Self-Determination

Paul took a syringe filled with laughter
injected it into himself to lighten his heart.

He did so at an inappropriate time
when levity was not appreciated by anyone listening.

Paul was glad the injection had the long term effect
of allowing him to fly in his dreams.

He learned what was on the other side of the mountain
and the fact (over there) the grass was no greener.

Paul started telling his dour unhappy friends to go away.
Their DWIs would go undocumented except by the courts.

He thought about the first day he tasted oblivion
and found it bitter to the extreme.

That was the day he knew the company misery kept
was not the company he wished to keep.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Hankering

The rapture
was really a rupture

in Central Avenue
in downtown Albuquerque.

Three cars fell in
before human reaction

could place a foot
on the brakes.

An abandoned baby cried
on the sidewalk

as Oblivion reached a hand
past the shirtless boys

scattering the crowd
by the ice cream truck

and ordered two orange
Dreamsicles.

A man with a digital camera
filmed it all in Technicolor

while four wannabe preachers
spontaneously gave sermons

which summoned
four angels with broken wings

and oversized sewing kits
to stitch up Central Avenue.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Uneven Undoing

A slide manufactured
from sleeping pills
midsummers the faculties
and renders permission
impossible to be granted
for the ride downward
into a legitimate oblivion
and the intimacy
of a swiveling easy chair.

The television continues
to tell the story
of an infantry lieutenant
on the back nine
of a Gulf War battle
and an extraordinary
rendition of a snowball
located in hell.

Above the television
across the antlers
of a mounted elk head
a spider strings new silk
into daily temperature readings
in a Montana gas station
where the Coke machine
is so old it charges
a nickel for a green bottle.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney