Robin Dare



My whale went to the dump
disguised as a waterbed mattress.
He begged at the Entity Title Gate:
whale,          whale,          whale.
He's a good swimmer.
He can flip and dive
and hold his breath
for inordinately long times.

He already knows his way around the Atlantic.
He has the natural life skills of a Leviathan.

Still, he's called mattress.

He supported two backs for three years.
Then his baffles went bad—a design flaw,
the salesman said.
"Feels like Styrofoam gone haywire."
"Feels like Good ‘N Plenty stuck together."
Baffles can't be fixed, maybe smoothed,
he said.
The backs called to the flattening gods and pleaded:
smooth                    smooth                    smooth
The mattress asked to be re-named at the gate.

He can push water through his spout.
He can chase sharks away.
He's courteous to ships and submarines.



Let me say that parts of you will be excised and donated. The Goodwill will soon have the pleasure of your company. I'm tired of implications and impresarios—your organization skills stink.

From nowhere the synapses begin to unravel—the nipples swell and the penis points; the oblongata loses its clipboard to make a decision. I've made it easy for you. The parts that must go are the following:

Hopscotch sidewalk incident: The giants will squash fingers and toes if I don't hop fast enough. Take that one and suck it down the copper tube. We've tried aromatherapy, you're immune. Anything involving smirks and smiles: Crushed pineapple words somersault backward from the front seat. Forceps lose their cerebellum tweezer grip. We've tried behavior modification. You refuse to replace even with physical promise. Anything involving animals and saviors: Defenseless old dogs rolled into a cheerio. Suzie Q pushed me down the stairs when I tried to unwind the canine. This one will cut pus from gash. We've tried snapping a rubber band, you asked for more sting. Unlocked bathroom door: White slip caught on a finger ring. Carol held my full skirt high. White tights twist about my knees—monkeyshines etched eternal in the keyhole.

p.s. Don't forget, leave your injectable endorphins.



FYI: (For Your Information)

When I played hopscotch
I terrified myself
thinking giants would squash
me if I didn't step fast enough.

Their footsteps
roadwork booms
from the New York Thruway.

IF: (Imaginary Fun)

Until I was ten,
I believed that Greyhounds
ran alongside their buses.

JOLS: (Jealous Of Little Sister)

Sometimes I wedged
myself between the wall
and the refrigerator
so I didn't have to board
the yellow bus.

The accordion door
nearly made my mother
a double-hand amputee.

GR: (Guilt Ride)

Sister's cranium met
the flush cornerstone.
Slice of life
Perfect moon
Red pulp gush.

The doctor
said her crescent
third eye resembled a beach
and would recede.

I did feel guilty
slipping the expanse
of the Delta 88's black vinyl
hospital ride.
My mother wondered
if the doctor
recognized my singed
from a few years earlier.

FUBAR: (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition)

Is that why my right eyelid droops?

Two decades later
and the squinty intern
at the not-so-free clinic
said eyelids never lie.

FYI: (For Your Information)

One Saturday afternoon
a wallpaper store—

Can you sleep with all those jungle eyes?

My father slid animals
to my wall and cussed when
beaks and butts didn't match.

Sister picked a series of dots--
acid hits or pastel candies?
Both lick off the paper.

ASAP: (As Soon As Possible)

Turn off the gas
Bite my lip
Smoke some sassafras
Needle a song
Learn to live
with plaster in your hair.
March naked
Dial a salute

Marry the wild
Look behind
Feel giants
Feel dogs.

Caress your air
pinch the Giddy-up.



on "Dear: Cerebrum & Friends":
Collected childhood memories with a dash of adult sarcasm.

on "Whale Bed":
Baffled waterbeds do not empty or deflate well.

on "Acronymal":
Dashes of adult sarcasm collected with childhood memories.