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Sunday, November 21, 2010

AND / OR (3 Pieces)

AND/OR (3 pieces; Inaugural Issue)
(pdf in November 2010; Print in December)
("Grumpy" anthologized in Ekphrastia Gone Wild from Ain't Got No Press, Aug. '13)

I Got Yer “Grumpy” Right Here, Pal

I guess you’d be pretty grumpy, too
if you shared a crackerbox cottage
with six other chirpy little bastards,
up every day at the crack of dawn
with a merry Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho on their
lips, off to work after nothing but 
a meager bowl of gruel, carrying
pickaxes and a box of dynamite,
leaving behind such a rare beauty,
a fair-skinned brown-eyed princess 
to sweep up after them, make up
their beds, wash out their nasty
sheets, no one keeping her company
but a bunch of dopey bluebirds.
What a waste. 
                         And speaking of 
dopey, let me just say a few words
about a couple of the schmucks
I work with:
                       I busted a thumb
about a month ago and found out
Doc’s not much of a real doc; and 
I don’t know what it is that keeps
that nitwit Sleepy nodding all day
or Happy so friggin happy, but
sooner or later there’s bound to be
a cave-in and, frankly, I’ll be glad
for the time off.
                         Maybe then I’d 
get to hang around the house, 
see if the princess comes across 
with a little TLC. Now, that might 
improve my attitude some, eh? 

Go away now, you’re buggin me.

When He’s Sixty-Four

He gets pulled over again, and this time
the cop is only about fifteen years old,
wants to know what’s up; tells him
there’s always been a stop sign at the 
bottom of the hill; says he must be blind
or crazy, flying through there like that;
tells him he ought to turn off the radio,
get his mind on his driving.  
                                           He tells the cop
he’s sorry; he says he was thinking about 
his old friend John who got shot in front of
his hotel, right in front of his wife and
the cop says yeah well that’s awful and all
but, still, ya gotta slow it down, Sir; gotta 
slow it down and watch the signs or 
you’re gonna end up dead yourself 
                                    —And he’s not so deaf
he can’t hear the condescending tone
in how the cop says sir; the way a bad father
speaks to a stubborn child—
                                The cop says  
I’m gonna let it slide this time, Sir,
but, still, you gotta watch the signs.
yeah, yeah he says, I hear you. Signs. 
Huh. Imagine.


This is Nish.  Point
to Nish.  Good.

This is Hondar.
Point to Hondar.  Now 
point to Nish.  Good.

This is Kiptron.  Point
to Kiptron.  Good.
Now point to Nish.
Point to Hondar. Good.

This is uh, Whatsisname.
Point to whatsisname.
Now point to Hondar.
Kiptron.  Nish.

This is a tough one. Point.
Good.  Now Hondar.
Whatsisname. Nish.
Kiptron.  Good.

Point. Point. Kiptron.
Good.  Whatsisname.
Uh, point. Now Hondar.
Nish. Good.

Good.  Good.  Point.