Monday’s Rune: Working for Money

At the car wash
busy with trucks and SUVs
but few cars.

I spy a young HR lady
as she
explains personnel things
to a few male employees
who look confidently confused.

They pay “up to” twelve dollars per hour
so says the help wanted sign.

It’s a hundred degrees Fahrenheit
again today, outside, at the car wash
for not enough dinero to live on.

A customer—tall skinny guy wearing
starched, ironed Wranglers with
a big wide belt holding up a bigger
shiny rodeo belt buckle, in
black cowboy boots
boasting bright diamond earrings,
under a big black felt
unairconditioned cowboy hat with

a long wallet jutting up from
his tight right back pocket
and chained to his belt,
and his big-ass cell phone in the other,
all in his stiff, creased, ironed
cowboy blue jeans while

Mansplaining to his nicely wigged

lady friend—he even told me when
my car was ready (it wasn’t)—she nodded and smiled—
people waiting for their clean and polished rides—

one rest (wash) room for all. With
a mercifully short waiting line,

I see no ‘young’ customers, but
one old man wore his ballooning
starched & ironed loud pink, long-sleeved shirt with
pearl buttons in this noisy, busy business

somewhere in the middle of Texas
where dressing to subculture
ignores realities like sun and heat

except for the guys making top
dollar, one every five minutes,
at the car wash. Plus, a tip from me
in my worn Phish tee and shorts, ball cap
and old gym shoes. My subculture.
At the car wash.

Look both ways at the car wash.
Take notes on the sights and write ‘em up: prose or poetry to get you through the day.
Mind the gaps unless you pay the upcharge for a greater job, done by hand, details.


If you’re unfamiliar with the mid-seventies song and movie, here is a youtube trailer version.

15 thoughts on “Monday’s Rune: Working for Money

  1. Interesting, fun, and thought provoking. Inspiring work, reminds us to take advantage of these opportunities. It is no problem to wait, when something like this comes out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Intriguing places, Peter.
      I’ve seen some interesting sights at car washes. ’tis hard work, especially in this heat. They have their problems. Fun fodder for my people watching poems. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nothing better than sitting back and being the observer. And then taking those observations and sharing them with us, your loyal readers, in the form of poetry-prose.
    It is awful work outside in heat like that. It ain’t even minimum wage over here. I sure hope the cowboy tipped 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love doing that: people peeping. I was walking around with my 3×5 notebook jotting my impressions. 🙂 That day I read a very different poem by Bukowski titled ‘Car Wash.’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too! And this is why you tote your 3 X 5 notebook! I love that you were inspired. And what a great tune. Hadn’t heard it in eons.

        Liked by 1 person

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