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David Cranmer


Man, head in his lap, outside my hotel
window, healing in the Denver sun.
Oblivious, as life bores around him,
he frequently scratches both arms.
I don’t get his poison, I’m a whiskey drinker
myself, but I get blown apart.

Pouring morning coffee, I keep an eye
out, making sure no one flips him for
his sneakers, watch, or a few bucks.
As a security officer, paranoia is my
natural state, the dull cloak I wear.
He’s zeroing out as I’m ironing a shirt.

By the designer threads he’s wearing,
I’m guessing it’s heroin. His spiral may
have him on meth, but his face doesn’t
look all that fucked up yet.
When he lifts his head, he reminds me
of a younger and ultra-slim Warren Oates.

Three quarters of an hour pass and
Slim finally traipses off, I assume to the room
where I’ve seen him go a handful
of times before. Soon after, I head to
my gig off Inverness West. Guarding an
empty office of universal grey and beige.

The sun that peeled the toxins from
Slim’s skin pours in the window down
the wall and onto the floor, stretching
shadows across the room onto my
shoes. I type words into my iPhone,
capturing the poetry of a slow death.

Cranmer is the editor of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and whose own body of work has appeared in such diverse publications as The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly, Punk Noir Magazine, LitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Under the pen name Edward A. Grainger he created the Cash Laramie western series. He's a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter.


  1. Fantastic. Thank you, David. This is real as it gets.


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