Oyster Boy Review 04  
  Spring 1996
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» Levee 67


The Not Yet Famous Poet

C. Earl Nelson

sits inside an old photobooth
on the boardwalk in daytona
an ancient machine caked with summer salt
wearing gold frames from 1930
and forty year old wingtips

the not yet famous poet
will pass the day taking amusing snapshots
between pulls from a silver flask.

he'll drink a lukewarm beer poured
into a waxed paper cup
by a middleaged white woman who
has worked the penny arcade all of her life,
sweating in the midday heat

as halfnaked girls
young summer girls
slither back and forth along
the wooden promenade,
their milky white northerngirl
flesh yearning for the perfect sun.

the not yet famous poet
will devour a corndog smothered in
spicy yellow mustard and
chuckle at the sight
of a hundred vulgar housewives
waddling along the boardwalk
their pathetic husbands
shuffling unhappily
behind, and

he will be glad that he lives alone.

in an hour or two
our man will stroll to a nearby payphone
and place a call with
a young polish stripper named Dorota.

they will meet at a small hotel.
they will have mute sex beneath
a ceiling fan in a small filthy room
followed by silence
cigarettes and
a pint of single malt.

she will leave when he asks her to.
he will smile at her willingness to please.
he will fart loudly as she closes the door behind her
and she will giggle softly,
his last twenty between her thumb and forefinger.

at a small chest of drawers
beneath a dusty windowsill
decorated with a plastic vase
full of plastic flowers
the not yet famous poet will unpack
an antique royal typing machine,
run his finger across the ebony keys
before lighting a thin cigar.
then, peeling off his sweatsoaked shirt,
he will turn down the blinds
and write this nonsense thing

much like so many
before him.