Green Hills Literary Lantern


There’s Daffy, who does wonders for one’s phonemes,

then the smiles at the lisps. Quirollo—dragooned doctor,

plumbing where he’s at. Mommy with the deaf, obese ear.

He won’t feel cute when he’s fifty, but you’ll be dead by then.


There’s the bashing of heads, though with plastic swords.

Your lips form no while they segue to a smile, especially

when he bops them while they’re trying to make a point.

Yosemite Sam is always getting bopped by Bugsy.


There’s the snitching of cookies. You laugh when you discover

where he squirrels them. Yet the shortstop—all of them despise

him. Theft is cute to thieves. Ask Tweety. Ask Sylvester.

Ask that whining stutterer Porky.


You taught him that others do not exist, that there are

buttons nearby he can push to turn them off. Then

you sent him to a school without buttons, with hundreds

like him from homes like yours.


Meanwhile, your hydroponics peak at seven hundred fifty

dollars an ounce and the Pud Club, where walleyed

slugs in guinea t-shirts toss back suds while wedging fins

in the ersatz tits of Brazilian strippers and candy-eyed girls

saying that’s the point when you complain that it’s all

a tease, is where you repair.


Back home Popeye launches Bluto. An anvil from a great height

lands on Wile E. Coyote, who quickly reinflates. And you,

who look like you’ve swallowed a wrecking ball, your hair

raked high by a pricey yellow applicator, what have you been

thinking? That someday Betty Boop can win?


Blow kisses to cash, which he will have. Teach him how

to parboil truth and serve it up. Now I’m the one struggling

to keep a straight face. You're driving to hell in a Mercedes.

Hate to say it but, happy motoring.





Fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, Fred Yannantuono has to date published 306 poems in 85 journals in 30 states. His work was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2006. His book, A Boilermaker for the Lady, which can be browsed on Amazon, has been banned in France, Latvia, and the Orkney Isles. He was recently Featured Poet in Light Quarterly. To Idi Amin I’m an Idiot – and Other Palindromes is due out in 2013, followed by a second book of poems, I Hate to Second-Guess Myself, or Do I?