Ugly as a mule (But the man has personality) by Jason Galt

penny

Ugly as a mule (But the man has personality)

“You got a helluva face.”
Machu Pichu told me
It was right in front of the penny slots.
Green diamond carpet,
remnants of rum and cokes,
Mexican menus,
dog-eared race track programs
and old women spending dead husbands’ money.
“Oh yeah?” I said. “Why is that?”
“You have a fascinating face.”
“I guess you read Bukowski then.”
“Who the hell is that?”
“Never mind mama, tell me about my face.”
“You have big ears.”
“And a big nose.”
“And you like that?”
“No.” she said. “I said it was fascinating.”
“Tell me more.”
“Your face is pockmarked, your eyes are large
and wild when you speak.”
“Your teeth are stained and your beard makes you look old.”
“That’s ugly, not fascinating.” I replied.
“But it shows you have personality.”

A better class of asshole

“You are very Feng Shui.”

“Do you talk to all the girls that way?”

“Only the ones that pique my interest.”

“You’d do better if you offered me some mercurochrome.”

“Oh, scrape?”

“Battle of wounded knee between me and concrete outside the Filmore.”

“I have a joint.”

“That’ll do.”

2nd printing of a paperback book
It’s the smell of well-worn paper,
yellow and brittle, spending retirement
in attics with wasps and dry heat.
The question of how many hands have held
you in your day crosses my mind.
‘To Mary, with love, John’
is scrawled on the first page.
Daughter, date or wife?
Did Mary enjoy you and run her fingers
up and down your binding the way I do?
Finding you on top of old National Geographics
and a treatise on demonic possession
I whisper I hope they didn’t rub off on you.
Stay the way you are, battered and tattered
and full of scenes of violent waves,
singing mermaids, the Captain searching
charts in his cabin by candlelight.

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