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Alan Gann
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Five After Wonderland

Alan Gann

 

 

rabbit dens, dark and smoky, always reminded her of him

but blue bonnets in a sunny field left her unsatisfied       so

 

      Alice chased a gray schnauzer down a golden brick path,

discussed Jung and Freud

     with a corny old hippie hanging out in the field,

screwed the horny lumberjack

       who clanked so alluringly when he walked.

    On her way home she was mauled by a macho lion

overcompensating for years of low self-esteem.

 

Alice ran away with an itinerant music-poetry ensemble—

learned to play the bass; got a tattoo; shaved her head; pierced

ear, nose and nipple; overdosed on her twentieth birthday.

 

      Alice goes to AA and even after 10 years in recovery

   says its still One day at a time.

Working as a phone-sex hostess leaves time to contemplate

sidewalk-crushed cigarettes and kittens trapped in trees.

   No one understands her obsession,

        (her analyst never cracked the code) for antique bondage toys.

 

Alice found her way to the top of the forest and a guru

with very little brain—meditates on his koans,

listens to things which can’t be heard,

finds comfort in the stroke of his paw, but still frets

Christopher will find his way back to the woods.

 

      Alice sprinkled strychnine in the creepy old pedophile’s gin

           —laughed as she watched his last trip down the hole.

Afterwards, everything was pretty much okay.

 

 

Autumn Leaves, Winter Frost & an Electric-Blue Dildo

Alan Gann

                

 

Like that copy of Ulysses so casually displayed,

its presence the unspoken lie

 

So long, so thick—sure to intimidate anyone

wanting just a little something to read

 

You complained that I’ve never written you a poem,

called upon Erato and compared you to pearls or gold

 

I always loved how your hair smelled like Lemon Pledge

 

And now I dedicate my poems

to the muse of frustration, hair shirt, emotional S&M

 

In a shadow cast by the old oak

moonlight filtered through the frosty window

 

you can see our initials engraved in laughter’s condensation

Of course that was last fall before trees turned rust;

 

it’s winter now; I’ve raked the fallen leaves

and it’s past time to clean that window.

 

 

 

    

 

  

Two Weeks in Rio

 

by Alan Gann

 

 




All my muses wear scarlet thongs


but only Terpsichore


spins so skirts flare high.


Salsa blares


as foolish feet pretend.


She places one hand on my left hip,


the other against my pelvis—


No, like this.


 


Oh yes, like that


and three days later I wake up


missing wallet and pubic hair—


spend the rest of my vacation


prowling dark streets


looking for a club nobody knows


listening for music I cannot dance.




 

 

Cube Dweller Confession

 

by Alan Gann

 




I don’t mind the blood so much,


but cracking sound, as axe splits our boss’s skull,


keeps that from being my favorite workplace fantasy


(drops it to number four,


between stock split and copier that never jams).


No, my favorite begins with the getaway—


leaving his crumpled body,


feeling a tad sorry for the putout cleaning crew,


hijacking corporate jet


parachuting into some Caribbean paradise


that never heard of extradition,


where rum drinks are sweet and fruity


and served by pliant women


wearing nearly sufficient bikinis.


But the best part is every year on the anniversary


I toast his ghost and read sacks of email—


former coworkers singing praises to my name. 








And What’s Up With the Weather



by Alan Gann


 Because rain falls sporadically and skies shift from light gray to dark.

Because politicians hide in the restrooms


Because the greatest generation squandered all its chances


and will not be given another


Because we dance to the talking heads


Because tourists expect to spend their dollars


Because my dad taught me to shoot a 22


Because winds finally deliver autumn to our doorstep and I do not wear sweaters


Because life and jazz both require improvisation


Because Walmart sells Guinness for 2 dollars less than my local market


Because what I believe doesn’t change facts


Because Ray Bradbury says we should jump off cliffs all the time


Because the children of teen mothers


spend more of their lives in prison and die earlier


Because twelve Senators gather for breakfast and prayer


Because Tony Romo can pass for 500 yards


and the Cowboys will still find a way to lose


Because Archer Daniels Midland uses government-subsidized grain


to make high fructose corn syrup


Because I miss getting up at 5A.M. to go fishing with my father


Because the president lunches with CEOs


and the Koch brothers can give you 70 billion very good reasons


Because geysers blow regardless of who isn’t watching


Because human beings are animals evolved from other animals ad infinitum 


Because every woman should have dominion over her own body


Because building wings is not so simple as writing a novel or launching a missile


Because the piano player launches into a slow “Mood Indigo”


Because abstinence is often more theory than fact


Because, day or night, the sun is still 93 million miles away


Because the confederate flag still flies over the old county courthouse 


Because I believe the right to bear arms is almost as fundamental as free speech


Because they took down the painting of Luther Burbank


spraying his field with Roundup


Because life is better with a syncopated beat


Because even blondes make jokes about our governor


Because I no longer eat meat and still love my country


Because the odds are always 5 to 4 against


and Vegas makes money no matter which way you bet


Because icebergs are melting


Because Exxon Mobil receives over a billion dollars per year in corporate welfare


Because the bass player didn’t get to sleep last night


Because our junior senator makes our governor look like a freak’n genius


Because smart is what we work to become, not something you were born with


Because two men can get married in New Mexico,


be arrested in Texas, and killed in Nigeria


Because all privacy is illusion


Because weak-willed players cannot hit a softball question out of the infield


Because if I carried a gun, I’d take a shot at the SUV that just cut me off


Because scouts learn how to light a fire without a match


Because each year Halliburton spends over a million dollars


on political donations and lobbying


Because shepherds watch for wolves and sheep need shearing in the spring


Because poll results do not change facts


Because nobody should have to choose


between going to the doctor and paying their electric bill


Because, day or night, the sun is only 93 million miles away


Because I no longer hunt or fish


Because the smartest teenagers will do the dumbest things


and the “off” switch is broken


Because the Attorney General says we don’t really do that anymore


Because the earth used to be flat


Because barbequed tofu will never taste like great barbeque


Because stained glass hides what is on the other side


Because clocks do not all tick the same


and Schrodinger never placed a cat in a box


Because every year, somewhere, the leaves turn gold and red


Because Congress will screw it up again and again and again


The sax player launches into a another solo, reaching for something beyond

          and must fail, else never play again.  .



 

 

 

Most of Alan’s friends are surprised to find he is still at large and allowed to teach creative writing workshops in at-risk schools, and sex ed at a Unitarian Universalist church. Checkout this video about his work as a Big Thought Fellow: http://vimeo.com/61285103. He is on the board of the Dallas Poets Community, and is a poetry editor for their literary journal, Illya’s Honey. Somehow he still finds time to ride his bike, wander in the woods, look at birds, and photograph dragonflies. Nobody really cares about the Red Fez nomination for a Best of the Net award, the 2 Pushcart Prize nominations from Red River Review, or all the journals where he’s been published including Main Street Rag, Sentence, Borderlands, Sojourn, and the Texas Poetry Calendar.

In Association with Fossil Publications