The Works of Jason Hardung

Jason "Juice" Hardung is a late bloomer. After years of trying to live the junkie's dream, he decided that junkie's dreams never come true. He went to rehab and shook the insecurities out of his head and decided to pick up the pen again after a ten year hiatus. Since then he has been published in Zygote in My Coffee, Lummox Journal, Underground Voices, Covert Poetics, Heroin Love Songs, Thrasher, Polarity, Flutter, The Socialist Women, Matter, Red Pulp Underground, Juice, Thick With Conviction, Iodine Poetry Journal, Sunken Lines, Up The Staircase, Outsider Writers, Straight From The Fridge, Kill Poet, Decomp and many more. He has a chapbook out on Covert Press called, Breaking The Hearts of Robots, two chapbooks forthcoming and readings across the country. He is an editor for Matter Journal, Front Range Review as well as the managing editor of the Great Ecstatic Reporter. He also is the Beards Minister Of Defense. He resides in Ft. Collins Colorado with his cat and they watch mountains out the window.


All Poems © Jason Hardung

I Knew She Was The One


On our first date

she paid for cheese steaks.

I kissed her

in a dark corner of Tony's bar

she toyed with my belt buckle

and I dug her black boots.

We dug through ashtrays downtown

looking for half-smoked cigarettes.

The stores were all closed.

The morning arrived too soon.

She told me she loved my writing

while putting her panties back on.

I'll call you

she said.


She drove without a license

to watch me read my life story at the Rialto

and she felt it

and still answered my calls.


For my birthday

She bought me a magenta candle

and wore white panties.

We covered each other in wax.

Monday night with a Tuesday hangover

and she didn't mind.


On our third date

she pissed me off and I

punched the rear view mirror.

I don't hit ladies.

Now I can't look back.

She sat in the emergency room with me

for five hours

passing out

holding my hand

I bled all over her hundred dollar jeans

and the alcohol wore off

under all that sterile light.

I looked at my hand

I couldn't believe how white a bone really was

under all that dirty skin.



Six Feet Above


Most of my friends are suicidal.

Their eyes are children

waking up to burned down villages

every afternoon during The Price Is Right.

They have learned how to survive

whether it be from the top of churches

with the birds

or the bottom of an arroyo washed from a flood.

They see the light

but haven't fell into it

in a hamburger stand bathroom in Venice

in the teeth of a mutt barking at cars from a chain

in the stars swirling in a dank motel room sky

the bats are always around the corner

waiting.



Waiting on a Woman


It's karaoke night.

Neighborhood bars have the same facial features

but the guts are unique.

Dimly lit sticky wooden floors dart boards and booze signs

neon flash missing one letter.

Pool tables no elbow room

and a guy named Gus in overalls

over all the waitresses and

they know him by his trade.

He looks through you when he talks

and knows the universe like some

working class Stephen Hawking

belching quantum physics between cans

of Pabst and pulling Newports from his front shirt pocket.

He knows nothing.


No blue drinks with French names here

just the blues seeping through cracks

in the hearts of men the same way

the Budweiser sign creates character

when it flashes against Debbie's cheek.

She has a bag full of dead dreams

and she doesn't bring her own money

to the bar.


A cell phone salesman sings

Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

He's five foot three.

Other locals clap and whistle for him.

Everybody knows his name.

Eddie

steps off the stage and

begins walking a little straighter and

orders a round for the table.

High fives and hand shakes.

He's six foot two.

David Gilmour has nothing on him.

Swinging London Grand Ole Oprey

Apollo Haight Asbury Whiskey A Go Go

ain't got nothing on Pitchers Sports Bar

on Tuesday night.


I'm sitting at the bar chewing on straws.

Alone and trying not to stand out.

Celebrity is contagious and

I get the urge to sing.

I used to sing her a country song about how

the devil drives a red coup deville

while we were naked in bed

then reach across her breast grab my whiskey

and she'd say

Give me a sip cowboy

and I would

and we'd share a cigarette

and fuck again.


I snap out of the memory

and hide my hard on.

Debbie is on Gus's lap blowing

smoke rings in my direction.

The cell phone guy Eddie is staring at me like

I just ruined his debut at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

I look at my watch and the door

shake my head

look again

like I'm really waiting for a woman.