Wounds and Kisses

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The wounds of a friend are hot, fiery kisses.
The reprimands of an enemy border
on flattery, perhaps even side-hugs.

A burning kiss, delivered by a dear friend,
plants deep into the middle of the mouth,
and the fruit thereof is being less of a jerk.

So much more unintriguing are the passing
compliments of those with whom one
is connected socially—and vaguely, at that.

For baubles and trinkets passed from
bored hand to bored hand are not even
returnable to Target: they are vapor.

They honestly remind me of surface rust
on the fender of a newer Kia. Who knows
how it got there? Polish it off, and roll on.

• • •


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Before I tell you what happened,
Let me give you some context.
Many years ago I won a lifetime
supply of marshmallows. I know.
Sounds great until you consider
the amount of care that goes
into keeping endless marshmallows
fresh: Letting them out for air
and sun, “turning” them regularly
in their boxes. Verged on a full
time job until I met Bernie, a
woman in my neighborhood who had
a “soft spot” for marshmallows.
Well one day, and I’d say quite
recently, but that isn’t true—
it was a long time ago now, several
decades at least—one day Bernie
set them all out for a moment
of sun when just out of nowhere
one of those devil beating his wife
popup sunshowers came and went
and so did my fortune in marsh-
mallows, and so eventually did
Bernie, into a sticky, whitish mass.



Monday, June 10, 2019

Hello. My name is Peter Jordanson,
and I am a cynical clichologist
at Tunaversity of Youronto.

You probably know me better
as a biter of rooks, and not just any
rooks: extremely popular ones.

So what has made me cynical?
I’m glad you axe. More like what
hasn’t made me cynical at this point.

Clichology, as a field, continues
to wane, even as I myself wax.
And no rook compares to the first.

I guess it’s just the feathers on you
that bring out the man in me.
And I know I can’t help myself

as you soar over land and sea.
Tastes like the first rook,
tastes like the very first rook.

• • •

The Lost Friend

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

I do, sometimes, wonder
about you. Not where you are,
particularly, or what you’re
doing — but why you are.
Why, indeed! Answers one
lobe of my brain to another
while the other two sit
whispering godless gossip
between them, like when was
Melanie kicked out of the
Strobes? Who lit Max’s pad
on fire till it dwindled into
its own white-hot acorn shell?
Even if the lobes know,
they’ll never tell, of course.
They’re too busy designing
sunlight made entirely out
of an end-times horse freshly
emerged from the bowels
of my own personal hell.
Which brings us back to why.
I don’t know your purpose,
Issachar Gravestone McFly;
but I’m 90% sure u have herpes.

• • •

The Late Afternoon Sun

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The late afternoon sun, like a great ball
of burning gasses, shines in the sky,
which for its own part looks bluish.

I, like a man sort of down on his luck,
sit in my living room. Evening comes
on like the latter part of the day,

but miscellaneously—

as if perhaps any other day would have
done the trick just fine, and then cooled,
as a poet might say—“as cooling embers.”

The only painfulness here is perhaps
a lack of self-awareness in a city now
night-bound, a lack of authentic being.

For like a drowsing shadow have I become
a half-asleep outline of the man
I once was. But I was more evil back then.

Next, morning, like the break of a new day
will overtake this teeming metropolis
as though it were a city full of people

brought to life by light from above.
I love, during a brilliant mid-morning,
a brisk stroll around the town park!

• • •

The Average Age

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Let’s see. The average death date
of an American male is July 17.
I don’t plan on an average death,
but i’ve been on plenty of average dates,
and let me tell you. It’s in between
like a thunderstorm that darkens the sky
and then, inexplicably, passes by.
She goes home, or you walk her there.
Nothing out of the ordinary about her
hair or limp, nor of yours.
Your corduroys are full of burrs
as you hang them by the cold fireplace.
The average living room late at night
is full of one person’s regret—
someone said. As you sit in your boxers
nursing a bourbon, realizing at last
you’re supremely suburban.

• • •

Target, Target, Target

Monday, April 22, 2019

O pioneers of the red plastic cart
and of a certain … Greatlands art,
of cold white aisles, you have
everything I could possibly want:
clothes, beauty, food, electronics,
and now semi-viable Starbucks.

But what about the dollar dog?
You invented the dollar dog
with ketchup, mustard, and a Coke.
Or should I say the Target Café
One-Dollar All-Beef Hot Dog?
And then pulled it back,

withdrew it from the very people
it was invented to feed.
Hey, we get the need to remodel.
We get that Target Café is outmoded.
But please, from your “target market,”

• • •

The Illustrations

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ancient philosophers observe a rock falling to the ground
and assume this to be an expression of its essence—
its rock-ness. Along comes modern science and says, wait:
a rock’s inherent properties aren’t what cause it to fall,
but rather a force acting upon it. It’s called the law of gravity.
I’ve got news for you, folks. Humans, too, have an essence,
something bold within us that defines who we uniquely are—
it’s called DNA. Four distinct elements combine to form DNA,
cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine. They’re everywhere.
Consider the curious case of Charles McDaniel who walked
into a jungle during the Korean war and wondered, where
did my men go? They disappeared. His son, sitting at home
in the United States, also wonders, where is Dad? Sixty-
eight years later, 55 boxes of bones appear out of nowhere.
War bones. Jungle bones. Using DNA on even the smallest
fragment, we know these are from the Battle of Unsan!
Here, folks, is Charles McDaniel. We have his DNA. Now
you may be wondering: What is the DNA of the Christian
Body? Sacrifice. It’s everywhere. Navigating cultural
boundaries is also everywhere. My dad left me in Malawi!
As you might know, I am no good at tying knots. A man
jumped on top of our car and tied all my knots for me.
He disappeared into the crowd. Now that is called sacrifice.

• • •


For Hugh Cook

Friday, March 15, 2019

The are several kinds of people in Cameroon.
Some of them love to read novels. Some
prefer novellas. Some Cameroonians
are physically strong fellas while others
are weak, always walking to the diaper store
carrying umbrellas. Even when it’s not raining.
Others look like they’re Korfball champions
or maybe Korfballers in training. Or Camogie
players. There are several kinds of people
in the outskirts of Yaoundé, some who love
Jesus and are rich as Croesus, others Buddhist
shrine funders but with a “bit less plunder”
as the Aussies say—as they say “Down Under.”
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run; you better take cover. Yeahhhh.

• • •

Elegy for MJ

Monday, March 4, 2019

Michael Jackson,
dead and gone,

king of pop,
the moon’s own son:

the earth was yours,
so was the night;

neon and sparkles,
hearing, sight,

a velvet touch,
fedora white.

Michael tell me,
if you know,

what power makes
the dark to glow?

What fancy fake

lie must I tell

to keep dancing
under the stars

you hung so

where they are?

• • •

[June, 2009]