The Lord of the Empty Beer Bottles

from by Thunderegg

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Empty beer bottles with their labels ripped off so the contraption won’t credit the deposit. Scratches for no itches, and itches for no scratches, a video and no way to pause it. Forty-eight pages of newspaper taking up forty-eight square feet of floor. Stop banging on the door. It’s blocked by an open drawer. Thirty-five pens, but none of them work. Someone pour a soda for this total jerk. More than thirty-five days since this jerk’s worked. Someone score some jerky for this jerky clerk. Well, no, it’s not that bad at all, and with nothing left to do, he can watch all the others in their hundred-dollar shoes. The ones that have the jobs, but don’t have an inkling of what an inkling is, or what it might be thinking. They just know that if a star is twinkling, it’s because they’ve been drinking. Come on, come off it, what’s with all the distress? This gift of two billion seconds was delivered express.

I am the lord of the empty beer bottles, I scatter them at will, or stack them in a pyramid, or simply smash them for the thrill. I collect the rounded sea glass that washes upon my shore, and gather it up, throw it out to sea, when I feel like having more.

There’s a wiffleball under my mattress, and I have to confess, it’s a comfort to know at least I’m not a princess.

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from Spent Butane (1999), released September 7, 1999

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