July 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Four
George Anderson
Calgary International Hostel

From the second floor
as he listens to a Mozart violin concerto
a shopping trolley shambles into view
brimming with empty cans & bottles
tied in clear plastic bags

The larger, fiercer of the two tramps
is hidden under layers of clothes
his Karl Marx beard gives him a subversive edge
the other- as he enters the floodlight-
wears a baseball cap & a dark oversized business jacket
& jeans.

They are struggling. Mute.

The headphones finally lifted… ‘I’ll fucken kill you! You cunt. I’ll kill

A hateful snarl. Then incoherent babblings/ The crash & pull of metal- the
tramps struggling/ disappearing into the surrounding reserve.

John, originally from Pennsylvania, but living in Hawaii says:
‘Did you hear the news?’
‘Some rooms in the bottom floor were trashed last night. They stole
Hiro’s knapsac’.
Who did it?
‘Don’t really know. But we found some of his stuff in the park. He’s still
missing his passport’.

He tells him he isn’t surprised
He had visited the hostel twenty years earlier- in early December
There was a stabbing outside

In the early morning, he passes the needle exchange box
and about half a dozen homeless men are sprawled in the park.
Karl Marx is crashed out on top a picnic table
sparring with some invisible foe
                      throwing stiff uppercuts & crosses

‘I’ll KILL you. You FUCKEN cunt!’
RETURN to July 2005