Barnum & Bailey

by Joseph D. Reich


You wonder what the casting-call looks like for erectile
dysfunction (even wonder when those doctors gathered
around the hospital and came up with the medical term
for that definition; now have special positions for doctors
called hospitalists and back then in the eighties drug dealers
i grew up with ended up carrying those beepers like they
were always on-call just like those cardiologists and out
of work actors and everything became diluted and lost
its magic) and so can’t stand all those very mature
commercials showing all those very mature middle-
aged couples with all that little cutesy seductive
laughter of before and after and prefer it being
a little more explicit and getting down to the
nitty-gritty witnessing all their filthy positions.
i view childhood as this image of stealing
one of those magic eight balls and being
chased like mad down the block shaking
it back and forth hoping and praying they
won’t catch up constantly looking desperately
over my shoulder…i view childhood as a lot
of trickling folklore and action and adventure;
adulthood having misplaced my laugh track
hearing lauren tewes that tour guide or something
like that in her powder-blue dress and million-
dollar smile for the love boat finally took
off cause she wanted more money having
developed something a coke habit, growing
up to that old doors tune, like some holy
hallelujah funeral dirge–“hello i love you
won’t you tell me your name/hello i love you”
never getting a return answer…want to die
happily ever after on the beach under one
of those bended palm trees in one of those
glossy postcards in the paradise of the sun-
shine state which reads “florida” scribbled in
forget-me-not orange; the postcard carousel
with all those options and lovely little photos
being the spinning, spitting version
of the long-term eternal ‘so much
depended on a brand new
pair of pumas…’

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