He want's to see if anyone will notice,
Records the following message on his machine:

I can't come to the phone right now
because I am dead...

He checks his machine every night,
dropping dimes into a pay-phone
some distance away.
Every night he hears the sound
of his own voice. His message
coming through the small plastic
speaker pressed to his ear.
Saying what it says. Wanting
what it wants. And then a beep.
Followed by nothing at all.

He checks his machine, night
after night. For months.

he stops checking.

--kurt eisenlohr

pay your taxes

Pay your taxes
or the man on the moon will have to stay there.
Pay your taxes
or French kisses will become mouthfuls of sand.
Pay your taxes
or the smallest insects and rodents
will become vicious and eat the city.
Pay your taxes
or your diaphragm will shrink five sizes
when you need a deep voice.
O you fools, you beasts Pay your taxes
or mad scientists will drain our blood
to wash the feet of robots.
Pay your taxes
or revelry will ride sinking stones
not fantastic horses.
Pay your taxes
or your bent backs will taxi imbeciles
from inane extravaganza to inane extravaganza.
Pay your taxes
or birds will come to eat our teeth like popcorn.
O you insane abyss lovers please Pay your taxes
or all the statues in the world will shit.
Pay your taxes
or books will gnaw off our fingers.
Pay your taxes
or your eyes will become plastic
your nose will grow into a spiteful cobra
and every awkward dancer will step on your tongue.
Pay your taxes
or we'll wipe our ass with broken glass.
Pay your taxes
or we'll wake up in coffins.
Pay your taxes
or our faces will die before the rest of us.
Pay your taxes
or one poem will last as long as all poems.
O you crazies Pay your taxes.

--anthony george

archive index | current issue

©2001 Kurt Eisenlohr / Anthony Geroge
Smokebox is a non-commercial, volunteer driven e-zine
uncredited images used are for journalistic purposes only