Tim Dlugos



I'm at a double wake
in Springfield, for a childhood
friend and his father
who died years ago. I join
my aunt in the queue of mourners
and walk into a brown study,
a sepia room with books
and magazines. The father's
in a coffin; he looks exhumed,
the worse for wear. But where
my friend's remains should be
there's just the empty base
of an urn. Where are his ashes?
His mother hands me
a paper cup with pills:
leucovorin, Zovirax,
and AZT. "Henry
wanted you to have these,"

Gilligan’s Island

The Professor and Ginger are standing in the space in front
of the Skipper’ s cabin. The Professor is wearing deck shoes,
brushed denim jeans, and a white shirt open at the throat.
Ginger is wearing spike heels, false eyelashes, and a white
satin kimono. The Professor looks at her with veiled lust
in his eyes. He raises an articulate eyebrow and addresses
her as Cio-Cio-San. Ginger blanches and falls on her knife.

Pretty Convincing

Talking to my friend Emily, whose drinking
patterns and extravagance of personal
feeling are a lot like mine, I’ m pretty
convinced when she explains the things we do
while drinking (a cocktail to celebrate the new
account turns into a party that lasts till 3
a. m. and a terrific hangover) indicate
a problem of a sort I’ d not considered.
I’ ve been worried about how I metabolize
the sauce for four years, since my second bout
of hepatitis, when I kissed all the girls
at Christmas dinner and turned bright yellow

The Far West

The city and the continent
trail off into cold black
water the same way: at
the western edge, a flat
stretch with precipitous
planes set perpendicular
and back from the beach
or beach-equivalent, a blacktop
margin where the drugged
and dying trudge, queue up
for Hades. Bolinas
had its junkie lady with gray
skin, gray sweater, stumbling
through the sand with the short-
burst intensity and long-run aimlessness
of crackhead hustlers on the West Street piers.