This is an ex-poem

This used to be a poem, but now it’s not.

I tried to make it pretty, but it didn’t turn out flowery enough.

There’s no rhythm, no rhyme, no metaphor or simile,

no fine feeling, no deep pondering, no pointed pontificating,

no smell, no taste, no touch, no nothing to hear or see,

nothing worth memorizing and/or reciting,

just some jumbled words saying not at all much.

This sucks, like being sold an ex-parrot sucks.

Like watching Daniel Radcliff shoot a condom at Diana Rigg sucks.

Like King Lear raging about what to wear sucks,

when all you’re thinking about is how hard two of his daughters suck.

Like if Hamlet had an electric guitar, it would suck if he were bad at it,

drive everyone in the castle crazy, push Ophelia to the brink,

cause all the ghosts between Elsinore and Oslo to wake up

and walk the night, his practice time,

swearing oaths of all kinds.

That would suck.

I’d want Hamlet to be a rock star, a Hendrix or a Prince,

or at least an Emo god.

You want to know what sucks like an ex-poem?

I’ve bought fish that died overnight.

I bring them home, plop um in my salt water tank,

and the next morning I jump out of bed excited

to find them floating belly-up.

I suppose I could have asked for refunds,

but that always seemed a bit crass,

standing there, over the toilet, thinking about money

as I hold the most recent ex-fish,

pausing to picture the nature of that transaction,

what fine feelings might be solicited

in bringing the little body back to the store counter,

like Harry Potter bringing back Cedric from the maze,

probably in the original plastic bag retrieved from my rubbish can,

showing the clerk my receipt as I slide the little guy’s corpse

across the speckled cream Formica for a few pieces of silver,

that long, ugly mental lapse, before committing it back to the sea

from whence it came, no more to swim but at last free.

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