Sunday, January 31, 2016

3 poems

by chuck leary

illustrations by palomine studios

i rented a room

the air was smoky
the banana was yellow
the clown was sad
the doll was mellow

the elephant smiled
the flower grew
the grass was green
and heaven was blue

i rented a room
on the 17th floor
the angels were winning
but the demons kept score

i looked at the wall
and the wall looked back
i heard old number 9
coming down the track

the impetus waned
as the joker relaxed
the king fell asleep
the lady paid tax

the waiter approached
with a bill on a tray
the king woke up
and said please go away

i saw it myself
as i sat by the door
because lions prowl
and oceans roar

the market flourished
noodles expanded
the octopus drifted
the piano glad-handed

the queen wore a hat
the refrigerator hummed
the snake said good night
and called the tarantula scum

upstairs in the moonlight
a violin screamed
the walrus ate peanuts
at the nexus of dreams

the maid swept up
the peanut shells on the floor
sixteen orangutans
banged on the door

an impolite yawn
zero balance is spent
all of you villains
are behind in your rent

i texted my mom
and my mom texted me
you’re my own flesh and blood
but this is not poetry

i rented a room - the director's cut



lady in waiting




all of you
behind in your rent


i walked in
to the room

and she said
what are you

doing here ?
and i sat

down in the
old armchair

that had be-
longed to her

and where her

liked to watch

reruns of

Sunday, January 24, 2016

room 4404

by chuck leary

illustrations by danny delacroix

i had never heard of jonathon and i had never been to new york so i was surprised when jonathon invited me to stay with him at the grand hotel.

i packed in a hurry. actually my aunt miranda packed for me so i did not really know what i had in my suitcase.

the hotel was very wide, at least on the outside. there was a lot of work going on both outside and inside it, so i had to duck under and around a lot of wooden boards and cans of paint and burly workmen to get to the front desk.

our room number was 4404. the 44th floor!

the man at the front desk gave me a key and i went up by myself on the elevator, as there were no bellhops to be seen.

on the elevator i had many strange adventures.

when i finally got to room 4404 the door was open and i just walked in.

jonathon was talking on the phone, and just nodded absently at me when i walked in.

the room was actually a suite - a series of long and narrow rooms.

as jonathon continued talking in low tones on the telephone, i went over and looked out the window.

the window overlooked a beach, a sort of bay or inlet. on the other side of the bay tall cliffs rose up.

i was hungry, and wondered what we would have for dinner.

i must have dozed off, for when i woke up jonathon was gone.

i was alone.

i decided to unpack.

when i unpacked i quickly discovered that aunt miranda had packed a number of grandfather’s old golf clubs along with a lot of warm clothing that i did not think was appropriate for the weather outside.

five golf clubs to be exact. what was i to do with five golf clubs!

i decided to go in search of something to eat, and some more suitable garments.

when i checked my pockets i discovered that my wallet was missing, along with my passport!

but as i was a presentable and civilized person i thought kind people would help me when i explained my predicament to them.

and i had no doubt that jonathon would return eventually and everything would be straightened out.

i went back to the elevator and had more strange adventures.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

walking after midnight

by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

illustrations by eddie el greco

the sky is blue
the clouds are white
i sleep by day
and walk at night

my father drives a yellow cab
my mother takes in washing
behind the purple mountain
i hear the ocean sloshing

my sister is a naughty girl
my brother is a thief
the stories i could tell you
are quite beyond belief

they took me to the station
and made me pronounce my vowels
they let me go at midnight
i heard a werewolf howl

the night was dark and windy
and cold as it could be
i passed a pretty lady
but she did not smile at me

she might have been a vampire
waiting for the dawn
i turned around to watch her
but she was already gone

i walked along the seashore
and heard a shark’s teeth click
i passed by abraham lincoln
swinging a hickory stick

next came william mckinley
looking white and fat and sad
i don’t know what he was thinking
but it must have been pretty bad

then along came woodrow wilson
at a brisk and vigorous walk
i saluted him respectfully
but he had no time to talk

i passed by winston churchill
but he only scowled at me
and i hurried past the castle
because i wanted to be free

i ran on past the ferris wheel
and heard the whole world spin
then i saw a fancy restaurant
but they wouldn’t let me in

i’m just as good as anyone
i have always felt it so
but some folks live up on the hill
and others down below

i wish i could be famous
like john wayne or cleopatra
and then i try to tell myself
that it really doesn’t matter

napoleon had an army
roosevelt had friends
i walk the earth all by myself
i guess it all depends

some folks wish for power
others wish for love
some just wish for money
but they never get enough

if only i could figure out
the reason i was born
i would put a smile upon my face
and not be so forlorn

if i could only figure out
why we all exist
i would write it in this poem
and fade into the mist