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Another Fine Mess

03 April, 2019: Another Fine Mess


Another Fine Mess

by dan smith

You never quite got Laurel and Hardy.
The fat domineering one.
The skinny seemingly acquiescent one.
All that business with the hats.
The thoughtlessness.
Trying to get the piano ( too big )
through the doorway ( too narrow )
and then the insane destruction
unleashed on the entire house.
You have to laugh
at their Sisyphean efforts
because it’s not you
and you don’t notice that you are the piano
and your parents are destroying the house
thinking the piano unscathed
each blaming the other for the dissonance.

“Another Fine Mess” by dan smith, from While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem: Cleveland Salon 2013 Anthology. Kattywompus Press, 2013. Used by permission of the author.

dan smith is the author of three chapbooks: Crooked River (Deep Cleveland Press), The Liquid of Her Skin, the Suns of Her Eyes (Night Ballet Press) and Manic of Days (Buckeye Midnight Press). His poems have appeared in the Rhysling Anthology, Dwarf Stars, Renegade Flowers: d. a. levy and the Digital Revolution Anthology, Zombies for a Cure Anthology, Smoke Mist and Mirror Anthology, Lip Smack Anthology, Jerry Jazz Musician and most recently in Gas Station Famous. Dan has received both a first and third place prize in the Hessler Street Poetry Contests. 


If you have ever been robbed, write an invective (a poem attacking or insulting) the thief. If you have never been robbed, write an incantation to keep thieves away.


Gordon Nakagawa
'You're the same as us'
Ascribing Whiteness to me
I've not recovered
4/4/2019 10:56:51 PM

What I could do
If I could keep it all
Toiled for it,
Earned it
Pay professionals to recover what is mine
Pay for things I don't support
Pay for an unnecessary shutdown
Just because...
Your tantrum over your wall of hate
You've got more than me
More than most
Spend yours, and let me spend mine
4/4/2019 10:11:14 PM


Five dollar bill that was sitting on the table by my right hand full of fingers
No longer there
Bourbon Street bistro called
Absinthe probably not there now
Some years after the hurricane, you know, that one,
And still I'm thinking about that fin and where did it go
While I was people watching
for the first time in that sultry city
Loving it. Wanting
real absinthe
the cause of Vincent's mania
not mine
Where did that five dollars go?
4/3/2019 5:54:58 PM

N. K. Hasen
From powers that be above
I throw salt around house perimeter;
I throw salt around car too
With this candle I walk around
I say stay away thieves do not come;
Curse it be if you do
This salt will stay upon your shoe
Will lead anyone to find you too
4/3/2019 3:01:55 PM

Bettyann kovacs
My third year.......look forward to this every day in April. Bettyann kovacs
4/3/2019 1:22:24 PM

To a thief

We have nothing to steal here.
Just some cell phones, a television that sits on the floor, a toaster oven if you are inclined to breakfast before work.
Mom says that someone steals her shoes, her shirts, even her size 9 purple panties. So maybe you have come and gone, light fingers plucking things that she can no longer list.
Still, we have nothing to steal here.
Our girl is away, tossing and turning.
(Yes, thieves are everywhere)
Our cat cries out for attention, a scratch, a rubdown.
And we are stumbling into old age -- ahh, but not quite yet -- like mated geese.
We have nothing to steal here, thief.
And everything.
4/3/2019 10:53:46 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.