A smile costs nothing, so they say,

so I grin til she gets self-conscious;

like a hot coal

dropping her gaze to a forest floor

mottled with moss and birdshit,

none of that

sugar and spice malarkey

where even the flowers smell like flesh,

strung by their pretty red heads

like pigs on a butcher’s hook.


One hundred watts of dentistry

shatter the pinetree dark, stripes sliding

like oil off a duck’s back–

slim as ribbons,

tangled varicose veins—

please stand and behold

the great vanishing act,

this incredible cat

in your candy-sucking dozens

wheezing on smoky narcotics,

my odd and neurotic

spectator is a thousand wriggling legs

too high to do anything else but question

every fucking detail—

                              who are you?—

blaming the fumes

from those dull and knock-kneed bastards

painting the roses red

for her menopausal majesty.


We’re all mad here. I growl when I’m happy,

wag my tail when I’m pleased;

therefore I’m mad

but still—

I have stopped attending tea parties

in tasteless hats,

but grinning at everything,

and nothing at all

I will get by on a Hollywood smile

and card games,

cosmetic dentistry

and those crazy catnip nights

in Wonderland.


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