Iowa City

by George Green

George Green


I remember punching
Larry Roe in the head
that time he came at me swinging.
We both had the same girlfriend, Judy Hilton.
He went down with blood gushing.
I had a longer reach
and he was blind drunk.

It was a shameful incident
and Dan Hottel came downstairs
and made fun of Larry.
And Dan died that year from whiskey and heroin.

I was Judy’s last boyfriend
and then I stole Barbara from Raymond
and I was her last boyfriend.
It was that year, I guess,
that a lot of girls went gay on us.

Well, Bill Larson said
that he’d fucked Judy
and I knew it was true
but it was much later
when he knocked me down
and kicked me in the head
with a pointy-toed cowboy boot
and I rolled against the wall
like a log out cold
and woke up the next morning
feeling just fine
and I still maintain that he
(Bill Larson)
was not well read.
And that winter John Haydon
came home drunk
and locked out, he fell down,
and slept and froze
right to the porch.


And Hope followed me out from New Haven,
she hitched a ride with a truck driver.
Hope Payne was her name
I’m not making any of this up.
I used to say no hope
and lots of pain
and I didn’t want her there.

Well, R. G. had mushrooms
and I ate a whole bag
and drank a quart of George Dickel
and Hope and I fought and
fought and I ended up
trying to strangle her
and she ran out.
Well, I drank more
and the mushrooms came on
and I started crying uncontrollably
and I went out
and stamped through the snow
around and around for hours
crying “Hope! Hope! Hope!”

She was with you, Tom Gallo
and she tried to fuck you
I know she did
and it would have been fine
but you were afraid of hurting anybody
and you were loyal to me
and now you are dead
from vodka and heroin, Tom.

Last updated August 19, 2022