Pinto

The Sun filters
through canopy leaves
to impose
a tinted pinto pattern
on a utility vehicle,

two-hundred some-odd
horses neighing
under the hood,
expecting imminent
metal pedaling
and waiting in July heat

for their concrete
cowboy to unhitch them
from the curbpost
after picking up
the second load
of dry-cleaning
in as many days.

The Dawn

Tunnel through a portal
leading past dungeons,
underneath a dragon
both juvenile and mature
enough to know the difference
between a swordsman and
a cake-making grandmother
when both tap on its shoulder
looking for attention solely because
a mythical reptile shouldn’t be
taking up three lanes on the interstate,
much less signaling to passing motorists
that stopping means succumbing to
orchestrated predation that predates
the dawn of our monkey brains.

Cringe

Bent, twiggy-licking finger smidgeons
hover tomorrow, but not
when the ice cream truck
stalls on the corner.
Never when the ice cream truck
frets and coughs on the corner.

But you know the time has blossomed
when those rats reach out
for their most prized trash heap findings;
you know that time reached full flower.

Rugs roll themselves into Lake Superior,
Lake Superior glares and frowns upon them.
Under the toe of a mighty Joe Stallion,
we stroll through our riverwalk
with a mischievous grin.

Cringe
and throttle that barrel-necked
orphan cherry.
Cringe
and throttle that barrel-necked
orphan cherry.

———-

First version (“You Better Believe It”) originally drafted and posted to WHARVED on 3/18/2013

Ladder

When the pigeon-toed astronaut wannabes
decide that their way up the ladder
is through a series of elaborate hoaxes,
that’s when you need to jump in there
and take a penny for the thoughts
of every person on the planet–and
whomever has happened to colonize
the moon by that point. Because at least
then, you’d have dozens of millions
of dollars to play with–assuming
these pennies are American–and you
could invest in several organizations
for as long as you should want, letting
your money work for you. Investments are
generally deemed risky, so you need to be
young (75 or younger, preferably). Don’t
end up sinking your hard-earned wealth into
some ponzi scheme. I’ve done that four times
now, with varying degrees of failure. But make
no mistake, each one of those investments netted
at least a 59% rate of failure–the worst being
a pure 100% failure. Always do your research, and
for God’s sake, talk with a financial advisor (one
who is not affiliated with a ponzi scheme, mind you).

Our End

While we’re at this interstellar reception hall,
we should take the time to tell all our friends
what we’re doing this for: the peculiar sense
of freedom and wonder that takes off like a goose
through the heron-streaked gates of our overlords,
be they earthly or heavenly. It doesn’t matter
who takes the cake in this tradition, we must
stealthily enlist the help of as many indentured
mandibles as humanly possible, lest we fall into
a holding pattern of nothing in particular–save
plaid or argyle in shirts and socks. We’re all in
the habit of making friends with people who choose
not to know much about our end of the galaxy, and
it’s not much of a turn-on when you come to realize
that nobody really knows much about our end of the galaxy.

The freedom to choose whose friendship we want
is something to be admired, but it comes with a cost:
pepperoni pizza to be consumed by all parties involved
for as long as a grand occasion can be extended. If
pizza isn’t the taste of the day, a number of foods may be
substituted–pita pockets, burgers or even flan for instance.

Birds

Traipsing across the southern valley,
it’s time for a bluejay to fly by
and disrupt my peaceful mind–a mind
which has come to the conclusion
that separatists deserve a fair shake
before all is lost from their campaigns
to end global warming, child poverty
and the invasive spread of religion.

Without so much as a crow streaking by,
my thoughts begin to replicate
the telephone booth from The Birds,
encasing me right where I stand
and throwing my spirit aloft to the domain
of our tiny winged dinosaur friends,
who appear to be fighting off extinction
from all angles, invisible–save the insect
populations they’ve culled and the plants
growing from seeds they’ve passed.

Lose Poetry

Imagine as a poet
that you must
lose poetry
for the rest of your life
unconditionally,
may not read,
write
or speak it.

You would need
to rely
on body language,
as any sentence
uttered aloud
is rendered
unique
purely because
it has happened
at a time
after any other
we can recall
at the moment.

Such a task
would wear
on the soul,
then one day
you’d suddenly
start stripping
anger from a lemur
found dawdling
near headquarters
who now really wants
nothing more
than to go home,
as all the anger
has been removed,
exorcised, perhaps.