David Lee
(born) 1944


Ugliest man in town
was Raphael Martinez
he's kin to them Martinezes
I never told you about
had them triplet boys
2 borned hooked together on one leg
and this sister
that grown a extra tit
right abover her hip they sed
but they never cut them apart
borned dead
so they took the 2
and put them in a museum
in a jar where you
can go see them
looking at you through the alcohol
he wasn't born that way

herded sheep up above sawmill road
this one morning he woke up
wished he hadn't of
couldn't stand up the pain was so bad
he known he couldn't live with it
and it was too far to town
like a weasel inside him
chewing he said
he found his pistol
put it in his mouth and pulled
bullet torn out his cheekbone
shot off half his ear
never hit no brains at all
and that was the only bullet left
he couldn't get to the rifle

so after he waited to die
and finally didn't
taken his knife
cut his throat but didn't hit a vein
stabbed hisself but the blade
was turned wrong
on a rib and bounced off
stabbed hisself higher
and harder
hit his collarbone so it broke
the knifeblade off
part of it stuck in the bone
he thrown hisself in the fire

sed that hurt to bad to stay
it was coals from last night
melted his face on one part
burnt off the hair on that side
where it never did grown back
closed up one eye
carterized his neck
where he cut it so it almost stopped bleeding
sed he could hear hisself frying
for somebody's breakfast
but he had to roll out
couldn't stand it no more
found a shoeing hammer
took and hit hisself
hard as he could
between the eyes
with both hands on the handle
knocked him out so hard
he should of starved to death
before he woke up
but didn't
had a lump the size
of a ostrich egg growing on his face
so he had one more idea

tied a pigging rope on his feet
drug hisself to this mule he had
a mean kicking bastard
crawlt up on his back
and tied his hands to his feet
under that mule's belly
sed he never known how that mule
let him get on he's hollering so
of the pain when he moved
that mule hated being loaded
and he'd even untied him first
he could of run off or kicked him
in the mouth there on his knees
he figgered that mule
would at least thrown him off
over his butt and kick loose
cave mebbe the rest of his head in
mule turnt and went to town

got him there by afternoon
passed out
people who found him was scairt to death
seen that one side
didn't have no face left
blood all over that mule
like he'd been swatting flies on him
with a icepick
the took him to the hospital
couldn't figure out what was wrong
saw all them holes in him
burnt off spots
blood everwhere
when they went
to lay him out straight he'd scream
like hell and they couldn't understand
a word of it
the only English he's speaking
was Spanish
couldn't wake him up enough
to shift his gear
tried to patch him up
best they could
without it costing much
they known it wasn't no insurance
nobody wanted the mule

that night they sed
he set up hollering like a sonofabitch
grapt his privates like
he'd pull it off
they taken and given him a shot
by next morning
he passed as big as then end of your thumb
this kidney stone
sed it turnt his gentile inside out
never seen one that big before
he bored a hole in it
worn it for a necklace
I seen it many a time
my god he's ugly

about half a face
with the eye shut on that side
half a ear
throat cut scar and his arms
blistered from his elbows to hands
where he lain in that fire
dent between his eyes
and a big white spot
where his cheekbone used to be
before the bullet come out
wasn't a kid in town
who'd say on the same side of the street
as he's walking on
never bothered him a bit
he's happy as a goose
and about that many brains left

so about a year before he died
he come in to the doctor again
all wadded up in a bunch
he kinfolk brought him
give him the examination
and the x-ray by then
doctor sez I got bad news for you
sed his face went as white
as a Nazarine preacher or a highway patrol
doctor sez you got the cancer
Ralph Martinez almost fell off the chair

started laughing and bawling
did the cross thing
sed oh thank god goddam thank god
I's afraid it'd be the kidney stone again
he's so happy they sed
it almost looked like that face
would of busted like a balloon
sed he wasn't afraid of no cancer
or dying cause he been there before
but with the kidney stone
it wasn't no way he could find out
how to not be there when it happened
and that's just too ugly
for him to have to think about