is he alive? yes.
I’m certain he’s still breathing
but not in my ear.
is he alive? yes.
I’m certain he’s still breathing
but not in my ear.
God grants me a macabre bakery
I never asked for.
I get unlimited free samples,
tiny tastes of death
to prepare me
for the grand finale.
Like last Mother’s Day,
packing all my shit in Wal-Mart bags
once again as the only man
I’ve ever loved to exhaustion
sat at his table eating breakfast
watching examples of acceptable mothers
on the television I gave him.
Then sitting through a man in a wheelchair
playing “She’s Got A Way About Her” on the church piano
as my six-year old son clung to me,
knowing I’d leave him again soon
because Mommy is a vagabond witch
without a magical pillow.
At my mother’s ranch I am given a sea of salt
for each wound
more nails for my cross
just in case I was thinking
I drown each day in the particulars.
I fucked up here I fucked up there
but there’s no time to consider the considerable
error of my ways
because there’s a redneck for Jesus on my ass
and I’m late for Disenfranchised Bitch 101
at the welfare bingo beauty parlor
across from the trailer park
I keep returning to
resplendent in last night’s vomit.
Someday I’ll really be fucking dead
and I’ll fucking know it.
My phone will start ringing
and it will be Daddy.
“It was all a joke, baby girl. You are truly loved.”
4th Move in 3 Long Years
I Dermoplast my pits.
Burned by the razor again.
I’m bleeding like I do,
staining granny panties
and apple green sheets.
The food is packed so I
chew cinnamon gum
and read Carson McCullers.
I remember that feeling.
Itchy nipples at twelve.
Hollering at the older boy
across the street
because he was mocking
my passionate belief in Jesus.
He wasn’t afraid of Hell
and that pissed me off so bad
I wanted to kick
In another part of the state
my daughter is twelve,
soon to be thirteen.
I wish her less passion,
less boxes to pack,
less tacks to thumb
on maps to say
I Was Here.
Misti was one of the poets that kicked this zine off in 2009. But before the Rusty Truck, back in January of 09 I interviewed Misti Rainwater- Lites on my old blog Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers. At that time I wrote:
Many of us look back at our bios once they are printed and wish for a retraction. The freshness or cleverness of the time turns into the same cranked out shit. This interview needed a unique introduction for the lady who screams pussy to the world. Not the same old recycled crap of she did this after she did that. Not another list of credits either. I needed to crawl into the mind of Misti, look out her eyes and say hey fuckers this is Misti Rainwater-Lites. But who can really do that and make it believable? So, I asked her for something tender, something outrageous, something totally different. I got this:
Misti Rainwater-Lites is a cracked teapot. She has tried to sell herself on eBay but nobody wants to bid on a bat shit crazy broke ass poet who has one mixed media painting to her name. The title of the painting was Screaming Pussy but is now Crazy With The Cheez Whiz. Misti is currently working on a comedic pornographic horror script with Matt Finney and Michael Lites tentatively titled “White Trash Werewolf” with Evan Stone, the best porn star on the planet, in mind. Misti will not give blow jobs for publication credits but she might send you a lipsticked autographed copy of one of her many self-published books because she’s ditzy like that. If you would like to purchase a collection of 63 PEZ dispensers that includes Yoda (Misti’s favorite) and a bunch of other exciting characters, contact Misti at email@example.com. Misti is also selling metal lunchboxes, Barbie dolls and collages at rock bottom (with the depressed American economy in mind) prices. Misti is interested in writing children’s books, teaching tap dance lessons to little gay boys and learning how to box so she can beat people up and get paid for it. Misti also dreams of someday reading her poems in rainbow sequins at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Speaking of rainbows, Misti also dreams of someday owning a retro motor court somewhere in the Land of Enchantment called Inn of the Rainbow, which will include a honeymoon suite for gays only. Misti will conduct gay marriage ceremonies at the motel. She will get her license online.
The rest of the Interview
I miss being so drunk I thought I was a whore
on Jupiter with Jesus lodged up my butt.
I miss being so nice I curtsied for stop signs
and apologized to streets because my feet
slapped them so hard.
I miss not knowing the angry depths of teapots
the scurrying songs of head mice
the myriad changes and surprises
stuffed inside a solitary accident of a day.
I’m lonely for yesterday’s haunted donut.
I’m biting my bottom lip looking back
at all those arcade tokens and Skee-Ball tickets.
Each song reminds me that once I was rewound
and there were never two songs in a row
by Queen or Bob Dylan.
These pants make me miss ten years ago
when I was delicious in the heat and the thick of it
and every telephone kiss at two o’clock in the morning
rhymed with my name.
Oh the records.
Oh the letters.
Oh the version of me
that was cereal box
Cougar got on his horse and rode the fucker all the way from Monahans to Amarillo. Sally met him on the front porch wearing nothing but an apron and sarsaparilla perfume. They kissed and groped for a few minutes then went inside the kitchen and ate biscuits piping hot from the oven and extra spicy deer chili.
“I can only stay for the night,” Cougar said.
“Damn it, Cougar. You’re always droppin’ by just long enough to get your dick wet,” Sally said.
“Don’t give me a hard time, woman. You know I’ve got obligations in Waxahachie.”
“Yeah, five at last count. I don’t wanna hear about your obligations. Let’s go to bed. I should be the only obligation on your mind right now.”
“You are, baby. You done good with this chili.”
“I’ll use every damn weapon in my arsenal to keep you comin’ back for more.”
“Baby, I’ve got a hankerin’ for your guns.”
“Shut the hell up and fuck me, already.”
They fucked. It was good. They slept. Cougar awoke at the ass crack of dawn thanks to Mister Cock A Doodle Doo. The rooster crowed like he owned the sun. Cougar was tempted to shoot it but he didn’t want to piss Sally off so he didn’t.
“Baby, I got to hit the road,” Cougar said with a sigh, caressing Sally’s peachy ass.
“I’m not even awake but go ahead and fuck me one last time,” Sally said.
“You know I’ll be back in the spring.”
“Give me your dick before I kill you.”
On the road to Waxahachie Cougar had to shoot and kill six or seven different dumb fucks who thought it would be a good idea to stare at him with their mouths hanging open. They weren’t Texans. They were migrant workers from Arkansas. It wasn’t likely they’d be missed.
“Come on, Cougar. It’ll be fun, I promise.”
“Goddamn it, Sally. How can poetry be fun?”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry about the last poetry reading.”
“Dude read his poems like the Lucky Charms guy!”
“He was using a Scottish brogue.”
“Well, it was stupid!”
“I know. But this is different. This is a punk rock poetry reading. It’s going to be at a bar, not a coffee house. The poets are really hardcore. Street savvy. They battle addictions and shit, just like us. They’re real people but better than real because they know how to write about it. They like to get their fuck on just like we do, baby. Come on. I’ll buy you a beer.”
“You better buy me more than one. I can’t believe I’m letting you drag me to another poetry reading. I must be pussy whipped.”
Cougar and Sally sat at a table near the stage smoking cigarettes drinking Miller Genuine Draft. The first poet jumped onstage. He was dressed all in black. He had a pompadour and a beard. Cougar looked at Sally, raised his eyebrow. Sally laughed, lit another cigarette, squeezed Cougar’s knee.
“Hello. I’m Pony Boy Walton and I’m reading poems from my newest collection, Must Love Wine. And this is the title poem. Must Love Wine. All I ask for is a lover who lives like me, on the mellow side of the street, never angry, never discombobulated, always cool, always up for a drunken stroll and a few stolen moments in a bar where the jukebox plays Johnny Cash and Gram Parsons and everyone stares at themselves in the mirror, telling themselves it will all be over soon enough, but now is the only time and now is quite enough.”
Applause. Cougar whispered in Sally’s ear,”Are your panties wet, baby?” Sally laughed so hard she spewed beer.
Pony Boy Walton read seven or eight more poems then headed for the bar.The next poet to take the stage was a woman with tattoo sleeves, big tits and Cookie Monster blue hair. “Thank you for talking me into this,” Cougar whispered in Sally’s ear. Sally gave Cougar a dirty look and drained her beer.
“Hey. My name is Laci Harris and the title of this first poem is Off The Meds. So I’m off the meds again because I want to be able to cum and I’m tired of being a fat stone faced fuck content to eat ice cream from the carton and watch Three’s Company re-runs. I’ll probably lose my latest boyfriend. He’ll probably take to the hills when I start screaming at him in a Chinese accent and start accusing him of fucking another bitch because he’d rather hang out in the bars than put up with my shit. He can leave anytime he wants. I’ve got a refrigerator filled with batteries and a stack of his Playboys next to the toilet.”
“So this is punk rock, huh?” Cougar asked Sally.
“Pretty much,” Sally said.
“If she flashed her tits it might be punk rock.”
“No, that would be something else.”
“Shit. I need another beer.”
“Vodka. I need vodka. From the goddamn bottle.”
They left without buying any books.
Leon Valley of the Dolls
too cynical too fucking silly and self-absorbed to lose all to love and true blistering transforming ecstasy we fantasize and develop crushes on cartoons dressed up like humans my betty boop heart beeps be bop a lula for the emperor of low fat pina colada yogurt i thought it was mgm musical love at least a hundred times but it was me always all dressed up and no place to go but the kwickie mart
… It was all killer kewpie dolls soap coated tongue from muttering “motherfucker” root beer sno cones & daddy gone again hunting bobcats hanging out in honky tonks cheap motels & jail for kicking his boss’s ass. Then the name i do not recall the bland blank face from across the street took me shoved me into the texas teenage dirt made me his. Everything else is yellow wallpaper. Sometimes i lick it & almost come clean.