Issue 14

Poetry: Collin Hutchison

Waiting for Little Joe

(For Michael Woodson)

Autumn and we’re getting murdered
In the pit, all the junk coming up,
The six falls first and the other
Ace looks you right
In the eye.
All the chips in the box go
Down the hole clicking
As the house sucks it all in.

The smelly bastard beside me
Reaches down into his pants
Either fishing for a chip or,
As I fear, something worse.
He’s leaning into the table and
His hand comes up empty.

And we go down fast
Below what we thought I could
400 hundred in 12 minutes chasing Little Joe
and fighting off this guy’s foul
stink, elbows, the chips flying into
the prop bets, some drunk in
the hook calling out,” I love being drunk on a Saturday morning—Christ
my wife can hear me from the other end of this joint.”

The other nonsense: “ Two dollar YO!”
“Dollar on all the hard ways,”
“C and E”, all from shooters who drive home
fretting about the rent, swearing
the tables were fixed.
And so it goes.

Six months later,
Little Joe comes calling
Back to back to back
While I am sitting fruitlessly on
The rational six and eight
And the lunatics with missing fingers and
Front teeth are howling exuberance,
For Dionysis is risen
But not for us.
Not for us.