2 Poems (D.R. James)

The Usual, Please, on Cracked

Wheat with Mayo

The tanned woman in the Midwest deli

yesterday re-convinced me I’m superficial.

Not that I needed re-convincing since

regularly I’m the irregular normal person

at the international annual convention

of practitioners who see things differently.

Whenever they feature that multi-humped

camel in their closing ceremonial parade

shaped like a cloud lolling overhead

I can only stiffen my neck and note my

intermittent blues and thus always miss

my chance for imaginative prefabrication.

I’ve tried those correspondence courses

that guarantee amazing untapped sectors

of one’s brain will suddenly come alive

and have in fact vastly improved both

my cartoons depicting eye-patched pirates

and my respect and appreciation for one’s

childhood wounds. But more often I’m

forced to demand my money back then

simply reinvest it in the faster foods—or,

if available, the finer foods served fast—

or deftly pocket it to fund fevered outings

in search of Brillo, two-for-one foaming

drain de-plugger and of course cheap old

Beaujolais Nouveau. Just once just once

I’d like to walk into my local sub shop, take

my place in line, chin held high, and not

let the predictable dilemma between lean

pastrami and freshly compressed head cheese

reduce me to my usual common denominators.

Guano Glorioso

At the bottom of the bag, the cul-

de-sac, under the last batch of cans

to be mangled by the recycler—

a smear I remember must be

batshit. Back at the cabin she’d

flapped me into one of those

fight-or-freeze frenzies,

then finally landed, hung

just long enough to drop

into a crumpled dark

that released her to the world

she’d longed for all along.

In transit, though, evidently

more senseless terror, that


I pity whoever discovers the sack

that got me here. But please,

consider that ambush, that

spasm, that bright expulsion.

And please consider me now

in this new world I didn’t know

I’d longed for all along.


D. R. James’s latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals. Recently retired from teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, James vegges, writes, and cycles with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan.


image: “Spicey Life:” Andrea Damic lives in Sydney, Australia.  Words in @50wordstories@FridayFlashFict@paragraphplanet@100WordsFTW and Microfiction Monday Magazine.Photographs in @rejectionlit@FusionArtPS and several others pending print publication in @DoorIsAJarMag. Follow Andrea on TW @DamicAndrea. One day she hopes to finish and publish her novel.