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13-4



The Street Sweeper
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.
      – MLK Jr.
Turning and turning in the narrowing gyre
The mulching lawnmower whirls the leaves
To fragments, to nourish next years grass.
But mulch piles up in windrows, chokes the lawn,
And I must rake, stuffing leaves into the city bags.
They stand in my garage, leaving no room for cars,
Nor tools, but only squat brown pillows full of leaves,
Waiting for trash day. The rain, the snow, are coming soon,
And leaves keep falling.

Surely some deliverance is at hand.
Surely the street sweeper is at hand.
The street sweeper!
Hardly are those words out when a vast image gladdens my sight
Two blocks away on leaf-strewn streets
A white shape, its brushes pitiless as frost,
Is moving its slow bulk, while all around
Reel the indignant shadows of the crows and jays.

The sweeper turns again, but now I know
That if I once but rake the leaves into the gutter
They'll disappear into the sweeper sure as heck.
Then I, my fall chores done at last,
Slouch toward the sofa to catch the news.

by Patrick Cook

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Patrick Cook the writer is a retired postal worker who lives with his wife, Valorie the quilter. They try to write and quilt every day, but often do not. They are also renovating their house, but they don't do that every day either. Strangely, their self-esteem is still high.

13-3



John Donne Explains How it All Went Wrong

My metaphor worked! — brought to my bed
London's most provocative cock tease!
I pulled back the sheets. She shrieked and fled.
(Quite a difference twixt real and mock fleas!)

Come Fly With Me

Dammit, Mr. Blake! Flies are not at all
Like thee or me (or him or her or us).
Swatter in hand, I nail 'em to the wall
Without regret. Sorry! (I'm not a wuss.)

by David Alpaugh

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David Alpaugh has published poetry, fiction, and criticism in literary publications that include the hilarious Light and Asinine Poetry; the serious Chronicle of Higher Education; the mainstream Poetry: A Magazine of Verse; and the counter-cultural Exquisite Corpse and Evergreen Review. His new book Crazy Dave Talks With The Poets is most parodic. More of his work is available at www.davidalpaugh.com

13-2




Things Not to Say When You Meet a Tyrannosaurus Rex

Were you born like that?
Or did your arms just not grow right?

Roar all you want.
I'm not giving you any of my fries.

My dentist could do wonders for that overbite.

Spielberg's were bigger and faster.

I once had a dog named Rex

Have you heard the one about
the brontosaurus with a sore throat?

Could you please stop drooling on me.


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Bruce Boston claims to be the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. He believes his writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He hates piña coladas and walking in the rain, but loves Harpo Marx and calipash stew. Visit his online simulacrum at www.bruceboston.com

13-1



Reasons to Become a Cannibal

There is always plenty of fresh game
easily caught and killed.

With all those slabs of raw meat,
the refrigerator becomes so very colorful.

It may not be unique,
but it certainly makes a statement.

Since all the mad cow rumors and recalls,
beef has become...so very questionable.

White meat. Dark meat. Every
shade in between. Take your pick.

Perfect for the low-carber

by Bruce Boston

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Bruce Boston claims to be the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. He believes his writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He hates piña coladas and walking in the rain, but loves Harpo Marx and calipash stew. Visit his online simulacrum at www.bruceboston.com