Small Budget Poems

by Gary Hardaway


What commerce doesn't corrupt
dies its own unnoticed death,

pure except for that implicit
collapse in every particle

or wave. Nothing's pure
but nothing refuses to be imagined

and can't be photographed
or data-mined or talked to.

All the Pretty Poisons

Toxins make a body happy
as if acceleration toward

an end of consciousness
is its own reward.

I'll take mine black.
Or tawny gold, no ice.

Day Off

Enjoy the shit
you didn't do
because the work
you attend to
all other days
sucks you dry
of vital fluids.

English Is an Entertaining Language

Affluence, effluence—
but a vowel's bit
of difference.


Our species survived
as a freak of nature.
How unfortunate for nature.

Big Sky Apocalypse

When the collapse comes
the Koch brothers will starve to death

in Idaho or Montana
or one of those wingnut states

where the sky
if you really look at it

will tell you what a small piece
of cosmic dust you are

so you focus on fences
and tax rates

to save you from
existential disaster.