ricky shore CC
The Poems White Trash Don’t Write
He cranked up the volume with the remote,
then fired it across the room at Bette’s head,
just grazing her cheek.
MacGyver was solving crimes and the sound
drowned their shouts from the neighbors’ flagging ears.
Everyone was on the edge of the thin papery walls
in that shitty blonde brick apartment in Fowlerville.
Bud cans amassed on the brown laminate table,
crumpled cigarette cartons littered the matted green carpet,
and the boy all of 12, with brown pitted eyes
slumped like a sack on one end of the cigarette-burned couch—
pretending not to notice—as he shrank deep, so deep into
his own flesh. It was money, it was beer, it was work, it was stress,
it was cigarettes, it was some aberrant firing in his miswired head.
It could have been nearly anything, but on this night it was not enough meat
and dinner came late. Blain rose and charged at Bette-
knocked her to the floor, pulled out his wang with his free
gorilla hand, and showered her with piss, wagging his hips.
Then he took another long swig as his skull spun slowly around.
“Son, that’s how you do it,” he said with a belch, then stepped over her
and swaggered to bed.
And the son floated up and out of the room,
blank-faced, stiff-spined, an eerie balloon,
as Bette lay there soaked, cradling herself, not able to see
the next moment, nor could she breathe even the shallowest breath.
She stayed there, still, on the floor, waiting, as soon he would fall asleep.
Then she might steal a few winks as the stars blinked their songs in code
through gaps in the drapes, the stars who had calmed her from girlhood
but were too dim, too distant, too dead even, to light her way.
The Myth of the Father
You Dad, rode your Harley
standing on the leather saddle with whipping hair,
your bellbottoms striped, flapping
in the wind like a flag found home.
You Dad, played your guitar
in front of the TV set while Mighty Mouse,
with all his might, tried to drown you out.
You Dad, were ending a thing with some
girlfriend or wife and starting another
while watchful offspring hoped to spin a snake
on the rear wheel of your big black Superglide.
You Dad, up and left when I was six
to croon and shake your dick
across the States in numerous
seeing something else through the smoky haze,
the Jack Daniels, the black wraparounds
and the dirty windows of a motel room.
Years flashed by, playing, moving, proliferating
children, drinking way too much
and then, you were forty-two.
And what did you do-Dad?
You Dad, bought a farm and a pickup truck,
and one day, pondering your past,
thought of those children
and what they thought of you,
all fifty of them, or was it fifty-one or two?
No matter, you were meant to make music.
We all understand,
really we do-Dad-
all fifty-something of us.
the first memory was cold
my very first, feet first in ice cream
laughing in a pistachio green
cinder block hotel in Flint
on Dort Highway
down a block from the dingy
bar our mother worked
and further yet from the cheerless
brick bungalow we would
eventually spend a year in
we thrashed about in underwear
ankle deep in Superman colors
cold blasting the night
us poor kids, all gray and black
and muted then ‘cept for the
superman cream rainbow
in cardboard and our
tiny two and three-year-old feet
plunging in and out of freezing
cold, laughing and splashing
in the sticky melt in a spell
of implausible joy, us gray
city kids and our teenaged aunt who
was not yet blind, who hid the mess
of carton on top of the fridge
for someone to discover the next day
Koss is a queer writer and artist with an MFA from SAIC. She has work in or forthcoming in Diode Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Hobart, , Anti-Heroin Chic, North Dakota Review, Feral, Chiron Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Rat’s Ass Review, and many others (I feel bad leaving anyone out). She also has work in Best Small Fictions 2020 and Kissing Dynamite’s Punk Anthology. Keep up with Koss on Twitter @Koss51209969 and Instagram @koss_singular. Her website is http://koss-works.com.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.