Versus Charles Bukowksi

“Welcome to Mile Zero” by Rob Haff

Up and at ‘em like the morning wood,
septuagenarian pig fuck. Make cocksure

you’ve fastened oxygen mask to crotch.
Digital age air aims bazookas at bravado.

Wouldn’t want your slimy bullfrogs rotting off.
Feed me another McProverb, Top Dog, artisanal

chicken nugget baked in gold glitter. I need
reassurance my next blackout will fuck me genius

bad as kitten-crazed librarians on Singles’ Night.
Surely, my roach-palace studio holds more

than smoky essence of celebrity-style slum:
kitchen sink bogged in congealed beef grease;

saccharine Jack flask fruit fly tenements; a six-inch cock
-bugger that fell out of a granola box this morning, asserted

as main ingredient to the year’s most vital meal: Hank,
how the fuck long must I swallow sleeping with squalor,

before it money shots my face into something hopeless
enough for stardom? My bootleg self-esteem dangles

from a billboard by the nail. You’re the one who guided me,
Poor Man’s Pied Piper, Skidrow Psychopomp Laureate.

How about some wisdom I can’t score at the dollar mart?
Like, Check cereal bowl before placing spoon in mouth

to avoid eating what you can’t digest. Or, Insert
ear plugs before bed, lest a fool’s prophet occupies

cranium. Or are you Hollywood’s celebrity deadbeat;
glamorized tale of high life in slums? I bought you sure

as boys snag brown-bagged bottles, not knowing where
you’d take me or that my night had just begun.

by Tom Kelly

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