November 11, 2009

someone's selling all your heroes
and it seems such a sham

Rosemary Luckett, Fake Forest (Waste), 2009

Words from the Front
-- by Ron Padgett

We don’t look as young
as we used to
except in the dim light
especially in
the soft warmth of candlelight
when we say
in all sincerity
You’re so cute
You’re my cutie.
two old people
behaving like this.
It’s enough
to make you happy.

Bad Writing
-- by Julie Babcock

for Michael Martone

He didn't believe it was possible. But bad writing was very bad. It had slept through workshop and drooled during discussions of craft. Now it was lumbering in the middle of the Vermont College Green without moving aside for the Frisbees and the cats and the dogs chasing the cats. Soon it was planning on spreading, turning gelatinous like the blob just so Steve McQueen could show up in front of the Stone Science building with a hose and the police and the teenagers–everyone versus bad writing. The whole well meaning community will pour bullets and fire and dry ice over bad writing's whole, stinky body. And bad writing will laugh and ha because nothing, no nothing, will ever stop it.

The Thumb
-- by Peter Schneider

In a nanosecond David lost his thumb,
the one his mother painted
with pine pitch when he was four
to keep him from forever sucking it.
Unable to distinguish human flesh
the McCormick silo filler
sliced it off—
nail, bone, knuckle—
and blew it skyward
an ounce of humanity
in a thousand tons of silage.

Taken by surprise
David suppressed the truth.
Before the rush of blood
he held up the stump
saw the clean cut
grey bone marrow visible
and thrust it in his mouth
where the memory
of childhood security lay.
Then he swore,
tears rushing to his eyes, and ran
holding the stump with his good hand
blood oozing between his fingers.

Joe, a huge bulk of a man
and a constant neighbor,
jumped from his wagon
caught David like a child
held him to his chest
not intimidated by blood
or the tears of a grown man.


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