Two Poems by Richard King Perkins II

Pittsburgh Garble
Look at what he’s done to himself:
Flushed his cell phone to a Pittsburgh garble and a face
stuffed with something to ease his conscience. Untouched
seeds screaming to be jarred or eaten. It’s death in their
dissected eyes either way.

Half a book consumed and he’s in full-blown surrealist
mode, nesting on duck eggs while prattling on about
the indigestible souls of ruminants. The joke could end
here, minus a bitchslap and gold filigree, and everyone
would laugh at the only part he couldn’t forget.

That’s the way it is for old Zeke, ideas too fat for
the hang of his head, frayed fabric hung up on the thorn
of his dissected quarters. As if the bastard earth would
find the inclination to mock him. Communal shunning
is its sugar cane revenge.

On the day he was inundated by fanatic arguments
against himself, he stitched up a bedroll and jumped
ship partway through his own dry docking. The
misconception hit him like a wet blanket and he’s still
drowning, waiting for the vast waters to someday recede.

A World of Glorious Distraction
There was a time I seemed to exist as an unending string of numbers
on the crystalline spur of the horizon,
trying to breathe through a violation of spores.
Vaguely disembodied, I cannot find the dark-white, jagged shell
torn from the collet of a necklace.

I pan the vast terrarium of my enclosure,
filled with majolica and twisted glass,
placed here to give me glorious distraction.

I flail through red earth, sand and expected reactions
until I reach the polished, artificial barrier
that must exist at the end of any universe.

But I’m left wearing only a noose disguised as simple jewelry
and now the inner sea counts me down into raw exile,
quivering creature of pulp looking for a fashionable shell
to better endure the terrors of the great human experiment.

About the Poet
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications. He has poems forthcoming in the Roanoke Review, The Alembic and Milkfist.