Happy Tuesday, everyone! Thank you for joining us for our second edition of WRB’s The Curve. This week, we have joining us Eric Duenez, with poems “Middle America” and “Dandelion by Default.” Thank you, Eric, for joining us, and thanks to all of you for the read.

 

MIDDLE AMERICA

      Out here, this is love: .

      Punchline after punchline off the chin.
      No two snowflakes are alike but it’s the only insult we have.
      Remember: every time you point your finger, I will cut it off with lopping shears.
      You have eight chances to learn this lesson.

                There is always a girl I work with.
                There is never a girl I work with.

      I live in the second poorest county of the third most miserable state
                in the dumbest country in the world, but fresh cut grass—c’est la vie.

      I really hate when you pull the frozen pizza from the oven a minute early and the center is still cold.
      The coldness would be negligible except it affects every piece
      —unless you’re one of those monsters that cuts their pizza into squares.

      Pineapple on pizza might be the only issue I don’t care about.

      My only real complaint about those New York & Hollywood liberals is their disdain for fast food.
      It’s what we have—and antique stores.

      It takes a concerted effort to reach a level of alcohol poisoning where you feel
      vomiting is a good thing.

      Jesus, hold my hair.

 

DANDELION BY DEFAULT

 

      I’ve been standing in this line for over an hour.

      A nice older couple meet an optometrist and they talk about camping in the UP.
      They have a cute story about a time she lost a kayak off the trailer he loaded.

      That was my alibi then. You’re my alibi now.

      I know they told us to be ready,
      & it was listed as a possible essay question,
      but I never put much thought into the kind of flower I should be.

      A daisy is the obvious choice, slid down a rifle barrel by soft, white fingers.

      Roses ritually sacrificed to cover the stale smell churches have.
      The moldering body of Christ? Monogamy? I don’t know.
      We light a candle & hold the reception elsewhere.

      All I want is my face in the sun.

 

ERIC DUENEZ lives in Plymouth, Indiana with his three cats. A bitter member of the precariat, he spends his time erecting new gods to provoke with savage blasphemies. Clearly, he has lost his mind, but remains bound by reason and empathy. He has recently adopted a protégé who says she will read Infinite Jest, Gravity’s Rainbow, and The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You this summer (he holds his breath), so he will finally have someone to discuss them with, which would make him even happier than he was receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in English from IUSB.

 

 

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