Friday, January 24, 2014

Gene McCormick- Two Poems

Macy’s Cosmetic Counter

It’s silliness, beauty counter sales clerks
applying lipstick and other make-ups
to consenting adult shoppers then seriously
checking their handiwork from all angles,
putting a mirror in front of the
makeover patron who always smiles.

The department manager is unsmiling,
shuffling paperwork, opening, shutting drawers,
brushing makeup dust off the counter,
retrieving soiled tissues dropped to the floor
as sales associates joke with
one another while applying colors
to anyone willing.
Have a great day the manager says to customers
leaving with purchases and red lips.

The manager is the only one whose face
is not decorated like a geisha,
and is the only one wearing a wedding ring.
A passing shopper asks for the time
and as she squints at her wristwatch
two clerks pull out smart phones
and flash the time.

Up In Smoke

First thing he did after the service
was deadhead home to the refrigerator,
not bothering to put the car in the garage,
squirting the remnants of a can of Reddi Whip
down his throat until it runs
out the corners of his mouth,
up his nose and down his chin.
Swiping the excess with the back of his hand,
it smears across his smile like Barbasol.
He licks it with his tongue in a circular motion,
wiping his hand on polyester suit pants.

Lighting up a double corona cigar,
Ed looks around: the house sounds hollow
against his racing thoughts.
She hated smoking which was why
he didn’t have the body cremated:
she would have bitched like a banshee
knowing she was going to end up as a
pile of ashes even though it would have
saved him a shitload of money, and the
handful of visitors would have been spared
a final look at the chemically bloated face.

Taps a half-inch ash from the corona,
questioning why people still use the term
coffin nails. Haven’t nailed shut wood-slat
type coffins for the better part of a century
and most of ‘em are now metal or plastic.
Just use latches, he supposes, but at any rate
she can’t get at him now.

Brief Bio: Gene McCormick has never dated Meryl Streep, has no intention of doing so, and has never even met the lady. Same applies to Julia Roberts.

1 comment:

  1. It is impressive how much story the author can share in so few lines. The best part is always the subtext zinger to reveal the actual story behind what we are observing.