Bill Livingston ~ 3 Drags and Put It Out

Singing “Old Man River” for the 3,000th time, Frank throws a shovelful
of gold-veined brimstone into the imposing furnace of Hell, next to a
one-eyed Sammy, whose glass orb rests observant in Satan’s trophy cabinet
next to Frank’s gold lighter and favorite pinky ring, all items confiscated
in the purgatory of customs. Watching from below, as they lived it up,
Lucifer loved the way Sammy would take out his eye and chase the girls,
naked and screaming, holding it at arm’s length, running at top speed
in his lush penthouse suite of the Ambassador Hotel, coked to the nines
after another sold-out gig in the Cocoanut Gove – nude, drunk, always
a toothy grin. Their thighs coated with Sammy’s hair dressing, flashes
of sleek, white, showgirl flank and slick, black, bobbing, multi-talented head.
He never heard the pounding on the floor from the ceiling below.
And Frank lined ‘em up in New York, New York – those babes, hangers-on.
The tumblers of half-finished Stoli and rocks made anyone think that
he drank the whole bottle. Wouldn’t shake a young girl’s hand. “Some
people don’t wash after they go to the bathroom.” So he kissed her
rosy cheek instead, made it with her later that eve. And those eyes,
little blue diamonds, could cut through the hardest souls of jade
and never dull. And the things they saw would make a Viking blush.
And they toil away together, side by side, waiting for Shirley, blowing
off Joey & Peter and putting up with Dino every Friday night for poker.
They wipe brows in unison, toss the shovels, greatness never regretting.
And the view is wonderful from their spacious Hellranch-style homes,
under the giant neon stalactites, overlooking that terrible lake of fire.


Burped from the sooty floorboards of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Bill Livingston, a poet-hyphenate, has been published in things and yawped at places. He currently seeks truth in the nourishing bosom of Brooklyn, New York with his wife and twin tween daughters. He writes to save his soul. He chews the fringe to keep his teeth sharp.

el morte


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