in the middle of
this patriot’s sketchbook
provides a pure rendition
of what our ancestors
had once believed to be
a savior of some kind.
According to our current science,
the dinghy no longer ranks
among the ideal species
to be considered a deity,
but belief systems
have changed significantly
since that epoch. A list
of acceptable deities
may be found outside my office,
though not before tea time
(I despise holding class
before tea time).
Oh come now, there are multiple reasons
why you shouldn’t screw in a lightbulb that way.
Primarily, you’ll shatter its fragile exterior
and gouge your hand,
smearing precious blood all over your clothing.
That tunic you bought at the Sears yesterday (don’t ask how I know)
will be absolutely ruined. The fourteen dollars you spent
will be for naught. I know you don’t see that
as your perfect (or even preferred) scenario, so
stop acting like a goofball and listen to me
when I teach you how to do something.
Do you want a repeat of the zombie survival drills?
Didn’t think so.
A piddly little posy of pansies
left the station an hour ago
(off to Cleveland of all places),
running late. All alone,
the colorful collective thinks
to itself, “I should have had
a better breakfast.” A freight train
is no place for a flower
to be lollygagging around, fretting
about its appetite and desperate need
for sun rays, but that’s neither here nor there
at the moment. This bundle has an agenda,
and time is of the essence.
There’s no window in the car,
just that played-out open sliding door (the one
that may have Woody Guthrie’s initials
carved into it, whether by a fanatic,
the legend himself, or
just some schmo with the initials “WG”).
The posy, steeped in darkness, wonders
if it can gather the strength to flit
over to that certain patch of light
(the one there always seems to be),
when a breeze picks it up
and slaps it against the door,
just inches from being jettisoned.
A crash landing
in this stretch of rural Pennsylvania
would almost certainly mean a grisly death
at the hooves of the local Holstein population.
But now is no time to panic. Anxiety
will get you nowhere
in the face of a looming deadline
and quarterly financial report presentation.
Chin up, fair posy. We’re not giving up on you yet.
Suppose you start stammering
at these shimmering jewels
on your nightstand, as though
you’ve established some
sort of language connection
in the realm of Greater Jewelese.
You do innately understand
that jewels possess no mental capacities,
but that seems only to fuel your curiosity
as you divulge your deepest secrets
to their faceted surfaces
(eg. the state
of your psyche, regardless of stymying
ethics preventing your profits, etc.).
It beats talking to a therapist,
you tell yourself
as you realize
that a counselor would only cost
a fraction of what your precious stones
just ran you at the jeweler’s stand
(and then it dawns on you
that you never left home this morning,
and you’ve been hallucinating
those jewels all this time).
You take the opportunity to sit up in bed,
that you could at least have some kind of
to stare at
the day that you broke your bedroom window
while throwing your weight
to and fro,
resulting in a cardboard and
First draft posted to WHARVED in 2014
Mickey The Mantelpiece
has it on good authority
that Dinkins’ Corner
smells like hot dog water
and scorched sand
after the bungled boogaloo last Tuesday.
It’s more than likely
a result of that notorious
Basketweaving Barrelmuncher Brigade–
they usually leave a lasting impression
in this naïve neighborhood.
The Brigade, forever unsure of its tenuous future,
kept right on hoarding canned meats
like it was going out of style–
ever since we thought we’d licked
those midcentury wartime tendencies.
Never an organization keen on listening to reason,
the BBB (not to be mistaken
with the power-wielding force
that calls the local business shots)
must have leaked some spiced ham remnants
while making their hasty getaway
from the street that birthed their tendencies.
We’re gonna need to hold them responsible
for the odorous hullabaloo
they always leave in their sloppy wake
(as though they think we’re meek enough
to take it lying down, the cretins).
Mickey The Mantelpiece will head up the posse.
Jemblatrons squeeze through the tetrahedra
as though mall cops have some kind of a stake
in all of this.
It’s not uncommon
to see such a prairie-headed analogy
encompassing the flight of the larcenous
concord penguin, be the bird yella or gold,
kite-running or otherwise.
Whether or not we align ourselves
to this illustrious ancient practice
has little to do with our blood sugar content,
though many shallow-ended participants
profess prediabetic plight.
it’s truly a marigold.
But you know what?
It’s this very kind of
that I’ve been meaning to avoid here,
amongst all the sordid
that seems to define our times
all of a sudden.
Wasn’t integrity of character
ever something to strive toward?
Maybe not in this system of
checks [cashed] and balances [slashed].
Though perhaps I’m as guilty
as any other layabout milquetoast out there,
lounging around the house
sipping my pink lemonade martinis
(my live-in mixologist’s proprietary recipe)
and grousing like one of my commoner counterparts.