Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ozzie and Harriet Tubman. By Dig Wayne


Ozzie was on his fifth hi-ball when Ilene limped in. She noticed his splintered chin melting on the bar. His watch read 12:38. 


Leroy, the barkeep, knew. 
"I got my eye on you Ilene. Don't try to steal his watch." 


"Give me some credit, Leroy. It's a goddam Timex." 


"Your credit's no good here, Ilene. We've danced to that dead beat before.”


"Shuddup Leroy. You're not clever. I got a brand new Tubman twenty and I'm free, black and 52. Give me a shot and a punch in the gut." 
Ilene eased onto the stool next door to Ozzie. She fake-coughed to stir his attention away from the inside of his eyelids. 
"Hey, sailor. What's got you all perforated? You look like my ulcer." 


"Gnuh?" Ozzie snorted. 


Ilene crossed her good leg over her bad. 
"You're new to this facility, don't recognize your smell. You local?" 


Ozzie ventured a mumble. 
"They never tell you they lie. It would be a lie to believe that truth." 


Ilene shot Leroy a look. Leroy kept his job. He delivered her order and waited for the Tubman. Ilene rolled the balled up 20 at Leroy but kept her bead on Ozzie. 


"She done you wrong, eh?" 


Ozzie was an open book with every other chapter ripped out. 
"Watering, always with the watering and planting. Non-stop. I look for her... She's not in the house, she's watering. Telling me about a thousand types of ground cover. What do I care about the fuckin'...what's coverin' the fuckin' ground... Now she won't even come in the house. Pitched a goddamn tent out there." 


Just then, Leroy brought Ilene's change. Ozzie kept singing the blues. 
"She left me for the garden." 


"My old lady left me for the pool guy," Leroy offered. 
"I don't have a gardener. I cut my own grass." 


Ilene knocked her drinks back and counted her change. 
"Don't be an asshole, Leroy."






Dig Wayne put together his first chapbook in 1999. It was called Blurts and Blusters. He has somehow lost all 6 copies. “Perhaps when I’m dead, one will turn up for my children to read and wonder who their father really was”  


Dig’s poetry has been published in the literary journals, Askew and Spillway. He has two self-published works, Bongo Skin and Hip Pockets. He is working on two new collections, Horny Chandeliers and a 45 page Haiku manuscript entitled One Fell Swoop. Dig grew up in Ohio and has practiced his art in New York City and London. More at Digwayne.com

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