That prickling stream that does so,
does so with fire
does so with underwire supports and trestles and—
but yardarms and tasty skeeter-bugs are slip-slithering about
on water viscosity
what a ride!
Cast your tangled net upon the waters
pull those fabled creatures loose—
nary a fabled creature but that doesn’t
but that hasn’t
but that wiln’t
be pulled from this winedark stream
chimaeras, gorgons, krakens and all–
catch those dangly strings in rushes and yarkled knobs and twisted pebbles.
Toss the junk away—
your serendipitous trash–toss it!
your boiled mittens
your scalloped and freezedried mustachios—
look! it’s Don Quixote floating in the slime!—
your cracked and burning hatchet wives
your misers and your dew-eyed orphans
your pennywinkles and
your gauzy nostril flares:
throw them all into that heaving bosom of a trickle of a stream:
where troutburgers dance their flipping way up
the cold old wet fishy trail—
as fires yoinkle those fishy loins—
to the headwaters, to the frothy
salacious pebble-strewn lustbeds
of their mothers
of their grandmothers
of their evermothers
and with great hooplah:
flowers and streamers and big-redded clowns
twirling bears on tumbling balls and peanut smells
candy weeping in the sun:
the troutburgers expended, expire and die…
Mario, greengrocer, with tickergun
pencils stuffed in shirt
belly bubbling over belt
still-dripping mustachio crammed to lip
cold and withering eyes
sees expired troutburgers, tosses them into trash.
And he and all his groceries—
fuschia tiles and all
drilling muzak and finger-polish smells—
everything folds up and slides away downstream
trickling away into larger waters.
That’s not to say that we will miss him: Mario.
We can’t stand the spiny pustule’s greedy heart.
He took his pound of flesh from us—
we wanted those troutburgers!—
and tossed it in the gutter with no thought
for us, for quivering bellies and
scattered nerves slipping through our bloodless hands.
But sigh not so! let them go.
For we shall yet feast upon the feast of gluttons,
drink from the liquored dreams of winos and
tearing women, those utter-mad-with-wine women.
Cast your holey net upon the stream:
who knows what we shall receive
but he who gives and takes.
Weep not, dear friends, into your empty plastic goblets,
stop your nibbling on forks of lead!
Though these troutburgers be gone,
lost to us forever,
yet we shall still eat!
(Completed sometime in 2000.)