Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
Kurt Douglas Sass, Poetry Editor
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Robert Dunn is the Editor of Medicinal Purposes Literary Review and the host of the Poet to Poet cable television show. His full-length collections of poetry include: Zen Yentas in Bondage, Guilty as Charged, Cannon Fodder, Playing in Traffic, Sunspot Boulevard and Horse Latitudes. Robert was former editor Cindy Sostchen’s final selection for publication in Ward Stories before her departure.
Pantoum: Jamaica Bay
By Robert Dunn
So, won't you come with me to Jamaica Bay
When the dawn comes up like thunder?
Perhaps it's just the jets from JFK
Tearinq sea birds' nests asunder…

When the dawn comes up like thunder,
Commuters haul from Rockaway,
Tearing sea birds' nests asunder,
Comandeering the right-of-way,

Commuters haul from Rockaway,
Past Broad Channel’s dissolving bungalows,
Commandeering the right-of-way,
Denting fenders. (Oops!) So it goes...

By Robert Dunn
Another lost sheep stopped me on
Worcester Avenue and asked
Directions to some rat trap or other,
Now, revel in my special relationship
To the Earth's magnetic field, something
I share with wild Canadian geese and
Molting Dawson's caterpillars
It enables me to know where everything is.
Ten blocks down this way, turn left…kinderspiel!
But this particular petitioner didn't like my
Directions; he apparently believed I was
Responsible for the City's street layout.

Hey, Bunkie, this is like golf, you know—
You've got to play it as it lies. But his ferocity
Hit with such velocity that even my self-winding
Digital watch stopped; after he buzzed off, I
Could not get it started again, despite enough
Wrist waving to carpal my tunnel. If ever I
See him again, I will offer him directions to
The center of my local supermarket-one-way
Directions, that is—in the hopes that are probably
Vain that he will be eaten by some coupon-clipping
Minotaur...some of those aisles are pretty confusing.

Past Broad Channels dissolving bungalows,
Swamp grasses wave in the slipstream…
Denting fenders. (Oops!) So it goes...
Lured by Howard Beach's Lucite gleam.

Swamp grasses wave in the slipstream...
Perhaps it's just the jets from JFK,
Lured by Howard Beach's Lucite gleam,
So—won't you come with me to Jamaica Bay?

An Ethereal Cereal Saga
By Robert Dunn
Each marshmallow knocks at the top of the box.
The prizes? A much lower stratum.
Processed wheat, oats, and corn leave my tummy forlorn.
But bran acts 1ike exploding atoms.
Cartoons on the fronts play to voracious runts,
Who'll cat anything so long as it's sweet...
While my physician commands I eat "healthier" brands
With box-tops by Rene Magritte.

Doctor says to hang loose while I pour on moo juice,
The better to keep things in balance.
My girlfriend, Maxine, prefers milking soybeans.
She's a woman of curious talents.
We once had an equerry to slice our strawberries,
But he quit to blow glass up in Corning.
Now, when things grow insane-ish, I reach for prune Danishes,
To be frank, I do this every morning.

By Robert Dunn
I feel contrary today…
Got up on the wrong side of the wrong side
Of the wrong side, and all.
Even my breakfast chicken tasted
Just like rattlesnake,
And my car is getting gallons per mile again.
Well, fine—let's go whole hog about this:
Let the scissors chip the stone...
Let the stone rip the paper...
Let the paper jam the scissors...
Two can play at this game, after all
Especially on a two-way street.
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