Hat Tricks

After Vasco Popa

Out of top hat and tails
Pull a Bugs Bunny pull Fred Astaire
Let them dance under the moonlight

Out of this Davy Crocket hat
Pull a redneck pull a Sioux
Set both loose on Disneyland

Out of this Green Beret
Pull a smart bomb pull a drone
Let fear decide which country to attack

Out of this prison cap
Pull a switchblade pull a shovel
Dig a tunnel without getting shot

Fold this poem up into a paper hat
And put it on your head.
Which words become invincible?

Sit quietly in the dunce’s corner,
Where everybody can point at you,
And wait for the answer to fall out.


Artwork © DJ Barry

Artwork © DJ Barry

Michael Karl (Ritchie) is a retired Professor of English at Arkansas Tech University, where he served as adviser to the undergraduate literary magazine, Nebo. He has had three small press chapbook publications [Closing Down The Hearth, O-2 Press 1983; For Those In The Know, Caterpillar Press 1976; Night Blindness, La Huerta Press 1976] and work published in various small press magazines, including Gihon River Review, The Salt River Review, Nebula, The Mississippi Review, Margie, OR Panthology – Ocellus Reseau, The Red Earth Review, and The Arkansas Literary Forum.

DJ Barry is a self-taught artist that lives in Middlesex, Vermont. He uses a unique method involving photo editing software, stencils, and spray paint. He often infuses pop culture into his work. Oddities are his specialty.