A brief stream of consciousness regarding Chuck Hartenstein’s 1977 Topps card

Your chest hits the hood of the Buick Electra before your gut does when the state trooper slams you upon it which makes you think you’re in fine shape you weren’t right about that but you weren’t so wrong that it matters now it helps explain how a man who’s a mere 35 years of age can greet the eyes in such a way you look this way when you turn away from God at age 10 because the Church of Christ baptism put your cigarette out you look this way when 20 years later you blame your gout on the price of propane you look this way when you favor living good over living well you look this way when every lover outlives your love you won the sunglasses from that same state trooper in a bet on the Bluebonnet Bowl and those sunnies conceal one truth and 44 miscalculations 26 of which have yet to come back on you which explains why you’re using the name “Franco Hotbed” to check into every motor lodge between Silver City and back yonder where this edition of trouble started I’ll park out back if it’s the same to you you say to the night clerk with a limp that seems to drift between legs tip me off would you if anyone asks for the room number of the westbound sumbitch who stopped for the night they’ll describe me as tall in the saddle and tell you I parked out back so maybe on second thought I’ll park on the side you left your .45 at a pool hall but in your sock you’ve still got the blackjack filled with lead shot that you call a “stepdad wrench” that’s just the second thing you’ve ever nicknamed the first was the pitcher’s mound which you called Dirty Golgotha the sideburns stand sentry like the bone lonesome oil derricks you just shot past with all four windows rolled down devil take the hindmost

One thought on “A brief stream of consciousness regarding Chuck Hartenstein’s 1977 Topps card

  1. I could feel my sideburns grow in ways they’ve never grown before as I read this.

    Also, any idea where I could find a copy of Drinking with Boileryard Clarke? I was hoping to stage a Celebrity Deathmatch-style brawl with a copy of Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Your other titles have a little too much heft for it to be a fair fight. i would like to read it as well

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