PandG The White Naphtha

Recklessly
reciting poetry
on a street corner
in the noontime
business district
I endured
the taunts
of drivers stopped
at the red light
impatient to go
and suits
ordering hot dogs
at wheeled
vendor carts
while no one
appreciated
that I spent
three months
tracking down
an authentic
wooden soapbox
to stand upon
to perform
this exhibition.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

In Chicago The Underground Is Elevated

Meet me
at the Museum of Science
and Industry.

Leisurely we amble
through the exhibits
until we reach

the mathematical rooms
my father wired
as an electrician

working his way
through university
after losing his scholarship.

Upon completing the tour
of the U-five-o-five submarine
we stroll

around the east lagoon
to the harbor
and the fifty-ninth street beach

for a hot-dog lunch
that only a true Chicagoan
can properly relish.

copyright © Kenneth P. Gurney

First Thing

Paul woke up.
The remnants of a hot dog bun
littered his sheets and blankets.
He looked into the bathroom mirror
and asked, What happened?

His mirror image
launched into a long story
about his golden retriever
leaping out of an airplane,
the parachute not opening,
the impact destroying
the church steeple
and how he ate his sorrow
all hours of the night.

Paul stood slack jawed
as his mirror image
finished off the story
with gory embellishments
too terrible to hear.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Comic Books

Some folks
butcher the bible
into palatable chunks
and cook it
so it is easy to chew
after a course
of antidepressants,
hot dogs, apple pie
and high fructose
corn syrup
infused colas,
oblivious
that their bottled
spring water
was shipped
from half way
around the world.

The late night
televangelist
with an amen-chorus
stews psalms
on an open hearth
with a shimmering
saguaro desert
behind a billboard
explaining
why you cannot
purchase
bathrobes
with food stamps.

All the time
neighbors
turn the other cheek
until they
one-eighty
their positions
on solstice boogymen,
volcanic minimalism
and the heroes
of under-the-covers
flashlight comic books.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Pub Food

On Tuesdays it’s quarter beer night
and two hot dogs are seventy-five cents.
That includes each and all of the traditional everything
that can go on a hot dog and bun.

Two hots dogs for seventy-five cents
brings the quality of the hot dogs into question,
unless they were purchased from some chain smoking mob type
at the back of a stolen delivery truck with the motor running.

The quarter beers are limited to domestic national brand taps,
not the local craft beers that are on tap as well.
Got to read the fine print of any advertising poster,
if you only have a dollar to your name.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POST SCRIPT

This is a nostalgia poem. I have not seen quarter beer night since the early 1990s. I have not had only a dollar to my name since the early 1990s either. I do remember the people sitting around the pub, eating bratwurst or hotdogs, drinking our beers and watching baseball in the general camaraderie of the pub. My memory has probably makes the times seem better than they were, but such is the way of memories.

Love & Light

Kenneth