Richard J. Fleming


The frozen gods of the faithful, cold and distant; no trace of yesterday's
blasphemy. The entire economy of Canada crashes into a retaining wall.
Ambulance chasers run for cover. Sound the all clear siren. Wall to wall
carports add a bonanza. Still no sign of desperate shoppers. Inside chain
stores, wind up teeth chatter on without commercial breaks. Christ on a
crutch walks up to the nearest kiosk, looking for the hair of a chow dog.
A miracle; a merry-go-round in the distance.


I was happy to see there were still stores that sold big boxes;
although what was in them was hard to ascertain. No doubt
they contained surprise endings, the sort of obsequious reality,
you took for a long walk, until one day it bit your hand.

After a house to house search, it was decided that a minimally
invasive species would ultimately take over the entire planet,
and remodel it with marble counter tops. Available material
was dirt cheap after the fall of Rome.

The Hierarchy firmly established its hold on the final pogrom.
Many inmates escaped when they turned on the fire sprinklers,
and flooded the plains states with fugitives from backwoods.
The people you'd least suspect, got strip searched at the gate.

So there was a heavy discussion among the trilobites to hire
a professional sponge, and soak up some culture. A few friends
of the family stopped by to pay their library fines, and stayed
until the lights came on. Elusive mysteries in a bird sanctuary
took on rambunctious hues of autumn.


I thought I saw Ginger Rogers hanging from a lamppost; it might have
been something I ate. Styles hadn't changed much in intervening years.
On the top of a pincushion, silk worms created a kimono for Yoko Ono.
Parenthetically, a man in a fat hat came and sat on my landscape. There
were gladiolas in that, still going strong after a frightful outing parking
without hands. I took notes, a big pile of dirt looking on. Dead squirrels
down the rain spouts, and a mixture of slush and sleet made the passage
between worlds difficult to negotiate.

Richard J. Fleming is a survivor of three Chicago blizzards.

He has had poetry published in Right Hand Pointing, The Rusty Nail, Inkwell Mag, Curio, Otoliths, Rain, Party & Disaster Society, One Sentence Poems, Unbroken, Poetry Super Highway, Rattle and forthcoming in Hotel Amerika and Stoneboat Journal.

Right Hand Pointing published his first Chap book, Aperture. You can read it at: https://sites.google.com/site/richardflemingrhp/
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