The Treadmills Made of Mines

[I always liked the “Windmills of Your Mind” song from The Thomas Crowne Affair (1968). This is my sloppy mockery of it and its kooky lyrics. The original song was written by Michel LegrandAlan Bergman, and Marilyn Bergman.]


Like an alabaster hamster snorting a line of moldy bees

Like an esoteric cleric preaching on the chi of knees

Like a sturgeon good at math

Like a German in a bath.

There’s that creep who stands in lines

For the treadmills made of mines.


Like wombats taught to whisper

Or a walrus made to weep.

Oh, look I’ve got a blister.

Have you put the kids to sleep?

Like an anemic brontosaurus

Like a surface that is porous.

Like a fork with just one prong.

Do I look alright in this sarong?


Bears indifferent to plastic

Like a sound that makes you feel

There’s a painting of a lobster

Or a girl stroking an eel.

There’s a sensation that keeps on building

When the circus comes to town.

The Heads try to keep us spinning

But I’m still frightened of the Clown.


There’s a danger of one finding

The lungs of a local mime

Stuffed into a suitcase lining

Before its scented with a lime.

Perchance a purple feather-duster

Or a hasty snark just off the cuff

Will curtail a lion’s luster.

Why aren’t we sleeping in the buff?

Filling red balloons with mustard

Always worked just fine for me.

There’s a startling revelation

That I’ve never had to pee.


Like a wicker orca filled with peanuts riding on antique skis

Like that face you make just before you have to sneeze

Like a leopard who needs a slap

Like a ghost without a map.

A prepubescent hagfish redefines

All the treadmills made of mines.

And the treadmills run on time.


The Earth the Mirth

a trip to the renaissance festival…

Down the hatch.

We be nonparticipant observers today. Today is only science.

We endeavored to look upon a strange world with stranger eyes.

This is anthropology.

My head becomes heavy and my umbrella turns to wax in my hands.

The bearded one guides me.

Look around.

This is the real haunted safari.

The tatterdemalion trappings of folklore and the nauseating hues and fabrics from the contemporary realm clash all too loudly here.

The madrigal folk are roused and we walk among them.

A coven of nuns produce a heavenly note.

The starry bearded one escorts us down the rabbit hole.

People are exaggerated distortions, caricatures of themselves and none seem to know but I.

These bionic and cockeyed entities from past and present lope along like decaying creatures lost without a time.

These are sad dinosaur folk.

An owl woman pivots backwards to spy me. She does not belong here any more than I do. But she doesn’t know it.

Mankind is a sick, leering Ethiopian jungle show.

I wonder, can these twisted creatures see me? But can they really see me as I see them? As comical self-caged animals?

Painted heads on stilts and fairy book characters lurk in this forest land.

They do not exist but they live here still.

It is laughter and pageantry and I cannot help but laugh at the humor as well as the horror of it all.

My grin stretches outside the boundaries of flesh. I cannot contain my delight.

Women have exchanged faces with their children. Men have become hunched and bird-like.

A cloaked figure disappears and then returns. He is a man so bird-like you forget he has hands. He’s trying to blend in with this freakshow.

Sterile and wrong faces float through an all too vivid environment. The cloaked one unnerves me.

Study them, I must.

We explored deeper and I saw the wuffel beast. What a tragic punctuation to a winding grove full of bearded ladies and magic.

Fat plumes out of ill-fitted sloppy clothing producing the illusion of stout human bowling pins of gelatin. But is it illusion?

Jangled expressions and mangled reflections.

Everyone is tired from dragging their chains.

At our highest moment we depart the dying revelers only to be cast out into the deadness of space.

A silent, vacant land of identical cars resides here. No joy and no people. No magic.

It is a mechanical graveyard and it sets one on edge.

Without the forest’s canopy to shield us from atmospheric attack we are at last exposed to the elements.

There is no blue or bright colors of any kind. All is muted death.

The ominous gray clouds loom impossibly close. There are no trees to keep them at a safe distance here.

Enough of this. If the fair be a lie I want lies.

We return once more to immerse ourselves in the curious juxtaposition of the wooded faux-culture of magic and ugly, parasitic tourism.

People still lope as in a sad evolutionary parade and the fair folk’s yarns fall on mostly undeserving and deaf ears,

But one must laugh at such horrors as these or else one will surely go mad.

The Story of the Tea-making Coat Unsinkable or: a Plea for the Preservation of Antiques.

The coat: a grand apparatus
And it ever wilt be
Supreme in stature and status.
This is my tale, my plea.

I sleep in a dark room
When I am not worn.
Around me moths have loomed
Since the day I was born.

The moths are patiently waiting
To munch me clean through.
‘Pon me masticating
Now I’m no longer new.

In my day I made fine tea
For all who would allow
A coat near kettles large and wee.
And I served it with a bow.

I now rest on an old table
Next to discarded toys.
I am the coat unsinkable
Neglected by girls and boys.

The sun scampers through the trees
And all are gone but me.
Is there no one that I can please
With my fur, my warmth, my tea?

The moon is laughing at my plight.
It is doubtless he will leave.
To make him go away I might
Plug my neck-hole with a sleeve.

Glowworms bare their eerie light.
I do not wish to fuss,
But coats do not like the night
Unless someone is in us.

I recall one time when
Sleet fell like buckets of water
And my owner decided then
To drape me ‘pon his granddaughter.

I kept her dry as best I could
But was useless I admit
To the old man who was so good
And who payed dearly for it.

By fire we dried our strain
And the girl began to cry
For walking out in the rain
Made dear grandpa die.

There was nothing I could do, you see.
He had done the unthinkable.
I tried to cheer her up with tea
But was no longer the coat unsinkable.

Tortured by one thought,
More than I could smother,
I saved one life but ne’er forgot
In so doing took another.

Now I am for sale
And this event still lingers
In my mind, never stale,
Like songs by sad singers.

Doubtless time will not remember
The man who wore me proudly
And saved the girl that one December
And departed this world not loudly.

The moths are now chewing.
I still recall the old man’s deed.
Yet no one is pursuing
To buy me or pay me heed.

Not only can I keep you warm
And make you delicious tea,
But can tell of sacrifice not norm
If you’d open your ears and see.

Once the moths have finished,
You’ll have allowed a desecration.
And what this man did shall be diminished
To butterfly defecation.

Why I Think That Dolphins Are Monstrously Overrated

In regards to my limited knowledge of poetry
I am led to believe all poems are about dolphins
And dolphins quite undoubtedly and predictably,
almost absolutely certainly
are obviously
and pretentiously, quite specifically
going to result in total boredom and even, perhaps, monotony.

From this it follows that dolphins are monstrously overrated.
It’s really not that complicated.
A more appalling thing could not make me more aggravated
Than the principle of which I’ve previously stated.

It’s a stimuli I’d rather not have unfurled.
Solemnly I maintain my agitation.
I’m surprised more people aren’t suffering more acerbation
From the grim realization, a most remarkable revelation,
Perhaps even astute observation
Of this silly stipulation
And all other connotation
Since the dawning of creation
Regarding this radical insinuation,
Without further elaboration,
At risk of exacerbation,
That no one’s made the variation to escape into broader imagination
Out of this concept’s relation…
To the real world.

In the words of my ancestors,
As they most likely said it,
“I hate dolphins,” there, you read it.
And now to the first person who led it
Onto the pages to permanently embed it
Into my mind and yours, good readers,
The idea of the dolphin, those lousy cheaters
I’d much rather be contemplating glue and eggbeaters.
Who they have dolphins as our world leaders
When good ol’ “Dubya” is more alert than the average of Wal-Mart greeters?
I’m sorry, it’s just that dolphins really try my meters.

To capitalize on prior arguments,
Well, you heard it all ladies, gents.
You be the judge of all these infuriating comments.
Are dolphins worthy of any overlarge monuments?
And I think the dolphins owe us a few compliments.

If you are truly American residents
You cannot deny this creature’s resonance
That’s become such a huge and unstoppable pain in pants.
“Stop the dolphin ” you’d proclaim without ignorance,
“This animal must be stopped ”

Well, I hope I’ve made my point, if not I’ll try again.
And if this doesn’t work, I swear it’s to the corner to count to ten.
Dolphins have, in the past, made me irritated.
For a while I thought it was gone, but it regenerated.
And if not now, in the near future I’d like them to be completely abated
From poems, and in fact, anything else even a little related
And then you fine people may truly be liberated,
This foe finally terminated, you may finally be compensated
For the years lost to this menace that’s been thoroughly underestimated,
For behold; this dilemma is not today outdated…
The dolphin is monstrously overrated.