Paul Dickey

This P-em Can’t Even Fix the Leaky Faucet
Don’t get me wrong. A p-em can do a number of things. Once in awhile, they get you love after hours at Goodtime Charlie’s. Walking home through the cemetery, they can help you tell one tombstone from another, say your grandfather’s from the one of the town librarian whom he would wander off to see but never married. Face it though. They can’t do everything.

I don’t know what else to tell you. Grandmother used to say that any problem worth its salt is unbearable. When it came time for her to marry, her soldier was away at war and so she married Grandpa who happened to be walking into the dime store. Wives and husbands often have irreconcilable differences. Differences that the divorce we talk about every night won’t fix, and won’t fix if all seven billion people stood in line at the courthouse and got divorced together to stand in for us.

Myself, I scavenge through dusty, bottom drawers of the antique bureaus in the attic, the same ones I sold off years ago at a flea market. There is where I will find the essential things that keep things held together: prayers for lost soldiers, one last hope for tonight’s reconciliation, and p-ems that lovingly whisper nothings in our ear after hours and then go off and solve nothing.

The Men’s Hot Tub and the Fear of the Unknown
He looks human enough, but in times of momentous breaking news, I do not know if to speak to him. I may be totally wrong. I read his face to determine whether something hides under his bed and even being a patriot like myself, he must fight against all the evil with every word of the Constitution he can muster, even if violently. He can’t worry about that anymore. From a distance of 100 feet, I hear the murmur and innuendo of the cable news network other than the one I watch all the time never rise to the level of sense and thus sound absolutely compelling. I fear this man may be hearing it and doesn’t want to be my brother. He hates totally different things. I cannot suggest to him even for a laugh – “at least there are no bombs in this water,” although both of us know there are none. Perhaps his bombs that don’t exist are redder than mine. When he leaves the tub, he says he’s tired, been tired all day. I agree with him and smile. I hardly anymore have enough energy to think myself. And that is when he went to his locker, retrieved something, and came back and fired his gun at me.

Paul Dickey's first full length poetry manuscript They Say This is How Death Came Into the World was published by Mayapple Press in January, 2011 and was nominated by the press for the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry. His poetry has recently been included in new issues of Pleiades, diode, 32poems, Prairie Schooner, and Pinyon Review (with artwork by Ira Joel Haber), among other online and print publications.
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Blogger Anthony J. Langford said...

Nice work. Fresh.

6:04 PM  

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