Two Poems


New Physics

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What I did with the insurance settlement

When I became alone, things were quite different.
I usually remembered to empty the litterbox
and I could wear my Attila the Hun costume whenever I wanted.
Someone arranged for direct deposit and home delivery.

I decided to let the cards tell me what to do
but all I dealt myself were Minor Arcana
which it seems quite oxymoronic to capitalize

and then before I could shuffle the deck again 
the little people inside climbed out
hoisting themselves over the white border

like sewer workers coming out of a manhole
except they weren’t saying the words you can’t say on tv
there was just this sort of twittering

but when I listened carefully
I was surprised to find that they spoke English
in a rather Liverpudlian accent
with a Southwestern twang.

Soon they were juggling with their cups
and beating each other with sticks
and things got much more disorderly 
than I like my surroundings to be

until the ones with the money paid the ones with the swords
to kill all the others
and now they’re just sitting on the edge of the kitchen table
with their little legs dangling.

I tried feeding them lunch meat chopped up into tiny pieces
but they don’t seem to like it.
One or two are missing;  I blame the cat.

I’m not sure whether I had breakfast today. 
I have to watch my diet; I’m allergic to the Krebs cycle.
I am made of sugar and spice and jellied gasoline.

Could you blow in my ear please, sir?
I think some dirt has gotten into the machinery.

—F.J. Bergmann, Poynette, WI