The Golden Cough

The Golden Cough
by shawn misener

There’s a bottom, see
we’re spiraling in a digital way
toward the apocalypse
I never believed in a new age
but my heart is warm and clicking, see
Tom Brokaw on the television
in glistening high definition
He’s saying to us:
“Watch out fuckers
The plant next door is moldy
with rust swimming up the smokestacks
and rats setting up shop, see
them against silhouettes of robot welders
Mountains of poly-soda bottles
shed red white and blue prisms, see
them blanket the horizon
with caffeinated mystical sparkles
Somebody is yelling RUN! under the purple jello sea
and we fear the marrow-terrorists
who strike from within
and we doubt the validity of our good credit
as our homes go up in blue flames
There’s a line outside of haggard men
slouching and ruffling through the valley
sometimes turning back and taking stock
of the monumental decomposing minivan
they helped build in a rainy century

0 thoughts on “The Golden Cough

  1. HeHe! Storm and Stress via stand-up. I noticed how almost every stanza has ‘see’. The 5th has ‘sea’ homonym and 6th has ‘rainy’ (from sea?). This would blow the panties off Emily Dickenson and her motley crue! Diabolically clever, sir. Wish i’d wrote it…better than that, i get to read it. Written against a dark commercial consumption conceptualization, humor eeks thru here and there, correct me if i’m wrong i.e. “Watch out fuckers PEANUT BUTTER IS COMING FOR YOU”. But plenty to take serious here in this day and age ‘get it NOW, pay for it later’ (products and consequences).
    i caught that little salute with ‘haggard men’…nice. Whole poem is very clear in description of images and avoids abstraction (damn, wish i could do that but it’s your unique gift);result is greater readability thru straighforwardness. There’s really not one stanza that catches my liking more than the others, i love them all. Though that last one hit me hard…i do have a decomposing minivan in the driveway and it is raining today. i’m psyched out, man. Excellent delivery. I can only imagine how good the novel will be… I’m gonna go out and rent ‘Brazil’ now.

  2. Thank you quasi- This is just one more dredging-up of. . .what do you call it. . . “commercial consumption conceptualization.” That seems to be a theme of a lot of my work here. The well is running dry, though. I wanna write about things like sex, robots, and swordfights, but every time I try I end up churning out a horrible “Pirates of the Carribean meets I Robot meets porno” nonsense. So maybe I’ll just stick with this.
    By the way, the Whooshay is still less than a quarter done. . . do you know any editors and/or agents who want to read the first few chapters, then maybe pay me to write the rest? I’d love to be done changing adult diapers and dealing with angry head-injured folks. It’s hard to make time to write after 40+ hours a weeks of that.

  3. This was a pleasure to read. Smooth like silk chocolate but with shards of nuts to make sure no one gets comfortable or complacent in the mind.
    I also loved “a line outside of haggard men” but chose not to think of it as a specific salute to this site. Seems to trash it a bit, I think. I’ve always loved the word ‘haggard’. And ‘savage’ too, among others.
    This piece seems to smell like prophecy in some way. Not reeking, just a wafting scent.
    I’m reading Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” at the moment (started it 3 years ago and decided it was time – socially – to pick it up again) and this poem has a similar taste to me.
    I wish I was as energetic a Quasimofo and had the patience to type out every meaning, connection, and thought I had /have about this, but I’m not. I like discussing poetry in person with the person who wrote it. Sadly, I haven’t been in the company of another writer for well over 5 years.
    Oh my…that’s sad.

  4. Start or join a writers guild. You will soon see why it has been five years. Put twenty or so perspectives on reality in one room and mostly you notice the mutual coffee breath and flatulence that comes from practicing hours pondering alone. But occasionally it makes for more energy.

  5. I read this as a dialogue between Edward G. Robinson (As Little Cesar) and Glenda Farrell (as Olga). It has language that compares contemporary situations here in the world to a time when things seemed as dire. This reeks of sentimentality and ironic recognition of the circular nature of our consumer-based economy. Used to be consumption was a catching disease that others shied away from. I think a good many writers failed to this plague. It killed most of the Brontë family, Keats and Kafka. Maybe it will get us too.

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