Fear and Loathing at the Typewriter


Steve De France

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 117 in February, 2009.

For Dr. Gonzo

I was just outside Barstow when the poem started
taking effect---I was traveling with my attorney
an evil dwarf who sometimes sits on my shoulder as
I write---he leans over and reads the last line.
“Give me more drugs,” he screams----
“Look at that last line,” I cry in ecstasy.
No, no I can’t. . .
“The letters---look---the S’s are turning to snakes”.
I pulled the typewriter over to the side & stared at the letters.
I saw it clearly—the S’s had ganged up on the T’s.
“What should I do doctor?”
My evil dwarf grabbed the typewriter
turned it upside down & shook it.
“Look now,” he screamed.
“No, its no good,” I cried, the S’s are beginning to strangle the L’s.
My attorney & my doctor ripped open a sealed envelope
He pushed a handful of yellow, red & purple capsules into my mouth.
“Swallow these before it is too late,” he stuffed the rest into his mouth.

We sit for hours, maybe days
I can’t be sure.
Staring at the paper as it turns red.
The letters, however, mostly turned white except M’s
& N’s who gather in the upper corner & begin to glow.
My evil dwarf sweats profusely
searching for meanings in the letters.
He mumbles about priests & whores.
I scream into his ear:
“What do you think doctor?”
“The worst is over” he said, slipping
the barrel of the Browning
Pistol into his mouth.