Joke Shop

This is a poem about a joke shop
it will start small
focused
on squirting flowers, peanut brittle cans
loaded with spring coiled snakes…
there’s a metaphor in the serpents
and you can bet it’ll be exploited
something about how we unleash our own tortures
shocks and terrors
by our own untwisting hands,
then I’ll slide the lines
into a specialized glimpse at a race of people
who labor for cash to acquire rubber puke,
dog-mess and farting air-bladders…
the joke shop poem will critique this culture
examine its obsessions
and draw obvious conclusions, masked
in greased-pig frippery
that any grip upon will prove insubstantial
the end will expand
taking the shop’s jokes worldwide
recalling the hardy guffaws of Soviet made children’s toys
strewn across Afghanistan waiting for a little girl’s hands
to blow them off – Kablooey! Ha! Ha!
big laughs in gases that induce real vomit
and release genuine shit – Thppt! Ha! Ha!
hilarious tin cans hurled intercontinentally
release not snakes
but one infernal mushroom – Whoops, apocalypse! Ha! Ha!
and that will be that, you see
the take away meaning – the world is a joke shop
our manufactured terrors its merchandise
and we’re forever the suckers emptying our wallets of sense

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