Oh, No

It came past
to never or not
in the eyes
of the big one
in the sky,
but that didn’t
quite do it
anyhow anyway,
now did it?

Oh, no.
You can’t get away
that easy around here,

Rat Tippers

“Where do you keep your rat tippers?”

“I keep my rat tippers with my cow flippers, in the back-right corner of the pantry next to the party fixins. Why do you ask?”

“I really need something to get these rats off my case, especially because of this ingrown toenail I have. I can’t risk being caught with such vermin on my case, if you know what I mean.”

At this point, the two friends
must risk being caught in public
discussing rat matters,
which is a certain cause
for social suicide around these parts.

They are either totally secure
in their position
or unaware that such talk
could land them in the looney bin.

Our Common Enemy

What are we melting here
when all the cheese
has been stolen anyway?

We need a common enemy,
or at least someone
to complain about

while we try out
new galoshes
in the mucky weather.

As long as our common enemy
has some kind of cheese stash,
I can absolutely get behind

verbal torture, like the kind
they had in the olden days,
the townspeople tossing tomatoes

and ethnic slurs
at the unfortunates
trapped in stocks

right in the middle of town,
the communal clock chiming
9am while the time is actually 8:47.

Monument to Salad

A cold little crouton prefers to be somewhat frozen over being baked into a melange of messes, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to dignify these oddball questions with suitable responses. I mean, half of my time has been spent trying to describe a heron’s flight patterns to preschoolers, and I can see that they’re really not getting it at all. No matter what color the heron or the wingspan, there is no way I can have an intelligent conversation with these ungrown little future senators and hot dog vendors. I might as well try to make friends with people my age and just be done with it already. I never thought building a giant monument to salad would be so damn tough.

His Granting of Favors

Hounding the rose garden
with a turnip-snouted affair
could lead to regret
as long as you flub up
the orders coming in
at a mile a minute.

If you bring out
the best of the vichyssoise
for our esteemed colleague
on the day of his daughter’s wedding,
I’d say you’ll have
plenty of opportunities
to capitalize on his granting of favors.

First on the docket:
get that petty Ms. Nightingale
to put a lid on her trombone practice
between 8 and 9:30pm on Tuesdays.

Our Friend Fido

Something is amiss in this situation,
like a dog without a bone
or a dog who just buried one
and forgot where it even went.

Now our friend Fido
will go around
digging up holes
in all the neighbors’ yards
without any prize
at the end of his grimy toenails.

He’ll still be satisfied
from the act of digging anyway,
but at what cost?

Any Day of the Week

Sticking a smock
in a smoke-filled sauna
sounds so silly to me
when I think of it,

and I’d rather
shell out some simoleons
to Miss Sandy
for a liberty steak
any day of the week.

A Nice Hand

Throw the counsel
to the primates,
the primitive speculative
kind of people
that would lean to a window
and spew all their feelings
like bleating little lambs.

Have a porta john
installed in your backyard
as a prank against the logic
of a man askew from wisdom.
Put the plank of a parrot
in your hair to see if you care
enough to try on a golf glove
while you commemorate
the skies of the burgundy chipmunk.
Give them all a nice hand.

Complete the Circuit

The robin sits on the branch,
perfectly still. It’s puffed up,
conserving its energy
on the chilled November afternoon,
contemplating the stars
that it can’t yet see.

Then it takes off for another tree,
to continue its watch
from a different vantage,
perhaps triangulating its experience
as nearby squirrels chirp and scratch
at each other by the trunk.

Nothing is keeping itself at bay,
a cold breeze tells us all
that winter approaches.
We must stomp on the negatives
before they build up through doubt,
a smile necessary to complete the circuit.

Anything Too Green

Before nightfall, gather wood
for, at the very least,
a rip-roarin’ fire
that will last through daybreak.

No sense in freezing
if we still have blood
flowing through our veins.

Just don’t get anything too green,
or the smoke will howl
with the dying breaths
of those we burn tonight.

A Novice Unsure

Bent over the hovering stairway’s landing,
I crawl through my own ignorance
just to convince myself
that stairs are meant for climbing.

I go one step at a time,
a novice unsure of proper footing
and without a handrail.

I dare not look behind me
at the infinite darkness
beckoning me, “Just fall,
I’ll catch you eventually–
or so you think.”

Just Fancy Thinking

Being in the glen
of otherworldly struggle
boggles the mind
to new heights
never explored by our kind.

Maybe other peoples have raced
to these fresh conclusions
before us, but
that’s just fancy thinking
at this point.

You Get the Picture

“Marry me,” is all she ever said
to the rock next to a hard place.
She didn’t actually
want to exchange vows
with a boulder, she just felt
like expressing herself to someone
who wouldn’t get carried away
with reception planning
and chicken dancing,
like the traditions of her mother
and mother’s mother (you get the picture).

She sat upon the boulder,
palms down to the cold stone,
completing a kind of silent prayer
that would, in her mind,
infuse this lifeless mass with personality.

Such Claptrap

Stem the flow of tawdry shipmates
until someone is drowning
in a case of PBR, unaware
that they could have just had water instead.

Hobbling through a brook of crystal clarity
can only unveil so much character
within a single person,
especially if they’re alone
and it’s dark outside.

There could be a little cliché moon glow
on the water’s surface to create a texture
for the story line, but
it’s definitely not necessary for our purposes here.

The visual would be somewhat stunning,
and it would be easier to see
the shadows of deer in the forest,
but again, we don’t need to rely on such claptrap.

Short of a Dozen

Sell the time
short of a dozen eggs or so,
maybe even
short of a dozen egos
if you really want
to delve into it.

I don’t have any suppositions
to be made about our cosmic lifeblood,
conscious or otherwise,
but I wouldn’t hold it against you
if you decided to speak up
about your version of things.

All in all,
twisting the fraudulent skeleton key
into some manmade lock
can only achieve one of two results.
We hope there’s something
to be revealed behind that door,
if we can even call it a door.

Sometimes we have to heave our hefts
to and fro, as though
there were no gravity
to impede our progress
through the cattle drive
we call average workaday life,
and is there anything the matter with that?