump pockets knives were devised to devour my sanity These were visceral screams of pitiful self-esteem etched and bound into the seams of this epidermis because of the way you looked at it This is for the boy who paralyzed my sense of touch and any loving hands would just feel like his claws again I remember hickies on my breasts hating that you had bitten into my chest in an effort to get to my heart straight through my rib cage playful pokes of lust as you joked you’d choke the life out of me if I told I am tired from over exhausting battle but I remain a soldier forging on to inevitable victory, keep fighting until you get sick of me as fear fucks me alone in the dark            tears stream as he thrusts harder and harder                                I scream but there is no sound                                     now I lay me down to sleep                                                                I pray thee lord my soul to keep I pray, with my face buried in the sorrow filled pillow will he still be there tomorrow? I toss off covers and stumble through my black blanket looking for comfort the storm has blurred their vision and they can’t see that I have cried those raindrops look closely at my cheek, you can trace the salty path everyone’s distracted by the lightening’s wrath as it whips and cracks light across her back she lies on her back                                        cracks her legs and submits to him again and again wondering when the storm will end She reaches out wanting to touch her ancestors feel the drums as they play in the background of sweltering heat as the sunrises off the coast of New Guinea bucking the land and tonguing the plains with fire She reaches out to the water pooled on the ceiling splashes her mouth and thighs inside is a river as deep and wide as the Mississippi She reaches out but can only feel fear sweating next to her Measured my worth by my hipsIMG_94542 so I changed my walk, trying to not exist in a place that reflected a face you were so eager to kiss This is for the boys who need to learn to touch without breaking