Strange Fruit of Unrewarded Labor

by Gary Hardaway

Citizen X

His trash goes uninspected to the dump.
A little fame would open him
to gloved, enquiring analysts
gleaning tossed out information:
Keeper of cats. Patron of
the postal service. Skimmer of
mediocre local news. Eater of
industrial calories. Consumer of
domestic beer, cheap wine,
intoxicating spirits.

Poems Like Biscuits

Mix ingredients with care.
Resist temptation-  
do not overmix
and  issue bricks
instead of pillows
from the oven.

To Those Indelible Coils
Along Her Arms and Shoulders

I don't live in tattooed skin so
can't be certain why this Goth-ic
woman inks her arms and shoulders,
and probably less visible skin,
with these insinuating snakes
and briars. The impulse is akin,
perhaps, to that compelling me to
scratch remarks and hope for readings
both affirmative and close.

Creative Differences

Fictionists, like God,
are makers and destroyers of worlds.
Poets are more like Jesus,
suffering the cross
after the priests and prefects
have their fun.

Where Worlds Collide

Artists straddle worlds-
their larger parts in one
contrived by fortunate investors,
their accountants, attorneys,
and double jointed politicians-
and the rest (at least a toe,
an ear, an eyelash) in another
that whispers vulgar insults
about the dull world
to the artists
who dutifully try
to bring the worlds together
but never quite can manage it.