secret escape hatch on the back of an old photograph

“when the moon is fake and your mermaids cry” copyright ziggy zagmyer
too much factory district, too much winter bus stop
	too much rent and paper-thin paycheck
too many scrap metal scars
too much heart in my chest pinching lungs in half
too much gray landscape on the surface of my eyes
	too many holes in my jeans
too much is too much and she comes to me
	like something out of a jukebox 
	a renaissance
and i wash away in headsong

her arms
are long
like rope, so i climb up to her atmosphere, copacetic blue
        a million cartoon parachutes
her face 
is calm
always april, shelter from angry storms, and i fall asleep on her cheek
her heart
feels solved
like a vase, open ended vessel
	woman shaped wishing well
her thoughts
are time machines, rosary beads, wind hitting a wind chime
with accidental pleasure
and she says to me
if the world is an actor then the actor is a villain and the strings 
of this machine need oil and ambition and the stage is a mirror 
for the hero in our heads complicated symbols flashlights for weapons 
trick coins and sharp pencils, if the world is an actor
	then the actor is a villain 

she says
go deep
if it soothes
sink to the bottom of real
one eye flashing hazard lights, one eye filled with shadow fish
	exhale and evolve
love will remember your name, skip stones across the water
	trails to lead you back home

pastries fall off the back of a bakery truck
	and the ravens dive in
somewhere, a mangy black dog enjoys a brown leather shoe
somewhere, a cross-eyed comet makes lopsided circles
	around a dizzy star
somewhere, a photograph unfolds
fingers tracing the silver shapes
hitting strings until a symphony explodes
loader than a bus driver’s battle cry:

you getting on or what?

from the book of armaments

“decomposing a symphony backwards thru a blender” copyright 2002 ziggy zagmyer

the following poem was inspired by the 1975 cult classic film “monty python and the quest for the holy grail”, from which the first stanza comes directly

and the lord did grin, and the people did feast, upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats

and powdered potatoes, and marijuana brownies, and blueberry cough syrup, and prepackaged dry noodles with the little flavor packets in them, and virgins, and dead virgins 

and toe jam, and week-old sushi, and yogurt stains on the carpet, and black rabbit afterbirth, and something blue and sticky at the bottom of the fridge, and tacobell

and the second-hand watch i bought my sister on her birthday that didn’t work, and the asshole who sold it to me, and a sixpack of forty weight lawnmower oil, and the plastic ring carrier that it came with, and the plastic bag i carried it home in, and a glass of antifreeze both half empty and half full, and rupert murdock 

and nine million and twenty three, four hundred and forty thousand, nine hundred and thirty five cubic tons of hydrogenated corn syrup

and spam balls, and cheese logs, and tree frogs, and the stuff they put in lava lamps even through the warning label says we shouldn’t, and a big ol' cherry on top, and whipped cream, and lots of colorful sprinkles, and french chocolate drizzle, and crushed hazelnut, and three sprigs of parsley, and a lemon wedge, and a little umbrella, and some croutons i guess

and it was good
i guess

*process notes: in the image above (decomposing a symphony backwards thru a blender) i created the trash heap in the foreground of the image in a series of layers. the primary layer of garbage was created by writing the names “rupert murdock” and “ted turner” over and over and over, vertically, horizontally, diagonally, forwards, backwards, up-side-down, right-side-up, etc. then drew in more garbage on top of that garbage. i was very happy with the process i used, i think it turned out well =)

these are true stories

warning! these true stories are based on loose lips, unshaved characters
scripture translated from crop circles, fast food menus 
and all the stuff stuck to the bottom of my shoe 

true story every time i buy new shoes i have to learn to walk again
giggle and gimbal, stumble over curbs, each foot a conjoined stranger
the fun never ends
until it ends 
flatfooted again 

true story i have no use for politicians, but that’s not true
sometimes i run out of toilet paper
true story i’m not running for mayor of truthtown, i’m not managing
a health food store, i don’t sleep inside a fortune cookie
true story i see two moons tonight
one in the sky and one in the lake
and drunk enough to swim for it

true story a man and a woman holding hands in a deli
pretending they’re not going to devour each other
true story i wrote a dozen emails, all in my head, which has no wi-fi
so you probably didn’t get them
true story i took the last trash bag from the box, and put the box in the bag
true story i only sleep in pictures of beds 

final warning 
all these warnings may be hazardous to the osmosis of spontaneous true story 
true story, all these warnings were translated from chinese toaster oven safety 
labels with an industry standard garage sale ouija board:
	(caution plug securely or power cord be detached in set
	else crisscross wires fix with fork and feel emergency
        call god immediately, also, avoid soft drinks)

but let us not be warned
let immortal monkey gods deliver us onto random doorsteps 
let us midnight snack a greasy half-burnt sunset last supper of summer 
let us creature around in secret vehicles under a suicide of blue sky
let us go all weather, all together
and forget to do our laundry

this poem was published in “edge of humanity magazine” 4/18/23