Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Poems From Multi-Media Artist Jeff Bagato

A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, glitch video, sticker art, and pop surrealism paintings. Some of his poetry has appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, In Between Hangovers, Otoliths, Your One Phone Call, and Zoomoozophone Review. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Dishwasher on Mars (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com.

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                           if your swine flu isn’t perfect
                                         make it perfect;
                                                     if your hepatitis isn’t
                                 perfect make it perfect;
                     if your diabetes—
                                             if your hypertension—
                                     if your herpes—

                                          if your AIDS isn’t perfect
                            make it perfect
               in the land of the free and the heart
                                   of the storm,
                                              in the villages of parkland,
                      in the world of the perfect,
                                       the proud,
                                                    the mall-bound
                                 worshippers of ceramic disease—

                               collectible, hand painted, numbered
                                            and limited unto infinity
                      and the 4th dimension,
                                                      with certificate
                                    of authenticity intact

                                           your perfect gangrene;
                         your perfect melanoma;
                                   your perfect pneumonia,
                                                          scurvy and gout;
                                         your perfect TB and

                                   to penicillin, amoxicillin,
                                               and the wonder
                     cocktails of chemical chains
                                        that cannot bind perfection,
                                     happiness and wealth

                                    the perfect sunshine—
                                                         the perfect day—
                                            the perfect wiggle,
                              jiggle & bounce—
                                                 the perfect
                                          jeans with the perfect

                                            the perfect measles—
                           the perfect dysentery—
                                                      the perfect malaria—
                                      the perfect cholera—
                     the perfect nausea of a fluorescent
                                                hallway day

Shit on a Stick Corporation
                                Fried shit on a stick
                                          on TV
                         on the dark
                                    side of Mars—

                      greasy reaching out to
                                           embrace the universe
          where every rock has eyes
                          weeping coins onto the sand,
                quasars pulsing radio
                                   signals faster
                                                 and faster out
                               to satellite relay

                                   My operator,
                                             my switchboard
                 makes a connection—
                          once upon a time
                                         in the kingdom of Atlantis
                              they fired up some offal,

                                        some yummy, chewy,
                unmentionable part of the hog
                           battered up & natural
                                                  juicy with its own juice,
                                  fat to drip down your chin
                                                           when you first
                                                   bite off  
                                                         the tip
                             In the freezer section
                                      you have to
                                               imagine that

                              as pictured on the box, as seen
                                           on the commercial,
                     as heard in person when endorsed by Bigfoot,
                                                  I mean, Elvis or Elton, or some guy
                               with a stiff upper lip, or that lady
           who used to play that hooker who
                                        cracked her gap-toothed gum
                                                         so chuckle,

                                                so haw,
                                                          so hee hee,
                                 so lorf lorf lorf lorf,
                                                             and so

                                               not her,     
                            but the other one
                                           from the oscar winning
                     movie where she was pregnant and fought
                                  off the mob with one
                                                  hand and masturbated
                                                              a monkey
                                            with the other

                                              Not so haw
                                   haw hee,
                                         but it was a good

                         How richly that made her
                                                 bite into that first crust
                                & tongue au jus
                                        as it sprayed and then
                                                      drippingly oozed
                                            down her chin
                                 The camera held
                                           high, at a jaunty angle
                        to portray her
                                 passionate and sincere

                                       oh america,
                           oh atlantis, oh mars, oh
                                                      I feel the fullness
                               of my feelings of my heart,
                                          of my soul
                                                 in my belly—
                                             in my

                                   quasar pulsar beep beep
                                                 to the radios
                                           of stars
                                                     & all

                                                 belly,     oh
malignant tumor speaks from the brig
(or, eating from the same trough)

                                                    Let me offer you a deal,
                                            an edge
                                                  that will turn your paper
                                                                into gold
                                                         & keep you on the cruise
                                         line unto Alzheimer’s—

                                  the ship sets sail
                                            today with a paid ticket,
                        puts your kids through college
                                                 and the Hummer
                                    thru the gas line;

                                                    we build our pyramids tall
                                                                      & strong
                                           & pay out reg’lar—
                                                          the hamburger
                              sizzles on everybody’s griddle,
                                                and you get
                                                              freedom fries with that—
                                                                        if you can
                                                         wait rock steady
                                              right here,
                                                              right now

                                                 let the market
                                   bully up some exuberance
                for the chocolate covered turds
                                                            & used Kleenex,
                                          bloody tampons, and
                           you get the drift of second
                                     hand smoke
                                         (equal deadly to the first
                                                     smoke as you
                                                  to find out)

                                                            the buffet opens in just a few
                                                                               more hours,
                                                                     loaded with
                                                       hushpuppies, bread lines
                                               & soup kitchen rolls—
                                                                           are you rolling?
                                                                 we shoot craps

                                                        and the entertainment!
                                            first class all the way,
                          with a parade of paper pushers & buck
                                                             whisperers & all
                                               the president’s men
                                                  & hat tossing, and
                                    squealing with popular songs
                                                                 of sixpence and
                                                       jiggety jig jig

                                                             keep sniffing from that
                                      feedbag filled with glue;
                                                                     such sweetwater
                                                 so good for what ails you:
                                          a glass a day
                                                   keeps the bears away

                                                                    get yours
                                                   at the altar with the thin
                                                               dimes & the (economic) resurrection—
                                                                                  as the priest
                                                        prays from his ledger,
                                         you sleep soundly in the pews;
                                                                      just keep your plastic
                                                                                handy for when he

                                                               passes the plate

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