Poppin’ Wheelies In The Middle Of The Night

November 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Poppin’ Wheelies In The Middle Of The Night
David Spicer

I turned sixteen and lived with my grandparents in a trailer. My mother sent me on a bus out West where they lived after I hit my father back and won our last fight. In the Chicago bus station some crumb bum stole my suitcase, and in St. Paul a muscle-bound creep with a balding hairline told me I looked tired, that he had a place to sleep. I wasn’t stupid sixteen.

I settled in at the back of the trailer, ate popcorn, read Siddhartha, talked when I dreamed. The next morning I registered at the huge high school that resembled a prison. I had never seen a prison. Classes easier than at home, I made friends with Randy, the son of a colonel, and hung out at their house. I liked his older brother Earl more than him, but not as much as his mother. The four of us went to the drive-in one night and the woman and I discussed philosophy and football, meerkats and muffins— you name it. The two brothers left irritated at us. Nothing came of the mother and me.

Instead, in the middle of the night Earl and I began to ride bicycles in the small city. We coasted down hills and popped wheelies, peeked into store windows, pilfered cigarettes and portable radios from unlocked trucks. When thirst overcame us we raided upright drink machines, opened oranges and root beers with pliers and sipped sweet liquid with borrowed straws. We laughed our asses off until dawn, when I rode back to the trailer and slipped into bed before my grandparents woke up.

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David Spicer is the author of one collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press) and four chapbooks. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Alcatraz, Thunder Sandwich, Mad Rush, Hinchas de Poesia, Crack the Spine, New Verse News, Fur-Lined Ghettos, and elsewhere.

Image: Bokeh, By Leigh-Anne Fraser

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Grandpa

March 27, 2012 § 5 Comments

Grandpa
Jody Strimling-Muchow

You pat the bench next to you and I come and sit. Reverently, you lift your hands and push back the wooden lip covering the keys, yellowed like old people’s teeth. My fiveyear-old hands can’t span an octave, but you demonstrate an arpeggio in C major and I do my best to duplicate it. Sunlight slips in through the ground-level window to ignite the dust motes. Evening is coming fast and soon Mother will call down the stairs. Grandma will have cookies and milk laid out for us but there won’t be time before dinner. You will have to eat them without me. For now, though, the notes and the slight gasoline smell from the garage combine to cement you in my memory. Two years from now it will be all I have.

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Jody Strimling-Muchow is a writer, actor, and knitter who masquerades as a legal secretary by day. She lives with her husband, two dogs and one cat in a lovely little house in Dutchess County, NY.


Image: Fishing, By Stephen Martin

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