raiding e a p’s stash

18 Mar

we staked out Edgar Allan Poe’s grave
that late-January night
pints of Mad Dog 20/20 in our breast pockets
and camels hanging from the corner of our lips
marching in place trying to ward off frostbite
we were dying for something good
and Sid had the bright idea of liberating
the fifth of cognac that would be left on Poe’s grave that night
in honor of his birthday
some freak in a cape comes every year at midnight
Sid said
and drops off the Hennessey
(pǝʇɔǝɹɹnsǝɹ sɯɐı11ıʍ so1ɹɐɔ ɯɐı11ıʍ sɐʍ ʇı pǝuıbɐɯı ı)
free booze you understand?
i did and had no shame about pinching the stuff
after all, Poe wouldn’t need it
we stomped in place like Popeye Doyle in that movie scene
to get the blood flowing down to our feet
until we ran out of both juice and smokes
the temps hit in the negatives
and sometime around two in the morning we gave up
or gave in
by the time he drops off the booty we’ll be frozen stiff
Sid said
and what in hell good that’s going to do?
and so we both shuffled back to our apartment at Loyola
empty-handed
there was a small story in the afternoon edition of The Sun next day
probably the same one it runs year after year
about a mysterious caped man who leaves a bottle of cognac on Poe’s grave
every January 19th
to this day I’m not sure
whether or not that’s one of Poe’s most enduring stories
the thing about fiction is
that it’s truer than the truth
and so you don’t know what to believe
(or maybe you do and you believe it)
what do you think happens to all those bottles
Sid said later in a Pavlovian trance dreaming about the booze
I told him I wasn’t sure about the story anymore
you’re probably right he said
nobody wears capes nowadays
and anyway
even if it were true
the cops probably confiscate the loot
and give themselves a party with it
probably
I said
Poe’s grave is city property
filthy pigs
Sid said
we should go to Key West
it’s warmer there
and no one ever goes hungry
they have feral chickens roaming around all day
(sǝoʇ ǝʌıɟ ɥʇıʍ sʇɐɔ puɐ)

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2 Responses to “raiding e a p’s stash”

  1. Erin O'Brien 18/03/2010 at 10:05 AM #

    Feral chickens. How do you THINK of this stuff?

  2. (S)wine 18/03/2010 at 10:06 AM #

    feral chickens roam the island fo’ reals.

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