Advice for the Lovelorn

Dear Loser: 

Tanya says “Get the fuck outta here!” when she means don’t

go,  don’t go anywhere. Tell me more. Tell me more as the marble eyed cats

watch without sorrow, without shame to slide along your grateful hand one 

moment & the next are leg up, licking itself.

She says “Boy Howdy!” when she means, yeah, stupid, Duh. Or else when we’re

at the Lakeside Tap and some outta state schmoe get the nerve to approach us. 

Not send over a drink, hey thanks, pal, but hoists his hairy ass off the bar stool.

Walk over like, hey youse girls need a little company. My manly presence is a 

Gift from God so one of you will be going home with me or there’s something

wrong with you. Seeing such a specimen sucking in his gut Tanya would give

Steve or Kyle or Bob or Fuckface a shiny “Boy Howdy!” It only encourages

that kind. If they got too close I would lay a wet liplock on Tanya. Run, Sonny, run.

There’s queers in here. If I cupped a tittie he’d blow his heart out—boom.

If it werent for Debbie at the bar laughing and buying us drinks we’d have long

moved on to somewhere else.

Tanya is quiet when she is sick or heartbroke. Not crying, not pouty but .38

every day carry sort of quiet. There is nothing in a medicene cabinet for it, 

maybe try the liquor cabinet. Or gun cabinet. Usually it’s just the flu. She’ll be just 

fine in a week or ten days.

My advice is to look at the stars but never the moon. The moon is a lifeless pile

of dust and space junk. The stars get drunk and fall down, sometimes go to 

re-hab and are seen pushing a grocery cart. Loaded with toilet paper, Tampax

and cheap vodka. That one’s my star, my afternoon soap. Tune in.

Travis Stephens

Travis Stephens is a tugboat captain who resides with his family in California. A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumni, recent credits include: Gyroscope Review, 2River, Sheila-Na-Gig, GRIFFEL, Offcourse, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Gravitas and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN