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Imagine a Perfect Home Then Try Again

The new State considers my refrigerator
a hot tub and so it lies on its back
still humming My torso pokes out
like a defrosted turkey On the counter
the supermarket donuts
sweat off their glaze
It’s hot as hell In the bodega
next-door the rainbow man sings
dutifully before the penny slots

When it’s time to get drunk
can’t find my keepsake
shot glass from NASCAR City
Its livery began to peel Accidentally
used the dishwasher on it 
There weren’t any loud warnings
It didn’t say “Dishwasher Safe”

The liquor tastes different
in the plastic
with olive green dinosaurs
Another year will destroy

me In the meantime Holy Cow!
I’m feeling so Cenozoic
in these tiny corduroy pants
I foot the night gutter streets
Dodge my phone’s telemarketer parades Shout
you look incredible madamonsieur
at every pigeon and pedestrian I pass
an earnest smile with the wingspan
of a young pterodactyl
On the wooden porch
west from a childhood gazebo
I twang the corners of my mouth
a runner-up steel guitar
On the tin can roof

the yearly rain sounds
and a winning scratch-off


After You Build the Pond

Everyone seems to have new advice.
The mailman, an ex-lover, the serial
cannibal yet discovered, the neighbor
-hood dog, the renter of your mother
-in-law suite gender ambiguous
and planning a new age
bank robbery, the man
named James, the ornithologist,
your dental hygienist, and
of course, Marvin:

there should be little red flags
not just festooned but endowed
with purpose—to signal desire
to be approached, need to be
emptied the rocks should be
varicolored but soft and fetchable
as far as the water yes it must be
potable for the brown headed nut
hatch a barely noticeable fountain
in which you install an insoluble
polyvinyl water feature or insert
an above average drinking straw
beyond there is a pansexual grotto
for rummaging purposes for the fish
it’s out of earshot they are made of
valuable metals a few may be
alloyed they are protected by
pyrite chains, lily pads, and a state
-of-the-art laser defense system
you reveal with the built in smoke
machine oh and cupholders
to remain accessible at all times
and accommodate overpriced
beermosas we shared in the airport
terminal where we never kissed again

There’s space well enough for all
these splendid suggestions, you think
and hoist eagerly your soiled trench shovel.
Next, sweet firepit for all these new friends!
A lemonade stand!! But Marvin approaches
with his orange rev and the scattering of
all which you were beginning to love
to love to hear from.

“marvin…” you lament
“so you’re the offal lover! Why
couldn’t you admit
it, to everyone
your deep-seated
cannibalistic desires!?”

As if he were
a master sock
and not just
your friend Marvin:
“I am going to allow
the chainsaw to speak now.”

“MARVIN!” (things are getting serious) “Oh
Marvin! You are making the pond
cry, see the pond’s crying…!” “Shhh…

let him talk”
Marvin’s eyebrow
gestures to the chainsaw:

there should be easy hors d’oeuvres
little filata and salami rolls what
with the tiny yellow swords watch
your tongue everyone would love
such a charmed life the calico
pinwheels see how the light curls
around their blades three gold
rings you think you could be
happy the finger-trap of the
the rest of your life why not
yonder dig a comfortable hole
don’t worry together we can
find a new home for the dirt


Scrub Day

The marriage counselor tells me
on the day of my fetid coronation:

If she likes your smell
there’s hope.
So I invented
the practice of Scrub Day
for my village, giggling.

We were all
so in love. So I
invented the vinegar
sponge to rouge
my nipples. Record this
with lenses caked
in Vaseline. Set out
all my false trinkets
to be scoured with hi-power
garden hose, and the local clown
performs the roadside
sobriety tests.

What’s your name? Like an oak
I want to carve a heart
into our washing machine.

Our bathroom literature
should be a picture book
all about chiasmus.