ON HIS OWN TERMS
by Curt Stubbs
All the time we was going someplace,
drinking and smoking and farting great
fireball dreams of some time or place
we wouldn’t know of when we got there,
he was doing nothing, sitting
on the curb choking beer bottles
like they was empty promises.
He was always filling up the hole
in his gut with words by a bunch of guys
with names no one ever heard of,
telling us that nowhere was just as good
as the next place and doing nothing
was better than the empty things we was always doing.
Once in the park, pitching empties
into the velvet dark softness,
he insisted every star was one
person’s dream that would never come true.
I told him the stars was just lights
in the darkness and that they
didn’t mean nothing. He just smiled
and said that was exactly what he meant.
One night he and Louie got shit faced
and pissed in the doorway of the church
across from our old high school.
He said they was Baptists and pissing
was another fine way to anoint the Holy,
but Louie said they was just drunker ‘n’ skunks
and only wanted a dark place to empty their bladders.
Its been years now but I still think sometimes
of that last drunk and him
bashing his face against the asphalt,
screaming that the pain meant nothing
and that his blood was the medium
through which he expressed his art.
I don’t know if he ever got out, but Louie and the boys and me,
we finally heard what he was saying.
3880 N. Park #A
Tucson, Arizona 85719
No E-mail Address