? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 8

Contest Winners

Patrick Moran

(To Vinny the Lip)


Once a checkerjaw always a checkerjaw
can only mean that Tommy the Hunch
(recently hitched to a Blond Bullet)
was pulling a juicer for the Moth,
a juicer that crossed over
into Artie the Finger’s cellar symphony
of heads getting away from their hats;
if the Finger is a cocktail,
shaken not stirred,
the Hunch is a paperbag in the park.
So as the River of Whims would have it,
one of the Moth’s checkerjaws got a little salty
in the year of the dog,
nothing the Black Prince would notice,
but more than enough
for the Hunch to do a red-eye,
no questions asked.
But ain’t this salty pooch,
this shaved poodle from the stickhouse,
the Blond bullet’s blonde pusher,
and don’t the Hunch just give him a little window music
before the bleached teardrop starts spittin brine,
& there’s the Hunch
with a one-headed juicer
quickly becoming a two-headed twitch;
cooler than a flask,
the Finger gameshows the briny scratch,
knuckle style,
& then slicker than snot on a doorknob
he hands the checkerjaw
to the Hunch for dessert;
now, solo, the Hunch squeezes the juicer
like just hocked his ticker
to the breeze and then for effect
deposits the valentine
under the checkerjaw’s tongue
for safe keeping.