Abigail is an optometrist.
Brandon is a barista.
Cherise is also an optometrist.
Dakota is from South Dakota.
Ester is an envelope technician.
Franklin is a stagecoach driver (of the previous century).
Gerald prefers Gerry.
Harriet is a horticulturist.
Isaac—Isaac isn’t interested.
Justine is weird.
K. is more than an initial.
Larry served two tours.
Melanie, of Melanie’s Sweet Sixteen Boutique and Dress Shop.
Nadine, originally from Bushwick.
Olaf (with a lisp) is four and a half.
Penelope, of course, and all her suitors.
Quincy! Oh, Quincy!
Roger refurbishes furniture.
Steven is a drummer.
Thalia is French Canadian.
Uma, well who knows?
Virginia is from North Dakota.
Yolanda calculates spacetime.
Zane, smoking their cigarette.
What Should We Bring to the Party?
A bag of at least the smallest of strawberries
wouldn’t even help us now. Wouldn’t begin to
stem the tide of misfortune and woe, the deleterious
effects of total brain fever, a provincial class of devils
here to upset our evening—and worse, to slander our names,
and those of our elders, across the storefronts of this luckless,
moth-ridden town. To the east lies the ocean, plastered over
with marauding bands of jellyfish, blobfish, specter eels,
and various other creatures of the deep. To the west lies
the mountains, or so we guess. Could be the mountains,
or could be the backs of gigantic elephants; or then again,
could be poisonous clouds of brimstone and ash billowing
from the world’s tiniest volcano. You just never know.
Even that wandering wise man, even he didn’t know.
“Aloha,” said the
Bolsheviks at the
corner store atop
Donkey Kong Mountain.
“English pitbulls for sale,” yelled the
Garbage trucks, their motors blazing,
halted on the slopes.
If and when the
kaleidoscopes nestled smartly in her
Risk averse to
TVs, and telepathic guardsmen
under cover of the night.
Virginia is for lovers.
What do you mean by that?
Ye of little faith.
Only I know why dogs have wet noses.
Why they trot along the roadside,
oblivious of their credit scores.
I was wrong to be so drunk at the funeral,
especially before the mayor and her husband—
all the good they’ve done this town.
Like the glacial world of the Pleistocene.
Yet still, I have no regrets.
Only I know why dogs bark.
Only I know the difference between a rock dove
and a typical pigeon.
I kiss you with my wet nose;
I am always snotty.
The real William Shakespeare could never have this much fun.
So here I am all dolled up in my monikers
and reveling in the credit.
Just imagine the court gossip!
I give the Queen what she wants—another play about dragons;
she loves watching the monsters wing-beat it to the scene.
Soon a nobleman, a cousin of mine actually,
is getting married; I plan to write something frisky.
Stratford-upon-Avon is so boring,
yet nobody thinks to look there.
I have another family: a wife and children.
I love them like you’d love a stranger,
like a tea kettle boiling in a dream.
Life is like a message scribbled on a piece of cheese
and placed upon a mouse trap.
The real William Shakespeare lives there,
cocked, ready for his moment