Sorry About Your Poem

I’m sorry I did not understand your poem.
Really so incredibly sorry.
You held it up to show that it was printed in a shape.
You were very excited and so was I.
I hadn’t really caught the title,
but you were so happy,  I let it go.

I’m sorry I did not understand your poem
The shape was a nut, maybe an acorn I thought.
There were winter scenes and images
of bright eyes, longing for special treats.
Then I understood it was a dreidel,
and your cousins Nathan and Sahara,
were celebrating the joy of Hanukkah!
Not two hungry  squirrels at Winter’s Solstice like I thought.

I’m sorry I did not understand your poem.
You cried then, and told me the shape was a heart.
A heart, your heart, you said
because this was a love poem, written because
you loved me, or used to think you did.
I felt horrible making you cry and for being such an oaf.
Then I was crying too, and laughing crazy.
Because I had always loved you, and never thought you’d notice.

I’m sorry I did not understand you poem,
but now I do.

Gert’s Dilemma

Gert Grundy had about all she could take of her niece Cassidy Cheyenne and her god damn holier than thou attitude, tossing down a “Two much information” penalty flag with an extra huge box-car load of heavy mascara eye rolling.
Who the heck was she, with her chopped and cropped Motley Crue top and her low gunslinger grimy bottoms, her tramp-stamp tattoos of skeletal hands and Hells own flames climbing climbing up out of her unwashed personal situation.
Just one mention of the old days when Gert played the roadhouse circuit with her exotic dance routine “Ginger And Her Snaps”, one little mention of a twist and a tumble in the double sleeper of a purple Peterbilt with Texas tags and now Cassidy was all crapily disposed and huffy.
I like that, thought Gert, Jesus himself knows I love her, but that girl with her no-account trailer trash unemployed  friends, drinking beer and being snippy and rude after what all I done for her, alright,…. for her momma to be truthful (won’t never forget that drunk “Thelma and Louise”  summer of ours), and I made her momma a promise before she got sent away to do right by her child, and one way or t’other I will.
From the bottom of the “Farm n’ Family” sized Quaker Oaks container Gert fished out her solution and unwrapping it from the Hoppin’ Rabbit plastic bag while she sorted out the mail, opening one letter of especial particular interest and saw there was a might choice to make, which she pondered as she absentmindedly slipped bullets into her big old Smith & Wesson revolver now free of the bag.
Gert’s mind shifting back and forth between loading the gun and reading that letter, choices, choices what to do?  should she just plain shoot Cassidy Cheyenne dead right where slumped on the porch next to the spare washing machine, passed out from smoking cheap weed, or rob another highway package store and get a little money towards an expensive future, a hard hard nut to crack indeed.
Oh, the hell, do the right thing I suppose, wake the kid, tell her the news that she’s going to off to school in the fall, then later on go rob up some money towards tuition, Med School at Yale ain’t gonna come cheap!

by-Doug Mathewson

Smartest Man On Earth

Uncle Art was the smartest man on the planet for sure. He proved it everyday just being wrong. That may sound crazy, but know what? It worked out right. Three seasons he traveled from Maine to Miami and back, working his act on seaside boardwalks. Winters he and Aunt Vera relaxed in their little trailer on Narragansett Bay. He changed his name and his costume fairly often to, as he would say “Keep the act fresh. Be relevant in today’s market.” Well, that seemed a bit much, but like I said, he was the smartest man on earth. Some times he was “Frankie Future” and wore a space suit and a turban. For “Marcello the Mysterious” a tux with his turban. He might be a time traveler, an ancient mystic swami, or a visitor for the mysterious and undefined seventh dimension. But always, always he wore his signature turban.
The act was straight forward. For three dollars (five seemed too high) he would guess anything about you. Your age, gender, race, country of origin, favorite past time – anything. And since he always “Guessed” wrong, you won. You won a prize worth  three cents or less. A stick of gum, a miniature pocket-comb, maybe an individual tissues in cellophane labeled in Korean. Net gain $2.97. That’s how it worked with the gents and the kids. They would walk away, chewing their gum, or trying out their new inch long comb, laughing about how they got the better of the “Expert Guesser.” Women, being much smarter,  were another situation.
Uncle Art was at his best with the ladies. In the face of all reality and sanity, despite incredibly contrary evidence he told every single woman the same thing. “My dear, you are thirty one years of age, weigh precisely one hundred and twelve pounds. Your family has its roots in south of France, and dare I say… you have a hint of royal blood. That might not have been exactly what you or I would have guessed, but that’s what “Swami Savior-fare” or who ever Uncle Art was at the time told ‘em. And you know what? They all agreed. “Yes” they said, “Francis O’Fourtune was right on all counts, ….. incredibly so! It was absolutely amazing”, they declared, “how anyone, anyone could be so completely, totally, one hundred percent correct.”
And  since Uncle Art was “Right”, he kept the whole three bucks. Sometimes
a particularly happy client would slip him a few extra dollars. He would bend to kiss her hand and whisper “Thank you, … your Highness.” That put a smile on a few faces.
Women got the joke, and men just didn’t. Uncle Art  might “Guess” for six or seven hundred people on a good day in the summer. He’d have given away some gum, a few factory second pocket protectors. He’d come back tired, with a smile on his face, and couple of grand in singles and fives stuffed in his pockets.
Years latter, when he and Aunt Vera finally retired to Florida, people would
ask “So Artie, tell me, what did you do before your retired?” Aunt Vera would jump in and say, “My husband was in information business.

by-Doug Mathewson