Highland Park, CA 2004 (The Gentry has Landed)

long hair
sweat-plastered to stubble like Velcro
blood-rimmed eyes
stare the bastard down
as I grin at the landlord
the one I stopped short of
just shy of pouncing
but for my friend’s cry
of “Jim, no!”
so there I stand, panting
unsure of my move
his face wears fear
I have him scared good
the pickle reek
of all night gin and beer
seeping from my pores
“You Jesus?” I ask
he steps back
getting ready to flee
answers affirmatively
“Well, Hallelujah fuckface!”
I say, rattling eviction papers
moments ago delivered
I stagger, unsteady, dizzy with adrenalin
but no blood on my hands
I go back inside
somehow, miraculously
nobody is dead
it’s only eight A.M.
in Los Angeles
there’s still plenty of time

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