Be polite at the reception desk.
Not all the knives are in the museum.
The waitresses know that a nice boy
is formed in the same way as a deckchair.
Pay for the beer and send flowers.
Introduce yourself as Richard.
Do not refer to what somebody did
at a particular time in the past.
Remember, every Friday we used to go
for a walk. I walked. You walked.
Everything in the past is irregular.
This steak is very good. Sit down.
There is no wine, but there is ice cream.
Eat slowly. I have many matches.
HITLER’S MUSTACHE: THE MUSTACHE JINGLE
It was a double edged sword, all of this mustache.
An eagle soaring wordlessly through the silence.
It was a mustache, this double-sword word.
It was a goose egg, this horrible curse.
This mustache attached at one end with a mustache.
As if this mustache wouldn’t die.
It did what any mustache might do.
It did what any mustache would do.
What mustache wouldn’t do what it did?
It was a triple throated word, this mustache.
It was a bird coated lover this word bird.
It was a doubled edged curse, all of this mustache.
HITLER’S MUSTACHE: THE FRAGMENTED LYRIC POEM
I would prefer the poem to the mustache
Because there is something better than Everybody Loves Hitler, she said
Stoned was the gross stupid bee
Machete! Automated night is in the ball park
–Peter Davis, HITLER’S MUSTACHE
see that no hair on the chest man seeking work
his golden excon tan darker than his on the fence mullet
everything is rigged like in the squared circle
he sleeps by the construction site
he never smells bad
he finds alien spotting shades
insulting each reptile talking into their watch
‘this one, real fuckin ugly’
it could be you or the taqueria or the aliens
he’s addressing either you or them
undifferentiating rage where shock would be
he narrows his eyes at the shanty towns
alien tvs behind their makeshift fires
he prefers sleeping under the beams every night
never having to shave and knowing
a bolonie and ketchup awaits at lunch
his only friends now are the vets
and maybe other bay area excons
anthologized by the alien forces
he can see you seeing him
he wants you to know just what he thinks of you
you lousy alien mug
his mental state takes a turn for the worse
body slamming fellow character actors
yelling why you suck
because you or they are not human
spit from his wrestling diction coats your reptile skin
I like that I can see that
you like me and that you are nice to me
You are perfectly easy to please
I am taller than you but only by an inch
When I’m cynical I think I can cruise
hrough relationships but they get progressively harder
I harden as you live in the same area code
that I live in you like to feed birds you like mint chutney
I can write through two thoughts
beyond the elephantine curtain the meatball jargon
And in the softness of your pushiness
you’re forcing me to snort backwards without getting your shoes wet
And name the color on your shoes in an effort
to represent the tragedy the flux of your animal countenance
I sneeze I just call them colors
like sand blond yellow caramel champagne
Tripping over the fact of James Hetfield
shooting a bear in hibernation I leaf through responses I juggle phrases
I go to sleep in random increments
I modify my limpness my handshake of liberty y abstract pet
I change my nominal meaning
I change into a second baseman a foothold
A papaya you see and I don’t
I’m cribbing my thoughts in close to the vest
–Mike Hauser, CRETS CRETS CRETS
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Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.