Leipzig Mantra & Other Poems


Peg-o-my-heart, you promised I could help feed the bass sluicing like bastards in your farm pond; that you’d let me trap, club, and dice some overweight field mice; ‘let me add chiseled chips off a de-waxed rutabaga; ‘chew up and spit out a mash of radiant fruit loops; ‘rain down crumblings of limburger cheese; and then lob balls of this fucking mélange into the air close to shore and surrounding the corn-baited hooks you’d already set bobbing on glowing lines in the greenwater for the better part of ninety minutes. But then you decided you didn’t need my helpful ass after all, that you were going to fish entirely on your lonesome; that the farm pond at night was a safe arena for barbing hapless and dim-witted smallmouth (as well as oodles of their sunny buddies), and so you tongue-kissed me off the farm after fanning out a one-way ticket to Jacksonville handkerchief-like in my shirt pocket.


You got you one steady two-part mantra there, and it’s one: that frogs don’t have to be green if they don’t really want to (that they can jettison their shiny bright jade and slip into something, say, purple or orange), and then two: that formal introductions are required if I intend to court the mayor’s fat daughter, and that said introductions have to extend beyond and below the immediate family; that is, they ‘gotta seep them down to the cousin-level if she or I ever want anything more exciting than merely holding hands in a crystal punch bowl or the rapid goosing of one another underneath our bulky coats as we pretend we’re standing in line for tickets near the entrance to the Leipzig zoo. But I’m tired of listening to this or other stray mantras, and my shallow mouth keeps salivating for your underarms: I wanna tug and pull me some truth from out the ebony hair there. I wanna give my tongue a shot at highlighting and chasing the tattoos ‘round your waist, at making those mothers flash fluorescent while the two-part mantra just keeps booming off my begging ass, ‘keeps causing the exotic beasts here to frenzy themselves, and I sure do see myself learning a habitat’s worth of lessons. But my mouth, it now runs dry entirely on its lonesome; my heart, it starts to still; and time’s up for us to lip-sync Leipzig bye-bye-bye’s.


I bent down and said so long to the cricket, ‘told him where I was headed they’d love him for his steely music, and they’d make attempts to fashion armor like his (though, of course, in pale tones and blown-up specs). I tried to placate the spiky little fucker by describing the flowers I’d be slogging through as foul-smelling members of the chrysanthemum family and not in the least what he always finds succulent, but I sensed throughout my farewell, he wasn’t buying even a gram of the fiction, and he knew he’d not screw his harem again.

William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, and The California Quarterly.