Richard King Perkins

My Thoughts are Elsewhere

I try not to listen to the past
because it’s distorted and muffled.

The woman in my mind
destroys her own name
and stands upon it like a jackal.

She must happen;
a person with a slim midriff,
bereft shoulders and earmuffs.

My self-censoring delusions
are palm fronds that hypnotize.

There is never an obvious method
of escaping from escape.

The cries and whispers of paroxysm
are heard
in what have become my best years.

A violent pulse identifies her.
Her residue
appears briefly across my face.

You frown,
chew the air

noting decay in the drywall

but unable to clean up
the mess in my head.



Quarter Hour Infamy

I went to high school with a red-haired girl
who had a brother that lived in Seattle and
one day he was driving to work when a car
from a parking garage seven stories up fell
down and crushed the guy as he was whistling
along to lite fm radio. His cartoonish demise
was broadcast on all the major stations and
even CNN. I remember going up to my ginger
classmate and telling her how lucky she was
to have a brother who had gotten so famous.
Three weeks later, her father choked to death
on a hefty wedge of sharp cheddar cheese
partly because her Heimlich technique was
faulty which didn’t make the national news
but did get a nice write-up in the “People on
the Move” section of our local paper.