poetry

Low

This Alabama gas station coffee is good,
I drove 350 miles yesterday to get here
and now I’m driving back.
It’s 80 degrees in January.

Before I left, I bought new tires.
At the gas station where I live,
I picked up some cigarettes and sunflower seeds.
I listened to side one of Low on repeat on the way.

I got there, and I didn’t know anyone.
I waited alone amongst all of those people for two family members that I knew were coming,
they weren’t sure I was going to.

Afterward, I went to a gas station across the street,
one of those neon sign, bars over the windows sort of gas stations,
To get some beer. All of the beer was crap. I left with some six-pack of wheat ale that tastes good but makes you crawl the next day.

I got back to my room and turned on the TV,
I watched the football game.
I drank a couple of beers,
and ate some chips.

After the game, I ran a bath,
I took the beers with me,
I turned the water too hot,
I sat and let the water cool off, the steam fogged the mirror.
I got in the tub and finished the rest of the beers.

This morning I felt like shit.
I made coffee in the little coffee machine they provide in the room,
They never give you the same coffee maker.
I always fuck up the first pouch of instant coffee,
and I can never drink just one cup of coffee,
so I always end up drinking the decaf coffee.

I went downstairs and had the continental breakfast.
I still don’t know why they call it continental.
I scarfed some eggs and sausage to settle my stomach.
I went upstairs and packed my things and headed back downstairs.
I checked out and grabbed a cup of coffee from the cafeteria for the road.

On my way out of town, I stopped by his house,
they let me grab a couple of things to remember him by,
more books than I could ever read, some model boats, a few pipes,
I sat at the dock and looked out over the water
fantasizing about a new career in a new town.

I stopped here to fill up on gas,
I don’t usually do this
but I grabbed a cup of coffee.
This Alabama gas station coffee is good.

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War Dances

Two Indians walk into a bar on Thanksgiving.
On the TV the Cowboys are playing the Redskins
They couldn’t help but notice most of the players were black
But the coaches and the quarterbacks were white
In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet.

The bar was empty except for the bartender
who didn’t want to be there.
He’d rather be at home being thankful
for the Cowboys beating the Redskins.
Again.

Damned if the Redskins didn’t try though.
But against the Cowboys, it was as if they were outnumbered.
The Redskins worked their ground game
but they couldn’t match the Cowboys’
sophisticated passing attack.
It was like shooting arrows against bullets.

In reality, the game was over before it began,
But Americans love their Cowboys,
And love to watch a good slaughter.
So why not pit them against each other on Thanksgiving?
League executives thought,
Without any self-awareness or sense of irony.

By the time in the second half the announcers said that
the Cowboys were galloping up and down the field
and the Redskins look gassed,
walking with their hands on their hips,

The two Indians finished their Budweiser, walked past the cigar store Indian in a headdress at the entrance, went outside, lit their American Spirit cigarettes, and drove home.