Adele Mendelson is a California poet and fiction writer. She reads her work at venues around the Bay Area. At present she is concentrating on experimental fiction, which means she can go to any disorganized imaginative lengths and put a respectable name on her efforts. Her main concern in writing is not to bore herself or others. She believes that writing should be sexy, there should be something at stake, and the dark side should be lurking just beneath the cover.
Bukowski Contest Winner 2nd Place!
On the Way to Bed (or, I've Been Reading Too Much Charles Bukowski) (October 20, 2009. Issue 10.)
He ordered me a beer at a Mission St bar
then finished it off himself.
I asked, “Is this how you treat a woman?”
He said “I know how to treat a woman,
and they keep coming back for more.”
When he said, “Do you wanna go back to my place?”
I knew it would be the same tired old mistake I’d been
making for thirty years, thinking the wrong man,
was better than no man. So is said,
“Sure. I’ve got nothin’ better to do.”
He drove a green Camaro and sang like Reba MacIntyre .
He offered me a bag of fritos and a scrubby little roach.
He said he was a rancher and waved north towards the hills.
He took me to an all night bar and grill in a shopping mall
with boarded up stores and abandoned carts
and then to his apartment on Sixth Street, where
a bunch of wino’s gathered door. He knew them
all by name, bummed a cigaret, and on the 4th floor landing
a woman named Flora hit me up for a couple of bucks.
He was a big man with a big gut and I could see
he badly needed a new pair of pants. He didn’t have
a sofa or a chair or a bedspread. Not even a TV.
He said, “You gotta understand horses,
they don’t think like you and me.”
I went into the bathroom to look in the medicine cabinet
and found some Q-tips and a razor, and a cake of soap.
There was a porn magazine on the floor,
two women writhing with a snake in a bed.
(A man should be forgiven his pornography.)
There was a Virgin of Guadelupe candle
burning red on the edge of the tub,
and I felt the bodies of 100 women, their breath and moans,
their naked breasts embedded in the walls.
And I thought that I might love him
that I wanted to stay for breakfast
fix him some eggs, maybe clean the place up.
There are so many ways to love a man
with head and heart, with body and soul,
and sometimes with the mouth.
And there is no key to love, no way to do it right,
but 500 ways to fail.
But this poem was supposed to be about getting to bed.
Well, we got drunk and never made it