Jon Wesick

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The Parrots of Greenland

The grizzly bear balanced on a unicycleArtwork by Gene McCormick
until Bernie Madoff Elementary let out.
Serves the school board right
for giving AK-47s to kindergarteners.
Everyone knows little hands
can’t hold anything bigger than an Uzi

That’s how it goes in my Montana beach town.
Kangaroos in wetsuits surf by the pier
and camels in SCUBA gear spear fresh carp.
Our symphony orchestra plays cover tunes
at the Coyote Bar where jellyfish carpaccio
sells for market price. Only arctic rattlesnakes

Today, the president released his plans to stimulate
the economy with homemade porn.
But you know what they say. It’s hard to smell
a gorilla once his breath has been to an orgy.
So, unless Democrats nominate Jerry Springer in 2020,
Mitch McConnell will remain the voice of reason.

A Wonderful Life

Republican Congressmen loiter on my doorstep,
shout partisan slurs, and crush cigarette butts
into my welcome mat with patent-leather shoes.
I run their gauntlet of heckling and cat calls
but outside there are only traffic jams,
rejection, and the crushing of my dreams
between commerce’s titanium gears.

Ah, the life of a shut in! What if
I’d refused to go on that first day of kindergarten
or sat arms folded when mom told me to go play outside?
Instead of graham crackers and wooden desks,
sunshine through a prism painting rainbows on white walls.

This would be no Frank Capra movie.
No candidate angel would dissuade me
from my boycott of the world outside.

Instead of jack-booted principals, teenage Visigoths,
and false machismo in high school hallways;
Johnny Carson, frozen dinners, James Bond
and Robert Heinlein paperbacks, and my tricolored collie
rolling on her back, mouth open in a doggy smile.

Instead of meetings, deadlines,
and some company’s idiotic projects;
stillness, blessed stillness, a turquoise teapot,
the chimes of an ice cream truck in the distance.


Jon Wesick hosts Southern California’s best ice cream parlor poetry reading and is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. Jon is the author of the poetry collection Words of Power, Dances of Freedom as well as several novels.