Frank’s Depression Poetry – Ficton

Frank’s Depression Poetry

by Frank
illustration by R.D.

I’m on a Greyhound
drinking a beer,
wondering if anyone in the world
knows I exist.
The bus rolls into a small town.
I hop off for a quick cigarette.
The bus driver goes in and comes out of a trailer they use
for a Greyhound office.
The bus driver is not alone,
he’s talking to a sheriff
and pointing at me.

I’m in L.A.
riding in the back of a cab
operated by a stuttering male negro
explaining… A white man on
vacation would have to be
in-ss-ss-sane to w-w-wanna
visit s-s-south c-central.
I assure the driver it’s O.K.,
I’m dreaming and have
lots of cash
to purchase a machine gun
if needed.

Kitchen full of strangers,
peering into a refrigerator.
“What’s in there?” I ask.
“You don’t want to know.”
warns a cop entering the room.
I sneak a quick peek
and see my head
eyes and mouth open
lying sideways next to a jar of
mayo and a six-pack of Miller.
“Impossi-” my words are cut off.
Someone has shut the refrigerator.
It’s dark.

Originally published in
Used by permission.

Hell yeah, I’m depressed.
Just lit my last cigarette
and heard it scream, “Stop!”
Placed both index fingers
in my ears
I continued to smoke

Still trying to shake off
those cold conservative stares
in the subway.
You might think in Boston, a city larger than a bread box,
trendy mainstream pieces of shit
would have gotten used to seeing
Punk rock has been around
for over twenty years.

I’m writing to you from a roof
overlooking South Boston.
Broken car windows,
garbage fills West Fifth Street.
They breed young around here.
I’m talking fourteen-
addicted to alcohol,
designer clothing,
domestic violence.

You don’t have to be a weather forecaster to predict
plastic flowers,
organic vegetables,
I Ching philosophy
that won’t help save you
from winter sunshine,
holding a Bic lighter
when the Antichrist has risen.
You will smell the gasoline
in the wind,
hear laughter in the grey sky,
and disappear forever.

Nowadays it ain’t safe to go anywhere.
Not the corner store,
not interstate 94,
not a public park.
Absolutely nowhere is safe.
Humans have managed to clutter
the air, sea, and land with
drunk drivers.
Chain smoking,
waiting impatiently
to cripple you and mow down
your family and friends.

Today’s negative youth
have the anger
and the automatic weapons
to go down in history
larger than Charles Manson.
Don’t take my word for it,
ask Amy Fischer.
Ask her how it felt
to shoot her lover’s wife
in the face.

This ain’t the 1950s.
Life ain’t no sitcom.
If Fonzie ever rode through
my neighborhood,
fifty youths wearing baseball caps
would beat his ass,
and steal the grease from his hair.

When George Bush said,
“Read my lips, no new taxes.”
what he meant to say was,
“A large portion of today’s male youth have long hair, short memories, Tye-dyed jeans and
openly admit they suck cock.”

Children jumping rope,
drinking milk,
faking in love,
sharing used clothing.

Next time you need a job
or an apartment,
remember Vietnam.
If they hadn’t died,
their children would also be
filling out applications.

Originally published in
Used by permission