I wasn't looking for trouble at Carol's Diner
just a place to shake the chill.
But trouble came to breakfast.
He had the smug look of a constipated Brian Dennehy
with a fat MGM contract signed and sealed.
Me? I was the pouty Rambo, lost in a world not my own,
just makin my way from one shit-hole to another,
tryin to hide my battle scars.
I hadn't showered or shaved in four days
and I needed coffee. Destiny, I suppose.
Carol's, Marla, me, and him.
The perfect alignment.
The little bell on the door rang as I entered
and everyone looked my way.
Everyone that is, except Marla, in her drab
olive green skirt, who had long ago
learned not to hear the bell.
His thick eyes fastened firmly onto Marla's grease stained ass
as she made her way with the tray.
I knew immediately
this was no love affair.
This was rape and disdain.
But I also knew to mind my own business
so I hunkered down deep in a corner booth
The sign at the edge of town had said,
so I kept my pen sheathed,
my notebook tucked in my rucksack
But he knew. I could tell he knew.
And that I knew he knew
Marla knew too.
I heard his fat boots scuffling, but didn't look up
"Just passin through?"
I didn't answer
but I could see his buttermilk smirk
reflecting off the spoon
"I asked you a question, Drifter. You deaf?"
I put the spoon in the coffee and stirred slowly
Marla was popping her gum
as she came to my rescue.
"Leave him alone, Sheriff. He ain't doin nothin wrong."
Sheriff Dickhead turned slowly to Marla,
looked her up and down with that shirky grin of his,
like she was the morning special undercooked
"I'll decide that. Don't you have a floor to mop?"
I heard her mutter, "asshole" and watched her tiny heels disappear.
Marla meant well, but you know how that goes.
I couldn't help myself. I pulled out my Bic
and clicked it slowly.
Carol's went quiet.
"I guess you didn't see the sign, Longfellow.
We don't like your kind around here.
Finish your coffee and move on.
Hear me, boy?"
I holstered my pen, wrapped both hands round the cup
and looked through the window
at the light snow falling.
"I hear ya just fine."
Marla was smiling and I knew that was rare.
Sheriff Dick walked toward the door and tossed a dime
next to his empty plate. As the door closed,
Marla called after him, "Must be payday."
Marla apologized and offered me free breakfast
but that wasn't my way.
I left three dollars for the coffee
and threw three more by Dickhead's plate
before tippin my hat and ringing the bell.
That should have been the end of it
I should've left, I know
But instead, I crossed the street
found a bench by the park
and pulled out my notebook and pen
blew on my hands
-and began to write
while watching Marla through the window.
It didn't take long before the puke brown Olds pulled up.
"I thought I told you to keep moving."
I glanced up without a twitch, at his fat arms
resting on the window frame
"I'll be gone in an hour." I muttered.
"By God, you'll be gone now,
or you'll be writing in my jail cell."
I looked at Carol's
Marla was at the window looking worried.
What was the point? It would only make things
harder for her. And besides, the moment was gone.
He followed me out of town at a snails pace
noticing in his rear view mirror
Marla waving to me from the sidewalk.
That should've been the end of it, but it wasn't.
Marla had seen to that
She had framed the poem I had penned then slipped her
without him noticing,
and posted it just above his table.
After that, he was everywhere I went.
ubiquitous as broken sorrels
at a Wisconsin yard sale.
in an Arkansas Wal Mart.
He dogged me to Seattle
a winery in Lodi
a shanty in New Mexico
the bordello in New Orleans
and a tiki bar in Tampa.
everywhere I went, there he was
like a pimple on my ass
just waiting for me to plagiarize,
mock the union, curse God, mis-spell,
The last straw was when I jumped off a boxcar in Baltimore.
and there in the freight yard, he stood, arms crossed,
chewin that wad of gum and smiling all Dennehy.
I couldn't take it anymore. I stowed away to Tanzania
changed my name, learned swahili,
found work in a cocoa field
and wrote at night neath the dim oil lamp.
Then one day a safari came roaring through
and there he was.
sitting on the jeep's hood with his elephant gun
loaded for bard
Some friends sidetracked him by telling him
there was some endangered shit just three klicks away
and I made my escape to Tibet
Sure, the life of a Sherpa is lonely
but the views are great and Sheriff Dick
had eaten way too many of Carol's biscuits
to ever climb a Mountain.
And I ask you, how could I know he had flying monkeys?
But summon them he did.
I had just written a story in my tent, stepped out for a pee,
and there they were, descending on me
in the smoky moonlight
fortunately, the yeti are thick up there
nocturnal and love flying monkeys
So I lived another day
But that didn't stop him. He summoned his mistress,
The Snow Witch of The Yukon
(whose tits really were cold)
I should have known it was her right away
when she signed up to climb
for she was dull as moon glow
and had that pageant smile.
-The mark of The Beast.
Just below the summit, she turned to me
pulled some paper out of her parka
and said, "Here, read this,"
The altitude had made me careless
I only glanced, but damn near went blind
from the dull poison there before me.
I quickly pointed to the sky
"Hey, Look! Flying monkeys!"
When she did, I pushed her into a deep crevasse
and shoveled as fast as possible
But it's no use, he'll never give up
so I'm laying down my pen, burning my notebook,
and moving to Syria to become a freedom fighter
if he follows me there
I'm blowin his fat ass away.
If MGM sues me
so be it.
I owe it to Marla