Friday, May 13, 2011

"A Day at the Museum" by Daniel Eberle-Mayse

Daniel Eberle-Mayse was one of ten readers who stepped up to the •chance operations• open-mic at the April 4 reading at Duff's.

The next reading will be Monday, May 23, at Duff's, 392 North Euclid, in the Central West End.

Featured readers will be Eileen G'Sell, Susan SpitFire Lively, and Robert Nazarene.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; admission is $3.

Advance sign-up for the open-mic following the featured readers is encouraged. Click here to sign-up via e-mail.

A Day at the Museum

I woke up and looked at the clock on the wall of my bedroom,
and I realized I was late.
So I scurried to make my coffee and roll some cigarettes for the road,
not bothering to brush the tar from my teeth or wash the death from my skin or
meticulously pick what costume will best convey the image I want to project to the rest of the world on this particular day.

I kissed my conscience goodbye and I told her that I loved her
like a hack actor or a dog barking for a treat.
And then I set off in my two-toned, battle-worn, champagne-colored car
and tried my best to keep my tired, sin-soaked, sleep-deprived brain
from leaving my body to the ravages of the other throttling death machines
that would tear me apart if disregarded for even a second.
And I arrived before I knew it at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center
just in time for the prison tour my well-meaning probation officer signed me up for.

Out in the parking lot I looked at the dull, unsmiling, muddy bricks and the twisting, malicious, arachnid intricacies of barbed wire.
The armor-plated arrogance of the sauntering, vacant gargoyle guards,
and the acrid stink of their glistening, oil-slick shoe-polish
sends the vague taste of vomit to my tongue as they pass by in their man-shell mimicry.
And after entering and sitting through the cautionary tales that I've heard a million times before,
we embark out to the "yard,"
where wet and dripping cat-calls from pathetic broken warriors ring out and bounce off each other in their crowded, sweating, sloppily veiled agony,
desperately searching for a distraction from the monotonous horror
of this regression to animal baseness.

Sad museum of powerless ghosts, what do you think when you swallow men whole?
For we are all savage hateful creatures filled to the brim with murder, excess, failure and spite.
Why, then, do you choose these paper tigers to devour and consume?
I can't help but believe that it's nothing but a coin toss,
'cause I'm just as much a liar and a killer as all of these monsters.
And no matter how high we lift our insipid egos with stale lovers and families we never wanted,
it will never change the stark unchanging fact
that we all belong in this zoo.

-- Daniel Eberle-Mayse

1 comment:

  1. "The killer in me is the killer in you." -- Ted Bundy (not Billy Corgan, as most think).

    A really strong poem, Daniel. Too many great lines to single out here.