Tin Ear


Musical ability is out the window.
It’s not the thrashing skins next door,
or the plops in the porch bucket,
or my grandma’s steady snoring from her bedroom,
or my buzzing brother with his head in a dead beehive.

It’s the cars with unserviced shocks carving out an erosion speed divot outside,
It’s the screech as the drivers momentarily confuse a bald pantiless doll for a child.
It’s the ping of pennies fired from Dad’s coin gun rebounding off side panels,
It’s the outrage in the voices toward my Dad’s confederate brother slinging lit water balloons at
the windshield and daring a chase.

Take that, Dad mutters.
An empty click.
Dammit. Never dry fire son, he yells down the stairs.
Dry fire is wild fire, messes with your aim.

His careening laugh causes me to miss a beat of
My inhale,
My death metal symphony about me shifting lines,
My smothered chorus hooked rib high,
My synapse sputters, writhes and fuses dendrite refuse from the evolution.


* * *


Paul Handley has had fiction and humor pieces included in Gargoyle Magazine, Monkeybicycle, The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He had a play performed for Pulp Diction III and another published in The Mayo Review. He has poems included in a full length collection 5-Tool Poet (Punkin House Press), on-line chapbook, Life Is for Us to Keep (Silkworms Ink), publications such as Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Pemmican, and others.

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