THE CREEP WITH A BLOWHOLE
A decrepit man, a magician’s assistant
in an orange jumpsuit, appears from a pile
of sweat stained sheets on the bottom bunk.
Pinching his nostrils, he blasts a ball
of mucus from the cannula in his neck
into a green trashcan by the cell door. I squint
trying to read him from across the room.
In stuttering fluorescent light, his hair
looks like crumpled newspapers.
He plugs the crater in his throat and croaks
a question to the room. It goes unanswered.
Everyone here knows he's famous
for making things disappear: mostly his appendages
into his daughter and her daughter. The blond
kid, whose face is freckled with acne,
who tried to punch an inmate
through the bars of a cell while we passed out
lunch trays, says, Somebody should stuff a cork
into that motherfucker's blowhole.
Static fizzles from the hall;
a guard flits past the barred door
like visions of home.
Gerald So reads "The Creep with a Blowhole":
Trevor confesses: I was locked in the Ogle County Jail with a filthy old man who was convicted of molesting his granddaughter. Every now and then, he crawled from his nest of sweat-stained sheets to blow phlegm from his tracheostomy hole into the trashcan. He is the creep with a blowhole.