Jeff Weddle

The Poet’s Carnage

At the typewriter
in a white cotton undershirt
and torn boxers

the struggle to create
like a fist fight
between milquetoast poseurs
stuttering curses
on a broken hayride

sometimes Bach on the radio
water glass half empty of bourbon
ashtray overflowing with butts
blood smeared postcards
bearing cryptic messages
mailed from a dozen
small Midwestern towns
each one tacked
to a map of the US

an old Bowie knife
and visions of starving Jesus

somewhere a dog barks
somewhere out there
is the one
attempting contact

somewhere in a corn field most likely
somewhere under a harvest moon

Life and Death are Everywhere

Gin drunk boy
stumbles along
the winter sidewalk
counting angels
in his head
forced to rely
on fingers and toes
because angels
multiply fast
die faster
and are often
too tricky
for anybody’s

The old lady
riding the number 9 bus
removes a
halo from her purse
and tosses it
out the window
as the bus passes by
striking the gin drunk boy
on the head
to the delight
of her fellow

while she smiles
and moves closer
to her funeral
only a week away.

She does not care
that in the whole world
there is no one
who will remember
any of this
longer than
the life
of a mayfly.

The angels
remain far away
and unaware
of the old lady
the boy
or the bus

and go about
their killing
of innocent dreams
as though nothing
in heaven or earth
could ever matter.

The old lady
exits the bus
at her regular stop
takes three flights of stairs
to her small apartment
where the memory
of an old cat
claws her heart

and dreams
of all the sins and comfort
to be found
in a hot and loving
cup of tea.

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