FIVE SHORT NUMBERED PIECES
BY NINA KANG1.
When I got my floss-key from the meritorium,
A rebours, da dum, da dee.
Someday she'll see who her real friends are,
A rebours, da dum, da dee.
The bee factory's awhirl. I've taught them
all of the graces, except sacrifice.
A mash of cardboard, a thankless task,
trying to cross a scalar and a loner.
It's a piece-of-shit crack, an fist of smack,
open up the veins and let the sugar fizz,
smash the elevators and let in winter,
some doors are the question and the rest are the answer.
I like the way my fingernails taste. It makes me think of straw.
Like when playing Whack-a-mole, no one is at their best
romantically. The Right Rev. Gurdy's wilted in a cabbage patch
and no Mamet salesman could've done better.
I want to tell you how I pulled and pulled.
Let's have dinner with the peacocks. I'll lay it out on the lawn.
For their plumes, a coat-rack. I bet you'll think they're cute.
Whatever it is you're hiding, I believe it already.
All this trouble, just to find out what I'm thinking!
One night after dinner we all changed into our nightgowns
and ran upstairs to the Ouija board.
This poem is what it gave us.
Stray across the carnival flap
and a current of waltzing strikes
the mall's most frivolous voltage.
Santa's leaning out the window, pitching
lipsticks like baseballs at the shoppers.
Children glue 'em to their soles.
Children spit on the receipts
before eating them, help! Someone get the clowns!
Asleep in their hammocks, chewing on straws,
free-lunch tickets spilling out of their pockets,
which the wind picks up, dances
them about like coins, the clowns are gone.
An antidote (in what jungles)
would green the moist honeycomb.
The spiders are clicking,
their nets draped over every lobe
and I am bringing bunches of wild carrot
so their pale cross-stitches
can clench the hinge
that's grinding open.
To spin a whanging dial
and wait for the medicine man:
it's my magpie feint, yes,
strafe and run it down,
stare it down
Everyone is underwater today:
the empire crumbling at last.
James says he wants to find work
as a writer, and me thinking,
You can do better than that.
Yes, zip up those red cowboy boots
and you can show me to the door.
Sole stitch, without the comedian,
and I'll pick it up someday,
playing the same song over and over.
Gotta admit it: I'm hooked
on these goddamned digits. Hell,
who wants to be an abacus
in a plastic box, hour after hour
sliding the beads?
It's a revolving door, did I mention.
It's nowhere you and I haven't been a dozen times already.
B R A V E S O U L S R E C E I V E
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