3 Ashcan Epigrams

3 Ashcan Epigrams

October 10, 20114052Views

By Kenneth McIntyre




Don’t ask for money

It’s mine

You’re a fucking bum

You’ve told me that for 30 years

You’re a liar
even know it

That’s not true

If it wasn’t for me you’d
have been dead 10 times

I’ve died many more
Without your help

Your poor mother
You practically drove
Her nuts

She was well on her way

You’re a piece of shit
I’ll hang up the phone
You’re not even a piece of shit
A piece of shit stinks

Yea? That’s nice

You tell your daughter
What kind of father she has

I can’t she’s 3
Doesn’t speak English
And lives in China

I’m going to change the phone#

Ok dad

It’s still the same Korean account?

Yea I have to go now
I’m running out of credit


I saw George at a downtown bar once
when I was home from cow college

We used to play hockey and baseball together

He was native and the people that adopted him
Were poor

His mom always had hair leaking out
Of her shorts in the summer
His dad looked like a greasy Merlin Olsen

George was sheepish and fragile
Because the other families would pay
For him to play out of town

He sat down and I bought him a Molson
I asked what’s happening
He told me he did 18 months for
A B and E

I told him I’m home because I
Dropped all my classes

We laughed

George said alcoholics like us have to
Stick together

Rumor had it that he was always being fiddled
With by his dad

I didn’t have an excuse except the time my
Next-door neighbour Yvonne made me suck her
Nipples after she caught me smoking behind the church

I finished my beer bought George another and
Told him I had to split

Walking down the street I looked in a coffee shop
That had a sign that read:


I turned went back to the bar
Saw George at the slot machines and
Bought 2 beers

It’s not doubt but certainty that drives you mad


Arriving here I started dating this Korean woman
Spent weekends at her family home in the country
Dined with her relatives every holiday and
Ripped around the peninsula in a Korando that
Her brother owned

We were going strong for 2 years when her
Mother dropped dead in the garden

After the mourning she told me she was taking
Her father and brother to Hong Kong for a week
To get away from the misery

She left Friday after work

Saturday night I got a drunken call from her brother
Inviting me to drink dong dong ju in Insa Dong

When she got home I asked where she had been

She said:

I went to Rome to see my boyfriend
He’s an architect

I called her a pig

She laughed and told me that if I didn’t fly back
To Canada and go to law school we were finished

Well it’s 8 years on and I never did become a lawyer
I’ve overstayed my visa by 7 months and probably need


Kenneth McIntyre is on a continual journey in search of muses, mystics, pontificators and inebriates.  He roams the streets of Seoul and patronizes the borough of Haebangcheon where he may be found setting the scene for future verse.

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