Dinner at the Sizzler

if purgatory

is a soup kitchen line

in a catholic church

hell

is serving up grub

on the corner of 8th & vine

southern baptists

pulling up

in their tax exempt jesus wagon

to serve homeless people

hot chili in july

heaven, happens

in Cincinnati

when pigs fly

the devil you know

there you are
right on cue
as if you personally orchestrated
my having been born
in September
the devil you know
swelling and morphing
through my dreams
your face changing
wearing various masks
such grand theatre
i weep
destroy my sheets
crying out in the night
reddest blood flowing
into marzipan rivers
oh my dear
how beautifully we suffer
this tether
my soul was lost
in an apple orchard
faded to ether

for we are many

my childhood demons

far outnumber my remaining years

i could waste a lifetime

mitigating them

i shan’t

i’ll do a few shots of holy water instead

these motherfuckers

don’t get

free rent in my head

judgment and peppermints

Winter has been left

at the altar

by Spring

in a Kentucky church

full of faded wood panels

battered hymnals

pews creaking with

suspicious Baptists aghast

carrying tissues

judgment and peppermints

in pocketbooks

bathed in beams

of stained glass light

containing confederate

dust particles descending

certain of

gossiping daffodils

and death

 

 

 

 

 

judas

for a friend in need

on forgiveness sunday

.

excuse the deeds

but never forget

a devil hanging crooked paintings

in the details

.

serving a gathering

at the supper table

cyanide bread

&

antifreeze

dripped quietly

into the wine vessel

 

Have you ever stopped to think?

Perhaps God

is a temperamental visual artist,

who is perpetually

dissatisfied with his earthly work,

so he just keeps adding more

bloody paint,

shards of garbage,

and odd designs

to trash the damned thing?

paper dolls

Critic: “Your poetry has taken on religious overtones as of late…”

Me: “Yes, as have I.”

Critic: “Why?”

Me: “I suppose it is a condition arisen from having played paper dolls with death my entire life…”

amongst tender blossoms

Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel

was a Moravian scientist

and Augustinian friar,

who in the mid 1850’s,

became the father

of genetics

and heredity,

through his experiments

with plants bearing peas.

My playful mind envisions him

amongst tender blossoms

applying color and size,

dominance and hybridization,

to the Punnett square

within his thoughts.

Given over to whimsy,

I concoct a notion

of the genius

preparing for Easter feast,

crossbreeding

hummingbirds

with marshmallows

to provide God,

Cherubim,

and Seraphim

little angel shaped Peeps.

 

future farmers of america

the year i moved south

amidst a northern drought

there was a band of arsonists terrorizing

the people of three counties

comprising my childhood stomping grounds

Lincoln, Casey, & Pulaski

Kentucky

.

the bastards burned the hardware store

a few occupied houses

the lumber yard

and my dead daddy’s high school

in eubank

where he was in 
future farmers of america

a basketball star

and the first of his mining man clan

to graduate

.

i had moved into my grandmother’s old house with my sons

to write my book

the utilities were reasonable

the memories were free

.

poppies and black irises in the back yard

mockingbirds in the trees

hummingbirds attending gossip socials

and a coat of many colors rose bush

who presented the sunlight back

to god in heaven each morning

.

one dark august night

deep into the soup thick summer heat

i had retrieved a jar of green beans

from the cellar out back

and proceeded to

cook them up with bacon grease

at the same old avocado green

electric whirlpool stove

where i watched

in hungry awe

as memaw did it

a thousand times

.

my loyal staffordshire bull terrier

was laying behind me at my feet

as is tradition when mama is cooking

.

my proximity to danger

was right beside

the side door

in the kitchen

leading out onto a breezeway

and porch

.

i had the big wooden door open

with only the screen door locked

in place to
allow for escaping heat

stirring

stirring

stirring

slow and southern

lost in a dying love poem

.

at the same moment i saw

a bit of night beyond the doorway

move in the shape of a man

up to no good

just when

i heard a gutteral growl come from

the canine creature behind me

comparable to the ear piercing howls

of a minotaur

trapped inside a labyrinthine hell

.

my boy

my dog Vinnie took flight

at the door

his paws never touching the floor

he exploded through the screen after

the menacing figure

.

i gave chase with my shotgun

saw he had three fuckers on the run

silhouette kerosene cans in idle hands

determined to burn down

what the banks

haven’t reclaimed yet

their lives stripped

of purpose and pride

one generationally entrenched

welfare check at a time

.

that night a church went

up in smoke instead

.

that was the evening

Vinnie saved my life

the lives of my twin boys

and the most sacred hiding places

my childhood provided

.

god have pity on the lost

future farmers of america

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