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Megaguana vs. Hillcrest 

Somebody forwarded The Observer the following plea from the Hillcrest Residents Association posting board the other day. We've redacted certain details so the hapless pet owner doesn't get any calls from PETA:

"We lost a small green iguana at XXXX Lee Avenue. The situation is probably hopeless, but if you happen to spot an iguana in the area, please call Seth at XXX-XXXX."

The Observer — being a stubborn believer in the hook-handed madman who terrorizes local teen-age snoggers at Lover's Lanes, and who always checks our Coke bottles thoroughly for mummified mice in the bottom before imbibing — sincerely fears that Seth's iguana may well descend into the sewers of Hillcrest, where it can grow to enormous size. Count on a reporter to sit around wishing the other size-99W iguana-hide shoe would drop, but our bet is you won't see that sucker until it emerges as 100-feet of scales and bad attitude to terrorize the populace during Hillcrest Harvest Fest in a few years, requiring a call-out of the National Guard and possibly a visit from Godzilla and/or Mecha-Godzilla. Then again, that might not be a bad thing. Not only could downtown Little Rock use a Megaguana vs. Godzilla dust-up to clear the decks for more development (maybe solving the problem of what to do with the Broadway Bridge in the process), that's a story Yours Truly could get excited about, even with all these years between the present and our go-get-'em-tiger days. Heck, we might even stand on the corner and shout "EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!" for that. Good luck, young lizard. See you in a few years.

The Observer got another visit this week from Justin Booth, the homeless poet from Little Rock we told you about a few weeks back — the guy whose book we bought in the Rivermarket for $5 simply because he was selling it instead of asking for handouts, but which stopped us dead in our tracks within a block with the loveliness and emotional depth of the poetry contained inside.

Justin is taking part in a poetry reading at Vino's Brewpub on Seventh Street next Sunday night, starting at 7 p.m. In preparation, he'd printed out a satchel-full of copies of his chapbook. The Observer had asked for more copies the last time we saw him a few weeks back. Yesterday, he braved the hottest day of the year so far to bring some up to the Times.

When I met him in the lobby, he looked bad. Sunburnt. Bloodshot. He thanked me profusely for bringing attention to his work, then signed the four copies I bought, his hands shaking so hard the whole time that he could barely write. He said he didn't want to have a drink before coming up, but he would get one as soon as he left. He said he was working on laying out a new chapbook. He made a joke about drinking himself to death.

Soon after, we shook hands, and said our goodbyes. He hit the elevator button with my $20 in his hand and descended back to the burning noon street, awash in cheap whiskey. Godspeed, and amen. Rock and a hard place. The Devil and the deep blue sea.

In lieu of one of The Observer's faithless, heathen prayers for those who wander, here's another poem from Justin Booth's book, "Hookers, Ex-Wives and Other Lovers":

OLD AGE IS CARRION

Should have died young

like James Dean,

or Jesus.

The coolest ones

die for the masses

sacrifice self for mob love,

O.D. watching

co-dependent, white pantied

cuties wrestle in the Jungle Room.

The shock value

of teen rebellion

followed by a lifetime of

anti-establishment; fistfights, and felonies,

fashionable leather jackets,

black T's, flashfire love affairs,

girls barely legal,

women shockingly mature,

tattoos and

avant-garde attitudes

on art, and literature, and fornication.

Wasted.

Should have died in a motorbike wreck.

Martyred Hepcat

like Jesus or Elvis.

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