Selections from The Surrealist Explains His Smile by Michael Pingarron

thru experiment

The experiment seems
to have worked fine,
for the doctor.  For me, a lesion.
A kernel of all I hate and love
fastened to my feet, my baggage.
I’ve carried it around for months,
a man condemned to quicksand.

I pop the analgesics, a fatman
eating bon bons, a cadillac
on a drinking binge.  Nerves
a plate of jello dancing a mambo.
Nightmares done up in drag:
my mother, my father, my lover,
her lover, prance around me
like a Maypole.
I consume the carcass of a flower.
I speak a dead language.
I am the tornado’s eye
gone blind.


counting the bones

words come with wind asking to be heard.
they shatter windows.  they crawl into bed
and try to sleep.

I watch her flee the premises,
the clouds of a running storm.
I coil the world, a swollen snake.

I prospect the hidden gold,
the wholeness that hides in my closet.
I wear it, not ironing out the wrinkles
          from weeks without use.  

I murder fleeting moments with dreams
because I know what will happen at dawn.
I work at counting the bones.


the surrealist explains his smile

parables are the knives of the tongue with hidden teeth–
they bite, chew and break down everything to seeds
of the home we grow from with silent hands\
and eyes that bumble and drool like rain.

we buy band-aids to bind our leaking credit cards.
their blood’s a practical substitute for what we breathe–

they’re demanding names at the gate.
have your social security card ready.
bring toothbrush and toilet paper,
                                   remember deodorant too–
                                             it gets hot in here!


chicken flu

the price of poultry has risen.
so has the price of its eggs.
at first a paranoia:
       poultry farmers found out my like of chicken
       and wanted to put my stomach out of business.
       force my diet to a standstill.

then I heard of the influenza that had stricken them,
a genocide—mass graves full of one hundred thousand
bodies of feathers.

tonight I’ll eat black beans and rice,
typically Latin American
and high in protein too.

somewhere in some heaven
the chicken-god is angry
at his people.



a dictator

a dictator lives
in a den of wolves
and feeds them
with luscious parts
of his body

once they’ve got
the taste
he unleashes them
on their own country

which they chew up
with teeth gnashing
ripping the heart
from every body

that refuses to hear his
doctrine scratched on
a sacred scroll
of death


this land of great distractions

there’s always a movie
               a comedy of errors
that distracts us from the truth
               perilously passing by

I cry          you cry  and all of us die
parched dry
               nameless sticks of meat
sold at a local bodega

managed by illegal aliens
               who hopped over a rundown wall
somewhere
               way down south

who cares              we’re witnesses
               protected
by a National Guard trained
to aim an AK47
down a baby’s throat

who never gets milk
for breakfast
                         lunch
or dinner