Gunnar's Journal

Posted by Erik Moshe on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Under: Poetry


The corn farmer had a titanium plate in his cheek
so when his daughter Janis kissed him, he felt nothing

his name was Gunnar

a man in his middle forties
who'd been through enough disasters
to name his children after hurricanes

he'd lost most of his land to cyclone floods
the dry cleaners burnt all his funeral suits
the dry cleaners burnt down too
and he refused to put his money
in a blood bank

sore gums were the jolly ranchers of the day
cotton swabs replaced handkerchiefs
kilos of lighter fluid replaced champagne
fashion statements became 'are you hungry?' statements
worker's unions were collectivist villages
not that mankind would ever unite when candlelight
was the go-to light source

an old Dodge sedan sufficed for back road trips
the jackhammer in his trunk was reserved for stragglers
the shotgun under his seat was reserved for enemies
strictly those
who'd put his kids in harm's way
and get taken out via the external flesh route

civilization being the empty ovulation chamber it was
"this way" instructs the young spirit
in full nightmare helm
ceramic fiberglass Luxembourg mask
pigment-less, bony finger
pointing to the outlier doors of a cave
like a shaman on jury duty

"forgot the sunscreen but remembered to bring the vaccine?"
you're proven useful

highways crossed
shopping malls traversed
small towns skipped
or endured

childhoods reversed
engineered, scarred, salient
hanging from a sticky bar
in this sadomasochistic playground duplex

(when a boy stumbles into an undead street bum
on his way to school and loses
both of his ankles in a painful way
it's a human rights issue)

the circle of city life is a fist fight in the dark
white blood cells clot any redemptive armistice
gynecologists hold hands
channeling whatever deity
will push for fertility funding
but the HMRI stand hasn't been plugged in for decades

those with cold hearts or private enclosed property
survive
though even sociopaths
end up as measurable casualties

Gunnar fidgets with the speed-o-meter
imagining round,
cupcake-like, untapped pairs of supple breasts
he licks summer's day milky frosting
from his charred ice cream cone

the sunlight's getting to him
its toxic impoverishment
coloring him the hue of hardship

Gunnar, formerly accused of being too lethargic
gets an eyeful of the dented park signs
the lack of streetlights, the literal absence of the 'grid'
the law defacement agents in the high grass

dead leaves on the runway ebb
and skid and drift into place
in a meringue shuffle to determine who inherits the Earth

is it the meek?
who starve for weeks?
or the mountain folk
who are used to the high altitude

Powerlines connect to spinal chords
'flip mode squad' is playing on abandoned satellite radio
next up is the debut album from Fallout Shelter Boy
called 'Cornucopia of the Folded Men and the Damned'

Dad rolls his sleeves up,
puts a new tire on our sedan
and we all row downward as fast as we can
to escape the tear gas juggernauts
with their judgement day accusations
and helium knuckle-punches
living underground will have its stifling physiology
but by god, we'll start a haven with a library

trunk full of condiments
like yellow corn, silver coins, bags of stale cous cous
and deer tusks sticking out by the license plate
so faded it might as well come off
(useless now, ain't it?)
two scarecrows in the backseat - decoys
to protect the itty-bitty ones
and redirect bad fortune

Journal Log 0483
daughter, intact
son, intact, but traumatized
grandparents, deceased
dad (Gunnar), numb
mom, left behind in Phoenix (survival unlikely)

families in the midst of all this carnage
how do they do it?
refuge must be hell's last lemonade stand
so we'll drive deep into tunnels
where the sun doesn't permit
yard sales, hardly

In : Poetry 



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