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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Poetry of Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney normally writes a short introduction to his poems, but he didn't this time. 

The Skinny on Fatty's Cafe

Here's the skinny on Fatty's Cafe,
a grubby diner on a snaky street 
under the El in dark Chicago
where street lights flicker
and the hungry descend from 
the flophouse above the store.

If you have a yen for a BLT 
and Fatty is workin' the grill,
the hungry say don't go in,
be patient and wait outside
for Fatty's brother, Skinny,
to wield the spatula.

Skinny has a way with BLTs,
piling bacon and tomato high 
on a triple decker, with a hint
of lettuce and a swipe of mayo 
on all three slices of bread.
No extra charge to toast it
when Skinny's workin' the grill.

Ignore the rain, sleet or snow  
and wait outside with the hungry 
till Skinny starts flippin' the bacon. 
He takes over at midnight when 
Fatty flops into his Lincoln 
and heads for his castle.
Then Skinny lays out the bacon
and the hungry outside march in.


Donal Mahoney


Answer Now

I was just a boy  
but I remember Hitler
at the start

and how too few 
understood his plan to
do away with Jews.

I’m a codger now
certain that too few  
understand ISIS 

so let the word go forth
for all with eyes to see
and ears to hear:

We have another genocide,
this one more inclusive.  
We must answer now

or else Christians, Jews 
and Muslims too will keep 
dying in the sand.


Donal Mahoney


Income Equality

Wilbur’s always lived 
in the navel of society,
lost in the lint
of the middle class.

His parents lived there too.
So will his children if they
fail to win the lottery.
Not a problem for Wilbur.

From his navel he can
see the poor sweat 
at jobs they died for.
When he looks up 

he can see the rich bet 
on stocks and then relax 
with wine and caviar.
That's the way the world works.

Wilbur's father told him
it’s always been that way
and always will be.
And like his father 

Wilbur knows the world 
will always have its Castros 
wanting to parcel out 
what Donald Trump has.

No wonder, Wilbur says.
Income equality can’t reign
until the world ends or 
pygmies play in the NBA. 

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