Story Arc

nero appears

in a saurian mask
clears his throat

& rome burns.
washes his hands

& rome burns
& rome burns.

some say he lit women
ablaze as a source of light

for his garden.
but when a fire is set

like a table, who has ever seen it
stop eating?

who has seen missouri
reduced to ash

while a policeman
washes his hands.

the villain is an office
to be filled,

someone must wear
the lizard mask

someone must spill
the children,

adjust the appearance
of rust on our collective

unconscious, the lace filigree
used as a gag,

the gaggle of us stare
agog at the grim

policeman given license
to kill & a bullet

melted down
from my grandmother’s

best silver. what she used
to feed our family

Off-Color Humor

“The anguish that has scraped [the comedian’s] nerves and left them raw to every flicker of life is the base of wit.”