There are certain things that make me shudder,
like Charlotte’s Web 2: Wilbur’s Great Adventure.
I can’t—I just…
Like thousands of empty storefronts,
that on backroads and sideroads and frontroads
advertise baby toys, VHS tapes,
parking lots as barren as the black bars.
What went on in worlds black bars hid?
How many cradles and baubles left ownerless?
Who was that man who opened
that baby toy store, after his baby and wife
died in that accident,
and closed it three months later?
No business to be had in the blue glow.
Shield your eyes from its light.
Move to the backroads and hide
until it all closes down.
And, like lurching to the phone at the vibration, shaking,
he lurches from the back when the bell above the door frame rattles,
only to be asked: “Can I use your phone?”
And the baubles rattle as the door is slammed,
but can you really blame him for foregoing manners?
Watching the football game,
and sitcoms and soap operas and
shampoo infomercials in the back and waiting
for the types that cornered him
when he went to the bathroom once
and told him: “Squeal, piggy piggy, or we’ll feed you your own shit!”
And so he sang the only song he knew:
“Isn't is great… isn’t it great… that I articulate?
isn't it grand… isn’t it grand… that you can understand?
I don't grunt… I don't oink… I don't even squeak or squawk,
if I wanna say-a-somethin’... I open up and talk!
I can talk… I can talk… I can talk talk talk, I can taaalllk!”