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in white, wards of flocks,

the clocked-on-duty police of this place-----

"Sweetie," they say.  "Come on, hurry up.

By now you know how to do it."

Proceed with the routines, sweetie.

Sweetie, bite on this & process the sizzling.


Easy does, easy, is it?


Is this Youngman, Henny, smocked in a leer

of sardonic knobs twisting our violins,

playing us, making our house of the strung-out regime

clean, clean, clean as the kiss formed by lips

Chap stick shares?


Wipe first.  Remember hygiene, these angels are told,

& in turn tell us, pill-stitched in this loony bin,

audience of the tomatoes hidden, the tomatoes thrown

from out of sleeves, from under dunce caps.


cw: hospitalization

STEPHEN MEAD is a retired Civil Servant, having worked two decades for three state agencies.  Before that his more personally fulfilling career was fifteen years in healthcare.  Throughout all these day jobs he was able to find time for writing poetry/essays, and creating art. Occasionally he even got paid for this work. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum.

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