It’s relaxing to shuffle
on once sulfurous-sored feet
my back no longer aching
though stiff as this hard oak door.

I’m in feed-mode. I see through
cataracted lenses. I rend with
bad teeth that baffle dentists
and I scoff indigestion

that once mocked my stomach in
every bathroom. Through deaf ears
they all scream like bad children
pocketed slingshots, holes in windows,

repenting to their parents
once they’re caught with cigarettes
with lack of all hope. Their breaths
still try to push back their fate

hoping that I’m really dumb,
though I have more brains than them
stuffed like pens in shirt pockets
grey PHD’s stuffed in pants

I’ll rediscover when food’s scarce,
or that they can make a dash
cleverly spin circles round
and round me. No. Not these kids.


(After “Animals Are Passing From Our Lives” by Philip Levine)


Wrong Note © James Conant

Wrong Note © James Conant


James Conant is a Cambridge artist who has recently added photography to his skills, which include clay sculpture, pen and ink, montages, and pencil art. He is always available for work and collaboration.

Chad Parenteau is a contributing editor to Oddball Magazine. His poetry collection Patron Emeritus is available through FootHills Publishing.

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