democracy is hard
democracy is ugly
the amerika that wallows
in the one religion
in gun love
personified in the heartland
with voters voting
against their own needs
against their own interests
a sick throat cutting
it’s a greedy Pig
that’s got to be fed
& the Pig knows
the fear buttons to push
to keep getting fed
in the Kingdom of Fear
the Pig won again
Archive for the Mark James Andrews Category
democracy is hard
Farmer lights his smoke.
Horse whinnies and takes a shit.
Stinkfinger hayride done.
I had finished pumping gas
slid in the driver’s seat
& a praying mantis entered our minivan
& landed on my clenched fist
white knuckles on the steering wheel
safety belted in the Captain’s seat
chomping at the bit
to begin our American journey.
The mantis swiveled his head 180 degrees
fixed me with his monster wide set eyes
& told me I was dying
that my wife in the passenger seat
digging in & inventorying her purse
full of life in tank top & cutoff jeans was dying
that our 3 kids in the back seat
laughing & sucking at Slurpee straws
flipping through super hero comics
diapering baby dolls
fingering plastic worms & fishing lures
were circling the drain
on the fast track to pushing up daisies
or the convenient crematory reduction.
I snatched the swivel headed bastard
& shot him to the outstretched fingers
going “Gimme Gimme” in the back seat
waiting to pass him around & inspect
gripping the slim long thorax
going eyeball to eyeball with him
jamming him in a plastic cup to get cooled off
in the last of the red shaved ice.
The praying mantis survived the family vacation.
I don’t know how but he did.
I was through with him & his sorry reminders
but the kids confined him to an unused aquarium
on an aged leatherette playing card table
in a damp corner of our screened summer porch
40 gallons of empty algae glazed glass & red gravel
where he was confined for the duration of summer
standing statuesque on a grid of branches.
Through most of the day the praying mantis was alone
& I would sneak peeks at him staring back at me
proud & defiant with his portents of death
but in the late afternoon or early evenings
he was visited & sustained by neighborhood hordes
led by my offspring & heirs with their presentations to him.
At day’s end the children caught honey bees,
yellow jackets, bumblebees, & sweat bees
in jam jars, Dixie Cups, any available vessel
& released them through the screened flip top
that imprisoned their silent & rigid pet.
The captured bugs fell in the glass box dazed
for they were rough caught & stunned senseless
but gradually they came back animated
& totally unaware of the stick figure
with the recumbent spiked grasping forelegs.
The mantis never failed to stop praying
when frantic weakness was on display
flying or crawling within his range.
His response was lightning quick
& he was always successful striking out
with his leg hands no longer posed in prayer
always making good on his word
as the laughing cheering young looked on.
Hard yanging the soft yin abated as I have whiskey dick for now.
Hardboiling in Harlem:
Coffin Ed Johnson & Gravedigger Jones
pissed off with all the red tape & ass kicking
take Breakfast at Tiffany’s uptown.
Upper East Side.
3-Way with Holly Golightly.
Cigarette holder & all the accoutrements.
You can leave your hat on.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
You can’t give your heart to a wild thing.
I was delivering pizzas for Dino at Roma’s on Halloween Night. Driving my Dodge and wishing the radio worked. My job was to feed the hungry. I wanted them to be filled, to be satisfied. That’s about it. Tonight I was the Catcher in the Rye on the look-out for the little beggars stepping off curbs into oncoming traffic.
The parade of angels and demons, soldiers and hippies, ghosts, witches and vampires into the pizzeria was mundane to me. Like Santa Claus. Like the Easter bunny. Skeletons? Bat Man?
Dino had baked waffle cookies, pizzelles, to give out. 3 platters stacked high. Word got out and they were gone in 20 minutes.
“Fuckathis. We give out pennies now.”
Finally a spark. Something. I had a run of five pies to The Duke, the neighborhood go-go bar. The caller was Mack. Each pie ordered was different and not the sort to be coming out of our neighborhood. Mack’s orders were precise and unique in his demands for toppings and arrangements. Plain pizza with heavy sauce, extra oregano and no cheese. Number 2 with extra pepperoni, anchovies on half, artichokes on half…
Dino prepared the pizzas for The Duke with loving care, boxed them up, stacked them high and stapled the ticket to the top box with a flourish. He handed them off.
“You gonna get some spicy tip on this one. You gonna go over there and sneeze in the bush. You gonna come back with a cobra snake down there. You gonna get bit by the snapping turtle.”
Dino’s laughing exploded into a monster fit of coughing. His beady brown eyes were tearing up. He quickly lit up a Kent. He smoked them religiously because they had “the micronite filter.” So he wouldn’t get “the cancer.”