A poem by David Spicer

I knew Buddha, a peach of an old
hippie, in Elko, where she pulled
a slot and sneered Baloney! when
she won. She’d glare with scorn at my
badge, never flinched when I yelled
Scram! One time I followed her
to her boyfriend’s bungalow she lived
in with a sister, eating stale pretzels
from a red bucket, sleeping on plywood
stacked on the floor. The boyfriend, Cuba,
a tall metrosexual gigolo from Vegas,
chewed taffy and tobacco, drank civet
coffee, and wrote sonnets with a blue-marbled
fountain pen. A former prison snitch,
he survived by swallowing soap and dirty pencils.
The sister, Oasis, a local wrestling promoter’s
star attraction, whined to strangers about her
amputated leg, and kept a lavender journal
of rich clients. How do I know this? Buddha
confessed after she discovered my spying,
right after she called me a fucking creep
and threatened to rip off my pecker and rape
my brother, right after she yanked the slot extra
hard, shouting Baloney! as three cherries
appeared on the antique machine and a small
mountain of money tumbled onto the carpet.

David Spicer has had poems published in Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Mama, and Dead Snakes, as well as in the anthology A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net prizes. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks; and is the former editor of the poetry anthology series Raccoon, as well as Outlaw, and the publisher Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.


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