Friday, July 8, 2016

A Poem by Jeff Grimshaw

Friday Morning with Ducks

There is no difference between
Ducks and mechanical ducks
From my vantage point
Or rather my
Of vantage points
As I negotiate the
Mesconetkong Creek Bridge
Although I have no reason
(Cough!) to believe that
Any of the ducks
Are mechanical ducks
Not even the one
Jerking his head back and forth
Watching the bread crumbs
Float by
Like a mechanical duck
Doing a bad imitation
Of a cartoon duck
At a cartoon
Tennis match

I am en route to
The post office
I should subscribe to more magazines
I will have to do some research
And see which ones make
The best paper airplanes

My Sherpa assistant
Is in the vestibule of
The health food store
Eating a bag of healthy
Potato Chips
And wondering if the song
They are playing on the radio in there
Is a country song or not
Because it is what he
Always wonders.  "Jeff,"
He'll say, "Is this one a country song?"
"No, Pasang, this is 'Bohemian
Rhapsody' by Queen.  If you want to hear
A country song you have to listen
To a country station."
And then he'll make a notation on
A 7 Grain Bread label and five
Minutes later say, "What about
This one, Jeff?  Is this one
A country sond?"  And
I say, "No, Pasang, this is still
'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen," and
He makes another notation and
This goes on all goddamn night

But now he's eating his healthy blue
Potato chips and I am
Wiping the ducks off my retina
By checking out
A 17 year old girl with a
Pierced belly button
It is unseasonably warm
For January thank God although
The pierced lip I could
Do without

My cell phone bill!
A postcard announcing
Brookdale Community College is presenting Little
Shop of Horrors next month!  A mutual
Fund prospectus!  An envelope full of
Discount coupons I will never
Use!  My post office
Box is a Gateway to Exotic
Adventure  and Unsolicited

Ducks and (perhaps) mechanical
Ducks and Pasang and the teenage girl
With the belly ring all bob
In my wake like flotsam

My God it is February 3rd and
I have not changed the calendar page!!

So I take care of that
The mad dash back home is frankly
A blur and the artist
Who lives next door
Is sweeping cat food
Misfired ice melt & elderly
French-fries from
The sidewalk
Wearing her smock so everybody
Knows she's an artist
I suspect sapphic tendencies as
Well but then of course
I always do she has a slightly
Unhealthy blue cast because
I am watching through the
Sheer blue curtains which
Sometimes when the sun
Floods through them makes
My gargoyle pencil holder
Look blue but not particularly


Someone is selling a PT Cruiser for
8K or Best Price
The UCC is having a pancake-and-sausage
Breakfast tomorrow.  Gene the
Town drunk is
Lurching down towards the
Delaware with a 24 pack of
Not particularly tasty beer
Earlier today I was stopped at
A red light and he asked me
How my daughter was doing
But did not pay
Overly much attention to
My reply and just now
The artist paused in her
Sweeping to consume
A bottle of Yoo Hoo
I like the way she
Smears the Yoo Hoo mustache off
Her upper lip and decides
This chick
Is no lesbian.

A delivery of French bread sticks
To the restaurant across
The street!  Zut alors!

And now out one more time before
Lunch (meatloaf on
Rye or failing that
Tuna salad) and the ducks take
Off, quacking or (could be)
Clanking, into the air,

And from up there
The car roofs
Are just so many
Blue and Red and especially
Silver potato chips

And even 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by
Queen is just barely audible
Enough to permit the ducks to smile
Although of course their bills
Will not.

Jeff Grimshaw has had poems and stories published (among other places) in New York Quarterly, Asimov's SF, Pyrokinection, and Chiron Review.  He's the co-writer of the screenplay for Michel Gondry's movie The We & the I (2013).  He generally makes his living as a baker, and lives in Milford, NJ.

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