The following poem was published in the 1989 edition of Green Fuse, the student literary journal of the University of North Texas. For years, fellow alumnus Wade Duchene and I have been threatening to go back to UNT in Denton, Texas, and find this poem, believing it has been unjustly forgotten.

So we did.

Seven Haiku at Night in a Convenience Store

By Michael Mulder

1

Gimme some fuckin'
Kool Filter Kings, you white punk.
And some damn matches.

 

2

Can I use your phone?
It's local. I'll hurry. Well,
why not, stupid-shit?

 

3

Hell, I be killin'
some white mutherfucker a
cuse me a stealin'.

 

4

Is that a bathroom?
No? Please, I really have to
bad. Oh, please. Let me.

 

5

Oh, my God, what time
is it? What city is this?
Where is my boyfriend?

 

6

Just fuck you and your
ugly white whore boss-lady
in the fuckin' ass.

 

7

Oh, my God, I am
so drunk. I am just so drunk.
I mean, I'm just drunk.

Copyright 1989 Michael Mulder

If anyone has information on Michael Mulder or his other work, please contact me or leave a comment on this page.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

This sounds like the Mike I knew back in the late '80's. He is a man of rare talent who just captured the "Sleven" clerk experience so well in this poem.
Sorry I missed you in Denton. Please tell Wade I said "Hi". I'm the Mother of his former "Little Brother" Roy. And I still have a pic of him standing in a trashcan when he was runnin' for Student Body President against Scott Armey.

BTW, don't know if you ever saw Mike's play at Jim's Diner...but we did "Supper with the Loosers" there. Had a ball doin' Dinner Theater of the Absurd! I got to play Granny Looser, asleep in my wheelchair until the second act. You shoulda been there.


 

I have known Michael for 17 years and am in awe of his writing talent, but this is still one of my favorites. The fact that he even heard any of this as poetry while being verbally abused for minimum wage speaks to his great creativity.
Thanks for posting these.


 

Whew! you weren't kidding about the language! I bet you heard every word of this 'probably in one night'. Then every night the whole time you were there. After awhile it just has to get poetic, or kill you, huh?


 

Hey Mike,
Well written and telling. I'v always said that folks that come out in the deep night are a different from those of the day-light hours. If you don't believe me go to an all night Wal-Mart and just look around. Kind of creepy. They remind me of those creatures from the deeps of the Rain Forest lacking color due to no sun exposure. I haven't listened to them speaking to the cashiers but I bet the language is very simular. Good job, WRITE MORE!!!!!!


 

Who knew when I spent all those hours talking to my "firstborn" from the moment he was placed in my arms in San Diego, that words would be the essence of him, and yet they are! I agree that Michael is an extremely talented individual, and my opinion is not the least bit influenced by the fact that I'm his mother.


 

I love how publishing this poem has found people who know Mike. I've never been able to find out anything about his post-UNT life from Google, thanks to all the other Mike Mulders.


 

Here's what I like: the fact that you can tell who the gnarly old drunks are, and who the wasted sorority girls are. Now that I've caught up with Michael, and his well-being and whereabouts, and plans are known, I can start looking for these poor souls cussing at convenience store clerks and drinking and smoking themselves to death.


 

I knew Mike when he wrote that. I liked him and his poetry very much. Just awoke from sleep by dreams of old friends too.


 

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