The Crooked Typesetter
I once knew a woman
who talked like Elmer Fudd
And set type before computers
crowded the universe
She bilked me out of fifteen grand
and called me delicious
Said she used to be an aerospace engineer
Had twenty-three aliases
After she jilted scores of gamblers
she drifted past Biloxi’s casinos
And opened a hash house beer joint
her own boss
She didn’t cater to anyone
but her dog named Slow
I miss that fifteen grand
and I’m not delicious anymore
The Phony Indian
He flew to Miami on Southwest
wearing a turquoise necklace
so everyone would comment
but had an Italian surname
and wore scrimshaw eyeglasses
I drove him around in my beat-up Chevy
to every comic club in town
for the open mikes and laughathons
He wasn’t funny until he ate nine bowls
of shrimp gumbo in a crab shack
and shit his pants on the way home
Fifty pushups every morning was his routine
He had forty funny books under his brain,
All about Indians, the Tooba Wooba Tribe of Tucson,
talked about Coyote and called the White Man a cockroach
Visited the Native American Museum across the Gulf
and smoked dope in a peace pipe
until I saw in that wisdom stupor
he was no more Indian
than my asshole is a rutabaga
The Anger Hotel
I’ve lived long enough behind
windows barred by yellow fog:
I look at the woman who
loves me, and I find reasons to
tease her—that ass-length hair
is too beautiful, her cunt so
soft I’d rub a cue ball against it.
There are no reasons I was born
with a firecracker in my mouth.
Perhaps the sun bit a bullet that
moment, maybe my mother transferred
her screams to me, I don’t know.
Sometimes I wish I’d throw away my ego,
sometimes the jukebox plays
softly downstairs, other days my lover
corrects the way I pronounce words
and I’m a Molotov Cocktail.
Give me visions of cities that exist
after the doors to this junk paradise
have kicked air’s ass, give me a room full
of laughing children who haven’t met hatred.
Release me from Valhalla
and I’ll pass the bellboy a million dollar tip.
Then I’ll tell tornadoes to somersault,
tidal waves to pick the locks of this haven
for orphans who wish for a day
of tall orchids, a smile with golden teeth,
a lobby that sparkles like the gossip of winos.
Then I’ll walk the streets and shake the hand
of the first bastard I see and sing him praises
I never learned in the Anger Hotel.
David Spicer is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story, and four chapbooks plus five unpublished manuscripts of poems. His poems have appeared or will appear in The American Poetry Review, Alcatraz, Nitty Gritty, Ploughshares, Aura, Gargoyle, Hinchas de Poesia, Crack the Spine, Spudgun, Mad Rush, and elsewhere.