Bewildering Stories

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Alive, Alive-Oh

by John Edward Lawson

The proud cockles wave
from the shoreline disturbing
the dandelion slumber which had settled
over my cauterized consciousness.

[I seem to recall]

Where do you cry when the funny
man in your brain has stopped

[waves crashing, hard saliva on dentures]

Don't ever let them see you
sweat, particularly if
they are invertebrates preoccupied
with a singularly nasty fingernail
fetish, and florid ambitions

[tines and melted butter]

to appropriate pernicious sin
swelling in their mucus membranes.

[sounds of teeth gnashing]

Ghosts of extravagance swelter-
swarm, an ephemeral dervish
of culinary vengeance and primordial
stomach aches, at the raw bar.

[sinews dispossessed]

in the hot seat Mr. Muscle squirms
through the torpor induced by the lemon juice
rambling deliriously that he is
not who the specters would
have him be.

[screams silenced by smiling lips]

Solemnly sitting in my corner, celery
sticks and appendix in hand,
I clearly observe their palates,
which are empty, having
been long since pillaged of their jade
taste buds and ruby blossoms,
parched and dark as those violated
Egyptian desert sarcophagi.


Copyright © 2002 by John Edward Lawson