Friday, May 22, 2020

SAFE DISTANCE EDITION: Stone Soup Croutons, 5-20-20: Meat Market

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked from Stone Soup's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels, this poem doesn't go up because it's ready, it goes up because it's Friday morning.

A nice night of poetry on Wednesday. In spite of Zoom fatigue, we're getting more new voices on the mic, more voices returning after a long hiatus. I only hope that grows, especially when features return. Props to Bil Lewis for rolling out his James Madison persona. Visit his website to see more of that. I also debuted my new look post head-shave (see below). That's mostly what you're going to see for a while.

Another pandemic piece. It's gonna be like this for a while, but at least the diverse selection of poetry this week made this one more fun to do (in a dark comedy kind of way). Thanks for reading.

Meat Market

Every job interview starts
with whether you are willing
to die. At least you can answer
with your mask still on.

James Madison comes back
to find his great opponent
has been misquoted. It's
liberty OR death, not AND!

Everyone dies. Everyone
finishes first. Everyone gets
a warm earth patch. Everyone
will have a hard, hard winter.

Everyone gets more brandy.
Everyone has to dig out
their own car from the snow.
Everyone is essential.

Not everyone needs to live.
All new job reviews depend
on how you react to staring
into new maelstrom.

Again, masks hide aghast faces,
but watch the width of your eyes.
Don't go into metaphor about
America. That is America.

Cats and mermaids band together.
to survive. No new unions please.
Trees grow jealous of miles of
stony ground grown more fertile.

Time is hungrier than man,
but man tries harder. Cold war
cools down again. More carbon!
Can't take it with you? Take it first.

You get tulips at your funeral.
It's all they can spare. Reopening
takes glitter, glare, best foot
forward, sideways past bodies.

I need James Madison to help work the audience when we get back to live readings.

We are pseudo-anonymous. We demand better recording equipment.

Nancy Dodson didn't read. I included her twice. Funny.

Special thanks to Patricia Carragon, Bil Lewis, Nancy Dodson, Carol Weston, Mick Cusimano, Eric Tate, Krystal McPhaul and James Van Looy.

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