The Slug

Jeremy Mark Ritch 2017

The Slug

Staggered walk into a bar

His belly bulging

Pants sit below the sagging waistline

His hair thin but trying to remain presentable

Nicotine hands

Yellow fingers match his eyes

Liver damaged dare devil

His breath a mix of beef jerky, beer, cheap cigarettes and spearmint

His fat bloated ass covers the stool like a mushroom top

The legs of the chair straining to hold this asshole up

It’s 2pm on a Tuesday

He is at his second bar today

He works occasionally with a friend

Unloading trucks of metal at the scrap yard

His take home is just enough for cigs and booze

His life’s blood

The fuel for his degenerate soul

190 proof chicken soup

The Slug’s thin greasy cracked hands

Holds crumbled bills

Cloudy eyes gaze

Nicotine is his blood

Heart pumping sludge from fried food

Eyeing up young beauties

Perverted and lonely

Hopelessly ambitious

Taking health for granted to live

Smoking to breathe

A voice cracked by hard nights

Hangover mornings

Sweaty waste slumped over trousers

Suspenders stretched thin

He has traveled the States

On rails and bus routes

Spent 10 years in South America

Dodging drafts and bullets

A smuggler of vice

A fighter of bigger men

A troubadour of hobo history

European tours of debauchery

Found a brothel in France by accident

His heart was taken away in a London alleyway

She loved his younger frame

But predicted the end of his youthful looks

He wandered like a gypsy

Only to find himself an alien back home

Friend of writers and artists

A trusted bag man for a time

Wheels stolen in a midnight storm

Con man of legend

The Slug has lived a long life

Many times over

Taking his tales with him

Truth faded into mythology

Now he takes in a happy hour shot

Or a morning beer slurp

Broken smile lunch counter storyteller

That’s the epitaph

Just a Lone Ranger

A trailblazer of revel rousing

This bloated devil once was a dreamboat

Wrapped in psychedelic folly

Demonized and ostracized

Cold and alone

Bottles and shady women

Dirty mind unleashed

He is a hero to the renegade

A waste to the establishment

No family ties

Just triumphs and failures

Illegitimate father of bastard paternity

As the years pass by

He fades

Like a sun set in the west

Slow and beautiful

Yellow, orange and then black

Until it’s the darkest hour

The credits roll

He is The Slug

From “Rock N Roll Tiger” 2015

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