Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp

When a poet sends a really good batch, it's hard to say no to any of them. Here's another three by Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp. For a brief bio of the poet, go to last week's posting.

If Crime Doesn’t Pay Sandwiches Will

There are two reasons
I know of
Why most people
who are missing fingers
lost them in the first place

either they’re a great carpenter
but lost the digit
to a saw blade
while they were distracted

or a  Yakuza
who failed their Oyabun
and had the extremity cut off
to teach them a lesson

So when the woman at Quizznos
handed me my two Sammies in their brown bag
and I noticed she only had
one knuckle per finger
my immediate thought was
she had to be the world’s greatest woodworker

but then it occurs to me
why then was she
working the register
at a sandwich joint?

So the only logical
is that she was
at one point
just a really shitty gangster.


Rob and the Birds

Rob is a carpenter
for the county fair;
has been since high school
before either of his kids were born.
He’s the one

who does the work
in the repurposed hanger
with tall wide doors
that lets birds and the wind in.

Every night at closing
he walks between the walls
of the hanger
and the facades
he builds every year,
throughout the year,

looking for people
who went through an access door
to hide. He never finds anyone,
but what he does find
, next to the various wrappers of God knows what
, resting on the sea of kettle corn that he walks on,
are dead birds.

The ones the wind brought in
and left to twist
in the cool air conditioner breeze.

The sparrows starve
and fall, unable to fly or even waddle.

The pidgeons find the corn
back there and their stomaches soon burst.

The hawks are the worst for Rob.
They manage to look so stately
, so immortal,
while trapped in the hanger.
They last the longest
, eating the other birds,
but they too die. And Rob

brings them all out. He
carries them like friends
, wraps them in white newspaper,
and takes them to the dumpster out back
where the birds had wanted to be
from the moment they flew in,
and couldn’t fly out.


Sink or Float?

A carrot?
A potato?
A can of tomato paste?

A fork?
A rock?
A coke?

A Florida orange?
A four by four?
A plastic orange?

A car?
A scream?
A brother?


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