My Bobcat Skid-Steer Loader Is My Therapy

by Michael Martin

I was on top of it. Smoking cigars. Wow, was it hot. Maybe a hundred. I had just torn up a 30,000 sq. foot asphalt parking lot. Mikey boy, I say, you have kicked serious butt today. There was a party in my head. Then the manager steps out of the office. ‘You demolished the wrong parking lot,’ he says. Points at another high-rise hotel across the freeway and walks away. Damn! I say to myself, Why does this keep happening to me? I watch the manager back in his office, fiddling with the AC unit and making coffee. He was one cool dude, let me tell you. I mean, imagine not having a parking lot! I stayed up on the Bobcat all day and smoked and thought about things and smoked some more. At 5 o’clock, a helicopter lands in the rubble I made and the cool manager waves and ducks in. ‘Have a nice evening,’ he shouts, flying away. When it got dark I saw lights coming on in that hotel across the freeway. One at a time, here and there, rooms lit up. Every night the lights spell: OVER HERE   OVER HERE

Michael Martin is a writer and book editor. His poetry has appeared in New Orleans Review, Gargoyle, Carolina Quarterly, Chattahoochee Review, & Berkeley Poetry Review, among many others. For a decade he lived in Holland, where he was a feature writer with Amsterdam Weekly; in 2010 he edited the anthology, Rules of the Game: The Best Sports Writing from Harper’s Magazine. He is currently writing a book with Dutch film director, Louis van Gasteren. Contact him at