The caddie to-do wasn’t ever much more
than an anglerfishworth of gender trappings;
our souls’ faint inner-shirkings
beg to interrupt the rat race formula
so conveniently laid out for us.
Failure is a foregone conclusion
when you stack the chips a certain way.
Of course, we all must stray
from our internal clocks
for the convenience of our plutocratic overlords.
Demean yourself so you can put food on the table,
then you’ll be the richest of us all, I tells ya.
Then maybe one day you can afford
to take a ride on the merry-go-round
of solid gold. Only one ride though,
are you crazy? We’re not running a charity here.
Or perhaps it would be easier to imagine that we are,
if that’ll help you sleep at night. Anything
to shut youse up for a couple hours, you’re exhausting.
Now go play with the TV in the other room for a while,
and try not to get electrocuted like last time.
The Cro-Magnon magnate
of sponge cake diversity
reared his ugly head last night,
just as I’d exited the bath.
I said “begone, damn caveman!
Get out of this place!”
The tremors in my voice
betrayed my cool exterior.
Wearing a towel at the time,
I had no use for losing any more
He leapt once, stood still–
leapt again and planted himself;
scratched the small of his back.
After some minutes of this,
he began looking around as though
he’d never seen the place before
(even though he’d clearly been there
for some minutes).
What a nut,
I couldn’t help but think to myself.
Entombed in the cedar
Mac Rebennack-ness of it all,
I stood still with a Wisconsin
kind of appendage, the wishbone apparent
through those ill-begotten stockings
left behind that one night
when the pistons swayed
against the moon spritzers
with their glittering doom
(so transparent to everybody
save the few middling marmoset dealers
known around the district as
generally pretty good guys
in their own regard, if you insist on
getting down to their brand of parlor parlance
after a bit of tea and perhaps
a scone while we’re at it).
Alls I knows is
my black bean taquito factory
couldn’t have shut down
at a worse possible time for me
and my chicken brethren. Now,
I know what you’re thinking. Can
chickens collectively be considered
brethren, or would that be omitting
the female sex entirely?
For you see, my enlightened peers
in this common quest
for some kind of satisfaction–
if at all possible–
chicken is the lazy layman’s
blanket term, and we can’t be
bandying improper pronouns around
over here, ya dig?
Oh, and I suppose it would also mean
that my clucky compatriots will have to incur
the ultimate sacrifice (their lives)
on the company’s behalf
for the sake of avoiding
cuisine production cessation (if even
for a minute).
I can’t jeopardize our investors’ success
within this capitalistic apparatus–
especially after that botched public offering
a couple summers ago. Egg
on my face, I said to myself (I said).
Mannequin rest is a sign of weakness
and cheap plastic.
My stock at the Sears downtown
believes that since they look human,
they should receive pay and benefits
like my flesh and blood employees.
I’m so tired of emphasizing
to these hollow Betties and Bernies
that they were designed, built and purchased
for the sole purpose of displaying garments.
I’m not the one to blame
for their poor quality of life.
Even if their plight was real
or at all justifiable,
how am I supposed to provide
services for company property?
I’m just a shift manager!
I’ve tided them over for now
by letting them form an in-store mannequin union
in the basement (Thursday and Saturday nights
from 7 to 9), but until they’re legitimate,
I’m not breathing a word of this to the higher-ups.
Originally published as part of inaugural post (12/20/2010)
First titled “Swivel Rights”
A wafer of indignity flew backwards through that cold, astringent night while peregrine potato bugs began their sultry swooning to be repeated, ad infinitum, until the cows come home to their cluttered garden apartments and flip on the boob tube for some unchallenging entertainment. Another day at the salt mines has left our bovine friends reaching for a simple night with chuckles, popcorn, reality TV and mediocre sex.
Moo. Somebody scratch my nose, please.
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.