By Mather Schneider
Belinda was a Nurse
Belinda got addicted to morphine.
Belinda got taken out of the hospital
Belinda did two years.
Now Belinda drives taxi with us
and does cocaine off the passenger seat.
Belinda’s family won’t talk to her.
Belinda cries a lot
calls people on her cell phone
talks about how she has come down in the world
and how she has it rough
and how nobody loves her.
Belinda lives at the Parker Suites
complains about the high price
but won’t move.
Belinda got her hair fixed at Gadabout.
Belinda got new shoes.
Belinda is broke.
Belinda eats nothing but ice cream sandwiches.
Belinda makes fun of people constantly
makes a dozen friends a day
and loses them the next.
Belinda is too good
for this job.
It’s all about Belinda
as you can see.
Jack has Gallstones
and is not quite sure
why he’s alive.
He’s only twenty six
and is putting off
There is this feeling in him:
when the gallstones are gone
there will be something else.
and moans and groans
when he walks.
He is like an old man
his handshake weak
He’s decided to quit cabbing
and this is his last day.
I don’t know where he is going
or what he is going to do.
He doesn’t either.
The thing is you grow
fond of people
and do not like to say
The venerated rain and all of us
driving in two feet of water, children scooped
off their feet and taken down the wash
which was bone dry an hour before, laughing, dogs
running around like escaped convicts, thunder like
semis crashing, the whole black lashing
mass moving toward us and over us, the rain staked
by the wind like tent ropes, enemies
smiling at each other, headlights winking in the din,
everyone helpless and giddy, where’re
the wipers, where’s the de-fogger, butterflies
while hydroplaning, the fever of humidity,
people yelling simply to be understood,
a billion fingers on an aluminum awning, girls pawing
their hundred dollar hair in the shrill wind,
clothes like runny paint, mother nature stripping
us raw, umbrellas like race car parachutes,
electricity, trees shaking like giant wet dogs
in slow motion, then, as suddenly as it came, the
edge of the cloud, a butt of pumpernickel,
sun rays cutting down, sovereign again, a last
grumble, the circus moving on
toward Casa Grande, toward Phoenix,
fading lightning like great pillars of neon
falling and breaking along the horizon, a rainbow,
the miracle of dragonflies…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mather Schneider is a 40 year old cab driver in Tucson. He isn’t
affiliated with any university or magazine. His work has appeared for the
last 15 years in places like NYQ, Nerve Cowboy, My Favorite Bullet, Chiron
Review, Slipstream and many others.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, April 16th, 2009.