MIKE BOYLE

Cars and Heroin

Mike Hoke
came to pick me up
in Harrisburg
and we drove up
81 which turns
into I-78

had our guitars
and some other stuff
in the back and then
the thing
died
20 or so miles
into Jersey

engine locked up
this keeps happening
to me
6 years earlier
the fuel pump
in my Mustang
went out
on a stretch of road
outside Long Branch
going uphill
with no
place to pull off
I got out to

push the thing
it was
around 95 out
my girl, Wendy
was fretting
and a car came up
behind
guy leaned out the window
yelled
get in
I'll push
so he pushed us
bumper to bumper
and we got

over the hill
glided into some
apartment complex
and I started
knocking on doors
some kind older couple
took us in

and gave us iced tea
called a local garage
and it worked out
but we never made it
to NYC
that time
stayed in Asbury Park
for a few nights
drinking
and I went
skinny dipping
in the motel pool
late
early
saying come on in
Wendy!
LOUD
DRUNK
she didn't

but somehow
kindness
happens
when you need it

then last year
another girl
another car
her's
died
on the way to
Ocean City
MD

another kind old couple
more tea and
phone calls
that car
blew a timing belt
and had to be towed
we took the train
back to Harrisburg
that night

after waiting for it
in a black bar
I was on heroin
and we got into an
argument
later

she stomped off
and we continued
the argument
for a few
years
I think

then Mike sd
how Linda sd
he should remember
to put oil
in the thing
but he forgot

it was winter and I was
wearing deck shoes
state cop came by
called it in
towtruck came
and we gave the car

to the towtruck guy
for a ride
into Easton
Mike sd
fuck it
it only cost
$400
now it ain't
worth
shit

nope
the driver
and I sd

took the bus
from Easton
to NYC
got a cab
down to Houston
where Mike
and Linda lived then
before they lived
in the flea-bag hotels
they lived in

later

as soon as we got
in the door
Mike broke
out the works
and the dope
Linda had
and shot some

I thought you sd
you quit
I sd and he laughed
I knew you wouldn't
come up to play
if you really knew
he sd
want some?

sure
I sd
the next day
we took his
strat to pawn
and bought a bunch
of dope
and David
the guy

with the connection
sd
be carefull with this stuff
it's strong
I put a bag into
my works
and shot half
waited

and everything went
almost black
grey, really
knew
shot the rest in the sink
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike's Shadow

A few months later I was in
the Hotel River View
aka
the Jane West
close to the Hudson

you could rent a room there
for an hour
or the night
or
by the week
cheap

was up for the weekend
to work on a project
with Mike
playing with this
model
that had a few songs
and thought
she was a singer

she had the look
and could hit all
the notes
but I didn't really care
it was just fun
for me
to be playing with my
old friend
again

she had rented out
one of the most expensive
rehersal rooms
in manhattan
and we had worked out the songs
all afternoon

had enlisted
our old pal
David
to play drums
Mike played bass
and I
aka
Tony
my old street name
played guitar

Mike was pretty strung out by then
had quit his job with
we deliver
actually had robbed them
of a few pounds of weed
and some mushrooms
relived them
he sd
laughing

there was always
a bit of a barbarian
in him
that's what I liked
he was as desperate
as me

after rehersal
I figured we'd go down to his place
on houston
but he sd
nah,
c'mon
and took me to where he
and Linda were living now

Linda was back
to dancing
in the strip clubs
around times sq
and the business

he thought he was starting
with the weed
he stole
never happened

I got a room
down the hall
but spent the night
in their room
Mike told me that he dug
Nick Cave
I had turned him onto
Nick
a few months earlier
told me how
he used to put on
Your Funeral My Trial
and do a shot
when Nick sang
that line
I am a crooked man and I've walked a crooked mile

looked at me like
that's you man
but it really wasn't
anymore

and he didn't have a stereo
anymore
so we played songs
all night
in his hotel room

the next day he told me
I was nodding out
during the songs
and I sd
sorry
he sd
that's OK
I just waited till
you woke up
and continued playing

you didn't know
did you?
no
I sd
---------------------------------------------------------------

Trine

Mike
Linda and
I had already spent
the early evening
in tomkins sq park
drinking
smoking
getting to know
the people
we were becoming
but mostly
goofing
around

running to the deli
for 6-packs
every hour
or so
as the cops
walked by
and the in-crowd
walked by
and the bums
scouted out
the places
thay would be spending
the night

we weren't too concerned
about what was going on
in the hip clubs
within walking distance
and all the boho folks
wearing black
or dressing like
madonna
no

then
later
night
east river park
on a park bench
the projects on ave d
licking our backs
licking history
off
our backs
wind whispering something
and
watching
the planes
take off
from the 23rd st
seaport



Mike Boyle was a singer / songwriter / guitarist in New Left, a seminal, progressive
punk band in the 80's. As part of the indie, DIY rock scene, they released 2 singles
on their own label and recived significant college radio airplay across the USA.
These poems are from a collection called Downtown Stories available free at
Broomsnack Chaps.






2003 Underground Voices