Alternative by David Spicer

The chanteuse sang in the euthanasia galleria.
Trombones fused to the death guru’s waltz,
cyanide on special for bald honeymooners.
I lost my elbow there–amazed, I became
the stagehand smug as a statuette.
I developed a taste for almonds,
catered to an adulteress who covered me with cream,
wore bronco boots, and cooked with butane.
She posed in a cage as the chanteuse perplexed
everybody’s checkbook and plagiarized time
from the Indian clock. Servants of eternity,
shareholders of the tabloid. Eating grits
to grab the sieve of a petrified corpse.
The chanteuse surprised the adulteress,
recanted no songs in this scenario
of murder commercials. Predicted she
and I’d be champion neighbors. The death guru
criticized us. A new triad launched.
Damaged books banged against the neon
of the dismissing room. The boots.
The chanteuse and her tongue,
love songs our dash of hope.

David Spicer has had poems in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The New Verse News, The Laughing Dog, Chiron Review, Easy Street, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, among others, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net twice and a Pushcart, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), and four chapbooks. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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