When Walnut Fudge
cross-contaminated with Pecan Divinity,
each believed they were
the signature Christmas candy,
but when they crossed paths
with the often overdone upper crust—
with their “nanas” instead of “grannies”
& their preference for truffles,
with all their fancy-schmancy finishes,
nestled in scalloped paper shells—
Fudge & Divinity realized
that despite their differences,
they’d take being nutty anyday
over being infused with booze.
He was savory cheesecake,
When they tried to make
beautiful dinner music together,
she had no use for his spooning
when she needed to be forked
a tine or two
(being quite forkable),
any more than he had for her
egging him on while
being totally baked.
When Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
met Chocolate Chip Cookie,
it was sweet love at first sight,
so they decided to open a cookie emporium,
after dozens of cakeholes & pieholes
had claimed it was easy as a piece of cake.
So, these not-so-smart cookies conceived & baked
the Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookie,
who turned out to be a clusterfudge,
for those who loved chocolate hated raisins
& those who loved raisins were allergic to chocolate.
Thus, the biz burned up belly-up,
who knew what worked,
being a Thin Mint entrepreneur,
telling them that was just the way the cookie crumbled.
& an American
walked into an eatery.
The Englishman left an impolite word,
the Frenchman, a bad review,
& the American,
She lived a life of mystery,
he, of transparency.
When they met over coffee & bagels,
she found herself longing for a simple life,
he, a scintillating one.
When they fell in love—
she, with his all-around nice guy persona
& he, with her essence of intrigue—
they compromised for a life in the burbs,
surrounded by all the displaced yuppies
with their big little lies.
Ninah Fiver had been counseled not to burn bridges,
but she dared to glare back at the witches,
with their real plastic & fake smiles,
who had tried to suck her back in with their fakery & toxicity
& cast upon her their spells of rotting, garden-variety bitchcraft.
Knowing that these hoes who were loved (but not beloved) by rakes
would soon be sweeping over,
she sprayed her territory with AquaNet & lit a match,
so that these ladies with the invisible pointed hats
went out in a blaze of glory,
even as Ninah blazed the trail for other office workers
who suffered from first-world PTSD
& an unhealthy obsession with Post-It notes.
There was something for everyone—
from the faceless mountains sculpted
with God’s own hands,
to the beaches of white or brown sugar,
from the ice castles of Sweden to
the watercolor deserts of Africa,
from the Edenic flora of Madeline O’Keefe,
to the pastoral Americana of Grant Wood,
to the wide-open spaces of Andrew Wyeth.
For this land was a nation of immigrants–
all of whom could still find a piece
of what they’d left behind.
He spent the graveyard shift
watching the hairy underbelly of society scratch themselves–
evidence that the earth decayed during the Dreamtime.
Beck’s father still used terms like “lady doctor” & “male nurse,”
just as Beck’s mother still said “seamstress & tailor,”
“sculptor & sculptress.”
Beck didn’t see the world in shades of pink & blue
in the listings of one’s job description;
for him, cosmetologists & mixologists
would always be beauticians & bartenders,
just as the police were “The Flatfooted Fuzz”
to his wayward brother, Call.
“It is what it is,” was Beck’s favorite phrase,
next to “you are what you are,”
for “corporate tool” was listed at the top of his resume,
which was a perfect fit,
as his last name was Lackey.
He’d been blackballed,
for they had ditched their HR & PR personas
to live an authentic life—
fully accepting of the consequences
for blowing the whistle
on the sounding brasses & tinkling cymbals
of the corporate crooks & political partygoers,
so they could live life on their terms,
even if doing so sometimes left them
in the red.
He had a long rap sheet,
she, a wide spreadsheet.
They carpooled their talents,
pulling off a virtual heist
that pushed them to the limits
of their abilities,
& they lived high
while laying low . . .
until the law caught up with them.
The judge laid down the law
& dispensed her prescription for justice,
which was that one work at Wal-Mart,
the other, McDonald’s,
dealing with the general public—
rather than the general population—
for the rest of their lives.
Dinner on a Dive
She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth,
his mother, with a wooden spoon in her hand.
She came from a house of privilege,
he, from the poor house that fell
just below the poverty line.
When they shared a melted milkshake
over a platter of limp fries
at the local greasy spoon,
he realized that she belonged
in the front of the house,
he, in the back,
& so they decided to be restaurateurs,
where she learned too soon
that her silver spoon
had turned green.