"You want smack?" he says. "Downtown."
He loads the boxes. I write the bills.
I've been eating pep-pills like a fiend,
but not getting the spunk I need.
The secretary here says she wants a date.
Here's the truth: we all want a date.
A man is coming Thursday to interview me
for a position they're creating in Iowa.
If I keep taking drugs, Detroit isn't so bad.
When I'm sober, I can't stand the water.
The rivers back home aren't clean,
but I miss them. Can you imagine Iowa?
Corn, and all those flat open spaces
and farm kids cooking crystal meth.
Love is not geography, except when it is.
I score the smack in the ghetto near Tiger Stadium.
The man with the gold tooth knows his Presidents.
He counts the bills. I grind the gears.
After that, I sit quietly in some dank bar where
the women are naked except for garters and hairspray.
It's true I write the bills, but I also throw the boxes.
My knuckles are bruised, I can see the colors.
If you're from where I'm from, and you do the work
I do, you leave. I shouldn't drink when I do dope.
It's like dreaming of Dee's Bar, and the woman
bartender with bleached blonde hair who hates
the jukebox, but in a good way. I work so much,
I don't know the day. A stripper pushes her huge
breasts together, and says, "Honey, you look sad."
I miss Pittsburgh like crazy.
-- Dave Newman
Dave Newman lives in Trafford, fifteen miles east of Pittsburgh. His first novel, Please Don't Shoot Anyone Tonight, is forthcoming from World Parade Books.
Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.