Surfer Hair And Shaved Legs by Erich von Hungen

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

(Warning: Attempted Suicide)


White sky.

Cold wind.

Everybody inside.


He was young then,

            but still.

Too young, his mother’d said,

            but still.

Two weeks before the day, 

it came back in the same velvet lined box,

            the ring, 

            minus two major stones

            that would make such great earrings.


White sky.

Cold wind.


He’d worked for his father’s shoe company,

but his father’d lost touch,

wasn’t considered hip — not any more,

drank, went broke,

and he, of course, with him.


White sky.

Cold wind. 


His only sister died of drugs.

His brother of AIDS.

There were no nephews, no grandchildren,

no new family spreading.


White sky.

Cold wind.


And when he’d finally met The One,

it was worse still.

In the service,

they’d always looked and whispered,

sometimes even winked,

as he’d left the showers.

But when it mattered, 

when he’d finally found The One,

she’d said it was too big,

and besides,

she liked surfer hair and shaved legs.


White sky.

Cold wind.


That was finally it.  

He’d held the revolver, 

like a mirror up to himself,

and pulled the trigger for what he’d seen.

The hammer jammed,

and it blew up instead of firing.

He’d been left scarred out of recognition

but was not dead.


White sky.

Cold wind.


So now, no one would ever look.

He’s in a little room with a monthly relief check,

and the wind no longer matters.

Is that what they mean by peace?


White sky.

Cold wind.


He never thought,

            even to this day,

to shave his legs.


White sky.

Cold wind.



Erich von Hungen currently lives in San Francisco, California.  His writing has appeared in The Colorado Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Write Launch, The RavensPerch,  From Whispers To Roars, The Closed Eye Open, Bombfire, and others.He has recently launched  three collections of poems “In Spite Of Contagion: 65 COVID-19 Poems”, “Kisses: 87 Love Poems”, and “Witness: 100 Poems For Change”. Find him at