"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



I am a car salesman magnet   Chrysler not Mercedes

That’s just how I roll   2 fell hard in recent memory

I’m a principal   he said   to overcome his shortcomings

His blue-collar beginnings   His tacky metaphor  Baskin

+Robbins non-Beckettian brilliance   I like tasting   A little

taste of this  a little taste of that   Banal bliss?


I was unimpressed   Ditto the failed thigh grab with meaty

thumbs   As well with the odd lilt of a Macedonian dialect

though he was 32  +born in the bowels of Mimico   Olive skinned

Belushi dead ringer   Made me yearn for Gnarls  Barkley  Seriously

A solid sawed off shotgun  who’d be wicked in backless chaps



Not if you understand my family   Grew up with wolves  hardened

men’s men   Who do not shy away from debauchery   I actually stole

the backless chaps line from one bro who waxed depraved  re: Rihannon

Giddons  as we watched her cavort on stage   And I agree wholeheartedly

Though Rhiannon is almost too much woman for a man


Take my father  a local legend  who seemed to have morphed into a neon

orange bird  on our last visit to his grave   A Hooded Oriole  never ever found

this far north  calling us  as we listened to Jazz  +swatted flies   But as the bird

began to bomb dive the car  we realized it was he   Had he died after our mother

he would likely be in New Orleans  where the track always beckoned  +longlegged

bayou queens crooned his name  Leeeeeeeeeeee  Leeeeeeeeee


Later that day  after being shut out at the cemetery  we visited another local

legend  struggling with late stage disease   A wastrel like Lee  after his quadruple

by-pass surgery   He offered me an elegant hand  with a gentleness unusual to

hulking men   And in a grave voice  he spoke his love of cars   Glimmers of muscles

rippling   the Boss blaring   Teenaged girls too scared to approach the court   of

this Manor king


Moral of this story: STOP PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP!   The wastrel days they

stalk you   Jump into your car!   Head down to Buffalo for chrissakes  Esacpe the

little bunky where you sleep   Tail between legs  licking your sores (ankle chains are

clunky)  Go On!  Escape that bunky where you fight your wife for the TV  night after

soulless night


Was I sleeping while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I

wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day? That with Estragon my friend, at this

place, until the fall of night, I waited for Godot?…..But habit is a great deadener. At

me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, He is sleeping, he knows

nothing, let him sleep on. ( Waiting For Godot  Samuel Bekett  1954)





SPRING 2018   May 21, 1921 – August 16, 1989   RIP   LEE ATKINS

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