Jack Moody

by Horror Sleaze Trash on July 14, 2017

Jack Moody is a short story writer, poet and freelance journalist from wherever he happens to be at the time. He has had work published in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Round Up, Cold Creek Review, CC&D Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Ignatian Literary Magazine, The Legendary, and Southern Pacific Review, with work forthcoming in Brick Moon Fiction. He didn’t go to college. He likes his privacy. He doesn’t have a social media account. Don’t ask him to make one. Contact him at j.moody9116@gmail.com

 


 

dark bars on sunny days

 

there’s nothing romantic about being a drunk

especially a drunk that writes

because for god’s sake

you better have more to write about than that barstool under your ass.

no one loses sympathy like a drunk that only writes about being a drunk

but hey, I’m learning

 

the door is left open so the sunlight comes in and it’s blinding.

when people walk in, they’re obscured by the bar’s shadow

and bathed in the glow of light from behind like each one is angel

but they’re not.

they’re drunks.

because it’s four in the afternoon in a dark bar on a sunny day.

if any angels have entered through these doors,

they clipped their wings a long time ago

or they just wear baggy clothes

I’m hoping for that.

 

I always imagined that if angels were real,

they would be the ugliest human beings you could ever meet;

only the most downtrodden, horrible, broken people

otherwise it’d be too easy

no one has sympathy for the angels.

I believe you’d have to go to the darkest places of humanity to find the angels,

they’d like it there

no gated communities, no law offices, no government buildings

no, if angels are real

they’re under the bridges and sleeping on mats in section eight housing,

shooting up heroin on street corners and selling ass to johns on 82nd street

 

no one has sympathy for the angels

so maybe there’s wings underneath those torn jackets after all

and no one will ever know.

they sit at barstools

waiting for humanity to convince them we’re all still worth it

and they’re still waiting

no wonder they drink.

 


 

 

close call

 

the old man approached me at the bar

and sat down calmly to my left.

 

“now, I’m trying to help you out, kid.

don’t turn around when I say this.”

 

I kept my eyes forward,

staring at the reflection in the mirror

holding a full glass.

 

“that guy back there playing pool—

don’t look, kid—

he’s got a pistol tucked into his waist.

I saw it when he bent over to shoot.

I heard him and his buddy

talking about you.

what you need to do is

finish your drink—

real casual—

get up and walk out.

I’m trying to keep you from

getting a bullet in your back.”

 

I grinned and drank,

eyes still focused ahead.

 

“good to know.”

 

“I’m not kidding,” he said.

 

“I know you’re not.”

 

I drained the glass,

got up slowly,

and walked out of the bar.

 

 


 

 

 

someone go find the zookeeper

going out for a drink on a weekend night

is like stepping into a zoo run by the animals

it becomes profoundly depressing

the people stumble and slur

spit and hack and vomit on each other

scream and fight and babble about nothing

it’s like a ralph steadman drawing

the scene is grotesque

and I begin to wonder

my god,

is this what I normally look like to the people around me?

 

nights like these make me question my choices

the drink no longer works and it grabs my hand

as it takes a nosedive off

the cliff’s edge I was so tentatively balanced upon

 

a drunk man with barbeque sauce spread across his face

says he likes me and has a gift for me

it’s a lint-covered pile of

chewing tobacco directly from his pocket

I haven’t said a word

he doesn’t know me

he doesn’t like me

I don’t like him

I look at his eyes

there’s nothing in there

 

someone go find the zookeeper

 

 


 

 

 

little things

 

a man with red hair and body sores

rolls an office chair down the middle

of a downtown street and blocks traffic

he belts out the lyrics to a song that doesn’t exist

and talks emphatically to the open air

my hangover is like my stomach was turned inside out

and put back inside me

 

I wanna fuck my uncle’s wife

yes, that would make her my aunt but

she’s not blood related and

that sentence sounds less depraved

if I phrase it like that

 

I’m sitting on the side of the street

waiting to deliver food to

kids my age working in buildings I’d

never otherwise see,

who make more money in a week

than I do in six months

I should just spit in this food or

give it to a homeless person

I really wouldn’t be sorry

 

a short asian wearing a white dress

meets me in the building to show me where to go

I follow her ass as it sways left and right

the dress gives off the illusion that

you’re staring through it

I’m glad I didn’t spit in the food now

I take a spoonful of some of the food

before dropping it off

I wink at the asian

it all worked out

 


 

 

 

jesus

 

the girl with the blue hair is back for open mic night

she plays ukulele and sings about

getting her pussy licked while snorting adderall

and it sounds like a dying animal

 

mike the bar back looks over at her with a deft glance

and winks at me

look, I’d fuck her too

but I wouldn’t be proud of it

 

“that’s really somethin’,” he says

 

I look over at her and study the curves,

laugh and go back to my drink

 

“hey, anything looks good after a seven-year dry spell,” he says

 

“jesus,” I say,

“does your thing even work anymore?”

 

“yeah I know, I get kind of lightheaded thinking about it.

42 to 49,” he slices his hand through the air: “nothin’.”

 

“jesus,” I say

 

“yeah, well I had a few shots with a couple

skanky sluts over the years,

but after your whore wife cheats on you

with your best friend for fourteen years,

I’d rather jerk off in a crowded supermarket than

throw a shot into one of those cunts.”

 

“jesus, mike.”

 

 


 

 

and all together now

 

all the people on the television are fat

all the old regulars tell the same damn story they told last week

the drinks are the same price

the women aren’t here

the music sucks

the sun is still up

no one here looks happy

but it’s solitude

I’d rather sit here than call a friend

and do something where the sunlight can reach me

I feel bad

but I’d feel worse out there with real people,

holding conversations,

making eye contact,

laughing

it doesn’t make sense

circumstantial happiness sucks the very life out of me

it drains me away

until all that’s left is a black stain on the floor

these people on tv aren’t happy

they were promised money,

brief fame so they can tell their co-workers

at the cubicle about how they finished the sentence

on that big board next to the aging woman

with the plastic in her face

the make-up caked on by faceless artists can’t

hide the gap in their souls

they won’t fill it by standing in front of a camera

that red dot by the lens might as well be aimed between their eyes

there’s no way out of this

but of course, I write this with a drink in front of me

I never said I was any better

 

one good thing about the titanic

was that every one of them

had to leave the boat,

one way or another

 

 

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