Wife smoked and drank hard cider
while I got another headache on a
smoggy sunday afternoon with the
neighbors’ children screaming and
banging on the wall. And the tape
recorder had to be returned for
warranty work because it was fucked
up and wife’s Smith Corona typewriter
was fucked up also again because
everything we buy turns out to be
a piece of shit, especially if it
was made by resentful, incompetent,
hung-over Americans.

And I went outside, intending to walk
down to the parking lot to make sure
no one was climbing around on our cars
or dumping garbage on our cars or writing
“WASH ME!” in the dust on my rear window
again, when a slightly demented, dirty little
white-trash child squinted up at me
through greasy glasses and asked, in a
dizzy, semi-retarded voice, “Why are you so fat?”

And I regarded the little child
without sympathy, calculating the
possible consequences of heaving him
over the railing to the parking lot

Image credit:Célio Pires

Douglas Goodwin's books include Hung Like a Hebrew National, Half Memory of a Distant Life, and Slamming it Down. The latter two include a foreword by Charles Bukowski, who championed Goodwin's verse and corresponded with Goodwin over several years. Much of the Goodwin-Bukowski correspondence appears in the feature "Letters to Douglas Goodwin" in the 2015/16 edition of the Charles Bukowski Society Jahrbuch 2015/16, edited by Roni and Sönke Mann, out of Bamberg, Germany. Goodwin also collaborated with poet Steve Richmond on the literary magazine stance in the 1980s.