Month: February 2012

the biggest heel in the territory – 4

Harry slept badly that night, and what little of his dreams he could remember was polluted with leisure suits, flat beer, snakes that dressed like Spiro Agnew and hissed out Steely Dan lyrics. So much raw horror.  How was one supposed to sift through it all and reach some safe zone of dignity? It seemed a fool’s errand.

Harry woke to the sound of two boys fighting outside his window. He looked out. One boy was forcing what looked to be a handful of worms into his smaller, weaker foe’s mouth. “Just like on tv!” shouted the victor as he pried and tore at his victim’s mouth, which was emitting a cocktail of blood and drool. Across the street, two old women stood with rapt attention, practically glowing. “Get that skinny cocksucker!” they croaked. “Choke him the fuck out!”

It was the way of things. Some organisms were just born to attract hostility no matter how low a profile they kept. And those ladies were the widows of big Union men, guys who hung up portraits of  Lyndon Johnson in the den and kept bricks in the trunk for all the non-compliant shops. Miniature Jimmy Hoffa’s. What little was left of these women moistened at such displays of capable dominance.

That boy would make a fine husband and father someday.

Harry turned away from the window, content in the knowledge of how things would play out. He grabbed his cigarettes and groped under the bed for a lighter or some matches. Suddenly, from outside came a crash of thin metal followed by screams.


He looked out again, this time to see the bloodied loser slamming a garbage can lid over worm boy’s curl-laden, fat head. Again and again the metal descended, forming a lullabye of dull thuds as it impacted lard and bone.

It was beautiful.

“Somebody do something!”shrieked the old biddies. “He’s an animal!”

Harry thrust his head out the window. “Most impressive! Keep at it boy, don’t give up!” He pointed an accusatory finger at the rancid seniors. “And fuck you old bitches! Your dead husbands are roasting like weenies in the fucking lake of fire!”

It was settled then. The morning was really shaping up.

the biggest heel in the territory – 3

Harry was dazed and had a somewhat deflated feeling that seemed to fester in his mid-section like a brick or a bottle or a dry lump of coal. He had fallen asleep on the train again. Now he approached the bridge that stretched over the tracks. In the darkness, those tracks seemed like a damned and forbidden place, a place where giant spiders roamed and ate you if you were unfortunate enough to fall or stupid enough to venture there. On the other side of the bridge, Harry spotted a man with a back-pack walking briskly and with purpose. The man snapped a bubble off of the gum he was chewing, snapped it loud enough so the sound cracked through the night and across the bridge.

What did this aggressive popping mean? Was it a warning?

Maybe, just maybe, the man with the back-pack and the popping gum was indicating that, yes, there truly was nothing left and that yes, Harry should go full-steam ahead with any plans to nullify himself. Any failure to do so would be a betrayal.

Harry lit a cigarette and felt the raw wind swipe at his neck as it came up off the tracks like some filthy hound. There was much to consider.

No number 7 service

have you

bled out


Or seen all those same
with one eye
on the mirror
and another
on the razor?

It’s raining again and you can hear the madmen sing:

Just stop.

There’s nothing temporary


no way in
mechanical talons of penance
stand clear, fools
these gloves have reached for many a throat
infernal hound
no need to hurry, you're only rushing to your grave
fleeing headlong into oblivion
this hook + you = INEVITABLE
pulled from the retinal imprints of a flattened DJ
J. Edgar that is...
what foul sorcery conjured these structures?
so much treachery afoot
let me know how that works out for you
I tremble at the sight of these dark rites

the biggest heel in the territory -2

This was a problem.


As a great parser of words and language, Harry deeply pondered this one. The letter did not say, for instance, there’s nothing left for me or there’s nothing left here or there’s nothing left in the refrigerator now that I’ve scarfed down all the beer and pork rinds.

No. It said:


This seemed absolute and irrevocable. Surely there was something left somewhere. And maybe that something was even good.

Harry would declare a moratorium on the letter writing. This would have to be looked into further.

the biggest heel in the territory – fragment 1

Harry thought about suicide a lot. And so he wrote plenty of suicide notes. Well, more than notes truth be told. They were full-length letters. And he’d mail those letters to himself via the U.S. Postal Service. No classless cyber-fakery for Harry.
Harry believed in tradition. Harry was old school.
Harry’s suicide letters gave all kinds of reasons for his planned self-excavation:
Job sucks.
Girl left.
Wanted to be a vampire but the vampires nowadays are all dickbags.
That kind of thing.
Harry had a standing deal with himself. If the letter arrived and the reason enclosed still made sense to him, he’d see the thing through.
One morning, he opened one up. He didn’t remember writing this one.
It said:

the cheapness

Laszlo Hock took a pull on his cigarette and felt a hint of acid rise up at the base of his throat.

He looked eastward to see about the west-bound train. No good. Overhead, but unseen, a speaker began to crackle.

It said:

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Archer Railroad Service is a monopoly, and, as such, is in no way obligated to arrive on time. Are you going to be late? Fired maybe even? The Archer Railroad Company doesn’t give a fuck about you.