Sheila-Na-Gig online


Gene Goldfarb

Gene Goldfarb lives on Long Island, writes mostly poetry, but has ventured into short fiction and essays. His work has appeared in Sheila-Na-Gig online, Black Fox, SLANT, Quiddity, Bull & Cross, Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight and elsewhere.

Watch for the Dragon

Unlike our fire-breathing exterminator
of peaceful pre-historic villages
the Chinese dragon comes with luck
and joy and the New Year’s wish
of prosperity. Like the aristocratic
color purple, only the emperor
was entitled to the full measure of
the dragon’s extraordinary beneficence.

Gotta remember the emperor could
do great things or terrible ones
with a word from his mouth,
perhaps even a wave of his hand
lives, destinies, great enterprises
could be decided by the emperor
in a second. No worrying
about a filibuster, or a dispatch
petition or ironing out differences
in conference committees,
or technical corrections bills
or primaries, or super PACs,
or editorials, or court injunctions,
or having the common folk vote.

If the emperor had his buddy
the dragon around then no worry
about plague or famine or foreign
invaders, nope the taxes would be
modest and the people really would
be secure in their little hovels, and
they would love their emperor
without fear or opinion polls.

The Creation of Air

Before there was cotton candy
or brats holding their breath,
before there were whistles
or tremendous leonine roars
before there was a gasp,
or a wisp of smoke,
or continuous talk and noise
on the radio
when the dramatic pause
still paused and audiences
were mute with anticipation
when each Commandment
went forth on its own blaze
so those commanded could
digest, assent and follow,
or instead take their chances,
there was this pop of gas
released from somewhere
and all knew it was good
and necessary.
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