by Jay Passer
I told them one glass. One fork. One plate. I told them. Murderers are born daily. Cannibalism acceptable. Perversity sublime. They'd have no part of it, any of it. They eyed me warily. My explosive hair, shredded overcoat, pants held up with string. It began early on. A mere tyke, fresh from the suck. Fumbling, mortified- rash fingers always pointed my way. Years of petty crime, muffled punishment. Subsequently absent-minded, uncoordinated, stumbling, nervous. At last, a certain appointment was made. I crawled out of the hospital elevator. Crumpled, prostrate, I was ignored by the bustling medical staff. Maybe it was the ammoniac stench of my immediate person. Life encumbered in the alleys and the foliage, occasional accident. And then where do you think they put me? Where I was stored? Strapped to a gurney, wheeled into a dark closet with the cleaning supplies. The janitor versed in necrophilia. Alone with my ripe thoughts I expelled a whimper. A moan. I managed to gather enough strength to feebly limp away. Unnoticed, of course. I once again sought refuge in the alleyways and foliage. I felt myself growing another brain. Days passed as I reviewed my new tenant. That's when it started. I resorted to pure fabrication. I stood up and barked like a walrus. Cigarette butts stuck to the bottoms of my soiled, mismatched shoes. I told them. You can't go anywhere that isn't owned. Great thought is slave to natural instinct. Life. Sharp as a toenail. Dull as an ice pick. My spiel was dismissed as yet another emaciated bum's drunken rant. I didn't fear death. It was eternal life I was afraid of. I held out my paper cup but that didn't seem to impress them either.
Jay hails from the SF Bay Area but has lived in the Pacific Northwest for almost 20 years. In the 90's he was published in mags like Long Shot and Caliban and OnTheBus. After 2000, he has had 3 chapbooks released from Outerdark Publications in Seattle. Otherwise, he has to make money in the varietal; housepainter, pizza delivery, warehouseman. It keeps him in ambrosia and fur.