Steve McCaffery

1947 / Sheffield, England

Alone With The Animals

Night made everything illegible
but Kimberley Madison was her name
and her faucets were the toast
of the town until
the toaster burned the neighbour's baby
thinking in its cot.
Don't be silly
asked the children,
why don't you visit my family
in Bosnia and sing a song for them
in Pig Latin? He's over there
skyped in behind the selected works
of several fisheries employees
arguing on the picket-line
that we need a couple more granades
to make a baker's dozen.

I'm sure glad we're not thinking in our century
nor the ones before that
when the hectares were more
uniformly unpleasant than trying to explain
the recent spot of genocide to a school bus full
of trans-gendered boy scouts
wishing they were girls again before
going to sleep in their Spring semesters.

Did you hear the one about the botched
Iraqi transplant during the water-boarding
ceremony?
That was a christening not to be constitutional about
I wouldn't take no for an answer
if I were you from that weird apparatus
vibrating in the waiting room.
It all depends on the nature of
the proper expediency
tripping blind guide dogs for example
in the night I mentioned earlier.

Everyone around here wants to be Russian
or same-sex survivors in
the servant's sector of the neutral zone
whistling the anthem of a man I knew.

Nobody has time to change
into oxymorons when everyone's asking
for a glass of reference before each meal
and the headlamp starts to vanish
e'en to disappear . . .

the national flag decided to become neo-liberal
in the precise sense of something else
blowing in the tunnel of love or elsewhere
before the fuel parade of the human fossils.

The trilobites are coming! The trilobites are coming
out of Father Christmas'
false teeth & beard
they are victorious over other entities
dressed up in the skins of animals
being punished for their flatulence
it's not unlike crop rotation
for the masses
and when it wasn't the crippled acrobat's turn
to replace the hole in the cease-fire
it all turned into snarls of
forbidden ramifications
in the local massage parlour
whistling an epistle to the disused
side-walk as the bulb comes up
to screw in a light bulb?
nobody asks the car bomb specialist to change
his underwear three times a year
while posing for flash photography
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