By Jonathan Yungkans

my first job
was the only time I went
into a strip club

I don’t remember
what the woman
who’d started her pole dance
looked like
she was gone that fast

I remember the bouncer

arms ready
to bounce catch repeat
like guys
whose skills I’d never had
on the basketball court at school

he asked what I wanted

just late enough
between homework and bed
for me to be nowhere else

I said I was there
to get singles for Baskin Robbins
across the street

and became a celebrity

guess everyone likes ice cream
from all the applause inside

the stripper peeked out

the bouncer walked me to the bar
to get the money

I couldn’t outrun my fame
fast enough.

IMAGE: “32 Dollar Bills” signed by Andy Warhol (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My first outside job, the summer after my first year of college, was scooping ice cream at a local Baskin-Robbins, thanks to a want ad in the South Bay Daily Breeze. It lasted about a month and a half, till a better-paying job in a warehouse opened (for which I’d applied and been interviewed before the Baskin-Robbins job arose), but long enough to learn that working in an ice cream shop is great till you work a full day and it’s hot and crowded nonstop. Other than the occasional crunch, it was actually okay, even with cleaning, stocking, and people issues–not to mention free ice cream at the end of a shift. By the time the warehouse called me, though, I was ready for something different–and maybe a little quieter overall.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jonathan Yungkans is a Los-Angeles-native poet, writer, and photographer with an intense love for the sea and local history. He is enrolled in the MFA Writing program at California State University, Long Beach, in hope that time at “The Beach” (CSULB’s nickname) will actually do him some good. His works have appeared in Lime Hawk, Silver Birch Press, Twisted Vine Literary Journal, and other publications.