Willie Smith


            Shotgun a Miller. Swat a moth. Bury the corpse with a tissue in the trash. Let a belch flower. Jerk down a sack of Gold Medal. Dust the Redwings with flour – the less ambiguously for the SWAT to follow.
            Grab the shotgun. Burst out of my bubble game to hunt. Exit below First and Pine the bus. Occupy a shotgun tavern’s last available stool, obsessing under my breath on other meanings of stool.
            Order a depth charge, wine to chase. Struggle not to stool on myself – so many ideas bubbling. Never let out of my sight the shotgun inside the bass fiddle case.
            Reach for my clacked-on-the-bar drink. Ease to my lips brimful shotglass. Let a fart.
            Startled at the report, uncase the blunderbuss. Swivel on my stool. Let a blast consume the contents of three tables and a booth.
            Never can be sure about a discharge at the back. Wave farewell to pieces of people two seconds ago constituting clientele. Mom taught always act polite. Life all a stage on the way to a Coach who will one day tell what in hell is this game.
            Orbit back around to the barkeep shrieking it was just me tooted. Empty the other barrel – to clear the air – under the aquiline overhanging his goatee.
            Knock back the shot, the well red. Smack lips. Cast eyes around the suddenly empty dive. Sniff cordite, blood, burst liquor bottles.
            Pack back up – gathering my thoughts – the scatter gun. Too bad about making good on the friendly fire. Slice the tip off the barkeep’s nose.
            Nomad into the night for the next booze cave. Savoring a mix of comparing shots, bolting shots, reacting to shots in the dark. For me and my iron – although we do fancy irony – never fiddle around.
            Wonder what round I might next down. Everclear straight? Never can act too straight or clear, dealing with the cards, the bozos, the mozos, any other mojo one encounters over the counter of a downtown big city Saturday night.
            Thank God for the shotgun approach across the stage to the Coach. Smile, wondering what gathering I’ll hunt in the Next, when a handful of kevlar catchers, having astutely snooped the flour, gun me like a dog down.

Willie Smith is deeply ashamed of being human. His work celebrates this horror. To see him further embarrass himself: www.youtube.com/wsmith49.
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