Poets are always laying it on the line
Like once, when I was reading
in this real down bar
Some guy got up and rasped,
Enough of that sissy crap.
Sit down and shut your mouth,
I threatened less than three feet
from his face,
or I'll tear your heart out.
I came to in the alley.
It's a God-damned good thing,
I thought, as I searched my pockets,
that I didn't get hit in the nuts.
There wasn't any money,
so I urged my aching body
toward good-hearted Charlene's.
It was only a few blocks.
You poor son-of-a-bitch,
she cried, on opening the door,
What-the-fuck happened to you?
I told her the story
as she helped me out of my clothes
and tended my wounds.
After a week of Charlene's care,
I was back on the street.
I don't need any wife
or runny-nose kids.
I want to be free.
But Charlene's alright,
she even gave me five bucks.
I took a number four bus
to the End of the World Tea House.
From Charlene's, it's too far to hoof.
Everybody who's nobody
knows the place.
For sure, no one ever left there
to things better.
A guitarist was singing
as I went by the stained glass doors.
I'm fat and pretty,
because I'm from pig city.
Now, candy is my name
and you're going to like my game
because I've got more
of what you're looking for.
Heavy, I thought.
What's been happenin, man? Dick asked.
pull up a chair, he added.
Man, have I got something for your head.
Dick was a dealer.
I'm short, I said, or I'd take a lid.
Forget it, man, I'll turn you on.
But let people know what I've got.
Sue walked in after Dick left on a deal.
Where ya been, she said.
Careful of my ribs, I squeeled
as she hugged me out of my chair.
I told her how Charlene had fixed me
after the bar fight.
That Charlene's a real swell chick,
Sue laughed, She'd make a real fine wife.
It wasn't funny.
Dick was having a party that night for couples only
so I asked Sue to go.
Sure, she said, But as a couple a what?
We talked over half-empty cups
most of the afternoon
except when we went
to the women’s john
to do up Dick's joints.
Whenever someone knocked,
Sue called out, Busy.
About nine, we left to the party.
Sue had two hits on paper
she suggested we take.
We did that.
When we got to Dick's,
numbers were going around.
Everyone was stoned.
We sat on the floor
where my eyes met
some beautiful eyes
looking through mine
into my brain.
Sue got bored
and said loudly,
Let's have a fuckin' orgy.
Thas a fuckin' good idea, someone added.
In a few minutes everyone was naked.
Beautiful eyes and I were balling
when we heard loud knocking.
Somebody get that door Dick called.
Yeah, I added, Someone get that door.
Sue was near the door with a couple of guys.
'Ill get it, she replied. The more the merrier.
This is a raid!
Any of you perverts move
we'll blow yer fuckin' heads off!
Jesus, I said, and I was just about to cum.
We were lined up,
hands over out heads,
faces to the wall.
Look at this cheese cake,
said one of the cops,
I could sure screw that one,
another behind me added, What an ass.
They were talking, I hoped, about beautiful eyes.
The narcs were after Dick
but we were all taken down and booked.
I made my call to Charlene.
She didn't have enough to go my bail
But, she said, Ill try to get a bond.
I was in three days when the guard called me out.
Sorry, it wasn't sooner,
Charlene said, But I couldn't get paid early.
That's okay, I assured her.
After two days of constipation,
caused by hard boiled eggs and hot dog soup,
Charlene's meatless and natural cooking
made me realize what it was all about.
I'm giving up Big Macs and all that other shit,
I swore to her that night
as we lay between clean sheets,
far from the jail cell's
trapped farts and puke smell.
And furthermore, I declared,
Tomorrow morning, I'm looking for a job.
Charlene got me up and then went to work.
I decided noon was a good time to go.
About one, I set out.
The End of the World was on the way.
So I stopped in to see if anyone knew of any work.
No one did.
But I met some people who seemed to know
what was going down.
Look, man, the system's rigged,
said one of my new friends, Jack.
That's right, added the other, Doris,
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
She was wearing a red star on her blouse
and nothing under.
Yeah, maybe you're right, I said,
It's hard to get work.
Sure, Jack said, the government's got you unemployed
so corporations can make more profit.
We're going to picket the employment office, Doris added,
Want to come?
I was going there anyway, I said,
so I may as well.
The people united, will never be defeated,
and other slogans for two hours.
We then went to Doris's house
where she gave me Quotations of Chairman Mao.
I opened it and read, political power
grows from the barrel
of a gun.
If the world's problems are to be solved, said Doris,
We must learn to share our resources.
That night, we shared her bed
and our bodies.
Help me with the sheets, she said in the morning.
Bullshit, I protested, That's women's work.
There's no women's work or men's work, she responded,
there's only work that we must share.
Yeah, you're right, I said.
She made breakfast for us
and then left for classes
with the understanding
I was to to do the dishes.
The water was running
when I thought, Women's work!
Quickly I was out the door,
on the street,