J.R. Turek


I collect steel wires of barbed words
scalpel sharp phrases aimed to maim my target
I whittle dogwood limbs, pluck feathers
from blue jays and arrow in on those obsessed
with anything but me.

I grind dynamite in my bare hands
knead it into cannonballs like snowballs
in winter, barricade myself in, toss them
in a barrage of curses to strangers who will
never love me.

I yank the pin on grenade phrases, let them explode
in my neighbor’s kitchen because he eats too much,
dagger his kids because they torched my garden mulch.
I harpoon the mailman because he’s late, molotov
the garbage truck for growling too early, foxglove
non-poets because they refuse to convert.

I load the double-barrel shot gun, put a pile
of cartridges in easy reach and pull the trigger.  Wham!  
The picture window of the are-you-kidding-over-over-
priced Starbucks shatters like a million bucks of beans.
Powwee! The boutique where the saleswoman snooted
me, refused to wait on me because I didn’t look rich.
Kerplunk!  The mega-jackpot casino slot machine
where I lost not just my shirt but my whole wardrobe!

I long to be alone and lonely but my enemies
die too slowly.

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