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PageNet Pages the Net!

by David W. Boles

PAGENET
The PageNet Motorola Gold FLX alphanumeric pager is simply the best service and pager you can buy today — that’s a mouthful to read, but as you take in an eyeful of it all above, you’ll soon understand how the secret to screening the world can rest in the palm of your hand.

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The Golden Age of the Web

Golden and Loving It
Believe it or not, we are now living in The Golden Age of the World-Wide Web. Enjoy it while you can, for it shall not last long. Especially if the computer industry has its way. They want every noodnik with a modem and a hard drive traipsing around the internet 24 hours a day so they can provide the means for the traipser’s well-being while on the Web. It’ll be a never-ending tourist season of noodniks for us seasoned Webbers as we slay and wheedle away those unwelcomed gawkers armed with cable modems and unlimited Web access for $5 a month.

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Mostly White Meat

[Author’s Note: This poem also appears in my play, The Weeping Water Cafe.]

A face, tender as a porcelain doll,
cracks under the white hot mirror of
quartz lights.
A voice,
feeble at first,
then shouts into my living room.

I stop,
listen,
and a wrinkled pea rolls off my fork.

Something about exploding fuel like erasers
and a lost cause
and bruised bodies
and They’re All Dead.
I can’t swallow my mashed potatoes.

A commercial.

They are called heroes.
Invisible chests are adorned
with the metals from exploded tanks
and their memories are bathed in the
salty tear from a child’s eye.

The apple cobbler doesn’t look so good any more.

The news comes in fast…
A blue sock hiding a charred bone washes ashore —
a bottle holding a plea for help
from another unknown brother in horror.
They didn’t know what hit ’em.

The paste, called gravy, hardens over my
television dinner,
mostly white meat.

Replayed before the bloodshot eye of ground pirates,
the white pencils explode carefully planned
speeches again
and then some more.

And so the heroes are back in the clouds
where they belong.

And the potatoes,
quiet,
and still unswallowed,
harden
into seven chalky headstones.

Unnatural Selection

[Author’s Note: This poem appears in my play, The Weeping Water Cafe.]

I was kneeling, pulling dandelions
when I heard it.
There, under the mock black cherry tree
a young rabbit flat on its back
limp,
a broken toothpick spine.
The wail
describes an
underside ripped clean of fur
oozing red
exposing a pink
diaphragm.

Across the lawn
calm,
nodding,
the cat.

My hands
are city clean.
I consider nursing
or twisting the head.

Quieter now.
I name it Gregory.
His life stains my palms.
The eye closes.
An ear droops.
Last gasps
dribble
from my bleeding fists
and seep into patio cracks.

I open the garbage can,
place Gregory inside the
Gillette Dairy Ice Milk carton
and replace the aluminum lid
that doesn’t begin to muffle
the heartbeat in my fingertips.