Showing posts from August, 2013

Post-apocalypse for dummies, illustrated by John Yoyogi Fortes

by John Yoyogi Fortes Post-apocalypse for dummies Food and water. Guard these with guns, and if you can, keep them loaded. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stockpiled by two boys, ten years old— open your mouth and walk right up. Some kids might not shoot if beseeched by an old man with six orphans. Make your fort far above the ground. You’ll need a swing set to get in. Postcard blockhouses in the sun wait nervously while mobs of men rock and topple the clock tower. Sip water and watch. The children are quiet with their vantage view. People are living on the bridge. The honeybees became too few. There’s nothing Superman can do.

Musical Pins, illustrated by BIll Griffith! REVISED

Musical Pins Which silly songs should I sing to my offspring? Which among the endless favorites do I frame in fleeting windows of cultural training, training, bo-baining—banana, fana fame? The Ministry of Silly Walks. Ning Nang Nong. Everything on YouTube is, in ways, the same. Which silly songs will my offspring sing to me? Will they loop It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time behind some failed candidate’s concession speech? I dig it’s a catchy spoof, though I’m aging with the standards in my organ’s memory. To share is share enough! We have in common maps, spots, sing-alongs, phrenological peaks. The specific GIFs, luckily there, carry our closeness closer in true and skewed rhymes—so Sing the Beer Barrel Polka, that peppy air, or make something up over Scarborough Fair. Bill Griffith!

Baba, an American Woman, illustrated by Angelin Miller

Baba, an American woman When my grandmother was dying I asked her—I don’t remember the question, the exact wording— something like, what truths have you learned? Very old people sat watching game shows. Baba was pretty far gone already, prone to private spirals of thought. We sat in chairs at a round table. Two sedate nurses counted pills. A bell rang from the TV: a contestant rewarded for a good answer. She said, “America, a light among nations…” Then she warbled, “Israel.” “Israel?” She turned her head toward the picture window filled with a seasonless color.

Warts and all, illustrated by Angelin Miller

Warts and all   At the marketplace, my eggs sell themselves. My basil’s gone by nine, and my rhubarb pies fetch a creamy price, so my walk back’s weightless. It’s just me and my empty cart. You see? It doesn’t matter that my face scares bats. By day, my visage stays downward on dirt, scales and coins, but my nose lifts up ambling back with a jingle as the stars glint like tavern lamplights off raised ale cups. If I can jingle, who could say I’m cursed? I was foul and fourteen when my pop-pop pulled me bodily out to the garden, bent my stubborn knees beside the turnips, gave me a trowel, looked in me and said: “Start. Warts and all. Start.” My body sprouted warm. That day I became apprentice to dirt. It never kills me that their comments hurt.