John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review and The Black Shamrock Magazine. He is also the author of The Still Night Sessions from Whiskey City Press. His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine, San Antonio Review, San Pedro River Review, Piker Press, The Dope Fiend Daily , Spill The Words Press. His work is always unfiltered
Johnny deserved more than a dingy room in the French quarter.
Left alone in a mystery in room 37 in St Peter House.
A born to lose rebel with a doomed addiction.
He plugged in and shot up.
Lived life upon that razor’s edge and played like none other in spite of the odds.
There is a broken brilliance to a fractured soul.
As you said “You can’t put your arms around a memory.”
But certainly time has placed the title of legend upon you.
They took your money and passport in what many consider a drug deal gone wrong.
Johnny deserved more and settled for even less.
Everyone deserves a poem written for them and this one’s for you.
Rachel sat on the bed listening to what sounded like someone dying in the restroom.
This was far from the romantic vision she had within her head, when she had agreed to a weekend getaway with a so called famous writer.
“Hey, are you alright in there?”
She called out.
“Yeah, must’ve been something I ate last night.”
“The only thing I recall you eating last night was me.”
The door opened as light filled the semi dark room.
“Well least that explains why my breath stinks so bad.”
Frank said as he laid on the bed,
As she punched Frank’s arm.
They laid there for a while before anything else was said the room felt more like a tomb than a fine hotel suite.
“Is every morning going to be like this?”
“No, normally I’m really hungover and not feeling this good.”
Frank said as he got up and walked to the small fridge.
As he removed a few shot bottles.
“Care for breakfast my dear.”
“You just literally finished puking your guts out and now you’re mixing a drink. Don’t you think you might want to slow down and give your body a rest?”
“So I take it, that’s no sweetheart?”
Rachel simply shook her head questioning why in the hell she had decided to tag along on this adventure in the first place.
“What are you trying to live up to some invisible standard, set by those great writers you speak of so often? Or do you just want to see if you can match Hemingway in some literary big dick contest?”
Hemingway couldn’t match Hemingway my dear, I’m just enjoying the party as long as it lasts and getting as many drinks down my neck as possible.”
Frank had heard the same spiel from women he had cared for so many times before.
They wanted to taste total freedom, yet somehow forgot.
That the wild night would always lead to another semi-sick morning.
And no man, not even Frank Murphy, was invincible or impervious to the occasional hangover or usually permanent one in his case.
Rachel was just another vice like the bottle and at times even the page.
Frank understood, we all have an addiction that’s never the question.
It’s simply a matter to what degree is your addiction.
Rachel was a great escape and a weekend fling and nothing more.
“You know, I’m curious what’s with that woman you’re always writing about? I forget her name.”
Rachel said in her attempt to seem interested yet remain semi catty as women even at a great distance were a bit like Japanese fighting fish.
Beautiful at a distance but best kept in their own little bowl or they would tear into one another simply by default.
“You mean Susan.”
“That’s her name, what’s the deal with her and why are you always writing about her?”
“She is the captain cunt to my drunken Peter pan sweetheart.”
“Are you still in love with her or something?”
“Heavy on the something with a side of fries.”
Frank didn’t wait for a reply he simply excused himself and went to sit outside on the balcony.
Taking a seat as he enjoyed the sunrise on the ocean.
No matter the state, the ocean was always a welcome sight.
He understood his bed partners’ mock concern.
He just didn’t care to be dissected by anyone let alone somebody he shared a bed with and nothing more.
Weekend getaways were simply an excuse to escape from the page and the people who made you regret ever wanting to be a writer to begin with.
The people who always said the same stupid shit and always assumed they were so interesting you just had to write a novel about them.
And their ceramic elephant collection and four cats.
Who if you left the door open would certainly escape their boring asses if only they could.
Frank felt like death warmed over and nobody ever needed an audience when they simply wanted to puke and recover to chase the buzz that evening.
Rachel sat down beside him on the balcony.
She was quiet for a second but Frank knew that wouldn’t last long.
“You know, you’re nothing like I thought a known writer would be.”
“Yeah and what’s that?”
“I mean your writing at times seems so deep and yet you seem very cold and distant.”
“Well thank you for that charming analogy my dear any other complaints I suggest you speak with my agent. Which reminds me I’m sure he is asleep so let me give you his number.”
“You know I get you hide behind your humor.”
“And large women at times but that is strictly because I always enjoy the view.”
Racheal was getting annoyed at Frank’s lack of interest in a serious conversation.
“What are you so damn afraid of, why can’t just be serious for one second and open up to me?”
Frank’s patience was wearing thin with his hangover.
“Okay sweetheart what is it you want to know that I haven’t shared as of yet?”
“Why do you always write about women yet are always alone? I mean why don’t you just settle down instead of drinking yourself to death chasing that goodtime?”
Frank kicked back the remains of the screwdriver he mixed for breakfast.
Leaned back in his chair putting his feet upon the railing.
“Well you see it’s very simple sweetheart. I love women but I will never be in love with any one woman because honestly, why spend weeks at a time sharing your thoughts when you can simply cut to the chase and share orgasms?”
“So it’s all just about getting off with you, I mean don’t you ever want anything more?”
“Yeah I want a good cocktail, maybe some lower priced drugs which reminds me are you a dealer?”
“I’ve told you like seventeen times I’m a stewardess you asshole!”
“Well at least you enjoy getting high.”
Rachel stormed off without a word as she in vain tried to slam the sliding door into the room.
She would cool off eventually or maybe just call a cab and leave Frank to his vices and page counts.
He reached in his pocket as he felt for another shot bottle of overpriced vodka.
As just then a seagull dropped a shit on his head that splattered down his face.
It was warm and made him almost vomit.
As an old man stepped out on the balcony from the room beside him.
They both stared for a minute saying nothing as the old man simply shook his head.
As he said something under his breath as he went back inside.
Yeah sometimes you can pen lines of pure beauty and grace and other times you’re truly shit out of luck.
Frank showered and hopped in bed in hopes of hopping on his cranky bed partner.
The bed was empty and Rachel’s bags were gone with her.
She had met the man behind the page and learned he was just the prick he portrayed himself to be.
It’s hell to be a delusion within someone’s mind.
If ever he met that deep charming bastard of a fantasy, he would happily kick him in the balls.
Frank poured another and ordered a dirty movie.
And enjoyed some alone time the best way he knew how.
Sure Frank knew he had a problem but he had a firm grip on his issue at the moment.
Thank the lord he had asked for extra towels.
He sure as shit hoped he had left that do not disturb sign upon the door.
Because unless you had a large ass and nice rack seldom was Frank ever happy to see anyone.
John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review, Black Shamrock Magazine and Under The Bleachers. He Is also the author of The Still Night Sessions from Whiskey City Press. His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine, Piker Press, San Pedro River Review, San Antonio Review, Heroin Love Songs, 1870 Magazine. His work is always unfiltered.
The old dog’s , prefer to sleep more in the sun than to chase cars .
The fight just leaves us and we are left sad, empty and often alone.
I do not believe I have lost my edge but I do often question my purpose.
I pen lines and no longer care if people read them.
I no longer write to entertain, I am simply passing time.
A wasted line and another hour past.
A shared drink with my only true friend and the voices in my head.
They no longer concern themselves with the opinions of others as well.
I guess that’s why drinking alone feels so right.
The liquor’s warmth has replaced my passion and memories have replaced you.
Old dogs die hard as so will I.
Alone underneath the sun.
John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review and Black Shamrock Magazine. His work has appeared here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine, 1870 Magazine, Piker Press, San Pedro River Review, Heroin Love Songs, The Dope Fiend Daily, Sacred Chickens. His work is always unfiltered.
“I don’t get why you just don’t stop all these stupid games, I mean just marry me and we can spend the rest if our lives together. “
Sara was delusional about our relationship more so than I.
It was something and at times it beat nothing.
It was sex to me and love to her.
Cold as it sounds it’s simply the truth.
And Frank didn’t entertain her delusions which would always certainly end with her upset and Frank relieved for a nice vacation from his favorite dwarfs company.
“I would love to come visit you sweetheart but honestly my GPS is broken and I view our relationship kind of like a timeshare.
You know, more a rental that others have the option to buy.”
“Hey, asshole! seriously I’m not going to wait for you forever !”
“And sweetheart I respect that. I mean if you find a guy that’s semi brain dead and not chemically assisted to get stiff on a regular basis. By all means hop on that dick and ride that fucker into the sunset.”
“I cannot believe you are just letting me slip away you conceited prick!”
Sara replied building up to her usual blow up.
Frank simply got up and poured himself a drink .
Holding the bottle up.
“Care for one sweetheart ?”
“No I don’t want a drink you bastard !
Why can’t you just love me? What’s wrong with me ? “
“Well sugar, nothing aside from the fact I do not love you and I never will.
We’re friends and that’s it.”
It was harsh but Frank knew sometimes the truth was always the best route .
“Oh so you fuck all your friends?”
Frank kicked back his drink.
“Well I would but Bernie’s wife would probably get pissed. I mean with Simon already hitting on him every two seconds . Honestly why have a conversation when you can have an orgasim , that’s what I always say.”
“I swear to fucking God ! , why does everything have to be a joke with you.”
Sara, was pissed beyond words as everyone has feeling’s, well minus Frank.
“Sugar , who said I was joking. I mean a relationship between an agent and literary brothers is a special one . We actually all have been thinking of building a commune in the Midwest and maybe becoming modern day beatniks or professional open mic poets .”
Even Sara had to almost laugh at that one .
And as Frank mixed her drink along with his own as he took a seat beside her on the couch.
“Look sugar, I know it hurts but trust me. I’m not the one .”
“Yeah but I’m in love with you so guess I am an idiot .”
“Sara cut the shit !, you’re not in love with me, you’re in love with an idea that can never be me. There’s always someone better. I’m a good time and that’s it, nothing more .”
The conversation continued and eventually like anything else in life it ended with bitter words and in Sara’s case some tears.
And as Frank sat on the deck afterwards, watching the sunset.
His ever faithful four legged drinking buddy finally joined him.
“Hey there you nutless wonder . Glad you finally chose to join the land of the living cause I really didn’t feel like digging a hole today.”
Boozer just looked at Frank and walked on past him and jumped into his chair he kept outside as he cut a fart while in midair.
Then stood there looking at Frank for a treat.
“Wow asshole what you do for an encore go shit the bed?”
Boozer was getting older much like Frank the eternal bachelor’s enjoyed some drinks and what little time they had together.
Listening to the sounds of the waves crash into the shore.
There was a peace in being alone most feared to embrace.
Frank was certainly not most people.
Sometimes alone with your thoughts and old dog and some stiff drinks.
Was the best company a man could ask for.
Well until you got that urge .
But escorts were a simple fix and far cheaper than divorces .
Frank was forever the bachelor it seems.
John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of The Rye Whiskey Review and Black Shamrock Magazine. His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Piker Press, San Pedro River Review, San Antonio Review ,Romingos Porch and Schlock Magazine. His work is always unfiltered
I had lived in the south for most of my existence.
Yet here I was stuck in the midwest in a snowstorm.
Freezing my balls off, watching the snow pile up with someone I had met off the internet and now was my constant companion.
It was a different kind of cold and it was definitely a different kind of place.
I was used to people who could do more than stare. Susan’s family were as welcoming as a cemetery and the weather outside matched the scene within.
I tried my best to ignore the awkward silence, but even I found it to be the wrong kind of silence.
“I know it’s rough here baby, but let’s just get through these two weeks and get the hell out of here and back home.”
Susan said as she snuggled next to me on that old couch.
The room was like everything about that place. Cold and unwelcoming.
And I just worked on the house for something to do, so as not to go insane from boredom.
Fixing holes in the walls from her drug addict brothers, left behind wrath.
Susan’s father was a closet case and first class prick.
A bitter fool who took everything out on everyone else, for not choosing to live his life to suit himself.
“This weather may keep you all here longer than you originally planned kids.”
“Well let me start breaking shit so I will have something to do.”
I replied to her father, as he shot me a look of pure disdain.
Susan said, almost laughing in spite of her father’s scowl.
I didn’t push the issue and later on, as I sat alone watching the void.
Of barren fields being buried quickly by the snow I felt the oddest since of peace.
Swigging a bottle of almost empty Jim Beam I brought for the trip.
As Susan and her father were off to get supplies and I was left with the house, that was a home in title only.
The drinks went down fast, as I viewed a coyote off in the distance.
He was alone and understood the silence as so did I.
We had our freedom and that was about it.
We are no longer together, but I will always recall the coldness, that was that little house in Indiana where the silence was always a bit off.
Nothing was ever said between me and the people there.
I never waste a word, as I never waste a line to indulge in some sort of twisted parody of reality.
Susan was like a vault of secrets and if the walls could speak they would whisper the true origin of nightmares.
Old Jim Loveless, never liked me much and that was one thing that pleased me greatly.
I heard he died a few days back.
They pitched him into that cold ground and few if any seemed to give a damn.
It snowed that very night everyone is remembered to some degree.
Just not in the way that always paints them as anything more than a miserable child molesting prick.
It’s often cold in Indiana in the winter, seems it matches some of its residents’ personalities.
There is a lot to be said in the wrong kind of silence.
John Patrick Robbins, Is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review. His work has appeared here at Punk Noir Magazine, 1870 Magazine, Sacred Chickens, San Pedro River Review, Romingos Blog, Heroin Love Songs, The Blue Nib, Piker Press and Schlock Magazine. His work is always unfiltered.
Sandy sat there in the living room with Vincent and Reggie, the two men were usually all jokes and relaxed when Sara was around.
But this morning was not normal.
Henry had been missing for a few days and being his, wasn’t a normal kind of job this wasn’t totally out of the norm.
“This just doesn’t feel right guys, Henry should have turned up by now.”
“Hey, I’m telling you he will be fine Sandy you know the kind of guy Henry is. I bet he will turn up this evening, you’ll see.”
Vincent said as he sipped his coffee and vaguely tried to sound reassuring.
As Reggie remained unusually silent through their entire conversation.
“I need to report him missing, I can’t take this anymore! He is just going to have to get pissed at me. I have to know he is okay.”
Sandy said as she got up and made her way towards the kitchen, to use the phone.
She heard Vincent call after her as she entered the kitchen.
She didn’t care about the so called rules and edicate that people in her husband’s world had to supposedly follow. It was his world not Sandys after all; she was his wife not his employee.
Sandy already had taken the phone off the hook, when Reggie removed it from her hand.
Sandy looked at Reggie befuddled, unsure as to why he was even standing beside her in the kitchen instead of Vincent.
“What are you doing?”
Reggie said as he placed the phone back on the wall.
“We need to talk before you make that call, let’s not play any games here. You know Henry wasn’t simply just a nightclub owner.”
“Look Reggie, I know Henry was no angel but he was my husband okay and if something is wrong the cops need to be out looking for him!”
Reggie just stared into Sandys eyes, giving her a look that told her she needed to listen.
“Hey Vin, why don’t you warm the car and don’t forget that other thing I asked you to do.”
Sandy heard Vincent reply without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Reggie waited to hear the front door close.
“Look I’m going to be frank right now, you’re not going to make that call. Instead what you are going to do is relax, clean whatever you want. Hell just go about your day, pick your kid up from school but you’re not going to the cops. Are we clear?”
“Go to hell you son of a bitch!”
Reggie grabbed Sandy by the throat with a vice like grip.
“I’m already there bitch! And you truly don’t want to test me so shut the fuck up and listen!”
Reggies grip tightened around her throat.
“Your Henry, got himself in some deep water and started stepping out of line okay, we looked the other way with the whores and the drugs, but he had a real big mouth and never knew when to shut the fuck up!”
“Seems he ran his mouth off around a fucking narc and your beloved husband, was going to squeal to the feds about some shit he shouldn’t have been talking about. Now his fuck up wasn’t my problem but he damn sure didn’t mind selling us up the river to save his spoiled ass.”
Sandy struggled to breathe as the man who had turned into something she could not recognize but damn sure feared maintained his grip.
As all of a sudden he released her, spinning her around to look out the kitchen window.
She managed to blurt out as she gasped for air.
Reggie wrapped his arm around her waist as he pulled her hair.
He said as she viewed Vincent lugging what appeared to be a heavy garbage bag. To the trash cans that stood at the front of the driveway.
Vincent wasn’t a small man but he struggled to put the bags in the cans.
And Sandy without a doubt knew what was in them.
Reggie whispered in her ear.
“Now what you are going to do is wait till the garbage is taken and report that piece of shit husband of yours missing! And if I were you I wouldn’t know a damn thing as to where he might have gone. You fucking understand me?”
A tear rolled down Sandy’s cheek as she just nodded her head.
Reggie let her go and stood staring at her and suddenly the monster was gone as he spoke as nothing had just happened.
He smiled at her.
“I’m glad we have an understanding.”
He said as he pulled an envelope from his jacket pocket, as he placed it upon the counter.
“This will take care of things for awhile and as long as you play by the rules these will continue to come in, as I will be managing the club from now on. All you gotta do is sign some paperwork I send over and I will promise you, you will be taken care of.”
“You do that and you will provide a good life for yourself and your son. Because trust me Sandra, you take another route and your husband won’t be the only thing that gets taken out with the trash, I promise you that sweetheart!”
With that said, Reggie was gone and as Sandy shook uncontrollably as she burst out in tears. She viewed Vincent pause as he got in the car as both men waved goodbye.
Yes this wasn’t supposed to be her world. But from here out, she was plagued in the knowledge that one false move.
Could easily bring the devil back to her door.
And she would ensure no matter what, if that day ever came to reality.
She damn sure wouldn’t be here to answer.
John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review.
His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Red Fez, 1870 Magazine, Romingos Blog, Piker Press, Sacred Chickens, San Pedro River Review, San Antonio Review. Schlock Magazine .
The damn air conditioner was on it’s last leg and a thousand some dollar television camera, was yet again on the fritz.
And with Saturday’s television taping approaching, most bookers would be pulling their hair out.
Freddy Carson, was far from most bookers of a professional wrestling territory, as you could get.
Half mad genius and a hundred percent bullshit artist, he had one of the best minds in the business.
As he sat in the offices that stood over top the television studio. Where sunshine state pro wrestling was filmed going over bookings and numbers. It was just another day at the office for the semi retired wrestler.
“Jesus Christ Skip! It’s bad enough you can roast chickens in here without you cutting those stinking ass farts of yours!”
“Hey you’re the one that ordered the take out from that greasy spoon, so don’t blame me pal.”
“Hell I don’t recall you eating a damn thing, unless you count a bottle of Johnny Walker you prick.”
Freddy said, as he shot back to his best friend and the man whose voice was synonymous with S.S.P.W. television.
It was just then there was a knock at the door, as one of the production crew let Freddy know a young guy was looking for him, downstairs by the ring.
It wasn’t unusual for young kids to stumble in off the street, it was usually all the same old bullshit.
Either they had a belly full of beer and wanted a fight, or they were some amped up jock wanting to chase what they believed was their dream.
What stood before Freddy was the latter of that equation.
A bleach blonde giant, who looked to be six foot six and ripped like he was born with a barbell
In his hands.
“That’s what they call me kid, how can I help you?”
“Sir I want to be like you, I mean I want to be a wrestler.”
And with that Freddy like a robot went into the spiel.
The kid was a mark as they called them and even though he looked chiselled from granite.
Upstairs he was still green as a glade of grass.
The kid was persistent and he kept just begging for a chance.
But just like Freddy himself understood, when it came to this business just because you knocked at the door didn’t mean anyone had to let you in.
It was a life few understood and most never truly wanted.
But as they kept talking the television crew started to pay more and more attention.
They were eager for entertainment. It was a side to the business that was a harsh reality.
“Please Mr Carson, I just want a chance!”
Freddy knew there was no talking the kid out of it so he just told him to get in the ring.
And as he stopped before leaving the studio to go smoke a cigarette, he whispered to Shooter Stevens who simply looked at him deadpan as always and replied.
Freddy enjoyed watching the loudmouths get stretched, hell when he had a snoot full he was known to still get in there and do it himself from time to time.
And as the crew started taking bets and one even bothered to film the damn thing.
Freddy was already out the door and behind the building when he noticed the guy hunched down near the dumpsters.
The dishevelled brute called out, as he struggled to pull himself to his feet in vain as he fell on his ass.
“Hell Doc, don’t hurt yourself let me come to you.”
Freddy said as he sat down next to his old tag team partner as he tried to ignore the stink.
Doc had shown him the ropes and together they had drawn big money in New York.
They were one of the best heel teams so they say.
Freddy had made a real name for himself and Doc had fallen from grace so to speak.
“Hell chief, how long have you been out here?”
“Long enough to catch a buzz you old bastard hell I’ve missed hanging with you!”
“Yeah we had some damn good times, I see rehab went well.”
Doc busted up laughing and launched into another coughing spell, which had Freddy worried his old friend was going to drop dead right there.
Which although he had respect for the man. He damn sure didn’t want to have to be giving C.P.R. to someone. Who smelled like they drank Kentucky dry of it’s bourbon and maybe chewed on dead dog’s ass somewhere in between.
Finally his friend caught his breath.
The two friends spoke for a while talking about old road stories and ring rats.
All the highs and lows and that shit that goes somewhere in between.
Doc stared off into the distance.
“Sometimes I wonder why I’m still alive man, I used to be something, kids asked me for my autograph now people act like they don’t even see me.”
Tears began to flow from Doc’s eyes as Freddy just put his arm around his shoulder.
The business was a cruel bastard to some and a dream come true for the rare few.
Freddy stayed with his friend as long as he could but time was money even Doc understood that.
“Hell Doc, I got to split man but I almost forgot hell you lent me some money when we were out in Kansas running the loop figured it’s about time I paid up.”
Freddy handed him what he had in his wallet and told his friend to swing by the motel, just down the street where they would have room for him.
And with that Freddy was halfway back to the entrance of the studio.
When he noticed that kid being supported by two of the crew members.
Apparently old Shooter, had broken his leg or at least he thought so.
Freddy told the crew to take him to the emergency room and get it looked at.
He also told him if he still wanted this, to come back if he really wanted to train.
He prayed he would never see that kid again but he knew he most likely would.
The business treated wrestlers like the diving horses down at the local state fairs.
Soon as a horse broke its leg, they just shot it in the head and found another.
Freddy was one of the fortunate ones unlike his old friend Doc.
The kid had a broken leg but that was no match for a man with a broken soul.
Doc was a sad reflection of what he himself could have easily been.
The show went on and so did Freddy Carson.
Avoid that rear-view at all costs for its truths can easily haunt you to the grave.
John Patrick Robbins, is the editor of the Rye Whiskey Review and Under The Bleachers. His work has appeared here at Punk Noir Magazine, Piker Press, The San Antonio Review, San Pedro River Review, Heroin Love Songs, Romingos Porch, Sacred Chickens, Oddball Magazine, The Blue Nib, The Dope Fiend Daily.