Poets Out of Service (V6) By Michael Lee Johnson Like a full-service gas station or postal service workers displaced, racing to Staples retail for employment against the rules of labor, poets are out of business nowadays, you know. Who carries a loose change in their pockets? Who tosses loose coins in their car ashtray anymore? iPhones, smartphones, life is a video camera ready to shoot, destroy, and expose. No one reads poets anymore. No one thumbs through the yellow pages anymore. Who has sex in the back seat of their car anymore, just naked shots passed around online? Streetwalkers, bleach blonde whores, cosmetic plastic altered faces in the neon night; they don’t bother to pick pennies or quarters off the streets anymore. The days of surprise candy bags for a nickel pennies lying on the countertop for Tar Babies, Strawberry Licorice Laces (2 for a penny), Wax Lips, Pixie Sticks, Good & Plenty are no more. Everyone is a dead-end player; he dies with time. Monster technology destroys crump fragments of culture. Old age is a passive slut; engaging old age conversations idle to a whisper and sleep alone. Matchbox, hand-rolled cigarettes, serrated, slimmed down, and gone. Time is a broken stopwatch gone by. Life is a defunct full-service gas station. Poets are out of business nowadays.