Laurence Overmire

* Less Than Infinity

October 12, 1999

Six billion.
Doubled in less than forty years.
Can you count a billion?
Nine zeros times 6
Means what?
Hands, fingers, stomachs, mouths
Six (6,000,000,000) billion
Bracing one against the other
For whatever reasons
The Earth becomes cement
The sky ripped apart
The tiger, the hawk, the elephant
Bones in a graveyard
Overgrown with weeds
Distended open-mouthed babies cry
Choking on air
Too thick to breathe.

* Kerouac

Sounded the drum of his
Spent generation
Bobbity bomp bomp jazz me man

On the road without a home
Drifting through the passing

Nameless streets, forgotten bars
Lampposts dripping on dark corners

Hands to roll a cigarette
Words and women dropping in and out
Bottles to pour salvation

Soothing fire
In the cold flat of night
Eyes open and close

The music sassy, blue
Surprising rhythms

Making it up
Beat by beat
As you go.

The Right Reverend

The Reverend Jedediah Judah Kane Smith
Held the holy book aloft
And spewed damnation on the frightened faithful.

If he could
He would have sent them straight into the fires of Hell
For being human.

Instead, he picked up the stash from the collection plate
And slipped out the back door with Mrs. Thorncrockett
When no one was looking.

Dastardly Dick

Was a User of a Loser
Smooth-shaven pig-hearted boy
So deceivingly dapper in his three-piece suit
He drove a Mercedes without a lease
And combed the trusts of the pretty
Young girls
Through the unzipped locks
Of his nether regions.

His smile opened so many
Unsuspecting doors
That should have been barred with
But too few see beneath
The surface
The sparkle in the eye that only glitters
In the darkest of places.

* "Less Than Infinity" was first published in Hinterland Litzine, and "Kerouac" first appeared in Pogonip.

© by Laurence Overmire

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