Wednesday, May 19, 2010


-with apologies to Arthur Tress

Strangely enough,

It all starts with Adam West and Eva Gabor

(having been cast, here, as a sort of

flawlessly wholesome American Hansel and Gretel)

gathering up sheaves of wheat

in the red-gold glow of a setting sun,

the whole thing set to a lush accompaniment

of angels with Chinese eyes

playing strange, other-worldly instruments.

And now, the smoky ghost of a former farm cat,

A miniature horse and a miniature shark

Are just about to embark on a truly incredible journey

Of potentially epic proportions.

And Johnny Socko and Giant Robot

Are finally done with their daring-do adventuring

For another day (having saved the day,

Once again, from the clutches of the evil Professor Hex

And the Dragon Lady from Mars)

And are now slowly spiraling down

Into a deep and dreamless sleep.

And Caruso, reviving his most famous role of Pagliaccio,

Is giving voice lessons to Anne Boleyn

(or is it Jane Mansfield) while some

Bit-part player (you know you've seen her

A million times, before) done-up in cliché

Antebellum slave-girl garb is grinning

A near-rictus grin and beating out a jungle beat

On an old washtub and a tambourine

And an (as yet) unidentified goddess or muse

Is waiting, anxiously, in the wings for her cue.

And down in the coliseum,

The wise man Laocoon and his sons,

Antiphantes and Thymbraeus are training

For their big steel-cage rematch

With the hot and deadly snakes of the under-world.

And all the while,

A butterfly sits dreaming on a railroad spike;

A dream of suddenly waking from a dream

And finding oneself to be nothing less

Than The Great American Everyman, himself,

Who (it will eventually be revealed

through a succession of wildly probable events)

Has somehow come into possession

(one could very easily name it either a curse

Or a blessing) of a magical toy chicken

That lays chocolate eggs covered in 14K gold leaf.

No one could possibly predict what happens next

Or how the whole thing finally ends.

-Jason Ryberg, 2010

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