Monday 5 November 2018

3 Poems by Adrian Slonaker

“The Winning Ticket”

If the tuba-voiced telemarketer I hung up on

won the Megabucks jackpot,

he'd torpedo his reality shitcom

about the vagaries and vicissitudes

of wage-bondage with benefits

before booking a pilgrimage to Sandusky, Ohio

because he longs to

solemnly photobomb Lake Erie.

Then he'd shod his tumid toes with

cobalt blue loafers and

step into an unsteady paso doble solo-

because dollars don't cure klutziness

or loneliness-

in the direction of a diner dripping with

that shade of olive found on '70s stoves for

a lozenge of baklava, and

he'd surprise the sylphlike stranger behind

him with whatever she craved

just to sample casual philanthropy before

hieing himself home to relish his

recently realized raison d'être

as an unrepentant lord of leisure

by juxtaposing jellybean-hued jalopies in

testosterone-streaked classic car classifieds

to determine which one he'd drive

if he knew how and

by crafting and scattering internet rumors like

the ersatz truth that the etymological parent of

Fred Flintstone's “Yabba Dabba Doo”

is an erstwhile Estonian exclamation

that means “Hallelujah!”

“T. dohrnii”

Turritopsis dohrnii is the spitting image of

a slice of maraschino cherry in aspic

surrounded by slender tentacles identical to

the vermicelli-like branches on

my Aunt Penny's fiber-optic Christmas tree.

While randy Imperial Romans rhapsodized over Venus,

Vikings and Skrælings skirmished in Vinland,

Wyomingite women menstruated messily into pioneer petticoats,

Polari-speaking sodomites got arrested in swinging London,

and the French Fifth Republic lopped off its last head,

the immortal jellyfish jauntily propelled itself

or reposed peacefully as a polyp,

smugly shrugging off

our necrophobic neuroses.

“Credit Where It's Due”

She can’t remember not knowing him,

the chocolate house, the one with the gingkos,

and his flame-haired, Liquid Paper-pale presence.

She counted on them as she counted on wet February mornings

and lightning bugs on popsicle-flavoured August nights.

He was the steadfast bastard who missed Marty's make-out party

populated with sure things

just to keep her company when she was scratching her chickenpox,

the bad influence

who procured her inaugural Gauloise,

the confidant who clammed up about her split Levis

despite his God-given gift of gossip.

Years have melted, exams and lovers have been fretted over,

but his exquisitely chosen, obscenity-laden words

were the ones that always soothed her

and made Fanta fly from her nostrils.

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