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Life Arts    H3'ed 9/17/22

The Dialogue Poem

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'When you have to listen to two people talking...'
(Image by In Memoriam: -Tripp-)
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vertigo?

I don't know. That's the eternal question.

Say, let's go that way.

(a flush is heard)

- toilet stall wall in a bunker, just west of East Berlin

.

I.

Do you see red flags?

No, not really, just charging bulls.

Do the bulls have blue balls?

The China shoppe is quaking.

.

II.

Anwar: You wake and quake, and you can almost hear fallout sirens

coming for you across the waters from China's towns.

Sing the yak shat song. Bricolet.

Benoit: Across the waters, and the hole in the ground, you were digging in search of gold,

when along came bouncing pogo sticks dumplings there to be found. Ole!

.

III.

Bob: I'm hearing that in our galaxy there may be

four menacing planet nations on the warpath

Klingon-minded motherfuckers you'd never Spock mind-meld with. No way.

Siegfried: Aye, and we dropped the ball, we always do, like it's funner that way

and now we're gonna pay the price, pay the piper,

and be their chicken soup for the soul today. Soupcon!

.

IV.

Tony: You've got your Tao, we've got our Dow

Together: Jones

.

V.

Valerie: o futurism is so passe

Tom: passe the salt please

Valerie: my dainties are itchin' and my marshmallows are sore.

Tom: I could rhyme here, my dear, but that would just encourage more.

Valerie: Escargot. Caviar. Oyster sweets. Smelly feets.

Tom: Now that lilacs are in bloom. Is that what you're saying?

Valerie: Tom, I've lost my Irish stockings. I was gazing at the moon.

There were swarms of stars in nothingness, fireflies of light lit like

concert-going candle holders high at the Dylan the other week;

he was bleak, we cried.

Tom: Lamp shades, lamp shades, it's much too bright tonight.

.

VI.

f*ck chomsky, he's a liar

i was sitting in a booth in the MIT student pub brooding,

looking at gams and hams. svelte.

always on about empire. but 9/11? noooo.

he's no engineer; it ain't that he don't care

do you need a degree to see freefallin rivet popping felonious actions

he's a linguist; were the towers fuckin sentence trees syntax tushy tigers?

don't take that tone with me

i'll get another pitcher, what'll you have?

autism snow bubble world all shook up, mummy

i got tired. at the bar, a catwalk prowler. i got chummy

.

VII.

Silvio: The chalk circle around the corpse.

Maria: Yes, but consider the source.

Silvio: Why, dear, whatever do you mean?

Maria: He died of loneliness and spleen.

Silvio: Did you know this man and how intimately, please?

Maria: He died of hoarse ventriloquist disease.

Silvio: Sobering Sabbath sad days and nights of despair!

Maria: Come with me, Silvio, let's get out of here!

He leans down to pick up his chalk.

.

VIII.

Mel: When I saw the weapon of mass destruction -- to wit, a missile -- advertized in my beloved progressive rag, I grew so bolshy I thought I'd die on the spot.

Anna K: It's probably the Jews again.

Mel: It's not the Jews, Anna K.

Anna K: They always seem to require a good kristalnachting once in a while.

Mel: When it rains it pours. Thank Christ for your smile.

Anna K: I was rifling through my drawers. I was shuffling my lynch mob cards.

Mel: I was trying as hard as I could to bullet point my favorite bards.

Anna K: I'm the rose that wilts on a sour summer day.

Mel: You don't look that way to me. Stay.

Anna K: Mel Torme.

Mel: Oy Vay!

(The ambulance took her away.)

.

IX.

Hitler: O Lord, I've got them Bunker Man Blues

Eva: Would jew like to kick a bucket?

Hitler: Nein. Nein. Nein. Nein. Nein.

Eva: Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine.

Hitler: Shimble up me daddlehoo. I feel so broken up inside.

Eva: Adolphustein, you're so full of mein kampf alpha pride.

Hitler: Eva, if only they'd kept me at the brush and canvas school!

Eva: They all used you! Mein liebchen, you were a tool.

Hitler: Say, run out and buy me a pair of clones.

Eva: Be right back, mein herring bones.

(Exit. Lock sound. Bang.)

.

X.

May: April is the cruelest month.

April: The darling buds of May.

May: Breeding lilacs out of the dead land.

April: Needling me in the hay.

May: Was that a mushroom cloud?

April: Or are you just especially fond of me tonight?

The tap dancing sounds of fingernails gone all June Taylor and leg kicks. Someone pulls down the shade.

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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