Shedding Skin

He tosses her two twenties,
hurls his later bitch door slam good-bye
across the neon lit motel room,
then drunk stumbles home...
while she dabs his last drop of hate
off her thin, flat stomach
with a Kleenex.

"Someday", she whispers
into the torn ear
of a matted teddy bear,
"I'm gonna lose this scene."
But for now,
she'll settle for a few more hours of shut-eye,
where her dreams can shape the stage,
where her dreams remain the same...
no more dirty needle lovers,
quick cigarette sex in roach motels,
and the clothes hanger killers
stop stalking her gut.

Awaking again,
sucking on a .357 chunk of steel
like a pacifier...
she's not a fucking object
and smart enough to know it,
but dumb enough to have been discarded
at a bus depot only 8 years young,
dumb enough to have clenched her eyes
and spread her thighs
allowing them to violate her
for a bite to eat,
and a mattress tossed
like a dead body
on a damp corner of a warehouse wall.

She slides the gun from her lips,
slips on her tube top,
and slinks back out into
the empty black water of the L.A. night...
searching for another john
or another fix
"Someday", she promises
and can't help but smile
at the 10 years she's survived these streets,
"I'm gonna lose this skin".

13th Floor

patience nursed
like top shelf

the next step
could be
her final step

inch by inch
fingernails trace
brick for grip

fear quivers
her lip, she
no longer wants

to jump
as sirens rape
the boulevard

she dreams
of ladders
tears slip

down her cheeks
as a summer rain
washes rescue

from the camera
flash of morning
news hounds

Portrait Americana

Worn paint flakes from the walls
like a jewish skin
to reveal canyon layers
of red blue brown paint,
reminds me of the face
of a $10 whore
applying fresh make-up
atop the chipped layers
of yesterdays

we call it home
this four walled canker sore
peeled from the alcoholic mind
of Edgar Allan Poe

there are ghosts here
real or imagined
chalked figures
of punk rock goddesses
shooting-up in corners
won't hurt you
if you leave them alone
ghost of poems
led to slaughter
in the violent hands
of this would-be prophet
turned junkie

the bottle of hope
is a bit dry this week
perhaps some Jim Beam
will do the trick,
or finger through the ashtray
for a roach
Jenny has some lsd
chasing red dragons
thru skies of azure,
she dreams like a gypsy
on the pissed stained carpet
yellow like wino teeth

old man Ed
nods the heroin stare
at the blank TV screen
& like Ed
it hasn't worked in years
so Ed doesn't know
how pretty the junkies
and drug dealers
look in high def

I light a joint
& my eyes straighten the couch
supported by bricks
where Stacy lays sleeping,
or counting cigarette holes
in the frayed gray drapes
that block out the stars
which seep like wounds
from the black alley sky

I have dreams
Cherokee blood reminds me
of a home far away
of buffalo's pictured
in text books like dinosaurs,
of streams as clear and blue
as any Coors commercial

society, such a sickness
a virus that swarms
from our TV screens
filled with empty promises
& the quest for dollar bills

a smile slowly flickers
like a rainbow
across Stacy's dreaming lips,
& I know for a moment,
everything will be just fine
because when Stacy smiles
un-like you
it's for real

RC Edrington's poetry can be found at

2007 Underground Voices