Quack Up

Elmer and Daffy were acting up again,
and, as always, sporting firearms.
They were at a rally in the ‘deep’ south,
a sea of bright red hats and dull pink faces.
Alcohol had made their speech incomprehensible.
Daffy: "Sufferin’ suckers’ tax."
Elmer: "Kill da wabbit!" (Roe v. Wade)
Many tee shirts advocated violence.
Daffy’s was the only black face seen.
Women carried signs which just said, "That Bitch!"
It was like a theme park for the mad.
"Build a wall!" and "Keep our guns," they shouted.
When out of a shining clown town car
a cartoon politician did emerge,
the roiling crowd quite simply went insane.

The Shadow Nose

Snuffling is not sniveling
except in certain cases
when said snuffler is grimacing
and making funny faces,
and saying things that sound like lies
and are, in fact, not fact,
and covering with alibis,
a crazed autodidact.
He sniffs because he’s so damned smart.
He snuffles ’cause he’s rich.
He sees the poor as servant stock
and women are a bitch.
Why should he pay his own fair share
when shares can well be stolen?
Why should life be sky blue and green
when it can be made golden?
He’s "wrong." He’s "wrong."
His head is filled with ghastly monarch notions.
His heart sings only greed’s dark song.
Protect the land and oceans.

Charley Antler Windsock

The song of the crow
was his raison d’etre.
He’d climb a tree, dressed in black,
and recite the words, written in bird.
He never did experience
any great desire to fly.
But every time he passed a cornfield,
he felt a burning hatred of straw men.

Vermicelli Botticelli

Put the needle on the noodle.
Listen to the pasta play.
It’s the whole kit and caboodle.
There is nothing more to say.
Get some penne and some paper.
Fill the tubes with marinara.
Writing this way is a caper.
Sign your work ‘Scarlet O’Hara.’
Use spaghetti as a paintbrush.
For paint, use alfredo sauce.
Flay the canvas in a great rush.
Critics will be at a loss.
You can be a pasta artist.
All it takes is attitude.
Just insist that those are smartest
who make beauty out of food.

Calibrations in the Terror Zone

John Cale was in the House of Anthrax
before we’d even heard that word called terror.
Terror is the unmoving phalanx of cars
stretched twelve miles short of the city.
Terror is a cloud you can’t describe.
Terror is the sound of engines silenced,
unlimited progress on a flat map.
Terror is the recoil of beauty,
a birthmark buried in hate.
Terror is the unthinkable act
played out eternally as afterthought.

Early For the Pearly

Angel hair is in my eyes.
What a heavenly surprise.
There are wing tips on my shoes.
Grab my harp and play the blues.
I must be up on cloud nine.
I can see a bright light shine.
Feel a halo on my head.
I assume that I am dead.
I can hear angelic voices.
Guess in life I made good choices.

Came Back as a Chicken

For all my finger lickin’, I came back as a chicken.
I ate a thousand wings, now I’m one of those things.
I’m paying for those benders when I ate many tenders.
Did not realize how gory was chicken cacciatore.
I am a chicken now for chewing General Gao.
I’m paying for that fling with chicken a la king.
I ate it diced and shredded, now I’m poultry embedded.
I spent life as a guy who craved the breast and thigh.
Now it’s too late to beg, ’cause I am of the egg.
And it’s no use to growl, I ran afoul of fowl.

Holy Cows

Embattled cattle graze and wander,
chew their cud all day.
Rolling eyes, they sit and ponder,
searching for the way.
Holy cow. Zen is now.
Udderly awake.
This is bull. When they’re full.
they’re turned into steak.
You have killed our gods, McDonald.
You have brought us down.
We would just as soon go hungry,
even eat a clown.
Yes our shoes are made from leather.
We’re no purists, but,
we would rather dine on heather
than put cow in gut.
We reject your quarter-pounder.
We abhor big macs.
Blame goes back to Kroc the founder
for these cow attacks.

Old Cats

Old cats in black boots and dirty jackets sit
around a fire, burning tire, pass around a hit.
They talk of Eisenhower, Vietnam and J.F.K.,
of families and old friends who are not around today.
Most are vets and some served in the war to end all wars.
How can we stand by and know their lives will end outdoors?

Spotted Uncle

Robin spied a spotted uncle on her way to the Dansk outlet.
He flitted from branch to branch, his silvered wrists aflutter.
She’d once thought him a nuthatch, but he’d grown into himself.
She would never forget his bright red coat, that one fashionable fall,
or her childhood wonder at his whispered songs of relativity.
His freckles and moles had been enhanced with henna appliques
and a variety of brightly colored small round bandaids.
This is his season, she thought. Perhaps he could be lured by some chai.