Three poems by Jeff Bagato

View from the Park Bench

back to finding my dreams like a broken lady
on her last lawnchair opened on
the capital lawn, curlers in her hair, trash
sack of stolen theatre popcorn open at the back
of her airport cart, and her bags
stacked high for Mr. Sax to blow his cool,
cool music on us, laying it down
with a slide like petroleum java—
a long-drawn coprophiliac leer
on ground down soapstone wall—
dropped it, pick it up, dropped
it, pick it up, dropped it,
pick it up—for all the millions staring
into bottlebags and picking invisible
truffles from lace china, fine
once-upon-a-time china, where the
truffles sing sing in unison—
in heaven nobody hears you cry;
can’t you call me a nicer pile of
ignorant? Watch me work my season
to the bone for your history,
your psychological
America

Please Disregard This Alarm

The Demon Seed never flinches
with rifle, gold rushes Green Mountain
for a look at cash on delivery, spots
the liberty tree lit up like applejack,
and whoops for watermelon bellyache—
aren’t you glad to be glad—
and it was George’s wooden teeth
he planted—never prayed to God, seldom
read, but still the father of our
cactus—bittersweet saguaro we climb
like an ambush bug for a sack of flies:
if you want
to come you’ve got
to know—
so he scans the want
ads for the perfect opportunity,
freshest pasture, sells manure back
to cow hand for spoon feed—
that’s the saga of everybody doing
it, dancing the Liberty, misty eyed
but one hand on the wallet—“don’t
tread on me,” Paine tells him,
“I’m just here to slither”—Seed looks
both ways then bum
rushes the street

A Maggot for the Time

The Mount Rushmore minds
mumble over a campfire—
was it appropriate to chisel our faces
onto sacred Lakota rock?—
“Men decay,” states Jefferson,
“it’s the basis of democracy”

“My thighbone a weapon
of the gods,” declares Roosevelt,
“making thunder”

“We must assume the position
of gods, as we have been
chosen; if we fail, if we lie,
if we age and lose wisdom,
then so too do gods
as the world sees them;

“Men who require mediocrity
of themselves expect most
from their gods”

Lincoln had spoken; and Washington,
for them all:

“What have we wanted
but a maggot for the time
indulged in earthly things—
a maggot hungry enough
for a god—
and indeed
it will come, in winds
and rain, forbidding
men to cherish any god—
any other”

Jeff Bagato is a multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, and glitch video. Some of his poetry has appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, Otoliths, H&, Ex-Ex Lit, and Zoomoozophone Review. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Computing Angels (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found by clicking here…

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