;

PERSONAL AD #1 (Pairs Only Matter In Poker) by Michael Schmeltzer

I wear garish makeup and make faces in the mirror.
Which reminds me…do you want to hear
my favorite joke?
Two clowns walk into a bar:
one with a sad face, the makeup frown
thick and chalky as a hotdog bun; the other
no face whatsoever.
There never was a happy face.

After C.D. Wright

I wear garish makeup and make faces in the mirror.
Which reminds me…do you want to hear
my favorite joke?
Two clowns walk into a bar:
one with a sad face, the makeup frown
thick and chalky as a hotdog bun; the other
no face whatsoever.
There never was a happy face.
Let me start over.
There are two expressions we carry like dumbbells
to balance ourselves in public.
People are often
two-faced and falling flat
on both of them. If you look carefully
I always lean to the left.
I love honesty
the way a lazy-eyed child loves playing pirate.
How far sunk do you think
a treasure must be
before we call it buried?
What about desires?
For reasons unknown I often find trouble.
My ex-lover phoned me
after an absence of six weeks, drunk and high on meth.
He always called it “Tina” or “Crystal”
as if a drug could wear jewels
or flaunt a slinky dress.
He added lime to his beer and dubbed it a cocktail.
Ever hear of heterochromia?
For a sucker like me it means exotic.
Plus, he was handsome. He had one
hazel and one blue eye.
They were both beautiful
but I never knew which color to trust.
My problem is whatsoever my right eye sees
my left ignores
so he got away with a lot.
His eyes glittered like Vegas
when all I needed was Branson.
By the end there was nothing left to gamble.
All I wanted then
was to slip a penny over each eye
and watch the world bury him.

 

Listen to Michael Schmeltzer’s reading below…

 

Back to Table of Contents

Tags: , ,

About Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer
Michael Schmeltzer earned an M.F.A. from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. His honors include numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, the Gulf Stream Award for Poetry, and Blue Earth Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. Schmeltzer has been a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro Prize, the Slapering Hol Chapbook Contest, and a semi-finalist for the Zone 3 First Book Award for Poetry and the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. He helps operate and edit A River & Sound Review and has been published in Bellingham Review, Natural Bridge, Mid-American Review, Water~Stone Review, New York Quarterly, and Fourteen Hills, among others.