Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

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Paper tigers are

saber rattlers,

neighbor tattlers,

favored whiners and

major prattlers that

savor decline,

yet cannot fight.

To do away

with a roaring beast

only to find a

fragile fraidy cat

in its place

should not be surprising.

Sometimes stripes are earned,

sometimes they are merely projected.

Straw dogs are routinely discarded,

after their special day,

not because they deserve this,

but because this is their purpose.

Dressed to the nines,

blessed and

lest we forget

left in the street

once their mission is complete.

No matter how many times,

they are thrown away,

straw dogs return another day,

to be a display,

that cannot stay.

Backmasking

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Kids,

let me set the record straight

about “rock-n-roll” music.

It is an instrument

of evil-

a tool of demons,

devils,

and those who serve them.

It will rot your brain,

morally bankrupt you,

and turn you into a pawn

of satanists.

Don’t panic,

don’t “turn on,

tune in,

and drop out,”

and don’t you dare buy another album.

“It’s not all bad,”

you might be saying to yourself,

but you’d be wrong,

and here’s why.

The devil is clever,

he hides his demands,

in the music in two ways.

1) He has his messengers carry out

their acts of debauchery in real life,

instead of talking about it.

Monkey see, monkey do.

2) They hide their messages in their songs,

and it’s as simple as listening

playing the track

backwards,

to reveal their evil intent.

You can beat the Devil,

just keep your wits about you.

Kids,

why can’t you listen to nice music?

Direct-to-Video

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Purgatory can be found on Earth,

In thrift stores,

bargain bins,

And supermarkets.

Names and faces,

Some famous,

Some strangers,

Etched forever into

Sequels no one asked for,

To movies no one’s heard of,

Residing in everyday

Neighborhood haunts.

Horrifically corny schlock,

Poorly-written nature docs,

For children,

And TV movies that aired once.

No one makes something,

That no one is supposed to see,

But you wonder

whether these people

are where they want to be,

When you can buy half their filmography

for five dollars

and get one for free.

But maybe this is their dream,

To do what they love doing,

Make scenes,

And be seen,

Without being heard of.

Those souls are in my thoughts

For now.

Cult-Classics

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Night falls,

As Ana slides open the screen-door,

And snuck into her house with her friends,

While her parents 

sleep peacefully,

Unaware of tonight’s meeting.

The following entered single file,

Approached the shelf,

gathered around,

And pored over

the needed materials.

Meticulously,

They made their selections,

Offerings that each member agreed to.

Each had their own predilections

Toward eighties ultra violence,

Black comedy,

Or pre-recorded VHS tapes,

Of since-cancelled television,

With commercial breaks,

Intact.

“Cut the lights,”

The time has come

for another sleepless night,

Sitting entranced.

Volume at near-silence,

Doors tightly shut,

Muffling cheers for the anti-hero,

Laughter and schadenfreude,

Shuffling seats,

To avoid

potential tut-tuts

Of disgruntled authority.

Player Piano

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A musician never acts alone,

Unless, of course,

they happen to be a drone.

Pay no attention,

To the fact that,

There is no one in front of the curtain.

Études are meant to showcase one’s skill,

But with the amputation,

Of middlemen,

There is no risk,

No drama,

In such a piece.

Chopin’s Opus 25 Number 11,

“Winter Wind”

Played with ruthless calculation,

Feels like little more,

Than a brisk,

Cakewalk.

Corrosion

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Hello old limestone sculpture,

Of an ancient, armored,

Sword-toting,

Female soldier-

Meet acid rain.

Your chiseled face,

Buffed away,

Until the once completed visage,

Looks like modeling clay.

Slowly, but surely, we return to square-1,

That marvelous, marble base,

Laid bare,

Then swiss-cheesed,

By sizzle drizzle.

Behold the disappearing monument,

Matter cannot be created,

Nor destroyed,

But that’s neither here nor there,

Until we put real effort toward conservation,

Of the curated.

Bad Vibes

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It turns out,

Saying “don’t be nervous,”

Is a great way,

To be counterproductive.

Fear is self-sabotage,

And more often than not,

Fired in an unexpected,

Barrage.

Like a bull in a china shop,

It raises hell,

And won’t stop,

Prancing,

And dancing all over,

Your most precious,

Fabergé eggshells.

The floor,

Wasn’t a great place,

To put those,

If I’m being honest.

But that’s not important,

Anymore,

Because it’s time to acknowledge,

These animals in the room.

Quick,

Go get some tweezers,

And glue,

While I patch up,

The kicked-down door,

So no more,

Come through.