Curious Events

A collection by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall


A Codicil to Sonnet 116

When shy young lovers flirt with each other
Make eyes across a parent-haunted room
Hold hands in the magnolia-scented night
And kiss for the first…oh, that very first kiss!

Do they anticipate petitionings
Investigations and bitter whisperings
Restraining orders, arrearages, fail nots
Decrees more absolute than youthful vows?

As old Shakespeare was never wont to say
Love is not love when arbitration binds


Among Jacobinsl
“…the thoughts and feelings of each individual who really exists
are unique and cannot be duplicated.”
-Yevtushenko

A connection is not a surrender –
When we connect we exchange, we give and receive
Ideas, jokes, poems, questions, a bit of gossip
Cheesecake recipes and garden vegetables

But to deny the self is to cease to be
And nothing is left but an echoing, hiving We
Galvanic responses instead of thoughts
Useful, obedient, disposable

Among the Jacobins there are no ideas
No poetry, no questions – only obedience


Blessed by a Former Student
Adveni fui in terra aliena
-Exodus 2:22

A smiling young man I didn’t know
Hugged me with enthusiasm, almost in tears
And told me with joy how I had inspired him
When I was his teacher some years ago

I was some moments realizing that
He was Amanda. I hope she is happy
For she was a joyful child, tho’ I confess
That I can sort out neither the pronouns

Nor the century – I am a stranger here
But the folks are friendly, and the coffee’s good


Do Not Forsake Me, Oh, My Dushen’ka
In honor of Dimitri Tiompkin

When we learned that a Russian wrote the score for High Noon
And another for John Wayne’s Rio Bravo
It made some of the populist faithful swoon
(Alas that nothing much rhymes with Bravo)

Given that Tiompkin was a Russian critter
We’ll just have to cancel John Wayne and Tex Ritter


For Protestors in All Causes

Please –

Stop pumping your fisties up in the air
I’m tired of seeing your old armpit hair!

Oh, yes, you believe in this week’s cause
But that grotesque growth would give a lawnmower pause

And one more trifling thing (so please take note):
You shout and clench your fist, but do you vote?


Gang Activity

It wasn’t about the motorcycles
It was never about the motorcycles
The motorcycles were never a problem
It was about the Fall of Man


The Curious Events at the Gas Station

At the gas station I bought a Chinese rocket
And worried that a lottery might fall from the sky
I tucked away the ticket into my pocket
Or tucked my pocket into my ticket – but why?

If mega-millions came crashing down to earth
The date-stamped rocket would serve no need or whim
Exploding numbers would displace the mirth
As Macbeth’s lady wife once said to him

At the gas station I bought the American dream
Which hissed into the sea – and that’s my theme


The Emperor’s New Kafka
By Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

When an insect woke up one morning he found
Himself changed into a politician
And thus gatekeeper to Das Schloss, key clam
Through whom all arrival applications must pass

All shipping boxes to be checked for ticks
In a village that cannot be surveyed
Unescorted thinkers may not be seated
At corner tables in the Herrenhof

Many are desperate to be admitted
But few are desperate to be committed


The Metternich System

Like Metternich
We seem to be shoring up crumbling institutions
Institutions that have no use for us:
Heavy-lipped Habsburgs, an ossified Church

Like Metternich
We ask if the revolutionaries have permission
To murder each other for the Goddess Reason
While princes and oligarchs flee for their lives

Like Metternich
We wonder if Napoleon won after all


The Mild Geese

The abbey geese, for reasons of their own
Waddled up from the pond and onto the lawn
To mingle with the habited brothers
After the midday Mass

Fr. R looked out, a bit cranky that day
And spoke with Benedictine clarity:

“White geese.”

“Black geese.”

“All geese.”


The Morning Radio Guy Turns Himself Off

He was much of my mornings for years
His news, his jokes, his notes, his anecdotes
His affirmation of the goodness of man
Began each day with good humor and wit

But now he brandishes the radio waves
Like an old man threatening with his cane
By-Godding both the future and the past
Trapped forever in a 6th of January

Poor man! All he does now is scorn and scoff –
It’s like he’s turned his own radio off


The Potter’s Wheel

Is one of three upon his pickup truck,
Which in truth never picks up anything
Because the pottery thing did not work out
And so his cousin found him a county job

Sometimes he wanders through the garden shop
And finds the earthen art that once was his:

Hecho en Mexico
Fabrique au Chine
Duoc san xuat lai viet nam
Buatan Indonesia

He sighs in remembrance, and turns away –
And did I mention that his name is Clay?


Would Robin Hood Steal a Post Office Pen to Give to the Poor?
“Oh, he’s so handsome, just like his reward posters!”
-Sis in Disney’s Robin Hood, 1973
By Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

I haven’t seen a reward poster in ever so long
Post-office portraits of men grizzled and mean
Each of ‘em wanted for some felonious wrong
(And living a life uncouth and unclean)

Maybe one of ‘em stole a post office pen
$500 or a year in prison
For committing that heinous federal sin
(He told the judge he thought it was his’n)

I haven’t seen a reward poster in years
(But still I’d leave that pen alone, my dears)

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s