XIII

You can’t overdo something of this magnitude–a poem, a thoughtful greeting card, a pinky in the eye of your oppressor–or you’ll stick out like a sore thumb on the hand of a timid librarian perusing the stacks and suffering several paper cuts. Overachieving can only lead to disappointment later on, when you can barely stick your head out from under the covers long enough to change the song blaring from your computer (which has been running for 138 consecutive hours without so much as a break). Face it. Take on challenges with a half-assed spin and you’ll pleasantly surprise yourself when something worthwhile happens–a novel covering the basis of yarn harvesting, an apparition of the Dalai Lama in your homemade soup, the opening day lineup of the 1938 Chicago Cubs etched onto the back of your hand.

XII

Until we’ve all taken siestas
on each of the seven continents,
nobody will have the authority
to say what should and shouldn’t
be called opera. Just try to take
a nap in Antarctica without any
shelter, I dare you. About midway
through attempting to drift off,
you’ll lose function in your extremities,
with your limbs not too far behind.

Only at that moment will you say
to yourself that an opera can be
anything that involves conflict and
some sort of singing. The language
doesn’t even have to be grandiose!
You admit to yourself that this
proposition on the origin of art
is silly anyway, and you die
a cold, enlightened individual.

XI

Twizzling little tickling twinkles
splash individual fare on the clowns
falling all over 18th street,
Sunday after the hourless
Friday-Saturday conundrum
where teeth gnashed in pleasure
and trumpets blared
the anthem of the Bohemian state of mind.
Forty-eight ticks left the weekend
scratching its head and biding its time
until the wrecks emerge from the wainscoting
to lap up the Billy Baroo kind of obsolescence
planned for the children they’ll only have
once this planet has been assured of its safety.

X

Give me that impression of a youth in trouble with a decision to make that will shape her life and the lives of innumerable voting persons, and try telling me that the swamp of egregious warfare has a purpose. You know–as well as I–that a natural feature has no business existing if its very nature is one of violence and the quashing of dissenting voices. If, however, you sample from the rug of burnt mango offerings, nothing could please me more than the redemption you’ve always sought–when standing in direct opposition to the kernel of putty-nosed scoundrels, no less.

IX

A glimmering smidgeon of hope
has stalled the collapse
of our grand society,
through the execution of
a well-phrased debate that should
–by all measures–sway
the undecided and worry the supporters
of the crass, unprepared and
otherwise unsavory candidate
who spits rhetoric and bluster,
pretending to exert authority
over an arena completely new to him.

But nobody’s opinion will change.
Rabid contrarians will lick his wounds
and claim he doesn’t need experience
to control the (downward) trajectory
of this global hierarchy. He’ll be fine,
they say. He’ll bully others into
doing his bidding, since it’s worked
so well in his past endeavors.

A sucker’s born every minute, and
somehow each one of them
is old enough to vote,
come Super Tuesday.

VIII

Accept that few–if any–neon python boots fit as well as they claim on the box, “100% natural, perfect fit for all feet involved.” Claiming that to be a bold-faced lie would be inaccurate; they used a font of standard weight, understating the severity of their exaggeration. Be fair in your assessment and remember that one-size-fits-all technology has yet to grace the footwear sector, and statements to the contrary can only heighten suspicion.

VII

Forever–forever and a day–waits the slow-witted, laughing blue jay, sitting on a pole and grinning from ear to ear in the way only a blue jay can. It surveys the land below its narrow perch, all of which is enveloped in freshly-erupted lava that threatens to eat at the pole–were it not for the forcefield protecting the bird and everything it touches. As everything on the ground ignites, not a single cry for help can be heard. In fact, people are sloshing right through the scalding orange soup without so much as a peep. Be they devils, wolves in sheep’s clothing? Do they revel in pain and dare anyone else to take the plunge? The bluejay dives to the surface and feels no heat, just pressure to get back on the pole, away from those two-legged beasts who put it there.