f Mouse and Men

Up front, inside character, the temperature

can reach boiling point. Pretty darn hot.

Unlike the pay. Which is pretty darn frayed.


Unless you’re the other side of the costumes

calmly strolling around licking ice creams,

while coolly waving back at the fixed-grinned

intensity. According to the features,

the kingdom's benign, its wildlife all tame.

No one be spokes problems or speaks about

ill-fitting characters in this beaming domain.


The sunny sweat their sweet contentment

and are drawn to show their mild pleasures,

by teaching their kids how to sew button eyes

over the tracks of sentimental tears.

And watch pink puffs of candy-floss memories

float skywards, while creaming spots and chasing tots,

who dance around until their hearts descent.


At dusk, dank, care-worn uniforms of

gazumpety, lolloping goofies

are soon shorn out of poor performance scripts,

are soon beyond the day’s flat perspective:

their animation stills stalled in the shade.

Erasers nestle in suit pockets,

in readiness for the smudged not in line.


As figures find to their cost one fine day,

the withdrawn behind the stain-soaked masks

fail to be warmed by the fun of it all.

Instead, they’re dazed and stretchered to the out-takes,

where, dumped in bins hidden behind bright views,

their naked sketches and torn dreams flutter

and set in the west’s dipping fortune.


Drifting, aimless, their deflated balloons

trail vomit cream that leaks from empty,

discarded costumes. The deepening depression

in the dust bowl has moved to tumble-weed

and back lots. And continues to draw lots

and lots. Just jots, dots – blotching puddles

and steaming in the fading heat down back.