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Stuck In The Mud

Twice – after the Weller
and Johnsrude murders –
you lucked out after
being spotted spinning tires
in the mud, trying to take
a shortcut through back-
country roads. The witnesses
didn’t remember right away,
didn’t report anything untoward.

In and out of body dump sites
like you were off-loading
rotten vegetables or scrap
lumber. A lucky sonnovabitch,
masquerading as a building
contractor, passing out fancy
embossed business cards, tooling
around in rented trucks and cars
you were always careful to clean.

You imagined you blended in
like one of a hundred truck
farmers and country squires
out on a Sunday errand, running
around in loose T’s and jeans,
swag belly-over-the-buckle,
beer-brand baseball cap,
glad hand and smile. Could have
pulled it off a good long while --

until you got more daring
and the blood lust created
the need of too many constituent
stories and too many puzzle
pieces for you to fit into
a coherent picture. Not that
that stopped any of the denial
or evasive answer tactics.
You had a million of those.

According to your curious malaise,
You’re not a pederast or killer
until the evidence is in. You’re just
a b & e artist, petty thief who likes
to kite cheques and drink a little
while he drives. A rapscallion
maybe, a rake, still debonair
and cool, even with your hand
in the government purse.

You could be fisting the pope and
it wouldn’t count unless we walked
in and found you up to your armpit
in the man’s colon. Then you’d just
shrug and say you were playing
mutual consent meat puppets, or
present your wrists for cuffing.
Oh well; gig’s up, I guess.

Of course, if the authorities
want to talk hypothetically, you might
have the contacts that could net
a little information for a price.
Hell, you’d slip the moon
behind a cloud like a quarter
in a juke box and pull it out
from behind their ears for a price.

No flies on you. No sir.
The wheels are spinning
even when the chassis is
on jacks and the wheels
aren’t hitting pavement.
The bigger the trench, the better.
Hell, you like it down in the mud,
Truth is just a knot of toads
that needs feeding anyway, eh?


words: Richard Stevenson, Canada (biography + publications)
image: 'enclose' - Dorothee Lang, Germany (blueprint21)


this is an excerpt from the long poem 'Rock, Scissors, Paper'. more about this long poem, and the poetic investigation of evil, here in the author's note.


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BluePrintReview - issue 23 - (dis)comfort zones