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Introducing some writings from my favorite author, Jesse A. Dunstan:
A friend of mine died
singing Sinatra's "My Way".
Didn't look so autonomous to me;
tubes exiting every orifice; more like a
marionette, tangled up in his own strings.
We work after midnight, my partner and I,
when most debtors are asleep and unsuspecting.
We get-around in a pale Ford Mustang,
'PLEASE WASH ME' written in dirt on the rear window.
Most of the time it's me talking, him swerving to hit rabbits:
Hindus say Death rides a black buffalo,
uses a lasso to round up his victims...
Then Death's a cowboy, he realizes,
his massive arm sailing out the window, like you and me.
People reckon us thieves,
as though what we're stealing
were rightfully theirs in the first place.
Others aim to kill us, like that old lady
with the shank taped to the end of her cane,
stabbing at me through the passenger side window
as I struggled to rig her car with a screwdriver.
I could hear my partner laughing clear across the street.
We go out drinking and he shows the gals
the stretch marks on his lower back.
Says he was attacked by a mountain lion.
Meanwhile, I'm slumpled over the bar
like a wet coat, always watching the clock.
Realist like me take their whiskey straight.
Morning comes and I visit the church
where I was baptized as a kid,
only now it's a .99 cent store.
There's a section in back
where you can find switch blades
and lighters with naked ladies on them.
I set myself down on a curb in front,
asphalt hotter than a seat in hell.
A little girl passes, tugging on her Mother's dress.
Mommy, she asks, whats wrong with that man?
And I almost wish Mommy had answered,
because I too would like to know.
But if there be any angels
eavesdropping over those amorphous
balconies of clouds, I'll have them know:
when the 'Repo-Man' comes for me-
that intrepid specter of death-
whether with slim-jim or scythe-
he can have what he came for.
I won't fuss or fight
or bite off a piece of his forearm
like that cannibalistic mother-of-three did to me.
I only aim to ask, before I turn up my toes,
if I may pause and take a moment
to say I'm sorry for a few things.
Originally published in Coe Review, 2009
The 7 Cups
The psychic told pat he would have to
finish his frozen yogurt outside
while she read my palm.
She traced my lifeline over the plain of Mars
all the way up to the mount of jupiter
where a strange wart, or blister
broke her concentration.
I returned to find Pat at the center
of a solar system of bees.
In high school he was the kid everyone laughed at
for accidentally calling the teacher "Mom".
He didn't know it yet but he was my disciple.
That summer temperatures reached the same digits
as my favorite radio station, and the flight patterns
of grocery bags in the wind revealed no signs of relief.
Was I suffering from prophet's block?
I had just finished tearing apart my computer,
bits and pieces neatly arranged over the carpet,
when my girlfriend walked in:
Ancient Babylonians believed
one could foretell future events by
examining the entrails of an animal, I explained.
Later, at the Laundromat, I found myself
alone with a black guy named stacy
who once beat up three cops.
My psychic drew the 7 of cups, I confessed.
Don't you see, Stacy? That's card of deception...
He was so still. He could have been dead.
For more work by Jesse please email firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on facebook
Thanks for reading!