Ann Arbor Review
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International Journal & ezine
Copyright (c) 2012
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The Secret Service agent lost track
of what state he was in, focusing
on the President's new tie tack,
wondering if it would blow Air Force
One to smithereens or else get lost
in hummus, falling from the blue lapel
that reminded him of a dangerous sky.
Japoppel Toppletree had queer folks
who gave him a badger's name, but from
which Bohemian refuge did they spring?
Ashville? Berkeley? Greenwich Village?
Should he sow apple seeds or sing
lumberjack chanties? Where does his cot
lie? What is the name of his pine cabin?
A doctor, now patient, heats her sleeping
pills into a paste that she applies as base
to a face that she can no longer map.
Are the eyes big sky country? The nose
an aqueduct from a barren river? Teeth
a gated community erected on farms
with more scarecrows than children?
The long-distance trucker trigamist lost
his itinerary and day planner. Niagara Falls,
Mississippi Delta, Appalachian hideaway.
A birthday, a soccer game, an anniversary.
He forgets when and where to celebrate
each activity. Roll the dice, risk collapsing
the tripod, or head west to form family #4?
The woman who walked backwards knew
where she'd been, and was wise in foreseeing
the plights of adolescence, canny at navigating
sandbox politics, her shoulder blades arched
like angel wings or wry eyes blind to the future.
She reshaped her America with jagged heels
into glass, gas, rum, the forgotten state of us.
with Martin Ott
It's nice to be almost famous.
I like living on the cusp of becoming the next big thing.
I like basking in the potential adoration of my public.
I have more than seven hundred friends on the computer.
I send them letters and emails; they send me letters and emails back.
Sometimes they want to publish my creations. Of course they do.
Soon comes the book deal, despite my stilted, charmingly inept attempts
But let's not talk about ineptitude. Positive energy!
I am building a web of acquaintanceship that none can escape.
Strange people's descendants will read my work, get a better idea,
change their lives, and want to move closer to me,
desperately trying to buy a star map to my reasonably
capacious two-bedroom apartment.
I will keep a bowl of caramel-apple lollipops by the door,
in case of unexpected visitors, to disarm rabid fans of
This will all make up for the years of obscurity, which are almost over.
This will all make up for the past shame at my life, my barren existence.
This will counterbalance the undarned holes in the socks of my soul,
through which my grublike piggies protrude.
Righteous compensation shall be mine.
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