[Response to: Those awful necks]
– A Poem About a Garden –
Slugs squelch across the spatulated salad greens
Shards of liquid crystal splatter the page
A big violet flower, face-down among the spiky stems
Soon the raindrops falling from the trees will smudge these inky moseys, wash them away so the words fall to earth, and become plants, and suffer their demise as a vegetable stew eaten by a great Author while he is contemplating his Muse, and make dirty streaks across the pristine pages of his leather-bound notebook, til he dare not open it in a crowdy elevator (it rocketing skywards to the glassy observation deck of the Tower of Babel) out of fear that a young mother who was once a devoted fan of his books should peek over his shoulder and see those filthy lines smeared across the page, and thereafter forbid her children from reading one single sentence from the Illustrious Canon of his works out of a crawling, predatory fear they might be corrupted by the sheer literary power of the Author’s odious imagination, and when they grew up her little cherubs would be so damaged they would commit all sorts of heinous gymnastic buggery and be fated to a hapless life of serial faux-pas at society gatherings (indeed, she needn’t have worried, for all her children would grow up to be Surgeons General and Chief Officers Financial and Chess Grand Masters and would abstain from buggery of all kinds – except, of course, to fuck the Little Man, hard, in the ass – and who showed an almost supernatural ability to gently woo the media, and their legions of admirers, and even their occasional detractors, as delicately but assuredly as any enlightened monk folding a fabulously complex origami butterfly out of tissue paper – and who managed to retire from long and distinguished careers after a surprising dearth of faux-pas or offenses to any race, creed, culture, or religion whatsoever). But back to our esteemed Author, racing heavenward while he felt his critics peering hungrily like awful rubber-necked vultures awaiting any reeking morsel, any carrion from a once-promising project left cracked and oozing like roadkill to feed their insatiable avarice. He knew they would rip his life’s work into succulent, putrid slivers with their snarky intellectual talons and, savoring the taste of carnage under a withering Sonoran sun and thinking of the columns they would write in the morning, fly home to disgorge the foetid meat to their clamoring young. It was the Author’s literary mind that conceived of this metaphor, and his rampant paranoia that warped it into a disgusting scene from one of those bleak post-Apocalyptic horror films; he wasn’t entirely sure he got the anatomy and feeding behavior of the vultures quite right, however, being (as he was) no expert on birds of prey or carnivorous scavengers. His interest and knowledge in the avian realm was confined to Willow Tweets and Tulip Warblers such as might be found in the garden described at the beginning of this chapter. And so, dear friends, our poem ends here.