William H. Dickey

William H. Dickey
Bungee Jumping
Aunt Mildred tied up her petticoats with binder’s
twine, and my great-uncle Ezekiel waxed and waxed
his moustaches into flexibility. It was the whole
family off then into the dangerous continent of air

and while the salesman with the one gold eyetooth told us
the cords at our ankles were guaranteed to stretch
to their utmost and then bring us safely back
to the fried chicken and scalloped potatoes of Sunday dinner
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The Egoist
Popped from the womb, he began gathering property
extorted from his wet nurses by threatening

to turn blue in the face and die. Everyone gave in.
His mother dressed him in guava-colored lace crinolines

his father obligingly retired to the Côte d’Azur
siblings were disposed of by the Beast of the Bassinet.

Coextensive with the world, his hands become The Hands,
his mouth The Mouth, his dingus The Dingus.
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The Frog Footman and the Fish Footman
Aiee! It is the ceremony of the first blades of winter.
Horticulture, horticulture, the little steam train says puffing up the mountainside.
As if he had never known a home of his own, only ditches.
Three stomps with a stone stump and the colloquium started.
Beggars under the drainpipe, another hand’s cast of the bone dice.
Whatever name the event has, it can be understood as an invitation.
Epilepsy, epilepsy, the little steam train said, descending at evening.
They bowed so low that their wigs tangled and I had to laugh.
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