king's quest 4

Magic Helicopter Prayer

Which deodorant allows you
to check the electric meters
in that very sexy fashion
dawn and doughnut crumbs

Which Mach do you use
in the bathroom of Denny's?
Brown towel chips in your chin,
the syrup bowl a shitty mirror.

Which hatchback goes best
off the pier? Your violin inside,
your orange rinds and old shoes.

Which cover song accompanies the man
who answers a classified for an ice vendor?

Which company hires the Marine come back
to his Kentucky sawgrass and attic full
of Lincoln logs? His grandmother
hands him a butter knife.

Which insurance agent will stand
next to you, your solvency, collecting
scoops of snow in styrofoam thimbles,
while you sleep in the car you crashed
into a cow -- who, like most of what
befalls us, wouldn't turn to answer.

Where are the commercials set
in the elevators of the all alone?
In the jigs done therein, in the
buttons smooshed to code
a magic helicopter prayer.

Where are the endorsements of crawdad soup
and elbow scabs? Where are the battery ads
that feature gouged chests, nimble sinew,
that sell you the bunny’s mallet and
offer to amp up your smallest bones?

Which central casting agency hires you
to ape the nap that ends with wait--

Where are the public service announcements
explaining how to tickle a whale’s uvula?
This, the bow tied man would explain,
is how to guarantee his sneeze.
This is the notion of freedom.


fringes said...

I love this poem, Mike.

Mike Young said...

Many thanks, Erica. =-)

Jess said...

This is beautiful, Mike. I love the question format.

Bryan said...

question format. hmmm?

Bryan said...

i like the content, but i am not fond of poems entirely made of questions because i am a man who needs answers. too many questions make me angry.

Bryan said...

when i say content, i mean mike's compassion for people who have to shave in a denny's or a marine who comes back to a confused country, etc.

Mike Young said...

Really? Are you sure, Bryan? Have you always been like this?

Bryan said...

stop, mike. is this a confrontation? do you want to fight?

Mike Young said...

But thank you for liking the poem's content.

And thank you Jessica.

Mike Young said...

Is a fight in the air? Is that fight juice I smell?

Bryan said...

what does fight juice smell like? does it smell like my fist in your goddamn nose?

Mike Young said...

You can fit your whole fist into my nose? Do you have very small fists, like a fairy?

Bryan said...

are you stupid? don't you know that when i said "nose" i meant "your balls?"

Mike Young said...

Ah, so you recognize that my balls are luminous and mammoth? Like lunar craters? Are you a space monkey? May I interest you in some peanuts monkey-wunky wunky?

Bryan said...

no. you're stupid. (ad hominem, i know, but i'm tired of fighting.)

Mike Young said...

Truce! We will use this punctuation mark from now on! Zippo!

SM Smith said...

Mike, I really like this peice! And, I too like the questions, but then, I'm a person who likes to ask a lot of questions.

Alex said...

jesus christ. you and bryan LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE! talk to each other.

also i really love this poem, but i have nothing constructive to say. it's beautiful. like you, only better.

Mike Young said...

Talking? What's that? Is that like a new programming language? Is it object oriented?

And thanks for the nice words. =)

Dreadymoongurl said...

I like this one Mike... even though I always read your poems about 10 times to see if you're actually trying to say something that I can figure out. But even if you're not, that's ok. This poem flows well!

Mike Young said...

Thanks, Holly. =) It's not symbolic or anything. I don't really stray too far from the referents; i.e syrup bowls really do make for poor mirrors. And whatever atmosphere the referents cast over the whole thing. Like what you would feel or think if you actually saw someone push their hatchback off a pier somewhere.

And I'm sure you know where the whale thing is from, heh.

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