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Musings of a Derelict Poet: Cigarette Burns-A Kansas City Journey by Damian Rucci

Damian Rucci

 Cigarette Burns- A Kansas City Journey

 Damian Rucci
Sunday, April 17th 2016
N ow most people would probably plan a trip out to the tee if they were going to be travelling across the country. That’s the responsible thing to do after all right? Make sure everything is budgeted and you know where you’re staying and what you’re doing,

Well sometimes I’m not that bright.

We left Metro Station, New Jersey at midnight to Newark Airport at twelve thirty in the morning. Bounced from air train to air train until we reached our terminal, spent two hours watching To Catch a Predator on a shitty tethered wifi connection while drinking iced Dunkin Donuts, board the flight at 4am, found out how much it sucks being a fat guy on an airplane, took off at 5am, landed in Charlotte, North Carolina at 6:30am, became completely utterly lost and found our gate, boarded the next flight at 7:20 am and flew out to land at the Kansas City International Airport at 9:00am, caught a taxi from there and found a hotel and paid in cash.

It’s been one helluva journey and we’ve really just started. We’re going to be here until Tuesday night and at this moment we’re winging this whole damn thing. The hotel we’ve chosen is a cluster-fuck in its most honest form. The place is empty. Whenever someone walks down the hallway it’s alarming because there usually is no sound at all, the walls were freshly painted which normally might be assuring but for this place it is not— certain parts of the wall are darker than others and I’m sure there have been quite a few mishaps within these four walls. There are cigarette burns all over EVERYTHING and the bathroom is clean but there is a dispenser in the bathroom that says “poo” and I’m hoping it once said “shampoo” but we’re not too certain. In the elevator there is graffiti from everyone who has fucked there and their names are etched in pencil and carved in with razor blades— we’re going to have to join the ranks on the walls sooner than later.

Yesterday when we left the room to hit the one vending machine (the one that still has Pepsi Spice cans & Christmas Coke) we found the cleaning woman on the floor with a vacuum clenched in her hand. She was charging her phone and probably withdrawing from heroin. We caught her chain-smoking cigarettes later on in front of the spot with her vacuum still in her hawk talons.

Later today I’ll be joining a bunch of poets at Prospero’s books in town for a reading— there’s some big names like Jameson Bayles, John Dorsey, John Burroughs, Jeanette Powers, Bill Gainer, Dianne Borsenik and so many others!

I have no idea what to expect and I promised myself that during this trip we were going to wing it, we were going to let the universe flood a river and let us raft down it enjoying the sights as it draws us down into the unknown. This poetry journey has brought me to so many crazy places and I can’t wait to see what else happens, how many crazy people I encounter, how many shitty hotel rooms I lay my head— this is everything that I’ve mentally prepared for, everything that I wanted to do since I was stuck bed-ridden after the car accident, and I am so excited to see what is going to happen.

Well the front desk guy, the only one who speaks English, with the “Fuck Obama” hat says he can find us some cheap weed so we’re going to meet up with that goon and see if he can find us some grass so we can burn some down and enjoy some Kansas City Barbeque.


I’ll catch you guys next week and let you know if I made it back out of the Midwest.