Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Buy American" Poems and Photography By David J. Thompson

David J. Thompson has become sort of a worldwide coorespondant for Zombie Logic Review. I never know where he's going to go next, but I know he's going to report back with great photos of street and folk art and awesome poetry. 

Buy American photo by David J. Thompson

Shit Like This

My assistant manager says, This old guy
named Jake is coming over from shipping
to work with you starting tomorrow, OK?
I nodded and he continued, Just so you know,
they wanted to fire him for coming back
from lunch drunk, but he’s only a week away
from retiring, so they decided to make him
our problem instead, and, don’t get too close,
they say he smells like he shit himself.

He wasn’t far off about that. Jake smelled 
like an ash tray doused with sour milk 
left out in the sun, but he was friendly enough,
and, keeping my distance, I showed him
how to put together the battery packs 
that the next guys down the line screwed
onto the computer frames we were building
before they pushed them down the assembly line.

Next morning he asked me what I was doing there,
so I explained that I was just working temp,
getting divorced and in-between real jobs.
Let me warn you, Jake said, sitting back slowly
in his chair and lowering his voice. Before I started
here forty years ago this spring, I was in the Navy
stationed in Japan for two years. I’ve never seen
anything like those Japanese girls. Tiny little things,
like dolls really, with perfect skin, and they will do
anything you want. You ever been to a Japanese whore?
I shook my head, gave him a little smile and said no.
He shook his head, too, flipped his screwdriver
up on the workbench, muttered, Like the kid
dumbass I was, I left the Navy and spent my life
doing shit like this.” I saw his whole body sag,
and I began to turn to walk away. Hey, he called, 
I got a bottle of  Jim Beam out in my truck.
Come with me at lunch, OK? I looked around 
to see if anyone was listening, gave him a wink 
and a nod, hoped it would be plenty warm enough
to drink with the windows rolled all the way down.

"Danville" photograph by David J. Thompson

"Gracie's" photograph by David J. Thompson


Worn out Friday night, weighed down with my laptop, 
a 6 pack, bag of groceries, and two movies from Netflix.
I’m dying to get inside, flop on the couch and crack
open the first beer. I’m digging around for my key 
when the crazy old woman across the hall sticks her head out 
and says  in her smoker’s voice, Hey, Mr. Teacher, I saw 
on  the TV that there’s a new Gatsby movie out.  
You’re not going to go see it, are you?  Oh, shit, I think, feel 
my laptop start to slip as my shoulder sags.  I hesitate a moment,
put my beer and the dvd’s down on floor, then slowly turn toward her,
tilt my head to see her better through the barely open door,
tell her that I wasn’t sure, just wanted to get inside for the night.

Well, don’t, she says as she pushes the door open a little wider, 
that Scott was such a terrible liar. Do you remember that part
in the book when Daisy says she always waits for the longest day
of the year and then misses it? Well,  Zelda would never do anything 
so stupid as that.  Oh, really? I ask, still feeling in my pocket 
for my key. She and I were bridge partners that winter, 
hospital champions, even if Zelda did overbid all the time,
she replied, her voice getting stronger.   I found myself lowering
my laptop to the floor, moving to get a better look at her. 
The fire you know, she continued, came straight up the dumbwaiter 
from the kitchen right to her room. Poor Zelda never had a chance, 
the windows, of course, were all barred up. Now, I stood there staring
at her, the short gray braids, the frayed collar of the the shabby housecoat 
she always wore. So sad, too, she went on, the insulin treatments were working,
Zelda was gaining weight and looking forward to seeing Scottie’s new baby, 
but all they found, her voice hesitated, in her room was a ballet slipper 
on a pile of ashes. Suddenly she twisted her head a bit, put her hand 
to her chin and said,  I think I have the other slipper here somewhere. 
Would you like to see it? Yes, please, I almost screamed, and she turned
and went back inside her apartment.

I sat down very slowly, my back against my apartment door,
right leg stretched out, left knee up. I listened to her clunking
around out of sight, then  I reached into the plastic bag,
brought out a 6-pack of Miller High life cans, pulled one 
from the ring and snapped it open.  I took a long swallow,
tilted my head back and decided to wait right there as if 
it were the longest day of the year, and I wasn’t going
to miss it for the world.

"Indiana" photograpgh by David J. Thompson

The Coolest Thing Ever

After a 12-pack of Busch Light,
a couple bong hits, and two shots
of Jim Beam, I explained to my buddy
Jim next door that all we had to do
was switch out the voice boxes 
on his parrot and my border collie
and we’d have a talking dog, for sure
the coolest thing ever that we could take
on tv and make a fortune. So, we fired
up the bong one more time, then 
spread clean sheets all over
my breakfast nook. We fooled
the animals into eating a mixture
of my ex-girlfriend’s Prozac
and half a bottle each of Tylenol PM,
found my flashlight and washed
some steak knives real good.

It’s been about a month now
and I can tell you that even
the dry cleaner couldn’t get
the blood stains out of my sheets,
and Jim is no longer speaking to me 
because his damn pet didn’t make it 
through the weekend even though
I’ve sent my dog over many times 
to invite him on the Colbert show
next week with us and remind him
how he’s as much to blame as I am, 
how better off the parrot is now, 
finally out of his cage for good, 
flying free way up there in bird heaven.

Buy American, buy Zombie Logic Press

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