From Fetal Position to False Labor & Three other new poems by Jack Varnell

From Fetal Position to False Labor

I left the fetal position.
I changed my mind, and
picked you up at the train.

What else did you expect ?

Me, clamoring in silence
between fits of diarrhea
of the mouth ?

In the end I turned up the music.

Took you back
to the station
almost too late.

So sure Id never see you again
I took pictures, you weren’t looking.
So surreal, so strange.

Then, there you were. Angry.
Having a bad day of hearts
lamenting you’re un-betrothed.

Sick, but not allowing the same.
Seeking retribution for a long time

Back to the fetal position.
No birth to be had this day.
False labor.

drainage tubes

stare down the wounds
you will need to know them

brave the incision
yes, it will shrink over time
but not the scars.

once the air bladder
held more fluid
than a wine cask,

but you are bigger,
and draining
was futile anyway.

removing it,
more dangerous
than open heart surgery.

the good news is
you started with two.
breathe deep.

the bones we broke,
the damage we did healing you,
might atrophy-so breathe deep.
while you still can.

I will be removing the
drainage tubes on Thursday.
you will not like me much.
we do have drugs for that,
but you will never forget I was here.

Fallen Idols

Fallen idols are people.
Not trinkets,
or statues made
to represent
unattainable ideals
of conscience.

They are teachers,
guardians and
prophets sent
with a message
of vital importance
they cant deliver.

They are me and you.
Us who couldn’t hear it,
or who would
choose not to, in favor
of the voices in our heads,

Urging us to
keep up with the Joneses,
to worship what we hear
on TV or the interweb.

Fallen idols are
flesh, blood, and bone
Not ivory towers
to live in, or gold amulets
to make us mystically safe.

Not marble likenesses
of ourselves that will
only resemble us
after we have fallen-
the day we are crushed
under their crumbs.

Gunfight at the Not So OK Corral

As an adult, I am
confused at the childhood
movie versions of the gunfighter.
One gun or two?
I’ve seen it both ways
and I wonder
how the modern gunfighter
would do it.
Probably only one –
cocked sideways
and semi automatic.
A “pardner” on the roof with an AK

My new west coast poet
fantasy girl reminds me
one or two isn’t just about
how many guns today
but about how many
gunfighters as well

One gunfighter
one gun with a burnt spoon
one with one bullet
in a pale blue hue

Either way
he blew his brains out
the hole in his arm.

2014 for iris

Jack Varnell is recognized all over the web as The Emotional Orphan. He is one of the few, if not the only writer you will meet currently in possession of approximately only one and three quarters lungs. Having been regenerating for years now from about one and a half, it is progress, but having been diagnosed with a severely decompensated cirrhotic liver it is relative. His writing sometimes reflect a sadness that 1980s cocaine, and quaaludes may have impaired his drinking himself to death , and now a pretty corpse is no guarantee. Meanwhile, his current goals include harassing as many small press publishers as possible to potentially have them bucket list publish some of his best bad poetry, and prose while demonstrating a profound lack of knowledge related to punctuation !!!

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