David Lohrey

A Fifty-Minute Hour

They are coming for our potatoes.
They last came for our cigarettes; next our pigs.
They left me with an e-cig and a shaker of seasoning.
Where is the Honorable Jacob Rees-Mogg when I need him?
They still teach English at Eton. My best friend tells me
Yale can prove conservatives lack reason.

I’ve committed the Book of Amos to memory.
Men have got to stop crying. In it,
the Prophet condemns television. He’s cutting edge.
In it, Herb Albert beats Snoop Dog. No rest for the wicked.
Don’t forget to bring your cello. You can watch my dreams
on YouTube. The affluent have lost their way.

A bump-less degree is followed closely by a bum knee.
Iago’s bad breath is a warning. That’s where Dylan Thomas lives.
Wasps are bitterly disappointed. Their wings are broken. They sag.
They’re limp like you-know-what. The fucking insects are discontent.
The Wasps have gone into hiding. That’s where Philip Roth once lived.
That’s where I got fucked.

Where is the cavalry? Where are the park rangers?
Where are the men? They don’t put cream cheese on celery.
These are bread and butter issues, not easily satisfied.
Most criminals are sentimental.
I’ve moved on from my infatuation with St. Louis.
New York is nowhere. It’s the embodiment of hum-drum.

The psychologist gives lessons on using a soup spoon.
He has a degree in etiquette. He’s a Wasp named Smith.
He offered me a discount. Two sessions for the price of one.
What you think is unseemly. Don’t be offensive.
Nobody in the middle-class acts like this. When you arrive
at 3-B, just turn the doorknob and enter. Don’t bother to knock.

David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. His poetry can be found in Otoliths (AUS), Tuck Magazine (UK), Terror House (Hungary), and the Cardiff Review (Wales). His fiction can be read online at Dodging the Rain, Storgy Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers (Houston, 2017). He lives in Tokyo.
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