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Life Arts    H3'ed 11/24/22

Sonnet: Black Friday Blues

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'At the Mall' Dawn of the Dead poster
(Image by United Film)
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It's Black Friday again and I got no pay,

and yet I feel the crave in me to spend.

Where I'll get the dough I don't know.

Knock over inconvenience stores,

closed all hours of the day, like some

urbane legend? Tease ads jail baiting?

Cash registers filled with jingle juice

and George Floyd dollars? Helpless hollers.

"I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

Get your climate change knee off my eco-neck, pleathe."


Or I could go rob the church.

Find out where they stash the basket cash.

Or bottle all the Holy Water at the door, wasted

now on insincere dwindle-pusses. Rob Paul

to pay Peter to pay Mario Puzo to play piano.

Go to Paris, to Notre Dame, and steal

the real deal gold-dipped crown of Jesus,

in a vault somewhere now, maybe Sothebys.


I feel like I need to make a mark

this festive Christmas season full

of pumped-in love, subliminal muzak

that makes me sick to my "soul,"

everyone going round with air quotes now,

lost in the mall maze, the Irony Age,

and Santa is a donkey pump this year,

I see, five easy pieces of Judas gold.


When I was a kid, so long ago,

Ma bought me a Quixote windmill

which I furnished with a pull-string

Sophia Loren, buxom, and full of love for me.

I went at her until a voice said: Tilt!

When I was a kid, so long ago.


Black Friday is here.

Time to sell my "soul" to Satan.

Note the sibilance and Satan gets no air quotes.

There are horrors ahead, malls full of zombies.

You know the film. Your money's no good here.


The gargoyles were supposed to guard

us against the return of the animists, but failed.

The fire at Notre Dame cathedral was set

by Satan, smoking Gauloise, head sprouting horns,

looking like Karl Malden in that American Express ad,

that neoliberal con job offer

you can't refuse or leave home without, in

Rome's Inferno, where the whore Beatrice

has burned down the "holy" nunnery,

where goldfish Ophelias have drowned

in the dead pool behind the sibilance grave

where eels sizzle their saucy insouciance

in a paean of sorts to fallen "Love."

'What Umma Do?' Gargoyle at Notre Dame Cathedral, now that the animists are back
(Image by Public Domain)
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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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