Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bad Dog

by J. K. Durick

Good and bad are simple concepts
In the canine world, while arbitrary
At times, they summarize so much:
Good gets gentle words and pats on
The head, a treat or two, or perhaps
A chance to go along one more time,
And bad, the other paw in this parade,
Gets angry words, a hand or foot out
Of nowhere slapping, kicking, another
Tug on the choke collar, or time spent
In the too tight kennel they kept for
Moments like this; in the end, it’s just
A matter of reward and punishment,
Like we get so often; when good we get
Good words, good grades, all the extras,
Privileges and paychecks, pomp and
Playthings, a cozy life in comfortable
Surroundings; but bad we get other
Things, more guilt than glory, smaller
Checks, pink slips and traffic tickets,
Doors closing and busy signals, empty
Promises and pockets, all the next to
Nothing they hand us grudgingly –
All a matter of punishment and reward,
So we sit up nicely, rarely bark and
Wag our tails, hoping they notice.

You are here

by Andrea DeAngelis

You are here
in that circle
of red and dread
that center
of despair
and I don’t care.

Going nowhere
slow and slower
coarser and colder.

The subway stalagmites
growing into many rows
of graying teeth
that will cut your throat.

No one cares
what you think
only what you do
and what you do isn’t doing
but only your job
which makes you feel
less than nothing.

So you are here
when you only want to disappear.

You are starting to believe
that bitch Becky
who told everyone
“Oh, she’ll never get anywhere.”

You are here
you are here
you will never be there.