Issue 55, Fall 1972
The cops don’t carry magnums of champagne
in the backseats of their cruisers.
In my town, seven year old kids know how to steal motorcycles,
and where they can get new serial numbers.
Watch out, keep down.
My father was the star of the Demolition Derby,
my mother sang with the Les Elgart Band until her voice gave out.
But this won’t get me a Liberty Bond Sandwich,
or a banjo good enough to carry to California.
When it gets too hard, go soak your head in a bucket of gasoline.
There isn’t a work-clothes store in this whole city
that will sell me another black t-shirt with a pocket on credit.
I can’t take it.
* * *
Let’s steal the hubcaps off Cadillacs
and submit them to The Paris Review
I’m tired of being treated like a junkie with a lisp.
* * *
Save your dead pigeons, Monty, and sell the pelts off your rats.
Call Bruno’s Bump Shop, and say “number 437 on Tuesday
and see what happens.
Walk into a store, look real together,
buy a New York Times and a pack of Winstons,
stare into the woman clerk’s eye,
and say “machismo”
See how long you live.
* * *
He leaves Detroit because he’s tired of selling his asshole for gumdrops.
In California everyone has a sports car, but he
isn’t even going to argue anymore.
His mother sang her ass off at the UAW picnic,
and it didn’t get her a rib, or a watermelon seed, or a glass of grape Kool Aid.
Write that down on your scorecard, and send it to the Pope.
This boy is bitter.
To get the situation straight,
a handful of Texaco road maps, and a head full of seaweed
would be better than this.
Blow up a piano in memory of Detroit,
and swing open them gates Henry Ford, I’m walking through,
and I have a squirrel gun and a beaker of acid
that says you can’t stop me.