Anger Management

by Gary Hardaway

Rah, Rah

How many extinctions can we claim?
Is someone keeping score?
Somebody needs to keep the score
because we're bad
and gonna kill some more.


The self-styled “Painter of Light”
succumbed to natural causes.
Nature has its remedies.
Vermeer will nod his gratitude
and Caravaggio exult
as markets for Kinkades
dry up faster than his corpse.

In Memoriam: Ronald Reagan

There was always a vacancy.
Alzheimer's made it official
and killed you, the sock-puppet
president with wicked hands
up its ass to move the lips
and wave the arms in movements stiff
as those D'onofrio would use
in Men in Black to depict a corpse
stuffed with alien. Your faces
suit the mawkish paintings copied
and hung in tacky houses, sea
to shining sea, alongside blue-eyed
Jesus. It's good you're dead but such
a pity Hinckley Jr. had bad aim.

On Watching the 2012 Republican Convention

Contemporary Republicans
would be good for one thing-
food for the guillotines.

From a Distance

The lights of human occupation
look less like jewels
in the crown of creation
than they do infection
spreading in a terminal disease.

At the Very Private School of Management

Recession is good for business.
It throws 90% of the work force
into fear of worklessness
and they beg for more to do
at the same wage and less
as time goes by. The idled,
seeking work, are interchangeable parts
in the vast device of our control.
Let the public sector train them
in the skills we'll need to lessen
needs for skill. Their loss is our gain
so long as we tip the fear away from us
but in our favor. We make the jobs
and take the jobs away
to manage rates of change
as we know best.

Post-Human Archaeology

We don't deserve the planet we contaminate.
We don't even deserve an atoll
scheduled for annihilation
by an H-bomb test
in 1955.
I'd pray for an asteroid
the size of Rhode Island
but then the wildebeests
would be no more
and the dolphins would boil
and the Siamese would have no bowl
of meow mix and the dogs no kibble or bits
and the cows who die for us would merely die.
Fuck us. We deserve contagion more virulent
than bubonic plague but for which there is no cure
which selects the human genome specifically
and leaves us tasty corpses for the carrion birds
we deride and despise. We deserve
no better fate than to disappear
leaving ruins mysterious
and evocative.