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Archive for the ‘John Hartness’ Category

The middle-aged high school football hero
stood on the fifty-yard line and looked around
at the wreckage of his adulthood
scattered in the laurel wreaths of his youth
as trophies and whiskey bottles and wedding rings
glinted in the grass while the dew
slowly soaked the cuffs
of his bulging size 48 elastic waistband slacks
and ruined his expensive Italian shoes.
He stood there swaying to the deafening chants
of the nubile cheerleaders that still sucked his dick
on the hood of his dad’s Chevy behind the field house
in the shards of his bourbon-hued memories.
The golden boy turned used-car-huckster
with bad knees and failed hair replacement
sat down in the middle of the field,
wrapped his arms around the broken pieces
of the state MVP trophy,
that plastic and lead painted pinnacle of his life
and kissed goodnight to the Saturday Night
Special.

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Santa Fix by John Hartness

This ain’t no Bedford Falls
and I’m nobody’s Jimmy Stewart.
Nothing happens when a bell rings,
except another nickel in a red bucket
outside a Wal-Mart while some fat bitch
pushing a groaning shopping cart with one busted wheel
tosses change so she doesn’t have to really change.
Capra’s vaselined lens doesn’t stand a chance
in the sharp-edged daylight we’re stuck in,
and you’re no tramp-stamped Donna Reed
shaking on a bare mattress
with a trail of snot and tears
puddling on your pillow
while I go out looking for Santa Fix
and an icicle of a very certain flavor.
There are no wise men living at The Lake apartments,
and the guiding lights on Rosehaven flash blue and red.
My mistletoe hangs in the mission tonight
but tomorrow is another day
as another bad old movie used to say.
The kind I watched with my grandma
when I was a kid
when I still dreamed
when I still hoped
that tomorrow wasn’t just another today.

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