by David Halliday
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A NAIL IN THE HAND
A nail in the hand without anger, a crucifixion
upside down without being Peter.
the only measure of being alive.
I was thinking about the children and she said
the dishes won’t wash themselves.
I wept into the clouds
that covered the glasses that we drank from.
It wasn’t that I hurt, more like I’d rented
a piano that I couldn’t play.
I wanted life
to say something about life.
There was a nail in my palm that I picked out
with my teeth. Peter was a kite
and he flew across the sky with a message following behind.
I tried to find my flashlight and my glasses.
There’s always hope before you understand,
was what Jesus meant to say.
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR
I’m probably a little old to start a career in this business.
First words my friend said at my funeral.
And then everyone went out and attended a parade of boats and oysters.
I didn’t go because
I can’t swim.
Weeks before I had sent a couple of my friends a routine they could perform for my obituary, (like Abbot and Costello). But Vic refused and Eddy doesn’t understand English.
Only minutes to go now.
And what happens if moments before you’re about to pass you get a toothache.
And your dentist is in the Bahamas with his new girlfriend.
So I decided to have all my teeth pulled out before that happened. I read somewhere that Andre Breton had all his vowels removed from his manifestos. Before he passed.
That must have been very painful for a Frenchman.
And now a word from our sponsor.
AS I GROW OLDER
As I grow older I find my penis retreating
inside me and crawling
through my blood vessels
like a clot.
I grow dizzy on windy days. My face is
carried away in the wind
and returns like a dog with a stick in its mouth.
Everything seems like a distraction.
Let me address the gods.
With a finger.
BAXTER IN THE PARK
I was walking Baxter in the park, my daughter’s French Bulldog,
when a man
I had never seen before
nor would see again
came out of nowhere and told me that everything was
random. Then he asked me the year. When I told him he looked
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In 2016 I buried my mother. I buried a world that had been reduced to a whisper. Two world wars, the roaring twenties, the great depression, the fifties, elvis presley. All a whisper. And I heard my mother in her death throes, crying like a drowning woman, crying my name. Like her mother had cried. And her mother. And now I'm at the end of my world. The world I was raised in. The good times. The Beatles. Trudeau. The assassinations. Vietnam. The Bomb. And I am so angry. I don't want to whisper. I want you bastards to wake up.