Bed of roses

When I go home
Drunk and fucked up enough
Right off Line 9
There’s a garden
A Parisian garden
It’s small
There’s only one rose bush
Growing up in there
With no friend
That’s all there is
A single rose bush
I’m not even sure it has thorns
Parisian garden
But every spring
There are roses there
Pink, like roses should be
So, when I go home I was saying
And it’s summer
And there are roses
Coming home drunk and fucked up
I stick my nose in one of those roses
I even pull the stick
So I don’t have to bend
And I stick my nose into there
Like a slob
Like I’m a Viking or something
I know there could be malevolent insects
Biting my ass for being so sensible
I don’t care
And I smell it
I smell the rose
And I don’t know how to describe
What it does to me
Not enough words
Fucking roses
Right there
For all
Surviving like nothing else matters
So I’m thrilled by the scent
For the second it takes to come to my senses
Then I have to go home
Get there, in the elevator
And you get home
And you look at the clock
And you don’t understand

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Balling not in Sofia, Bulgaria

What really startled me is that I didn’t hear them coming. And neither did the dog. Before I knew it, I had a Kalashnikov muzzle on my temple. I felt it, hard, before I heard. It was Bulgarian, I guess, but I knew what it meant: “Don’t move!” So I sat still.

It was a nice evening in the Balkans. Cold war wasn’t far but there was spring in the air. I was sitting in a city park and, until then, I was pretty happy with myself in Sofia.

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Rose is from Texas.

That was my very first night in New Orleans. Big Easy indeed. I had just been mugged in Louis Armstrong Project, right by the French Quarter, by two young black kids – one tall, one short. The big one had me locked up high by the neck. I saw the short one coming with a big pipe in his hands. I kicked my feet; I was wearing tongs… So the short punk went whack, whack, whack, right on my face. I felt, and heard, the bones in my jaw cracking quite clearly. Then I went to black.

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