Multi-genre creator The Poet Spiel, a/k/a the visual artist Tom W. Taylor, has now licensed his colorful, energetic prints of flora and fauna for sale on Spoonflower fabrics and home goods. Spiel’s artwork will also grace the cover and frontispieces of my next poetry collection from Little Red Tree, forthcoming in early 2022.
Meanwhile, he shares with us this short story about the plight of survival sex workers. ACAB!
Bigelow spits his gold-plated Masonic cufflinks; polishes them against the knee of his Brooks Brothers charcoal herringbone dress trousers. He circles this dingy block a fifth time as he frets his opening line:
“One-day intergalactic space travel will be available to everyone.”
Yeah, that seems pretty harmless. Even if she’s a cop, she won’t be able to hang him with that.
Night hits Honeybunch’s regular hangout wall like a splitting maul — sucks the warmth out of it.
Leaves her skin the same color as the cold deep shadow hovering over Northern and Central. She’s been warned and busted three times since she’s hit this crummy town.
Her kid is stashed four blocks away on the floor of her flat-tired booted truck, trying to disappear beneath a blue plastic tarp — chewing his fingers for nurture. Freezing.
She’s been doing quickie b.j.’s at four bucks a shot just to buy him a now-and-then Hershey bar and a bag of corn chips so she doesn’t have to grab them and run like hell.
Bigelow’s rig is long and shiny. Big bucks, she figures. Maybe he’ll be good for a tenbucker.
She’d throw in a buttfuck for fifteen. He wantsa go bareback? Christ! That oughtta be a fifty but on a night like this, she’d settle for a twenty.
His tires growl against the curb. Automatic passenger window whispers as it vanishes. She sticks her head through the hole. It’s like the Vegas hotel room that slimy Mayor flew her to when she was fifteen — but no ceiling mirrors. She wonders if this creep might slit her throat. Worries if she might stink too much. A fifty-dollar bill lies right beneath her nose. A limp pecker peeks out from beneath his padded steering wheel. His palms are wet white.
“N-n-nice night, Miss, uhh, I g-g-guess I don’t know your name. Uhh, one day, d-d-d-did you know intergalactic space t-t-t-travel will one day be available to everyone…even such as yourself?”
Honeybunch practically inhales the fifty. Damn near swoons over the instant thought of a bucket of hot greasy breast meat from KFC. “Shove yer fuckin space rockets, White Ass!” she sneers as red lights flash through Bigelow’s steamed rear window. His flabby neck looks like a fat ripe tomato as he quickly presses his clammy hands upwards — like he’s scared his plush white leather roof will collapse and suffocate him.
Her kid is turning blue on the rotten truck floor — barely able to comfort his little head against the gawddam froze-up brake pedal.
Honeybunch spends another night in the convenience of a cell huddled with her kind.
Any kind of bread will be just fine.