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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

Matchbox College, Madison, Wisconsin, 1974

By Richard D. Houff

Matchbox College
Madison, Wisconsin, 1974

In the evening,
we would step out of our digs
and stare blindly at one another

The smell of mothballs
and other unpleasantries drove
us forward to the streets below
where we'd check out the action

After a clean sweep of the walks
and gutters, we'd meet at the
corner of Johnson and State,
to compare pocket change

And with a bit of luck;
maybe enough accumulated
scratch to pay a prolonged visit
at the Senate Bar

The recession was painful
and we'd lie between our teeth
in search of a sympathetic ear

We would pretend to be starving
poets or benign artists on the brink;
anything for a free handout

Unfortunately, the usual response
was cold; sending us packing back
to our caves where new survival
strategies gave birth without a word

Article © Richard D. Houff. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-10-18
Image(s) are public domain.
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