by John Vick
Both. And perhaps the others too, but more expert at ringing chimes and obtaining useless property than the ululation, the way one screams Eureka! at each new spring’s discovery of us, the interfering ones who claim transubstantiation. Where all olfactory and otherwise remain centered on texture and bouquet, the smaller people in the chapel remain suspect and therefore more intelligent than a full rack of lamb with rosemary and apple chutney on wedding day.
Either. Because nothing else matters than the idea of it, the kitsch you saw at Goodwill, brought home, cleaned with merriment. Or the handheld device, a setback to the ham radio presented at Christmas (c. 1971). Overhead a toy airplane buzzes and cuts through a common blue sky. It clips the wings of an irate crow and the crow is not a nice bird, no. As though one is chintzy with haircuts, yet expects everyone to look exquisite; a string of salons turning out bowl cuts to anxious teens who all want to look precisely insane.
Neither. Without knowledge of the poodle-skirt, the standard poodle, the poodle parlor, and the poodle princess — the way a leash can mean so much more than simple Pooper-Scooper activity — or casual sleeping felines en masse. There are too many smells of humanness on the public transport. Acceptance of same comes as folly, wherein you find yourself skank-stinky and need to get home cheap, folly where you are put in another’s position — only focused on talking the situation to death. Saying everything three times, over and over like Mother did, again and again. There. There is a flock of poodles with proud poodle owners marching down the street in poodle parade formation, as though a battle is to begin. A battle of froufrou against the odds. A turning point. An amassing.
John Vick was born in Mississippi. His family moved across the continent to Canada in the mid-60s, and when he was 11, he moved to Oklahoma with his parents and finished high school. Since then, Vick has lived in Texas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He served in the military for two years in the mid-80s. He’s placed poems in a variety of journals, including in the upcoming issue of phati’tude, and his chapbook Chaperons of a Lost Poet appeared from BlazeVOX in 2009.