By Bud Smith


Good Luck: Episode Nineteen




walked to the postal box, across

from the liquor store, and the bank.

At the box I saw egg shells

on the concrete, and thought

“I’m no Inspector Clouseau

but it appears that someone

ate a hard boiled egg here

between the hours of 3am

and now, which is precisely 11:18 am”

and a voice, my own, asked

“Inspector, how can you be sure?”

and I answered, “It’s simple,

there are no raindrops within

the cup of those broken egg shells.

The killer must have peeled

and eaten the eggs after

the rain stopped.” “Killer?”

“Well yes, this is certainly

the deranged handiwork of a killer.”

I slipped your letter in the box.


wow today


wow today I went to work

for a lot of days I didn’t go

but wow today I went

they had me put on a chemical suit

and I, I wore Darth Vader’s mask


wow today wow I waited forever

for the slow crane and the slow man

inside operating the orange claw

as it scooped toxic waste from a roiling pit

of chocolate milk—chocolate milk

in air quotes, wow


wow today I heard an economist on the radio

tell a nervous mother she should send

her kid to Yale even though her kid

would go into terrible debt because wow today

studies show that a college graduate makes

one million dollars more over the course of a lifetime

than a person who works with me

and also if you go to college you don’t have

to act like Little Bo Peep nudging toxic waste

Little Bo Peep toxic waste? the mother asked

the economist, What does that mean?

The economist, like all other people

had no answer so, wow today, I’ll explain:

I have my metal pole, crooked and bent

standing in my white chemical suit

and Darth Vader mask

nudging the orange claw

flown over by the slow crane

orientating it just right, so it opens

splashing into a blue dumpster

not anywhere else in the world


wow today my name is Bud, I am from the Internet

inside my wedding ring there is an inscription

which reads: love you till my heart stops

at lunch time, I peel off the chemical suit

scrub my hands, scrub again, again

while I am working, I keep my ring on my keychain

so my finger doesn’t get ripped off


wow today

I ate a chicken salad sandwich

and drank four Monsters (doctor’s orders)

my doctor says I’m allergic to coffee

my doctor says I should not drink coffee

so now I have replaced two coffees a day

with four Monster energy drinks, for my health

wow today, wow today, for my health, wow today

wow today I found a new hero

I found him waiting to punch out

I found him on the Internet

his name is Myron, he’s from North Dakota

he caught his hand in a sausage grinder

the blood gushing gushing gushing gushing

instead of dying he reached over

on the bench,  got his butcher knife

hacked through his own muscle

and veins, to escape

wow today Myron said, “It would be very easy

to sit back, feel sorry for myself and get depressed

…I can handle this.”





this is tahini

spilled all over

the front

of my pants




Night Shift


9:25 pm — Eating handfuls of lettuce out of a plastic sack, noticing it has Mickey Mouse on it. Stopping. I’d started checking for things like this after one of my coworkers, a year before, saw me eating lettuce and laughed, pointing, and I said “What?” and they said, “Are you fucking eating Star Wars lettuce?” And I looked. And I was. Adam Driver was on the bag, looking conflicted, holding his lightsaber, dressed in all black, maybe because he was evil. It was too soon to tell.



Sugar Poem


In the Uber Rae says,

“What’s a sugar plum?”

But I think she says

sugar poem

so I say, “Sugar poem?”

Joey is in the front

and says “Poem for sugar,

sugar is sweet.”

I say, “End poem.”

The driver is sober

and annoyed,

because when Joey

got in, the driver had

to move his lunch box

and his map

and why would an Uber driver

need a map?

“Seriously what’s

a sugar plum?”

The driver says, “A sugar plum

is not actually a plum it’s just hard

candy in the shape of a plum.”

He runs a red light and we thunder

beneath the overpass

cut through the projects

where the people are sleeping

it’s late, we all have some kind

of work until we die


Joey says, “Poem for sugar sugar is sweet.”

Joey says, “Poem for sugar sugar is sweet.”

Joey says, “Poem for sugar sugar is sweet.”

and the driver stomps on the brakes.

Okay now get out my car!

So we get out of his car

we walk up the hill

end poem

all the way home

end poem, end poem

in the rain.



BUD SMITH lives in Jersey City and works construction. He is the author of the novel Teenager (Vintage, 2022), among others.

4 responses to “Eggshells”

  1. Bill Yarrow says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Richard Brautigan. (Another way of saying “Yes.”)

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