Poem of the Week: ‘Shit Town’ by M.P. Powers

Poem of the Week

3rd Place

‘I Tell Nikki’s Short Cat Story Dreams’
Michael Lee Johnson

I know my cat is messed up when she sticks her paws in a catnip bowl loaded.
This is where science fiction begins and ancient history becomes modern poetry.
She dreams of stale fish munchies, dead frogs, string beans dipped in fennel seeds
on a shish kebab stick. She scratches my dirty laundry bag to ward off evil spirits.
In catnip vision, she supports me in her hate of belly rubs.
Flying banner in an open vacated cat field night, fragments.

BIO: Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 880 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites.

2nd Place

‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’
Disharee Bose

A mineral religious terror.
Frothy claws arise,
in a sudden furious leap.

Fuji cowers small.
In an empty space of Yin Yang,
a mountain begs an ocean.

Small fishermen cling
to thin fishing boats.
Sliding endlessly, falling forever.

The fractal curve of engulfment.
A floating world of terrible blue.
It never crashes and it never breaks.

BIO: Disharee Bose is a Creative Writing student who lives in Dublin currently. She shares her home with a dog who constantly walks over her keyboard and a Chilli plant she brought over from India. The plant has not taken to the Irish weather very well.

1st Place

‘Shit Town’
M.P. Powers

And no one here listens to Beethoven.
And no one reads
Horace, or Shakespeare, or William Blake.
(Or if they do
they keep it a secret,
not wanting to be made fun of
for being pretentious).
Shit town.

And the mayor of this place is blind as a potato
with a thousand eyes.
And the cops cultivate their mustaches in the silt
of a dried up alligator pond off Acme Dairy Road.
Shit town.
And the barbers have all the eloquence of insect repellant.
And the plumbers have renamed themselves crapologists.
And there’s a beercan philosopher outside every
Circle K.
And the firemen just want to hold a big hose.
Shit town.

And it’s true what they say,
nobody here cares about Rembrandt’s self-portraits
or Lucian’s trip to the moon.
Overtures of nobodaddies, the palm frond droops,
underground conflagrations,
and no one dares mention the night Robert T. Flange
mixed flakka with rye whisky and viagra
and began tossing off a Bolivian tomato picker
behind the trouser rack at Big & Tall.
“Yo, dog, that bling is fly,” he said in his Geordie accent,
and then admitted
feeding his stepfather to feral hogs
and collecting the insurance money for the next two years.
Shit town.

And the men here have brains the size of mustard seeds.
And the woman are about as charming as a wildebeest
chewing on bumblebees.
And the children bathe in the lead-poisoned irrigation
ditch behind Jersey Mike’s Subs.
And there’s a drive-thru lane at the Church of God Our Savior.
And the funeral parlor was borne out of a boarded-up Arby’s.
But it’s not the violin’s fault if it used to be a piece of wood.
And you don’t lose your girlfriend here,
you just lose your turn.

“Well, I’ll wear the dern-tootin’ clothes
if ya want me to,” said Hezakiah O’Toole, a disgraced
Uber driver/softball coach
from Big Beaver, Saskatchewan. “If,
if, you’ll just like me for chrissakes!”

And it was the eleventh hour
of the Feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe
and we were eating refried armadillo guts
at Tacos Al Carbon
when Don Parcheesi, 45, a cheese technician from Chokoloskee,
ran out into the parking lot,
lit his toupee on fire and offered a pair of eel-skin
to the Judges of Hades: Aeacus, and the Cretan brothers
Rhadamanthus & Minos.
“You bastards!” he shouted. “Give me life! Give me life,
I say!
things beautiful!”

BIO: M.P. Powers is an American expat living in Berlin.

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