Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Poems and Photos By Zombie Logic Review Correspondent David J. Thompson

It More Than Sucks

Sophie broke up with me, Mike says
before I can even sit down next to him
at the bar. She says I like watching football
more than spending time with her.
Oh, man, I say. That really sucks.

I get the bartender’s attention, point
to the Pabst bottle and shot glass
in front of Mike, indicate that
we need two more of each.
It more than sucks, Mike says.
I’ll never meet anyone like her again.
I put my arm around his shoulder,
remind him that’s exactly what he said
when Stephanie divorced him
and when Karen dumped him
three months ago. He says
he means it this time, Sophie was
really special. I tell him to forget her,
he’ll be over her in a couple weeks.
We watch the bartender put the drinks
in front of us, then down our shots
of Jim Beam and a swallow of beer chaser.

As we stare at ourselves silently in the mirror
behind the bar, Mike says, Sophie was going
to get her nipples pierced for me, too,
I was really looking forward to that.
I tell him that, sure, that would be pretty cool,
but he’s still way better off without her.
I don’t know, he says. She was talking
about all three of them. Think about it.

After a few seconds where all I hear
is the clack of pool balls behind us,
I tell him that Sophie might be special
after all. Chug that beer, I advise him,
then go give her a call and beg her
to take you back. Promise to do whatever
she wants because she sure as hell sounds
a lot more fun than watching football.

Repent By David J. Thompson

Fluff And Fold

In lieu of paying taxes,
my landlord now keeps
four mental patients
from the county asylum
shackled to the wall
in the musty basement
of my apartment building.

My neighbors complain
that they can’t get to sleep
at night because the nuts scream
and rattle at all hours, but when
I go downstairs to do laundry
they always have quarters
for the washer and dryer,
and they’re happy to help me
fluff and fold my clothes even
with one arm chained to the wall.

Montana Doors by David Thompson

My Real Name

She asks me if I want chocolate cake
for dessert. No, Maria, I say, showing her
both my palms in an I give up gesture.
I can’t eat another bite. Really, I can’t
It’s my weekly dinner with the old woman
across the hall. She’s skinny as can be
with the world’s most narrow face
framed by thin white hair hanging lifeless
and uncombed to the collar of her housecoat.

Thanks for dinner, Maria, I tell her
as I push back my chair to stand up,
I’m in a hurry to get back to my apartment
for the ballgame that starts in a few minutes.
She motions for me to stop, says softly,
You know, Maria isn’t my real name.
Really? I answer. What is it then?
She looks away toward the back window.
I don’t know, she replies like she’s talking
to herself. C’mon, I say. How can you not know
your own name? She grips her wine glass
but doesn’t drink. Without any emotion
she says, At the end of the war I was
in a camp for lost children, you know,
and it seemed like weeks since I had eaten.
They gave me a cardboard badge
with my name on it, but while I stood
in the next long line, I was so hungry
that I couldn’t resist eating it. That’s all
I remember except that it tasted pretty good
and everyone started calling me Maria.

 For a few seconds all I could hear was
the faint hum of the refrigerator. 
Sweet Jesus, Ma . . ., I said breaking off
the last word about halfway and pulling
my chair back up to the table. Do you have
any ice cream to go with that cake?

Last Stop Party Shop by David Thompson

David J. Thompson is a poet and photographer, and Zombie Logic Review's roving correspondent

Closed Twice by David J. Thompson

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