Page 25 - Fluxion Art Journal Issue 1

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Joe
(For Mark Strazza died Fathers Day 1996)
Michael Bishop
I didn’t see this coming
Oh but thanks for the pain
It went through you like lightning
but it hits me again and again
You can lie to the mirror
for only so long before the evidence
mounts that you are all alone
and no old friend of yours
is going to drink with
or stand and watch you go through with this
People are talking about you
say how you are a liar and a braggart and a child
Oh and all this is true
but I miss every part
of taking care of you
come awake
You buzzed and flickered
like somebody needed to fix you
I was attracted to your sweet need
I was always so afraid
of what might happen to you
I knew how weak you could be
your paranoia made perfect sense to me
It don’t seem like the clocks should tick
It don’t seem like the wind should blow
Oh no
When are you going to come awake and realize
time won’t stop without you
Yours is the head on the shoulders
on the shoulder to the wheel
turning slower in a rut
until it stops
I guess it’s your ebon pinion
I guess it’s your cross to bear
but I just think about your poor mama
now what is she going to do?
She’ll be hurting till she draws her last breath
because you had to drink
yourself to death
We had been drunk for days. Driving towards
daylight on a lonesome federal road somewhere
in the darkness of Alabama. The flourescent fastfood
signs looming. We “chose” the golden arches.
Inside we found an old drunk sprawled out on the
floor reeking of piss, surrounded by white plastic bags
spilling their contents. Ruffles, Doritos, catfood, malt
liquor. He was struggling to stand against the alcohol
pinning him to the Earth. The asshole who managed
the restaurant was livid. After all this time spent claw-
ing his way up the hierarchy of fastfood was he to suf-
fer the indignity of handling this besotted old turd ? He
came out to the dining area. We noticed that he was
wearing elbow high black rubber gloves “Get up!
Come on, it’s time to go.” The old drunk just gurgled
and stared past him unseeing. A rumbling came from
somewhere deep within his ravaged bowels. An
improbable stream of vomit rocketed from his mouth
drenching the manager in steaming bile. Thinking bet-
ter of it the manager left him in the floor and sum-
moned the police. When the Pigs arrived it became
clear that the old drunk was actually very ill.Something
inside him had quit working.He was dying there on
the tile floor of McDonalds.
“Joe.” he said.”my name is Joe.”