glenn shaheen

THE BLUEPRINTS OF THE DISASTROUS MEDICAL COMPLEX ARE HUNG IN THE EXPENSIVE MUSEUM ABOVE SELECTED PIECES OF BONE AND RUBBLE AND A FAKE BURNT AMERICAN FLAG WITH THE STARS CLEVERLY REPLACED BY DOLLAR SIGNS


Twenty classic muscle cars in an old barn were found at the bottom of Hatchet

Lake. They flooded the land

in the sixties in the name of Bargain Energy. Of course

the soaked cars had no value. But the hi-res

digital pictures won some big photography award. Then the cars

were left there.


We are sick of our junk. Sick

of it. Like how you never got rid

of the photo albums of dead relatives in the closet. That was decades

ago. Before you were born. You’ve paid them back

in blood and breath already. Even I have six long boxes of comics that many

would consider garbage

or kids' stuff. You don't need to keep


the messages on your machine. They're mostly silence and a phone hanging up anyway.

If you have fifty letters from one person that all say "Love This, Love That,"

then you can toss forty-nine.


You don't need more than one gun if you have

enough ammo.

            All the old calendars

we kept between the two of us were never

filled with important dates.


A black widow lowers herself

into a box of important files. A tire blowout in the leftmost lane. The backpack

you chose has pots

instead of a parachute. You should have noticed

the weight, but you still fall at the same initial speed.







IN THE SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS, I PRESENT THE HEARTBREAK DELEGATION WITH A BUSHEL OF FLORIDA ORANGES


There wasn't a spot open on the nuclear submarine, so I became

a seventh grade teacher. I knew

I needed to stop mixing my fantasies

with reality. For some social reason

or other. At a party,


I refused to drink any of the green beer. My rhythm

took hold of me. I danced

in front of many strangers. Some of them threw coins. Others

propositioned me for sex. Some were even

attractive women. A logger


cuts through a redwood he is strapped to, but then realizes

he is strapped to the falling part. Or was that a Looney Tunes cartoon? There wasn't


a spot open in the local fire brigade, so I criticized

the media's saturation of the word hero. In another world,


I could have been mayor. Well, of a mid-sized city in a blue

state, at least. I would pass many ordinances regarding the city's use

of its art funds. Or maybe there wouldn't be any art funds. In that case

I would pass many ordinances regarding the city's use


of its garbage collection funds. There wasn't a spot open

in the line to the sword fighting movie so I got in line


for the depressing movie about human suffering on all corners of our planet.

The previews before that one ended up

being much more interesting anyway.