precious metals


Ken Pobo


meet Dorothy on my way to the
Emerald City
which has fallen on hard times—

unemployment, lousy health care,
Glinda joining the Tea Party. 
I tell her I’m gay.  She says she

used to be but now she’s sad. 
This kind of mis-communication
has gone on my whole life.  She

introduces me to her three pals,
all nice but neurotic, asks why
I’m headed to Oz.  I don’t know,

just seems fun to brave a poppy field
and go.  So, we’re off to see
the Wizard, who demands

that the locals fight in illegal wars
and builds an oil pipeline
behind his signature.


We really need to clean out
our fridge more.  It’s icky
so we put on
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
and hope for the best.  Yet
today I brave it, pull out
the fruit bin and find,
to my horror, an eggplant,
garden fresh three months ago,
an oozy corpse.

How like America now!

Guns rampant, many leaders
making whole populaces ill—
even a single word
can wilt cities.  Racism
a badge of honor.  Hate
tossing babies off ledgers. 

The eggplant had such a deep purple,
skin unbroken.  The bin
needs hard scrubbing,
strong disinfectant.


If I take the Amtrak
from Philly to New York
and I’m in a good mood reading

something bleak by Hardy or
making a list of my Top 25 songs
by The Dave Clark Five,

and some blob of a corporation
grabs the seat by me,
takes it over completely

so that I can’t breathe, I beg him
to please, please give me some room,
but he doesn’t hear, just keeps

stroking his laptop,
I know I’m a goner, know
that the conductor will arrive

too late and I’ll be just another
something in the way.

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