Poetry from Jeff Bagato

Grasses Revolt


Donkey belongs in the race for no reason

but to provide laughter, ass

laugh heard round the world

as America shifts sighing on dinner

table stool—meat for meals

and keep on chewing carnivore,

these our platforms, cherished

like coal oil sugarcane

and gasoline sirens, burning

once started and can’t shut ‘em off—

until the grasses revolt and run

screaming with blades akimbo

to cut money pie out from under

the bean counters and their owners,

the leash slicing tight like necktie

for the asphyxiated blind—

blades bearing castration complex

to new dominions; blades

slashing and getting the red out;

blades horny with new blood

running up roots and drunkening

the vegetable spirit to recklessness

greater than ever absolutely—

blades in and out hearts like pistons

on deep throat double feature,

matinee mimes keep the business

end tickled to a sharper edge;

blades running free, piercing

tires, cutting heads, dueling

with Steven Spielberg for the cinema

of our times; blades so dashing

they shame Barrymore & Flynn;

blades to make momma cry;

blades caught in the toilet

with their heads held high;

blades upon figurehead,

cost of business rising

till Wall Street tears flowing

ticker tape red, their eyes

filling up with a green

of a different swallow

Banana Lore


What ho bananas,

squealing out passion

while running tumescent

through the supermarket bins;

a leap into a cart becomes

sudden death in the mouths of babes,

a little brain food for the mindless

always obsessed with brains—

there’s a price on your head—

this scale for weighing

the worth of soft hearts

and sweetened souls

that could be baked or fried

or mashed into a loaf

of bread, a doorstop

propping open this world

of juggling coins and titties

flashing on TV screens

among the plastic apples:

a courtship of grocery lust,

a meat market where fruits

and tubers sing and dance

to attract their buyers

in the mists of time

before the canker of rot

sets in—corruption

takes its toll on beauty

no matter how much wax

is applied or whether mystic

gas delays the crimes of death—

a fruit gets sore from so much use;

so cast down your peels

to plant pratfall bombs

and save the jingles

for another dollar day


A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music and glitch video. Some of his poetry and visuals have appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, Otoliths, Gold Wake Live, Sheila-Na-Gig, Angry Old Man, and Midnight Lane Boutique. Some short fiction has appeared in Gobbet and Future Cactus. He has published nineteen books, all available through the usual online markets, including And the Trillions (poetry) and The Toothpick Fairy (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.com.

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