SPOTLIGHT: Icarus Redux by Hiromi Yoshida

Icarus Redux

Green roses bloomed for Icarus

beneath his pasty heels

when they hit the Aegean seawaves

with a vociferous splash.

He morphed into the flipped

bird at high noon when he gave the finger

to the sun god Helios—falling out of the burning sky—a charred piece

     of debris, floating like a dust mote, or

a waxy    speck    in the blinking


His ego waxed as the sun waxed shedding

hot golden tears—feathers sadly drifting from the cunningly wrought osier framework of

          synthetic wings—upon the oily surface of the sea, an interminable canvas of sloppy  

                         experiments, choppy with roiling acrylic paint.

He then became a work of art (however

crappily executed)—gawked at in museum galleries,

featured in poems by W. H. Auden, Anne Sexton, and William Carlos Williams (albeit

to illustrate such things as the massive indifference of teeming human life—busy as geeky ants, and almost as blind).

He even stood in for suicide Sylvia

and all the other heroic icons who failed

to die the normal geriatric way.

So, when green roses bloomed for Icarus,

green became the iconic color par excellence; oxidized copper pennies became the tarnished currency—circulating corrosive envy and burning bile—and Icarus was minted in accolades of green.

What mortician of high noon can reverse this process of oxidization, restore the clean gold face of the sun, the wings of our Copernican darling—accomplish the mission of Daedalus without unseemly detriment?

Green roses bloomed for all of us

when Icarus fell

from the


The Human Barbie

Unbelievably, her
celluloid eyes
blink in the YouTube video,
glancing toward cyberspatial
heavens askance. The Human

Barbie rejects that popular
designation with a casual
shrug of an askew
shoulder in absolute denial of
what she had over-

achieved exorbitantly. With
Botox cannon ball boobs, she
lip synced her way to
internet stardom—

like so many other icons
cast in the same gelatinous
mold, slippery as
the wet sky.

Breatharianist goddess,
where are her enchanted
snakes, coiling
lights of ethernet
splendor around her? She

could’ve been Hitler’s
wet dream 90 years ago,
although there was
no Botox or
YouTube then. Just
cannon balls.

Nirvana in Life Magazine

The Nirvana
issue of Life
is “the body
of a murdered
tree”; a
life cur-
tailed; a
(stunted) trunk,
bonsai, a

sand, a

Bodhi Tree
each April
@ Kroger &

COVID America

It began with the “Chinese virus”—injected invective into mainstream
media flows—no filters—till the United States of America became

a filthy petri dish—breeding, incubating resurrected #hashtags and multiple trun-
cations, shutdowns, lockdowns, one-

handed masturbation sessions—Walmart shopping sprees for toilet paper and hand sanitizer—6′ apart isn’t long enough distance between Democrats and Republicans—
the length of an average-sized coffin in America. And now,

masked faces are politically correct emojis, and schoolchildren and teachers are collateral damage, waiting to be counted and collected—slipping through the cracks of the
2020 census,

while Karen became the princess ensconced in ice at the glassy apex of Capitol Hill, and George Floyd became the summer #hashtag excuse erupting from claustrophobic suburban closets. If the coronavirus is a

left-wing government hoax, then, the KKK is a masquerade of sadomasochistic Blacks, smirking in white hoods.

Halt TikTok negotiations because no American’s got a “chinaman’s chance.”
Swallow bleach to sanitize mansions of the mind inundated with misinformation—
Pimp Polaroids for Facebook Likes and Twitter followers—
Keep digging in the gold mines of overflowing
dumpsters with rubber gloves—pick out soggy Cheerios with OCD childhood spoons (because all lives matter in Heaven & Hell).

A COVID test is like a Shirley Jackson lottery, but the black dot is the cue ball shot across vast green fields where stripes and solids, and life and death, are equal opportunities [for all].

America, the big-boobed nation, is not particularly interested in flattening out curves—because bigger is better, and Biggest is Best. So, let’s go ahead, and say that COVID-19 is symptomatic of the American diseases of:

  • racism (and all other ‘isms and orgasmic schisms)
  • corporate greed
  • homelessness
  • obesity

sugar, salt, butter, cheese, red meat, fast food, barbecue sauce overkill—
Mrs. Butterworth, Uncle Ben & Aunt Jemima, the ménage-à-trois falling
off their respective supermarket shelves like shot-down Confederate statues. And BLM is

the graffiti scrawl
of underground discourses like the N-word, the F-word, the word branded upon the obscene, obese flesh of the (denying, white) American brain; the Word with which the world began (and could end). So,

cover up the Big American Motor Mouth (speak no evil)—
spitting out epithelial epithets—using leftover duct tape from 9-11 terror alert days;

Fauci & Kevorkian morph into siamese twins in paranoid collective consciousness—
in a nation ruled by old white men.

When will Uncle Sam wear a dress? (when he/she/they are dressed to kill?)
When will we cry uncle?
When will Mother know best?
When will entropic atoms coalesce into utopia?

Nobody in America wants to wear a mask
that covers up full, luscious, smiling lips (Cover Girl disenfranchised).

Nobody wants to comply
with government mandates in a democratic America—a gag bag of party
tricks; a piñata exploding plastic Cracker Jack prizes in your face.

America is an immigrant’s wet dream—
the green residue of pinched pennies.

America is a melting pot of
incompatible condiments—a conundrum of pundits;
lamb stew of Crab Rangoons and national lampoons; Willy Wonka’s chocolatier wok,
and Charlie Chan’s ChapStick factory—

enigmatic reduction of USPS operations—
generates nostalgia for the taste of glue on the sticky back-
sides of US postage stamps.

America is a silly thing,
America is a bleached-blonde virago.
“America” is a floating signifier—
Hollywood’s mega-mouth “sound & fury.”

America is a masquerade of giggling, scrawny, pimpled, dimpled teenagers.
America is a narcissist, reflected in gilt-edged, gargantuan, baroque mirrors—guilt-tripping down strip malls—stripped of all shame, like the naked Emperor.

American dads curse at barbecue grills that won’t start up;
American moms upbraid their pigtailed daughters for smashing their overstuffed piggy banks prematurely—
American kids vie for the biggest unbroken cookie;
American dogs sniff the biggest crotches.

And it all ends with the “Chinese virus”—eating its own grey spermatozoic rat-tail uroborically—gagging on the dust of desecrated Edens—shriveled mummy Chinatowns scattered across the pock-marked moon face of America; the Polaroid cheese that stands
alone on one shriveled Zen leg.


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