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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

September 22, 2011

it was a dark and foggy nite…

How about writing a crime novel? Wouldn’t that be a slap in the face to a poetry degree…
The hero looks like a junkie, skinny white guy with red skin, must be an alcohol rash, and not enough meat on him to make a sandwich. Haunted. The cheek bones protruding so close to death. But he’s a local. Everyone knows him.

He’s always in the Hockey Haven, a crummy bar out by the ocean. We’re talking Ocean Beach. This is San Francisco, the beach is the least interesting thing in The City. Guidebooks don’t mention it. Just a fog covered stretch of dirty sand abutting a grocery store parking lot. Surfers park and suit up for the near frigid water. Gay’s tryst in the bushes where the overgrown desolate end of the Golden Gate Park runs to the sea.

You shouldn’t take travel advice from a crime novel, but don’t bring shorts when you visit us. It’s never warm and the water will kill you.

Our hero, Mr Louden, holding court at the far end of the bar. Down there you can always look up and see what’s new in town.
“PG&E had a gas line burst and the apartment building was showered in the decimated vent line’s asbestos covering.”

Mr Louden worked for The City in the District Attorney’s office for a few years before the evidence of his crack habit become unconcealable and the liability of a city investigator wired on heavy schedule 3 outweighed his eagerness to do the dirty work they needed done.

Things like stealing garbage. That was Mr. Louden’s forte. Hanging around in Dumpsters, cutting open bags of trash, looking for a paper trail.

“Congealed mother’s milk in the breast pump bags, I wretch on site. A colostomy bag, maggoty meat, yes, that’s gross – maybe a slight (he makes a gagging motion) contraction, but no, rancid mother’s milk. That was the worst.”

But he digresses. It’s the clean up crew in the quarantined apartment building. 12 units. Subcontracted labor and these guys are looting the place. Watches, jewelry, you name it. You had cash laying around? Prove it.
The city had it blocked off, the maintenance guy was incinerated in the basement. They found some teeth. Jammed into a load bearing beam. That was about it. None of the residents were allowed back in.
Now these guys from Hayward are in these apartments strip searching them, and guess what someone finds?

End part one.
( and we may never get to part two)


  1. I think you could get a solid pulp fiction book out of this. A junkie private detective solving crimes while getting stoned. It would take persistence and dedication but the instinct is there. Don’t plan it out. Write like the demons are on your trail.

    Comment by oggy — September 23, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  2. I love this!

    You have a poetry degree? My wife has an art history degree. She also kept bees and cycles through other people’s garbage, when I don’t keep her in line. I told her she needed a pickup truck but she seems determined to stick with the station wagon, and in retrospect I realize I should be grateful for the volume limiting implications of this.

    I have no degree, and so nothing to slap in the face. Sometimes I wonder if I should take greater advantage of this lack.

    Comment by Winston — September 24, 2011 @ 7:35 am

  3. I can’t figure out what crime to solve? An iritating gang of taggers hunted down?

    For the record my last hive died about two years ago. Varroa I guess.

    Comment by Rolston — September 25, 2011 @ 11:05 am

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