James Ardis

Drunken Monkey Style

“You say sailors, but you don’t mean just any sailor, do you?” –Shenmue

Babin, when you get back to Helena
to train you’ll find a new Slim Chickenz,
find my acne is comfortable,
Helena’s train track smell has been added

to the World Heritage list, it has been purified,
it attracts hundreds of strange visitors

I’m developing an advanced doggy paddle
effectively ocean-tested,
   developing a strain of the drunken
   monkey style where I actually steal wine.

“You can tell how nice a town is
by how many bad Mexican restaurants they have,”
   –  Babin, uncle’s Bronco,
   barreling past Flippin, Arkansas.

All of the sailors are big, you know,
all missing the friends
who made Dollar General fun,

back then your toilet
didn’t flush,
back then I stayed overnight
because it’s you.


James Ardis is an MFA candidate in poetry at Ole Miss. Poems from his video-game inspired project “Damage Values” have found a home with Blinders and decomP. You can contact him here.

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