November 11, 2009

The Real Me

by John Rocco

I guess some people just know me.
At 7-Eleven when I don’t buy beer
just milk or juice or Win $1,000
A Week for Life scratch-off cards
the guy behind the counter always
asks, “What? No beer?” like it’s a
goddamn miracle. Or when I go to the bar
Ritchie or Matt always pull me a pint
before I even sit down.
And Ross writes me:
“I’m going to pass on this one
but keep throwing away money
on those strippers.” And Walter
says something about what I wrote:
“If I didn’t know you were from
New York, I’d think you were
from Texas.” And xTx gave
me the greatest compliment
a broken old writer could ever get:
“You seriously need to call me. Like, on the phone.”

It’s scary but these people I don’t know
know the real me like in that Who song.
Maybe I should always buy beer even
at 7 in the morning and thank you
Ritchie and Matt for the pints
and I’ll keep throwing it away
on strippers Ross coz they make good stories
and Walter it’s true I’m from Queens
but there is a secret Wild Bunch cowboy
inside robbing banks, throwing lead
eating horse meat, slugging rotgut
looking for xTx’s digits
among the hot cactus cunnilingus.

These people I don’t know know me
like she knows the real me
when she calls me with the good news:
“You’re going to love this! I just
got back from the dentist! I have
6 cavities!” She knows I love
her rotting teeth and her silver fillings
and her wisdom tooth pulled
out by the budget dentist
the day before we walked
the night streets
her shoving too sweet candy
into our mouths
telling the bastard called Tomorrow
she knows him
and he should go fuck himself.


xTx said...



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