When Computers Crash
Take it from me
sitting on the edge of this star
in the universe with
meteors zipping around me.
Worse things can happen
than having a computer crash
and all your data lost while
chatting in a hotel lobby
with a woman you met in a bar
then having a heart attack
and falling to the floor
having your bladder burst.
You lie there deceased,
a nuisance in a puddle of piss,
as the woman strolls away
and guests in the lobby quiver
until the manager says
he’s made a phone call.
You don’t need a computer now.
An ambulance will take you away.
Todd’s tired of being odd
he tells his wife as he lights
candles next to their breakfast tea
and pours two steaming cups.
He wants to be normal, he says,
the rest of his life
no matter the changes
he’ll have to make
in his modus operandi.
It will be worth the effort,
not having people gawk
and mumble under their breath.
He pours more tea
and butters some toast
and tells his wife
he’ll never again excavate
his Roman nose
with his pinkie.
He’ll dig with his index
On Learning a New Word Late in Life
but you're older than I am and you may have less time
to relish a word you may not have heard of.
It's "rejectamenta," and I stumbled upon it
early this morning when I couldn't sleep.
I wish I had found rejectamenta years ago.
It means exactly what you might think:
"matter rejected as useless or worthless."
Imagine how useful that word would have been
in our younger days as a weapon of choice.
I would have shouted it often when leaving a job
or leaving a nice woman who thought we should marry.
I would have extended my arm like Adolph and shouted
"Rejectamenta!" with the roar of "Sieg Heil!"
For the remainder of my life I will shout it when nettled.
I will shout it at the waiter in that Polish restaurant
the next time he plops pickled pigs feet
in front of me obviously short on gel.
I loathe those feet but the gel is marvelous.
We may be aging, Harold, but we have a word now
we can whip out of our quivers whenever we're miffed.
Perhaps the embalmer will tattoo it on my forehead
if my wife isn't looking, assuming she survives.
Carry on, Harold. The finish line is just ahead.
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.