David Spicer


I woke up, after drinking, paying bills, sealing envelopes,
and licking stamps all night. I joint-creaked 
into my trailer’s den like an old soldier on sentry duty, and saw 
a tumbleweed four times larger than Jimi Hendrix’s hairdo 
loitering on the couch. A giant cockroach 
in mirror sunglasses lounged alongside it, said, Hey Joe, 
where ya goin’? and a tiger sporting turquoise nails 
purred on the floor. Who the hell are you guys? 
I shouted, wanting them to skedaddle 
They sprawled like slackers until someone banged 
on the door and screamed, Tell that lawn sprinkler 
in his underwear to let me the hell in! The cockroach said, 
Hey bud, you’d better, or the blue footed booby 
out there’ll shred your door. So I did. He rushed in, yelling, 
Move it, tuna breath. I said, I’m the owner of this crib 
and want all of you to go! The tumbleweed laughed. 
Yeah, we wanna be the Beatles, too! Get us some Tim Tams 
and goat milk, you dumbass rubbermouth, we’re famished. 
I said, Eat me. Ok, I can do that, you lunky lardhead,
the booby said. One of his blue feet clamped on my neck 
before I could grab my phone. He yanked it from my hands, 
tossing it out the window. The glass broke, the roach 
hoarse-laughing like a washed-up comic, and the tumbleweed 
sneezing while the tiger roared as loud as his nails. Leave! 
I yelled. Now you eat me! the blue footed booby said. 
We just escaped the loony bin and we, in the words 
of Tom Dylan, ain’t goin’ nowhere! Then the tumbleweed 
flattened to a drill instructor’s buzzcut and ballooned 
back into a tumble duster, the tiger quoted William Blake 
nodding off, the cockroach burrowed into the corner, 
and I broke free from the booby before he fainted 
like Shirley Temple. I called the cops with my land line 
and ten seconds later the Sheriff arrived, when the tiger 
roared, You, foxy lady! Want some purple haze?
She arrested them, except the tumbleweed. Hey, beanpole, 
my son’s been looking for this lazyass wig forever. 
Thanks for rounding up these ragamuffins in his band.
There’s a reward for the bunch of ‘em. I said, Great! 
How much? The sheriff said, Aw, just a paid trip 
and ticket to their next Jimi Hendrix Tribute show
Where? I asked. Paris, man, where else? Well, damn, 
I said, I’ll be a blue-footed booby, giant cockroach,
and tiger all rolled up into a tumblin’ tumbleweed!


David Spicer has poems in Tipton Poetry Journal, Santa Clara Review, Reed Magazine, The Literary Nest, Synaeresis, Hamilton Stone Review, Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Third Wednesday, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of Everybody Has a Story and five chapbooks; his latest chapbook is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press).