January 2005 / Volume VI / Issue I
Ralph Baker

VOLUNTARY MY ASS!

Knock on the door.
“Maintenance!” is the reply–
to my hungover query.

Time’s up.

They want a “voluntary” lean,
or they lock us out of our apt.

The first thing they grabbed
was the electric guitar I was
turning into a sculpture–
and had no wiring anyway,

Then they took the stereo
I smashed when I was drunk
(with my face)

But then they grabbed the 12string–
the “maintenance” guy smiled at me,
then strummed the strings,
making sure it was in tune.

It sang beautifully as always.

“Do you have anything else upstairs?”
Suggested the apartment manager–
then sent the “maintenance” guy to check.

I’m too hungover
     and tired
to deal with this.

Half an hour later I’m at the office.
I request the tape in the tape player.

With the tape–
and what's left of my dignity–
I grab one of those
little root beer barrels
from the bowl
and leave.

Man it was fucking delicious.
RETURN to JANUARY 2005