Friendly Lounge Sampler

“Take these Mexicans, they live
Ten to a house. Some of them
Only have one bathroom to share,
So what do they do? They must piss
In the sink or outside, and there’s
Only so much hot water, you know,
In the morning, so someone must take
A cold shower, or fuck, no shower before
Going to work, and they do work hard.”

“Check this out. Yesterday I was stopped
At the corner of 4th and Arch, and there was
This Chinese girl, maybe 14. It’s hard to tell
With them, you know what I mean, and she was
Crossing the street, while talking on the phone,
But she had a set of keys and some money
In her hand, like this, and this black chick
Just knocked it out of her hand, and as
The Chinese girl bent down to pick it up,
The black chick just stepped on her hand,
Then took the money and ran! There were
All these people there, and I was in my van,
So I leaned out and shouted, ‘Yo! Yo! Yo!
What the fuck are you doing?’ And you know
What the black chick said? ‘Shut up, white boy,
Finders keepers!’ The Chinese girl looked like
She was about to cry, but now she knows. Never
Show your money, not in this city. Finders Keepers!”

“I drank all night, took some Xanax this morning,
And I’m drinking again. Fuck, I must be nervous.
I’ve got a date tomorrow, and I’m already fucked.”

“Yeah, man, I’m beat, nervous and fuckin’ stressed.
I met with my new landlord this morning. I just hope
He won’t look at my credit too closely. I hope
He won’t call my last fuckin’ landlord. I hope
We can move into this house. I’ve got two kids,
You know, and this is a safe neighborhood.”

“Did you know coal came from outer space?
I heard it in the news, APR, but everything
Is already carbon anyway. That’s all we are.
We came from coal, that’s right, and we’ll become
Coal, again, after we’re dead. It’s like recycling.”

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America. Read other articles by Linh.