My, How Things Change!

It's now two thousand sixty-five.
You'll hardly recognize
old Santa Claus. He's been revamped
from boot tips to his eyes.

Concerned for him, Mrs. Santa hired
a trainer. Gladly, he
worked hubby hard, and now that gut's
as flat as it can be.

Then all those suits made magically
were way too big. The mass-
produced ones, an insult to him,
he'd not wear. They were crass!

The elves who made the suits and toys
left Santa long ago
for better jobs. Now seldom does
he utter, "HO, HO, HO!"

Next, Santa had to lose the pipe.
We've long known smoking's bad.
The kids must not see one more puff.
This change made Santa mad.

The last straw—Santa went to jail
for animal abuse.
He lost his reindeer; now his sleigh
no longer is in use.

How will you recognize him now?
Look for a hot, buff guy
who works full-time for Disneyland.
This sight might make you cry.

He wears a patch on his right arm,
since he still craves the pipe.
He still works out four times a week
just so the wife won't gripe.

The last time he had fast food and
a Coke was long ago.
Give him a four-meat pizza and
he'll holler, "HO, HO, HO!"

by Janice Canerdy

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Trying on Clothes on a Winter's Evening

Whose shoes these are I think I know.
She's gone to town in snow boots though,
She will not see me try them on
Or at least give them a go.

Alas, my feet are just too long.
My little cat must think it wrong
To see me in my girlfriend's shoe,
But better that than in her thong.

He gives his collar bell a shake
And, though I know it's a mistake,
I don her dress so soft and sheer.
Oh it's a risk I should not take,

To wear this feminine veneer,
And soon my girlfriend will be here,
So I must change and quick, I fear.
Yes I must change and then, a beer.

by M C Green

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Merchants of Vehemence

The effort of their lying is not strained;
It droppeth as white-washing dew from pigeons
upon all those beneath. It is twice cursed;
It curses those who speak and those who would believe.
'Tis baseless in its baseness;
it becomes their monarch better than his smirk.
His sceptered cabinet make farce of power,
where attributes of awe and majesty fail
'neath the dread fear of tweets.
But truth is beyond their scepter's sway,
enthroned not in their un-kingly hearts;
Such attributes of higher power do not show
where untruth seasons justice.

by Ken Gosse

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The Suspect

I frankly admit I am in love
with Perry Mason—
a man's man with his broad-shouldered
suits    a lady defendant's last
His smoldering eyes lock
onto mine and he reads
truth or else
his those brown orbs burn
it out of me.
He gives no ground    suffers
no fools.
He is hard city night
and the sins committed
under its cover.
He does not judge the divorcee
nor the daughter of a disgraced
He is wise and sharp
the owl perching
until the time
is right.
How he wields courtroom
evidence    and the tongues of liars
against themselves—O
how sweet to see his reflection
in the shine of his black
shoes while my own eyes
glitter with appreciation
behind my hat veil.
Gladly would I squirm
in the witness seat
brave the barrage
of questions and serve
up myself as suspect
just to be held
in the web
of his justice.

by Taunja Thomson

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Taunja Thomson is a child-free feminist vegetarian tattooed atheist cat-lover, hated by many people for each of these things. She is also a co-author of Frame and Mount the Sky, a collaborative chapbook, and Strum and Lull, a finalist in Golden Walkman's 2017 chapbook competition. When she's not writing, she can be found disapproving of children, shirking meat, getting more tattoos, and cuddling with cats. Oh, and she has a Cuthulhu fetish. Come take a gander at her writer's page at facebook.com/TaunjaThomsonWriter