Grade A: Slice of Life

Written in Albuquerque (Mesa SE), December 2002.  The lines about the imbeciles on the turnpike owe something to an ’80’s George Carlin routine.  Published in my books If I Could Be the Stone and Wings of the Gray Moon.

Slice of Life


Twist the toll collector

who is secretly the Emperor of France

consoles his sullen

disinherited brother

by naming battleships after him

& having him over for macaroni Friday nights

where they watch taped hockey games

& Twist tells him tales

of the latest state executions

& all the imbeciles he deals with on the turnpike,

the ones who never have correct change,

the ones who do but make sure he knows

what they’d rather be doing with the money,

the ones who petition him for clemency

not to set fire to their villages

& offer superb art treasures