Joseph V. Milford ~ An Anthem For My Dentist

The philanthropist transvestite mechanic finds his mark and keeps it.
He says don’t you see? He’s impersonating a soap opera?
We will hand out leaflets, eyepatches, and shoot pistols

without even freeing them from our bandoleers, eat black-eyed peas and
cornbread with cracklings to ensure the next year’s fortunes. Spend
the day with invalids making clay ashtrays. Count the butts strewn through grass

in the park. It’s a stark lark, a naked hibiscus patch of gushed rustic or else.
Fantastic as homemade biscuits, the leave have learned to hang themselves
levee-like now, and in doing so have forced the tree’s conglomerate.

The shortest definitions of history were not, “seemed like a good idea at the time,”
or, “we just couldn’t help ourselves,” or “too much ballast on the Basilisk.”
It was more like, “Okay, you shot the albatross, just deal.”

Operation thatchery was a voluminous success. The silencers worked
and the dullards on the hull were expertly riddled with verbiage.
Why always the ship metonymy you ask? Stay focused. Their is an ear-

ring in a crater on the moon. It catches starglint reflecting off of a satellite’s
solar wing. Then it retracts on an astronaut’s helmet, all in secret. This is
expected, accepted. A drive-by-shooting with feathers for ammunition.

Little Tyke asks Papa Shelton “What’s a heyday? A fruit-salad day?
A romper room? An impart?” He says keep your shoes shined for this land
is a man’s hand held over your hood. Field it and make a final out.

Deep in your bones is the ‘morrow, and you have known that drum.
Deep in our bones it is sung. The transvestite monk pulls off his sequined tunic,
says a few kind words to the eunuchs. Wonderful choruses startle blackbirds

from ramparts as the sky fills with colonies of dark putti and fermata.
The raiment’s splendor has always been bedazzlement upon the dazzlement
of bedraggled women and men, all this sky first hand, and addiction

to lust’s blue Novocain, too much for us to take in, always too much.


Joseph V. Milford is the author of the poetry collections CRACKED ALTIMETER (BlazeVox Press) and TATTERED SCROLLS AND POSTULATES, VOL I. (Backlash Press). He is an English professor and Creative Writing instructor living south of Atlanta, Georgia. He also edits the online poetry thread, RASPUTIN, A POETRY THREAD.

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