mourning #3 [poetry video]

Marty Shambles
1 min readFeb 26, 2023


we rode in cars with seatbelts

that didn’t go across the chest

but instead girded the waist,

down to the corner store to get

12 packs of cokes. sometimes

the car was brown. sometimes blue.

sometimes white. always older than


it was basically a 3 minute drive

from grampa’s house to the corner

store, wherein unc would impart

wisdoms and aphorisms or just pop

in a tom waits tape and let ol’

tom do the talking.

i’d go in the store. sometimes i’d

have money, but mostly not and

sometimes he’d buy me a treat.

there were so many options

of brightly colored candies and

sodas and slushees and it was a

shitty convenience store but i

loved to look at the opulence of the age.

imagine what an amazing world awaited me

if convenience stores like this were

just around the corner.

mother had always warned against

gas station hot dogs. those sweaty

conglomerations of meats were a

culinary and hygienic affront,

rotating in their hot purgatories

for what could have been years,

waiting for an unsuspecting rube

to come along and buy the filth.

so it was shocking when unc bought

one of those hot dogs and offered

me one too.

i said,

don’t you know those things are gross?

he replied only,

it’s important to have a strong appreciation for trash.



Marty Shambles

Pushcart nominated author of short fiction. New book available at