Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1

I went downtown and went down

on the We Buy Gold guy. I have a thing
for debauched hucksters in ape costumes.
Before that I loved the girl who holds the sign

outside Little Caesar’s advertising the 2
for 1 pizza deal. Tragic life and long tresses.
She was ghostly, the way she beckoned

to oncoming traffic. Then, the birthday
clown. Nothing worse than jamming
a rubber nose over your nose for a paycheck.

Myself, I’ve been a fetish shop cashier, a fudge
worker in Vacationland, played Spidora
in the haunted house, my head sticking out

of the poison gland of a tarantula suit. Wrote
dime store romances. Was paid a dollar, once,
for a pornographic haiku. Waxed the big

slide, Windexed the jukebox glass, supervised
the shooting gallery. Toilet worker at the sugar
factory, which once involved scooping

a wedding ring out of the loo. The best
was cleaning splooge off the walls in the peep
show gallery and laundering Trixie’s thong.

Some of us claw our way to the bottom,
transcend downward. There at the hub
of the drain, we swirl. Drowned crows,

spewing profundities.  end