NaPo Day 17 and 18


The ghost, cowboy hat,
curtain moustache,
sidles up and chuckles
appreciatively, howdy,
boys, welcome
to Kansas, and slips
into the bar. The street
is deserted, except
for the pale sheriff
with a five-point badge,
walking a skeleton
horse, who glares at us,
spits near our feet
and croaks, liberal elite.
When we turn the
corner, a tall woman,
hooked to translucent
wings, is giving out
flyers that say in red,
What Would Jesus Do?
and show a pair
of rainbowed hands
letting fall a bloody
fetus. There isn’t much
else to see. For more
than unfunny cartoons,
we will have to follow
the flight to the cities.
What’s this? A terrier,
hair gone white, sniffs
our penny loafers,
crawls away, muttering,
Dorothy, we’re not
in Kansas anymore.


Not our place,
not anyone’s,
although we name
the caves
Grand Avenue,
joke about
Fat Man’s Misery,
the stream, calling
it obviously
the Styx.
Bats, with their
livid cries, live here,
little eastern pipistrelle
with its
tricolored fur,
fire-walking salamanders,
two genera
of eyeless fish,
shrimps, and who knows
what else.
A seahorse
far from the sea?
To find out
we jockey further
and further
into the miles of dark,
not to encounter
ourselves, Lovecraft
has it wrong, but to meet
some other
in this system
of caves,
which rarely
has a natural


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