to 5

    on the 5ives




not a wink

The evening begins with a cork
in the maid's eye

and the first guests sneaking off
to ruin the wallpaper.

I bring out an old phonograph
 a few records.

"Two-step, anyone?"

Our ice-sculpted Zurich melts.
The room's orbit slows.

My wife calls for an ambulance
before I can re-invent



the funniest men in america

are dead and unlikely—now—
to be spied upon
  but their eyebrows
continue to interfere
with radio transmissions
bird migration
        and my mastery of French.

To watch the news
           we're all victims—
whether of peach fur
or saxophones hardly matters
when your routine
                            is bombing
on the only submarine for miles.


how to

Back when telepathic buffoons were still
the rage, you couldn't walk
down the street without tripping

over a dozen shooting looks
of dismay and disappointment
                 up at foreign satellites.

Their pockets empty,
they subsequently went into
theft, writing how-to bestsellers

revealing the secrets of just about everybody—
page after page after page after page
of dull, fretful jabber.


this must be the place

"There are so many beautiful people
   in the world,"
    said the fleeing astronaut,
"I wish I could be one of them."

The astronaut's good-luck dashboard cowboy
figurine lowered the bandanna
hiding his tiny face

and whispered sweetly to his steed,
"Don't let on the big guy's here and he'll go away."

But the horse was dead.



4 poems