Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Craig Kirchner


Work Ethic and I
are at a crowded Penn Station
standing in front of the Big Board,
waiting for our track to flash.

A few move up
- Boston, Trenton -
but the crowd doesn’t move.
They are all waiting
for our train and it’s late.

W.E. kills the time
by pretending he’s an alien
taking reconnaissance notes.

They are upright with pink epidermis, one head, and two legs.
Left appendages pull fairly large black boxes on wheels
and the right pushes small black boxes to what looks like an ear.
Only a very few have had these tails removed and almost all talk to themselves.

Finally -- Washington: track 15
and the bustle starts to the escalator.
We rush a bit to stand and wait,
but now we are focused,
we all know where we’re going.

I lose W.E. in the crowd
and think about his scribble.

All seem motivated by some God-like force to flee at the same time,
but move poorly as a unit like a funnel full of roaches.

I’m not worried,
he gets lost quite often
but always resurfaces.

He’s fun to hang with
and doesn’t drink much.
He travels light
and takes good notes.

eight cups a day

I’m reading this magazine article
on the end-table in the doctor’s waiting room
that compares ‘universal consciousness’
to drops of water that form together to create a lake.

Once in the examination room the doc explains that all

6.7 billion assholes should drink eight cups a day to maintain true health.

I assume the most efficient way to accomplish this
would be one every two hours that I’m awake.

Set the cell phone alarm, make it spring or bottled, not tap.
Or wait , better to ladle it from that ‘lake of drops’.

Let those cups come together and
forge a new me
with a social conscience,
maybe even a desire to vote.

As the therapy grows
and becomes the rage
we will all come to realize
that we’re more than
dehydrated egos, devouring
and pushing things
inside these ugly bags of skin
and that we all drink
from the same waters,
need to see Dr. Harding
and would benefit greatly
from reading the same magazines.

©2004 by Craig Kirchner

Craig Kirchner's recent works have appeared in journals, on and offline, including 3AM, Erosha, Clean Sheets, Triplopia, Lily, Megaera, and Adagio. He works as a consultant on the east coast, but considers himself a hobo of the universe. He writes about what he knows best and yet least -- himself -- in an effort to remove those labels.

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