There’s No Substitute Incidents Of Malfeasance for the wish to speak as one, with snakes gliding between the date palms that have always been a problem for the near-sighted & the rats too, from the four corners bearing plague & missing teeth. A rabid dog died here. Yes. On this very spot. He held on until the cops cut him to pieces & another time, I must tell you, when no one came but the street filled with a thousand cheers & blood ran & bones exploded & we’d watch the games kids invented inside the bodies of the corpses & here was the beginning & the end & now we watch tv with it’s make-believe & struggle to know the difference. Damage from the cold? No doubt. A chilly hand is a notorious hand That’s the way he talked. Make something big from something small. Exaggeration? Not so much. Him with his green glass eye could bury an ax in the head of a leaping deer at fifty feet. The one eyed wonder he called himself. It was spring did him in. Surprised him too. The pitter-pat of an April shower punctuates his amble. His face a gleaming rainbow. Asphalt streaming. Swollen eyes. Unflinching. Unforgiving. Bless me Father for I have . . . Eat your hot dog / Swill a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Coming up fast. The years. Time’s a killer. Always made him laugh. Tonight. Alone with his random amplifications: Mommy’s late to the rescue. Pigeons plundered on the roof. Hideout. A safety pact. Dance with dangerous dad. A one way street. Pay the cabbie. Without guilt or remorse. Where’s that winter shroud? That. Cloak of steel? Iron boots? Gone. All gone. Weep for the fallen. Weep & wish him well. It’s only the 6th round — time aplenty . . . or so we imagine.