THREE POEMS by JASON MELVIN

THE INSATIABLE MADNESS OF MALLARDS

I know, I know

Fuck the title, it sounded cool

geese

hundreds and hundreds

Ok

Maybe 30 or 40 geese

majestic creatures

I’m drawn by their beauty, their unity

there’re little green shit bumps

all over the white parking lot lines

my steps perfectly navigated

they let me sit with them

among them, part of the flock

every night as the sun sets

I barge in – they squawk

flap their wings

when I don’t leave, they ignore me

The lake must draw them here

but then, where do they go

Not every night, most nights

Ok, 4 or 5 times that one semester

They sit so still

I try to be so still

one with them, looking west

Not really a lake

We’re on campus, lake’s a ½ mile down the road

More pond, there’s a fountain in the middle

Eye-level, getting their view

Yeah, not sitting

It’s important to know what they’re looking at

Also, important not to be covered in shit

More of a tip-toed squat

My fellow students walk by, admirers

marveling at my animal prowess

Nobody’s watching, and if so

they’re just wondering

Why

As the last speck of sun

dips below the trees

they fly off as one

chasing the sun

leaving me behind

Shit on my shoes


MY SHADOW KNOWS or I WANT TO WRITE


But I can’t


The morning’s sun shines on my back

warming my neck through the living room window

There’s a shadow on the floor

I can see my pen moving in it

as I write this line

I look studious in the shadow

notebook in my lap pen in hand

legs crossed professionally ankle on knee

The assumption would be

a man dressed in business casual

confident demeanor

obviously making money or solving

Problems

He continues to place his hand

on his chin deep in thought

He will answer all questions remarkably


The reality

cut-off sweat pants that serve as pajama bottoms

A gimmicky t-shirt that reads:

They said I could become anything

so I became sarcastic

I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet


The dog stares at me as she chews on her ball

She rolls the ball over my shadow face

as the earth’s orbit changes the angle of the sunlight

and that brilliant well-dressed man

Disappears


PLAYING 'POSSUM


Wow, he’s good

I say to my teenage daughter

as we drive by

she smiles, as I knew she would


I get the usual

what’s wrong with you

look from my wife


but I’m impressed

the dedication to craft

this is not your typical

playing ‘possum performance


sprawled on the double yellows

tongue out

moist on the blacktop


He took the time

to go the special effects route

a little blood in the whiskers

some brain matter oozing out of one ear


this was no side-of-the-road show

brave as they call it in the trade

a matador with 2-ton bulls

barreling towards him


and the stamina!

two hours later

on the way back home

and he’s still at it!


Bravo, Sir

Bravo


When Jason Melvin dies, he wants his ashes to be placed in a new bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and resealed. Sticky googly eyes should be placed on the outside of the bag, so his grandchildren can shake and play with him. And if they open the bag at snack time, so be it.