[b]Angle of Repose[/b]

In the red light of highway protocol
All traffic stalled

A burnished wreck for sunset
Time to pause, as the book says, time to reflect.

Words come so easy till we know their source
And find it wanting-

In need of sympathy or recompense
Say, a fat check

For the fat man stricken in the road
Now out of body, now at the plastic faux pearl gates

Never having seen the equally fat toad
That sits in loam and gravel

Under the guardrail.
Sits. And waits.

Waits for the green light
Of understanding-nothing-being

The toad’s just a toad
And the fat man is dead.

[b]The Story[/b]

Mixed in some celestial silver bowl
the dark meat of our psychic turkeys
and the bowels of our cow souls

doled out cold in dollops dropped
about the land and sea and no one
knows, not even He, which plops

will rot, which plops will grow.
Or so it was explained to me
however many years ago, this recipe

for immortality, a la Voodoo Nanny
while I rocked on her bony knee
pondering the wrinkles of her breasts,

her Virginia Slims, the way she blew
the smoke over her shoulder, out of
harm’s way, took a sip of coffee and

always wiped her lips before she spoke
again, repeating the story just for me
Dark meat . . . silver bowl . . .

[b]Fifteen Minutes[/b]

until it’s time to leave for work.
I need to shower and shave
but won’t do either, though today’s the day
the boss makes her appearance and I’ll feel forced
to tell her “I know my face looks rough
right now, but in a week it won’t.
I’m growing my beard out for a while.”
She’ll understand. Last week she understood
my hesitation with the piss-test
surprised as I was
to be asked to drive the company van
to the clinic come 10:30 a.m.
So I took a couple of minutes
and rang up an orange juice, if she didn’t mind
and was off. Just about a half hour
to Bellingham Occupational Health wherein
I sat at least two and a half hours, reading
about the exploits of our CIA-
darling gone awry, Osama Bin Laden
my bladder swelling, ready to explode.

by Christian Peet (c)2002
([email]ranchproductions [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

[b]Author’s Notes:[/b]
Christian Peet is a Bennington graduate, winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a semester away from a Goddard MFA. Thus he has worked as a dishwasher/prepcook, carpenter’s apprentice, sheetmetal fabricator, hired hand on a goat farm, maintenance man, landscaper, and convenience store clerk. His screenplay for the short film Jack & Cat was just produced by 257 Films, and recent poems appear or are forthcoming in Dazzling Mica, Spent Angel, Eclectica, and The Adirondack Review. Christian lives in northwest Washington.

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