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Three Poems
by Kenneth P. Gurney


All the poets who lovingly talk about dying
can drop dead for all she cares.

Suicide is not illegal—only failing the attempt.
The on-stage poet knows that the third try is the charm
and, if not, a lesson will be meted out by the audience.

Banana bread carbonizes
a few moments before the olfactory reminder
that the oven-timer is broken.

The sparrows outside the window
distract me from writing—
maybe they just want to fill us in
that we are not so cool
discussing philosophy
inside an open air cafe
unless, at least one of us, wears
a tie-dyed, Grateful Dead t-shirt.

Don't worry about the inconsistencies.
Find me one religion that doesn't provide justification
to break all of its rules when the time is right
and the go-to-hell deeds must get done.

A dozen sparrows sing now, a libretto, Carmen?
But she knows that is wrong, a manifestation
of my typing. Or, maybe, a manipulation
of my fingers through bird-brained telepathy.

Maybe it would be less insulting
if all magazines had nude covers—
take it off ladies. All of you.
Let your sex spill out and spread a liquid bath
of antiseptic genocide
drowning the microscopic mindedness
that fuels the marketing machine.

It is easy for a woman to kill a man's libido,
but not so his fear of intimacy.

The core of the banana bread is salvageable, so she
breaks up half of it and spreads the crumbs on the walkway.

Her Jerry Garcia covered chest
accuses me of whistling Kirkegaard.
Hey. It's not me. It's the sparrows
throwing their voices through the glass.


On a snow white morning,
I woke up and realized,
once and for all time,
that I was Grumpy!

This truth was quickly confirmed,
when I discovered
the decapitated bodies
of six metaphysical midgets
strewn about my one-room house,
their floppy hats covered
rigor mortise erections,
and all their hi-ho smiles
were wiped from their contorted faces —

       The raven-haired beauty
         slept in someone else's bed
         dreaming she had escaped
         the poison apple.

(previously published in e-chapbook "Under the Blue Umbrella")


I am cursed with night time,
gin-soaked women playing kazoos,
a bartender named Eddy.
And all Dawn wants to do is dance—
tabletops, like twenty years ago.
When twenty bucks bought me so much more.

(previously published in e-chapbook "Under the Blue Umbrella")

About the author:
Kenneth P. Gurney lives in the state of denial sometime, about an hour and a half, north of Chicago. Recklessly, he writes his poetry without regard for its effect on other human beings. In his spare time he solves quadratic equations and velocity calculations attempting to determine the speed of a baseball as it launches off the bat when connection is made with a 90+ mph pitch. Go Brew-Crew!!!

© 2011 Word Riot

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a novel by
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