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51 daniels Jim Daniels Bullets A guy on the next street to my right gets shot by his woman for bringing home whiskey instead of chicken soup. A guy on the next street to my left blows his father's head off arguing over who'll take out the trash. Every morning leaving for work sandwiched between these guns I hear car doors slamming in another round. 52 the minnesota review Jim Daniels Hard Times in the Motor City When Louie got married somebody gave him a broken bicycle for a present in all sad seriousness. Louie gave it back — him and his new wife traveling light — a toaster and clock radio heading south west east wherever jobs might be. Up and down the streets men mow their lawns do yardwork many try to grow vegetables. Some of the wives work now behind counters at MacDonalds marking clothes at K-Mart pulling in minimum wage grocery money for another week. Everybody's already had a garage sale. In the bar Steve talks about the afternoon tv movie about Elvis about fighting anyone. He says he'll dig ditches 53 daniels or clean shitholes all he wants is a job. He's got a wife, two kids. He looks me hard in the eye: "a man can always afford to drink." Dennis, laid-off trucker borrowed some money took his rig to Florida loaded up a truck full of pot sells it now out of his basement to help make house payments. Dennis sits on his porch smoking up the profits singing old rock 'n roll songs his electric guitar plugged into the bushes An old man talks about the Great Depression: "you don't see nobody jumpin' out windows around here." But in the backyards of Detroit Warren, Hazel Park, Center Line men on their knees pray over their rotten tomatoes their deformed carrots their ragged, ragged lettuce. ...


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