SPOTLIGHT: Glenn Danzig Carries Cat Litter by J.D. Smith

amazon.com/dp/B09BYD4H3T

Parable

Because the wave-high sea
did not flatten at my command
I took up my AK
and emptied a clip
into the deep.

Every round began with a dry pop
and ended with a splash.

Still, the brine’s wide flesh
didn’t yield.

I can only accept
that five minutes have passed,
that the waters are unscathed.

There is a lesson in this.
It’s time to reload.


Upon Further Review

You are not, in fact, the egg man.
Don’t take it personally.
These days egg men are thin on the ground.

If it’s any consolation, I am
by no means the walrus,
coo coo ca—can’t finish.

The syllables
aren’t mine to sing,
as Peter Maxx stripes
aren’t mine to wear.

So many years gone
the lyrics fade, and
singing along seems
hard to imagine. BANG.

Few colors are needed
to show data, and fewer shapes:
spreadsheet cells of right angles,
the knife-blade of a slope
declining over time.


Day’s Events

One examines them, the way
a fop with a monocle inspects a butterfly,
until they outline a moth, yea Mothra,
with all the powers pertaining thereto
but no singing twins or regard for mankind
and they will do the examining, thank you,
like the abyss long gazed into, though

replete with many eyes
and the shadow of great wings.


Flyover Country

We saw from cruising altitude
the storied farmland quilts and jagged mountains,
the oxbow lakes of surprising number.

From one side or the other we saw
the indescribable Grand Canyon
and, conditions permitting, surveyed
fireworks and thunderheads, if not
the edge of a hurricane.

We found the view sufficient, containing other lives
while, everywhere, efficiencies increased.

Who among us had an instrument
of resolution to discern a bridge’s rust
or pitted mortar, let alone a steady
boarding-up of windows, the earthbound
filigree of pill and needle’s spread?


Matins

Hung over or something like it,
one picks up the remote to find

the pixels look different this time
but make up a familiar picture.

Everybody wants to drive the truck
even if the wheel turns
but a few degrees, the brakes are soft
and the hood is pointed at a cliff.

Click! makes way for
water and aspirin, then
salt and grease.

Chimichanga . . .


Casino

The house wins
again, and the house wins,
like before, even when the house loses
the occasional hand
or odd spin of the wheel

The house wins
by attrition, by practice,
taking on all comers
who think they can beat the house,
but don’t, because
the house wins—
red or black, hit
on nineteen or twelve,

Yet we come back because
the house wins
and when outside
everything is left to chance
that certain certainty
turns to comfort
in hearing, again,
the house wins.

Otherwise
we would stay out,
or walk away,
or find the will
to build our own damned house.


Revised

I pledge allegiance to the drag
Of a blue-sided woman named Erica,
And to a green pumpkin, more lipstick brands,
Damnation, thunder, fog,
With Schipperkes and, trust us, RuPaul.


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