I remember pool hall hustlers selling small plastic bags of Jamaican weed. They'd lay out their wares on green felt, the ashes of blue chalk falling from the tips of narrow maple sticks. The sales pitch was always whispered: "You play a mean game of pool. A bag of Mary Jane is yours for for $10." The more I would say I don't smoke and never drink, the more put offish and disbelieving they would become. But as the night wore on, they figured me for the sober student of the game that I was. They may have resented me for besting them, but they didn't ignore me. Over and over they would invite me to do rolling battle with pool cues. Then after there was the mercenary ritual--the offering of bags of weeds to someone who wouldn't play that game.
Poems of the Week by Robin, Julian and Frank
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