• a.p. duvall


Golly gee whatsamatter with me

I tell ya, lately, these pens haven’t been very good friends and all my habits have turned to enemies. 

Seems like this is it 

all I write about 

makes me sick.

Ash stains on overdue bills

A toilet that won’t stop running

The weather heating up out there 

And the looks on grocery store clerks faces when they see me coming 

I’ve been trying to hustle, but’s it’s all a game that’s rigged against ya 

anyway, might as well start buying scratchers, or take up gambling again

Every where I go people know what I’ve been up to. They can smell it through my skin. 

Like I said, it’s all been ash and glass and open roads and open throats and even some guy I saw who upturned a bottle of Pontiac over his head as if there wasn’t anything wrong with it - all of them have made it in somehow, even though I’m tired of them and wish to forget them. 

I often wonder about what it’d be like if it were all different.

If We had our old energy and new ways of knowing, would we change all that much or wind up right back here, and then have to keep going?

Ain’t much has changed. 

I still get scammed regularly and at this point I welcome it. 

My rear view mirror has all its old friends back and the music I’ve been listening to sounds a little better - just like I remember. 

I’m older. I’m fatter. Gonna get more of both and I can’t stop it. 

Who knew? 

I had this dream. We were younger, I was maybe seventeen. I could squeeze an orange and let the juice drip down a seam I found in the universe and all I had to do was figure out which was worse, the fear in my head or the salt on me eggs, and even though a clock was ticking and time was running, I never did learn to stop over seasoning or get those chemicals in my brain fixed.

Get a kick. 

Get looped into the matter at hand and let the thumbnails slip. 

I know you just wanted my mother’s recipe for getting dope sick, but I lost all her books and photographs when she left us for Arizona. Or maybe it was Maine. 

Anyways, you wrote a note, and I wrote this, so bygones are goodbye and gone, I guess. 

I can’t remember why we split. 

Something about the way your germs spread made my hives itch. 

Let’s get together for the next blood moon or winter solstice. 

The lesson is this: I’m broken, bored, and bruised from the truth. You need to heal, to yawp, and to get your cat off the roof. 

Itchingly yours, 

O. Dessa Frame 


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