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  • Writer's pictureBulb Culture Collective


Jon and Cinderella

walk up the hill slowly,


this is the third week

of work

and their knees hurt;

they’re sick.

They’re both in straitjackets.

I am too.

It’s minimum wage,

survival money.

It’s bad out there.

Cinderella wants to be a rapper.

She’s from Montana.

There’s nothing hip-hop about her,

except she curses a lot.

She thinks that’s what it means

to be black.

It pisses me off,

but I don’t say anything.

I can’t.

I have a steel bar in my mouth

all night long.

Jon had three words

in Inglourious Basterds

for one of its deleted scenes.

He’s 44.

He’s getting divorced.

He tells us how to make it in L.A.

as an actor.

I watch them walk up the hill

and it’s eating them,

this hill;

it’s taking something

from them.

It’s taking something

from me.

I never thought I’d get this far

and have this little.

I was told if I was kind

it would all work out.

The person who told me that

has M.S.

She’s a painter

who can no longer paint.

She used to do outdoor scenes

like this one,

except without the people.

Originally published by Wilderness House Literary Journal 2010

Ron Riekki’s books include Blood/Not Blood Then the Gates (Middle West Press, poetry), My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press, hybrid), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle, nonfiction), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press, fiction).Right now, Riekki’s listening to Au Revoir Simone's "A Violent Yet Flammable World."


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