The Bricklayers
by Catfish McDaris

After the army, I was ready for
real money, I got my trowel and
level and headed to Texas, I got
a motel room at Lake Meredith

I was building small fireplaces in
Amarillo, I was making three hun-
dred a day, I came home from work
and someone had cleaned me out

Everything I owned including my
money stash, I was devastated, my
guns were gone, I was basically
naked, I figured it was a motor

Cycle gang, I went to my uncle’s
and got some fire power, I knew
where the son of a bitches hung out,
I was ready to wage war, I looked

And there were my uncle, cousins,
and grandpa, all armed and bricklayers,
we recovered all my money, and
merchandise, not much blood was spilled.

IMAGE: “Washington Money” by Robert Silvers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bukowski’s Indian pal Dave Reeve, editor of Zen Tattoo, gave Catfish McDaris his name when he spoke of wanting to quit the post office and start a catfish farm. He spent a summer shark fishing in the Sea of Cortez, built adobe houses, tamed wild horses around the Grand Canyon, worked in a zinc smelter in the panhandle of Texas, and painted flag poles in the wind. He ended at the post office in Milwaukee. Now he rehabs furniture, makes knives, and writes a bit.