I came there because nothing was happening
so did everybody else
and this is what transpired…


somewhere in the hard gravel of Exxon
like quicksand

ex cons

they got away with most of their shit
the cops could never figure you out which one did what
because they had the same name
The fuzz would show up at the house and one of the Daultery’s would say I don’t know which Daultery you’re talkin’ about
Daultery and Daultery in the racing Saturday magic night with a motorcycle quivering through the thighs of all of main street

80’s sin

Jacuzzis with built in phones 80s money
Infernoed by Daultery’s ex wife
Once soap opera lush paradise I wanna tan and soak read good housekeeping
and not forget the lemon pepper when we have Jim and Susan over for dinner
left to be torn down in somebody’s shitty pick up in ’92. A sin against the 80s is like 8th deadliest 8th or 9th behind divorce
and jimmy buffet on pandora

jerk off

I walk home to jerk off
to some 60 something
one of the Daultery’s bagged
saying “momma” on the street
without meaning to
I don’t know why
I can’t handle the danger
of the table tonight
Eerie trouble seeking around
I gotta go
I need to know if she would’ve fucked me though instead of whoever else was roaming
around the exxon like an ape who couldn’t pick bananas
I don’t know why
already clucked hen
I want so fuckin bad straddling the table putting hair back-like cum on my jean zipper talking to me about baking pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving
tryin to sound homely and home cookin holiday type shit
still,when I got home I did jerk off to her and pretended she took care of me the rest of the night
me—(lying on the couch) You tired?
her—Let’s rent a movie
Watched it with her with popcorn that’s when it got a little weird and I stopped.

bitchin like you wouldn’t understand

All Daultery does is bitch and when he bitches it explodes like a car just blew up in the parking lot that nobody notices. And the thing is you never know what he is bitching about. I guess he’s too upset for that to be important not only that but you better fuckin agree with whatever it is he’s bitching about or he’ll go apeshit even more.You get a sense of it, of what the fuck he’s saying and you sort of hesitantly dance around him with a long pole looking for something you can grab onto or he can since he’s so upset he doesn’t even know what the fuck he’s talking about anymore either. So you both sit there conversing not having a clue of what the other is saying. One thing is for certain though whatever it is it’s a goddammed atrocity.


picnic table x-solemn midnight purple
bonfire party
grateful dead
678 six packs and a running joke
community cigarettes
you need a pizza?
that you can see but isn’t there
behind some slime night
and bike night
social anxiety
bait machine grubby handed kids
waiting to put a hook in just to watch it go through
and the grandfather doesn’t give a shit
that they’re eating snickers spoiled chocolate hands all in the peanuts


my tab will only get me through the week
I gotta crawl in like some Netflix documentary for the subarnites to watch and ask Yusef to double it even though he won’t do shit for fear of losing his job for giving out tabs which I taught him which is good but evil temptation to fuck it Yusef mentality. Swiftly at the register and steps to death. 5.95 for my favorite cheeseburger you’ll make it all back plus a dollar more per item makes me want to scrape walls I always pay it back.


Are they dealing drugs? That’s the whole game. I can’t really know.

in the worn
picnic table wood
like dilapidated Jesus and his cross

for everyone at this god forsaken exxon.
Across the street, the graveyard is silent like it’s not there just the way death is.


Orange shirted gangsta Jesus black guy
Got his white girl finally built up oppressive angst released up her buttfuck
puts his cigarette out right where Daultery just blew the leaves and the rest of the shit away like mechanic joe in a perpetual rage against the machine hamster wheel of lost glory
“Ignorant Nigger” says Daultery thud of the words puts me through the wood of the picnic table but the guy was oblivious.


The other Daultery needs to wear his helmet on his motorcycle his sister gives him shit if he doesn’t. I sit there with his sister’s voice inside her kitchen (afternoon lighting and something about remember mom and her ziti on Sundays and remember how she’d get so upset at Jessie for coming over and opening up the stove to check on it and ruin it she’d swat at him with her oven mit and say you’re gonna ruin the whole thing for all of us, now git!!! you need a good meal you’re so frail and pickin around she couldn’t wait to give it to him yeah I remember God,rest her soul) Other Daultery have you been listening to your sister and wearing your helmet?

slot slut

She was suburban white with razor sunglasses at the cash machines and I could’ve sharpened my pencil on the side of her just back from the shore tanned legs but I didn’t want to touch her or her tennis cap pulled down almost to the rims. She cut her nail trying to get the slot to stop on a fish with a gold worm stuck in its mouth and I could see by the blood in the cut the little curls on the side of the green dollar bill of George Washington’s face oozing out.

toilet shit

“Somebody’s gotta shit.” they kept singing working on the new toilet but really the whole thing was flushed down the tubes from the get go. Daultery was having the shit fit of all shit fits about the guy he setup that gave the estimate doing the job and I didn’t understand why anyone was paying attention to Daultery because he didn’t work there.
“The fucking guy did this and the other guy Ali hired didn’t even know what the fuck that was.He kept gesticulating with his hands about “this” but of course I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. You could still piss in the thing thank god that’s all I cared about but there were guys there for days most of them just guys I’d known or seen bummin’ around the gas station. cuttin shit, doing all kinds of elaborate plumbling and trying not to look like a bunch of tools with tools but nobody knew if they knew what the fuck they were doing for sure though. For two days Daultery would come out again and say my fuckin guy already gave him a price and the guy Ali hired didnt know what the fuck that was and started gesticulating again about whatever that was. Alii was inside dry sweating his ass off looking like the wrath of Muhammad finally it all culminated with the guy who sleeps out in the parking lot who had been hammering on the same spot on the same piece of wood for two days becoming the victim of temporary insanity telling ali he was going to punch him in the fucking face with ali yelling back get out of my store get out and never come back!!! I saw him the next day smiling widely sitting in his chair in the back with a chipper good morning Dan!” As for the bathroom a panel inside is missing and the pipes show now and if “somebody’s gotta take a shit” they gotta hold it while they read a barely legible “piss only” sign duct taped to the door written in dying black permanent marker.

holy men

I never talk to any of them. I can’t. They are doing something holy where I can’t go. or at least I want them to be because of some lost holiness when the sacred seeped through the walls of gas stations like this.They are dressed in robes of clearance rack defunct department stores.They sit silently at the other table I never go to and buy lotto cards thinking they may have a chance at winning a million dollars. That’s the tough part and the great part of the lottery really. They sit there at the patio picnic table like it’s marble and they are in a garden smoking with their sandals on from india, asia, afghanistan everywhere. A million different guys from a million different places what sea did they all drift in from? I think they are doing something holy over there sucking in the freedom thinking about how they can eat now and even have enough left over to maybe become a millionaire thinking hey wait I’m rich already in comparison to where I’ve come. Like myself I am rich compared to what was once taken from me. Robes in the afternoon sun that I can never quite see because they are moving somewhere in heaven.deep copper penny brown skin wrinkles through eternity.

Daultery’s heart

You got a good heart I tell him when I’m afraid he’s going to go too far and lay out a guy. “Two days ago this stopped working.” and I didn’t know what he was talking about but I’m pretty sure it was his heart and I couldn’t move and they said what’s wrong and I said gimme a couple seconds I’ll be fine and then I could move again. My neighbor said she was going to give me massages to help she said because when she thinks of all the people who I’ve helped she wanted to do something for me cause nobody helps me and he started crying. The fuckin place told me they were going to see my right away that was 2 months ago hospital red tape wrapping around him till he gagged more tears like that of an empty sanctuary crying holding onto the pews wrapping his arms around our Lord. You have a good heart Daultery even if it doesn’t work all the time it’s the rest of the world that’s outta whack.


Exxon flowers
in the
unholy night


Daniel J. Flore III’s poems have appeared in many publications.  His fifth poetry book, WRITTEN IN THE DUST ON THE CEILING FAN, can be found here.