Another Perfect Day by Alex S. Johnson

I.

 

Bad Skeleton sighed. An itch—he did confess it—

that slipped from a tickle in marrow,

all our yesterdays having taken

the last train to Frogtown

As seen on TV

 

OH FROGTOWN MORE SLIPPERY AND FLUID THAN CLARKESVILLE

OH FROGTOWN MAKE ME RICH WITH YOUR GREEN SKIN

OH FROGTOWN PLACE OF SACRIFICE,

RARE AND EXQUISITE TORTURES

TOMB OF NEON MASQUERADES

CABINET OF BLUE INFINITIES

HAPPY AND HEALING VICE

 

Bad Skeleton picked

Up the paper and read:

Tomorrow, the murder begins in earnest

Tomorrow, live executions will look like parole

Tomorrow, yesterday’s sorrows do the football dance

Happier than cartoons

that revel in

another perfect day

 

Feeling the tug

Rotwang glove of futurism

 

The shock that never dies

Moebius striptease

 

Unwound in the corner

Sparkle of submission

That traces unknown veins

Blaze the nodes of perception

blaze the skull of crystals flowering

 

Crawling she is crawling

acres of shattered glass when

Mom went away again, the

bloody shards beneath her

infant fingertips—Mom smashed all the windows—

And never again was trust an option

It hurt too much, could get you killed

Moments of paralysis turned synaptic loop-stupor

When the sirens died she was still alone

And flowers of madness bloomed

 

Peace, stuttering hearts

I hear you, however far away

I wish I were night, shade and balm

To hold you forever

you, a person of significance

you, a traitor only to yourself

if you allow

fragments to disarray

all that is true, the green of internal May

 

This mother saw helpless

Her daughter mechanized

Strapped to the electric

chair of psychiatry

While secretly she

And her new man had forged

A bond excluding the daughter

A man who raped and force-fed her

Until she vomited, and made her eat the sick

These things happened, and the world went on

 

Dead inside

Dead inside

Dead inside

 

And the wire snaps and hisses

Tracing in a shower of sparks

The place and time that the world died

 

I wish I were velvet

Silver

A plate of cherries

Fresh and bright

I wish I could crucify these lies

And show—see—make this right!

 

Show

See

Make this right

But maybe some time else

Another perfect day.

 

II.

Bad Skeleton watched reversals

on a cracked black mirror

some enchanted necrophile

having poured the foundation

the equipment fritzed, the priest fell down the hole,

completing the cycle of

hell-bound secrets

rutting the earth—your home, our hell, old mole—

Unearthed forever

Where war is theater

 

All god’s chillun got the killing fever

Allgod’s chillun are true believers

 

III.

Because they valued freedom

Because the flag

Because—shit, war, hotties

And beer!

A crate a day is all we ask

To wash the sour taste down

 

Om shantih shantih

Om shantih shantih

 

Any old time

You’re free to listen

To the oldest music

Regarding the body as

A vehicle

Moribund and jettisoned

Some day, sooner than later

Death is not a bad thing

Nor is birth, or affection or love

Life is not for wimps

And pain does not redeem

Anything, necessarily

 

Here we’re faced with inscrutable

Choices, hidden behind a veil

What wounds doesn’t heal by ricochet

Nor is Karma

A bitch of total vengeance

No either/or configuration

satisfies the soul

past the surface relief

of fooling other people

that your head’s at least as hard

as theirs is

that neither they, nor you

could be considered impractical

But you can dance

always, you can dance

where wisdom stands, a rock

humble, a face clean of lines

no masks of God, no hiding

in theaters or churches

inside a crowd or out on the ledge

with a shotgun, with vengeance

IV.

They came to see the floorshow

and stayed for goring

–Basalt city saxophone!

Ooh that pretty death jazz

An old man snoring

In amphibian watering hole

Mindfulness matters

Keep writing fighting

Is all that matters, tatters?

 

Slipshod mercy

ground into paradise

the flesh parade flatters

On another perfect day.

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