Paul Creates Two Stacks of Documents

The one on the right is standard letter sized
eight & a half by eleven sheets
all white with black inkjet print
and stacks neatly as if ready
for a box.

The one on the left is random sizes
shapes colors from little cards
with cute mice eating seeds on them
to a drawing of a map
that emulates the world
as seen by Amerigo Vespucci
but in bright colored pencil
instead of faded ink.

The right stack could be poems
based on the irregular
amount of words and letters
and the spacing on them.
Eight hundred and twenty three sheets
all with a date from the calendar year
twenty-twenty.

The threat is the paper shredder
on a short table in between
the two stacks.

The threat is the last orders
(will and testament)
that spells out
in plain English
to destroy a life’s work.

These two stacks are just the beginning.
One studio closet is full
of manuscript boxes
and several portfolio cases.
And that does not count the walls
hung with framed work
or poems push-pinned onto plaster.

Paul opens a whiskey bottle
and pours himself a drink.
He swishes it about his mouth like Listerine.
Then swallows.

The power button on the shredder
glows blue after he presses it.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Free of Hollow Laughter

Paul avoided people
soothed by violence.

He avoided the safety
their violence provided

sure it represented
the enforcement of conformity.

Paul saw the blue women
bruised by this safety.

How they conformed
to words in a black book

and not the impulses
in their hearts.

He wandered into the wild
sure their violent safety

would drive them all to whiskey
and madness.

He did not look back
at the land cleared of trees.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Pieces Falling Into Place

In your bedroom
a package of chocolate chip cookies
rests on the unkempt sheets
waiting for you to eat the surviving half.

From the swollen cookie crumbs
in the bottom of a nightstand tumbler
that smells like whiskey
I deduce it will be later today

when you right-swipe
more photos of women
a couple years younger
than the fifty you recently turned

so the money you spent
on condoms is not wasted.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Florida

Florida intruded upon Paul’s dreams.

It sent four astronauts skyrocketing
inside a Saturn V.

Spider thread tethered the rocket
to the northeast corner of Paul’s bed room ceiling.

Florida annexed Paul’s major league baseball aspirations.

The aspirations were way past their freshness date.
A bit fermented, like a peach five days on the ground.

Paul’s shower-head sprayed him with whiskey.
The Saturn V reached orbit.

Florida directed the incidental music in Paul’s background.

A heptagon nebula blinked each time it was tapped.
It wanted leaches to drain excess gas out of its polygon.

The nebula wished to form stars, but not ignite them.
It planned to create the perfect constellation in darkness.

Florida picked dead flies out of the craters of the moon.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney