Holiday Oddity

Paul insisted on wrapping lies
around an awkward truth.

He wrapped both in Christmas lights.
Colorful LEDs to save energy when plugged in.

His drunken faith justified
tobacco unrolled from cigarettes

tossed on the Yule log as it burned
to keep Santa away from our chimney.

Paul buried himself in a flatscreen football game
and counted the girls in advertisements

amazed that they now look more human
in the sense of varieties of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Through all of this he made himself tolerable
somehow reading our faces

as his invisible dials tilted toward self-loathing
by the time the eggnog ran out.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Three Tabs

In the current
erasure culture
I purchased
Pink Pearl stock
with all my
life’s savings
on the belief
lazy dark-sides
lead to zealous profits.


My iPhone
had a nervous breakdown
as my social media apps
warred with my
ad-blocking apps
then drowned
in all the digital piss
territorially marking
the white cloud.


All the no-account drunks
had to pay cash
for inebriation
and took to begging
on their knees
for that first drink
to limber their tongues
so they might
charm more drinks
out of those who
look down on them.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Misery Love Company

A drunk walked oblivious to the approaching skunk.
Neither was in a hurry to get anywhere.
Both of them grieved recently deceased fathers.
Both fathers died by automobile violence.
The moon shone on both of them.
The moonlight through leaves projected fatherly ghosts.
Both their eyes bulged at seeing fatherly ghosts.
Each retreated a few steps.
Midnight came and went unnoticed.
Both their ghost spotting eyes stared at the same location.
The drunk took a hit of his brown bag quart bottle.
Unintentionally, he spilled some beer to the ground.
The skunk lapped it up.
Insomnia abandoned both of them.
They curled up next to each other under a park bench.
Sleep outweighed their grieving dreams.
Their dead father dreams entered a queue for the next night.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney