Dave Roskos

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Poet Girl

said “ don’t call yourself
a social worker,
that’ll really piss off
people who went to college
to be social workers”

someone else said
“Ya got heart?
Ya give a shit?
then you’re a social worker.”


Sister Martha

when i workedArtwork by Gene McCormick
at the homeless men’s shelter
in New Brunswick
my boss, Sister Martha,
said that i let the homeless
take advantage of me
because i opened up
the kitchen anytime
someone was hungry
& always had a fresh pot
of coffee brewing

i figured it was bad enough
they were homeless.
why deny them a sandwich
& a cup of coffee?

someone had donated
several cases of cheap
rot-gut instant coffee
& Sister Martha
wanted to use it all up

one day i went up into the attic
with her to get supplies
& there were thousands
of cans of Maxwell House
& Chock Full O Nuts
a mountain of coffee
almost touching
the ceiling.

“Oh, those are donations.”
she said.

i scratched my head.

must be a Catholic thing.


Dave Roskos is the editor of Big Hammer Magazine & Iniquity
Press/Vendetta Books. Currently editing a mag called Street Value,
a print zine which is also online at: www.outlawlibrary.blogspot.com
He works as a Life Skills Specialist for a non-profit independent
housing program for folks recovering from mental illness & addiction.