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 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
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 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.
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
like I'm really waiting for a woman.