Wow

When a tooth extraction
goes horribly wrong
and you spend a week downing
so many pain meds
that you’re pretty sure you’ve given yourself an ulcer
and you have to sing in the evening
and it’s 34̊C plus humidity
and your face feels like half of it is melting into a puddle of pain
and the postal lady won’t let you mail your packages
because she says they’re too heavy and they’ll cost you too much and
one of them is going to Japan
for crying out loud
and you have twenty-three customs forms to fill in
plus eighteen more later on
but you can’t concentrate on that because of the appalling pain
and your dentist can’t see you for another forty minutes
generally you just write a terrible poem
and hope for the best.

Stationery

The stationery store is an insidious fairyland
an otherworldly carnival full of hidden dangers
oh look
it’s a tape dispenser shaped like a frog
I need that
I only have three other tape dispensers
none of them frog-shaped

and there is a ruler
green as poison
while my current ruler
is only clear plastic
I must have it
I must have
the poison-green ruler

and the scissors
O the scissors
the beautiful scissors
in packages of four

if I make it alive
through the thicket of art pens
and emerge winded
near the packing-material wasteland
I must still brave the erasers
and the hole punches
and the ring binders
and the tiny filing cabinets meant for index cards
and if I lay eyes on the coloured paper
I am probably doomed

damn you
stationery store
I do not need another pencil case
but that one is shaped like an orca
and is looking at me
with soulful puppy-whale eyes

Tape That Doesn’t Stick

Confounded tape:
you do not stick to things.
The very fact that you are sold as “tape”
suggests that your sole purpose
is
in fact
to stick to things
so why wouldn’t you?

Are you a metaphor
or perhaps a simile
for something profound?
Do you represent
a vast and terrible meaning
far beyond your limited physical existence?

I wish you wouldn’t
since at the moment
I have nothing
with which to seal this package
and things are falling out of it
onto
the
floor.

Send the Package

Why do you not just send the package?
The package
is metaphor
and I scream in the vacuum of its Gaze.

Tiny cantaloupe footsteps
tap their way across
my inner post office
which longs for the package
you have not sent
the package
you have not sent
the package
you have not

Where is the package?
Where is my heart?
Is it in the package?
Is it the tape you used to seal the package shut?
Is it the brown paper in which you wrapped the package?
Is it the stamp?
Is there a stamp?
A lot of people don’t use stamps any more.
What if my heart is the stamp
and there is no stamp on the package?

Agony
is a package
with no stamp on it
that is never sent
probably because postal fees
are far too high these days.