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  • Tyler Bauer

story of an artist


he kept his life work

in an old cigar box

under a box spring

mattress

where he slept

for 47 years


13 rifles

6 trucks,

3 cars

2 DUI charges

5 mutts

2 ex-wives

3 abortions

8 vacations to Florida

2 packs of Marlboro reds a day

and

a monthly pension of $2,830



his first wife,

took half

then

his second wife,

took half


now

a shriveled heap

of bone and wrinkled flesh

with a failing liver and

lungs fuzzy with

cancer


he pulled out

that tiny pine box

once housing stogies


inside it were

a collection of tapes,

yellowed pages,

guitar picks.


it was the tapes he

most treasured.


in those plastic

rectangles

were his dreams,

the dream he said he

would come back to

one day


pressing play

he smiled and sang

along


still smiling

he grabbed his Remington

12-gauge shotgun,

put the polished barrel in his mouth,

and squeezed


the buckshot sprayed into his cancer

ridden skull

as the tape played

for the last

time

ever



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