Monday, November 12, 2012

Jeffrey DeLotto


6:00 pm
Richland Hills, Texas

Oh, man—you just don't understand.
I get a little rock, baby, but it's just to
Help me a little after work, you know,
Like a beer—everybody needs a beer or
Something after work. Man, we deserve
It, and after that... Yeah, it's a sprayer
And some tools, a old welder—they didn't
Want 'em on the job, just taking up room—
Come on, baby, they ain't new—I just
Cleaned 'em up so's I can get a good price.
Man, that contractor I work for now, he
Buys new stuff all the time, just writes this
Shit off—part of the contract or insurance
Or something like that—these guys never
Pay for the stuff themselves, the system
Is set for them, all set for the boss to get
More than what he’s got, not for folks like
Us—we never get that vig... Besides, you
Ought to see the ride he's got: one of them
Super Duties, custom paint, rims, writes it
All off. Hey, I'm never going back there—
Mr. Swain says I'm doing just fine, writing
Good reports about me—when'd he call?
I missed one appointment—he'll understand,
He knows me. Besides, he's got like a
Hundred guys on the outside, makes his
Quotas, meets us, gets his check—he don't
Care... Come on, baby, don't cry—okay,
Okay, listen: I'll be back before you put the
Kids down for bed—last night was different,
The car wouldn't start, I told you, and then
Billy shows up, jumps me, got some deal
I had to help him with... Hey, just shut up,
Okay? I’m doing my best here—it’s gonna
Be different, babe, okay? Tell the kids
I'll be right back.

Jeffrey reads "Gary":

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Jeffrey confesses: "I enjoy attempting to get into the minds of people outside of normalcy—criminals, cannibals, folks with dementia or personality disorders—there’s poetry there, too, in that moment or two of revelation, of the type. That minor thief stocking the pawn and equipment shops, his motivation and rationale, was a challenge."

JEFFREY DELOTTO teaches and has taught writing and British literature at Texas Wesleyan University, Irbid University (in Jordan), and the University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria. His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies, and he has published Voices at the Door (the Southwest Poets Series winner), Days of a Chameleon: Collected Poems, and the newly released Voices Writ in Sand: Dramatic Monologues and Other Poems. He is also a grower of herbs and vegetables, and skipper on the mutinous family sailboat.

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