The Comatose Clown

It’s hard to tell when someone comes out of a deep coma.
For a while, they’re awake, but not quite aware or alert.
But then, can you really tell when someone else is there or not?
Fred was in deep for a few months before he came back out.
It took about two weeks of physical therapy before he could walk again.
Sure enough, as he was crossing the street, another bus hit him.
This time, he was down for good.
We dress him up in a clown outfit, makeup and all.
And wheel him around the pediatric oncology ward.

Lottery Winner

The Lottery Commissioner scanned Ted’s ticket.
“It’s good,” he said. “See you tomorrow.”
They shook hands, and eventually, Ted fell asleep on the sofa.
The next day, Ted woke up to the most spectacular sunrise he’d ever seen.
Manhattan penthouse view, surrounded by windows.
Butlers offering him breakfast, setting out clothes for the day.
Ted suffered endless interviews while celebrities and partiers filled the air with music and laughter.
“Yeah, it’s great,” lied Ted, wanting to enjoy the moment instead of talk about it.
Afterwards, he fell asleep to a gorgeous sunset view, and woke up on his own sofa.

The Warehouse

My grandfather ran a cooperative grocery warehouse.
We’d walk along narrow twisted passages between the shelves and stacked crates.
Candy and gum were kept in a loft, and we’d fill our pockets Garbage Can-dy.
Those were small plastic trash cans filled with tiny candy fish bone and banana peel shapes.
My grandfather would ask us if we took anything, and we’d always say no.
But he knew. Inventory never lies.
Topps Candy discontinued the Garbage Can-dy here, but you can still order it from Canada.
But I won’t.
Not out of guilt, mind you.
I like Sweet Tarts much better.

Trumpeters

It’s two in the morning, and trumpeters are out on the streets, trumpeting.
They have bright, shiny trumpets.
They have clean, fancy uniforms.
From their snazzy shoes, all the way up to their magnificent hats.
They’re strolling down the avenue, casual and relaxed.
The air fills with the sound of trumpets. So many trumpets.
And it’s horrible. So noisy.
Because bright, shiny trumpets and clean, fancy uniforms don’t make trumpeters.
Knowing how to play a trumpet makes you a trumpeter.
Some people spray water hoses. Others throw rocks.
Buckle your seat belt. Let’s see how many we can run over.

Incense Peddler

I love the smell of incense.
I have closets full of the stuff, and I’m always burning it to make an aromascape of my house.
I can walk around from room to room, navigating just by smell.
I go on trips to find new and rare incense aromas.
A temple on a mountaintop in India had the most amazing scented incense.
I tried to buy it, but the high priest said it was cursed and not for sale.
So, I stole it, and brought it home.
My house burned down while I slept.
But as it did, it smelled amazing.

Batman’s End

i remember
when batman
completely
lost his shit
instead of
capturing bad guys
he left their
battered
mutilated
defiled bodies
hanging from lamp posts
at first
nobody wanted to
believe
it’s really joker
two-face
those guys did it
until they showed up
dead
too
riddler turned himself in
practically begged
arkham asylum
filled up quickly
then
batman bombed it
killing everyone
enemies
nurses
doctors
everyone
commissioner gordon
obtained a warrant
for bruce wayne
vigilante heroes
hunted gotham
looking for bruce
they found him
in a cave
under his mansion
along with
his butler
alfred
hanging from ropes
covered with bats

The Eternal Capital

The current administration refuses to allow people born in Jerusalem the right to put Jerusalem, Israel on their passports.
They say that it is taking a position in the ongoing dispute over the city.
Yet, the State Department has its Arab-speaking consulate in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their eternal capital.
Every time someone runs for president, they say that they will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
But once they get elected, the former candidate sheds their campaign promise and continues the policy.
Then the next wave of candidates make their promises. To eternally raise capital funds.

The Big Sleep

Ted needed a new mattress, so he tried one with coils and springs.
The recoil threw him into the ceiling.
Then, he tried a sleep number bed. But the bed wasn’t so good at math, and he ended up spending all night working out long division with an abacus.
After that, he bought a memory foam mattress.
But this one was defective. At first, he thought it had some kind of amnesia, but it turned out to be early-onset Alzheimers. He forgot his dreams.
In the end, he decided to cross the mob, and he peacefully slept with the fishes.

Together Forever

Sometimes, I like to take peyote and watch the shapes in the flames.
Tonight, I’m seeing my friend Billy.
He and I had been talking about the old times, when we were kids.
School and Little League and camp and all that shit.
Oh, and we talked about Jenny.
I fell in love with her. Billy fell in love with her.
Billy won, I lost.
And they were happy together.
But I wasn’t happy.
I tried, believe me, I tried.
But it hurt so much.
So, I set Billy on fire.
And when Jenny comes home, her too.
Together. Forever.

Television Upgrade

I recently visited my parents.
They have two old square televisions. They were blurry, low-definition, and letterboxed the video feeds.
So, I bought them a big flat-panel television, a wall-mount, and a disk player. Oh, and a box of high-definition scenery to use during the rainy dark days of winter.
They were going to upgrade their cable, but they went with a satellite provider instead.
I got an email from my dad that says the picture quality is great on the television in the bedroom.
Except that’s one of the square televisions. The new flat-panel is in the living room.