Kevin Ridgeway, 01/12

2 AM Laughing Gas

There was a period of sunken eyes
in between the syndicated after
midnight repeats
and dreary anthologized suicide
notes by award-winning unknowns

then the giddiness
comes from out of the ether
jumping jacks of
thought buzzards
behind our
tired eyes
and before you know it
I’m a grimy vaudevillian
photographing my bare
foot next to a twelve hours-old
bowl of cat food
a moment of comic treasure
that will never be
laughable again

the cat himself is roped into
dancing to our marionette whimsies
before being discarded in
stained landfills of laundry
he knows already that
tomorrow will be shot to hell

comatose for another
daytime doom marathon
to the next midnight oasis
shaking driblets of saliva on
the crusted unmade sheets
W.C. Fields stands over us
flattened on the wall,
bloated in black and white
and long dead,
reduced to ash and deposited
in the slumber castle for
the rich-and-famous
his deflated bulbous nose flinching
at us like the start of a nickelodeon
in our sleep-deprived hallucinations

and the cat seizes his chance
pouncing from the crumpled
newspaper fort to have his
way with his battered clown
owners whispering jokes
in the curls of his faint purrs
that no one but him understands.

Promote. Poetry.
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