dog-rhymes and wicked schemes: observations from across a century-old home

That rabid dog still goes to school,
passing a whipjack on its way.
(They’re a bit the same, these
beggars and dogs,
in that they ask — no, whimper
for scraps. Both use their feet
to scratch their backs; on both:
black, soil-infested claws.
The dog does look a bit
nicer, though).

But this dog is different in that it goes to school.
It wears a tie and all that,
it wears a uniform, too.
Make no mistake:
it is still a dog, and possesses
an instinct that wants
nothing more than survival.

Survival: this dog goes to church
and prays with its paws together;
out, glistening tongue.
It cannot kneel so it sits quiet
when it wants its master’s compassion.
It cannot really give anything away
(at least never wholeheartedly), so
it despises the people who can;
it masks its contempt as derision.
The rabid dog that goes to school
has his future set, however.
He will get paid for scoffing
at people in his mind, but
people see only drool on its face,
and only hear it barking mad.

— A. P



The force of a horse
is equal, of course,
to the number of doors
it can kick up yours.

A gnat on a cat
makes more sense than a bat,
for a bat is just that
when there’s wings on a rat.

And an aardvark’s snark
can murder a shark,
but a dog and its bark
should not make any mark.

Like a pig in the brig
of a ship twice as big
as a disco band’s gig
with thrice as much jig,

a goat in a boat
should, in theory, not float
no matter its coat
nor its throat on a moat.

And the beeswax on bees
should have just the right grease
under pressure, at ease
to wake flowers and trees.

Then the weasels of war,
who put justice in jars
would trade nectar with bars
when they travel too far:

Why such want for a continent
is a mystery pertinent
but to say they need condiment,
is a crocodile’s argument.

— A. P.

I Ran Out of Vitamins and I Feel Cold, Says the Country After Mistaking Mushrooms as Energy-Giving Umbrellas In The Hopes of Revitalizing Its Rotting Skin While Learning the Concept of Free Radicals

I Ran Out of Vitamins and I Feel Cold, Says the Country After Mistaking Mushrooms as Energy-Giving Umbrellas In The Hopes of Revitalizing Its Rotting Skin While Learning the Concept of Free Radicals

…and I felt lofty; a draft caressed my ears
in the rapture of a forest and the calm of a pond,
in the cloak of ceremony, where like minds struck
a deal with the sun, praying, “Hold them, there.”

And what would I trust? Would I trust words
from lonely pages torn
from a worn-out book,

from where brumous eyes
would lay rest, my conclusions, or worse —
from lips.
I walk with cranes,

their souls on stilts, minds on legs,
that set their underbellies too high from the brush,
with feathers that seawater could not touch.

And the beasts thought they were making changes
to this sanctuary, but they’re not;
their beaks write on water, and live off
what little fish they could catch.
And the silver-skinned creatures, they bask, and they border,
embracing the idea of extinction amidst plenty.

It is not surprising to find one’s self in a dream
where the chaos of forests feels like home,
where the morning alarms are all primate’s howls,
as animals lead the people now.

— A. P.

the daily press

The Daily Press

“Listen,” says the canterer, “Go fly and tell your children,
we want them to be innocent.” Be innocent, be innocent,
so echoed the warden. “Listen!”
…says the shepherd, “Go fly and tell your mother:
we want her to be innocent.” Be innocent, be innocent,
echoed the witness oblivious.

The promise of truth’s but a waking dare now,
the colorless preening of ominous sounds,
facetious bemoaning of evident gasps,
while lies thrive in mouths of the villainous crowd.
And true to their word, they spout nothing but blatant
untruths for the sheeple in farmhouses bare—
so many were they that if half of them hurry,
they could form a new flock, they could form a new country.

“Listen,” says the chanteuse, “I could sing this song for days,
and I want you to listen.” To listen, to listen
says the sheep in their pen. “Listen!”
…says the hallowed, “Go fly and tell your brothers
we want you to follow.” To follow, to follow,
the flock cantered steadily with their every tomorrow.

— A. P.

city planning urban solutions

City Planning :: Urban Solutions

Houses in the east survive
the western standard time,
and even imitate their
sleeping habits, even
their turn-on-switch-off light parade;
twinkle-twink, they seem to say,
invitingly crude,
but humans like shiny things.

And human brains love patterns, be it
plaid on skirt or tripping emotions,
healing hearts and ripping them
again and again and again; it feels
familiar, it feels like home.

Houses in the west survive
by forgetting time, and being late;
excuses include sleeping-in,
wild fever, or
mild murder—
tell the day to start, then, tell it:
it’s better late than never.

— A. P.