Mahoney has appeared in Outsider before and very much enjoyed it so he is no submitting once again, officially labeled or not. He wants to say, however, that his problem, whatever it is, has been relieved enormously by the process of writing, sometimes in three or more shifts of three hours a day, seven days a week. On nights he can’t sleep, he’s a woodpecker at the keyboard as early as 3 a.m. It’s one of only two obsessions in a lifetime of obsessions that would not attract the cops or make women angry.
Sometimes thinks his poems should scream what he feels but he doesn’t like those versions. He’s not Bukowski and he knows it. Some of Mahoney’s relatively newer work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.dpbs=. Some older work is at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com. Some of the poems on the latter site may have been written before he quit drinking with or without a bottle of Old Style. No computers then. Just a rickety Remington portable typewriter.
Bellowing by Email
It’s not good when two disturbed people
with little in common disagree by email
on something important.
Tone and content can get raucous
and make matters worse because each is
used to getting the last word.
Normal people give up arguing with them
but they can exchange emails for days
and never come close to a resolution.
Their bellowing would wake a bear in winter.
I tell you this from personal experience.
I just answered that lunatic again.
Act Now Before It’s Too Late
It's climate change,
the professor says,
that's causing all the
hurricanes and floods,
wildfires and tornadoes,
We must act now
before it's too late,
he tells his audience.
On Sunday morning
the preacher says
climate change is
the beginning of
the End Times.
Get ready now
for the Rapture.
It will be here soon.
You will either be
swept up to heaven
of left behind.
Sitting in his pew,
waiting for the collection,
both may be right,
and the preacher.
Climate change first
and then the Rapture.
What to do, he wonders,
if he's left behind.
His wife tells him
on the way home that
only the Shadow knows.
You won't find poetry anywhere
unless you bring some of it with you,
said Joseph Joubert,
a French writer whose day job
was working for Napoleon.
If Joubert was right and you have
poems marinating, then go out
and search everywhere for more.
You will find nice ones in the forest
twinkling in the eyes of a doe
or twitching in the ears of a rabbit.
Add them to your marinade and then
go into the city and you will find more
blazing in the eyes of America’s beggars.
There’s room in your marinade for more.
Odd and Strange
The day Paul got married,
his old girlfriend called his house
just before he and his bride Anne
caught the plane for their honeymoon.
Paul was outside packing the car
and Anne answered the phone.
His old girlfriend was angry because
Paul had married somebody else so she
told Anne strange things Paul liked to do,
strange things Anne had never heard of,
stuff that didn’t sound like Paul at all,
but Anne said nothing about the call
and they flew off to a nice honeymoon,
diving off cliffs and swimming in the sea,
seeing rare birds and tropical flowers,
eating native foods Anne hadn't heard of.
Years later, they went back to Oahu
for their 40th anniversary, and Anne
told Paul about the call but didn’t say
anything about what the girl had said
although she remembered every word.
They were sipping drinks at a cafe
when Paul admitted he remembered
the girl because she would ask him to do
things he thought odd and strange.
He was open-minded but there’s a limit.
Anne said she understood because after
40 years with Paul, she now liked to do
things she thought odd and strange when
she left the Amish for something new.
An Editor Suggests Revisions
Yours is the first email I opened this morning.
I appreciate your suggested revisions and invitation
to send the work back once I've made the changes.
I can tell you spent a lot of time analyzing my efforts.
I'm afraid, however, that I can't make the revisions
although I feel I should compensate you for your work.
It is to that end that I took your name to Rebecca.
I showed her your suggestions and she said your name
would be introduced at the next gathering of her coven.
She asked if I had suggestions for revisions to your life
and I said I did and that she might want to take notes.
I said I thought it might be best to have your organs
rot one at a time while your heart remains strong
so you die at a leisurely pace.
She said that could be arranged
although it was an unusual request.
In similar cases, when dispatching someone
who has insulted another, she has found
the insulted usually wants the insulter
sent off as quickly as possible.
I'm unusual, she said, in that respect.
I told her I didn't want to be heartless
and have you die before you have time
to put your affairs in order.
I reminded her not to inflict cancer
on your pancreas too early because
medicine has yet to find a cure for that.
In short order, cancer of the pancreas
means lights out, no lingering about.
I suggested the cancer start in your gall bladder,
move on to your kidneys, then to your lungs
and then to your brain. That will keep
the doctors busy while you waste away.
I suggested she save your pancreas for last.
I also asked her to let me know when
your pancreas becomes fully involved
so I can make plane reservations
to come and say good-bye.
In the meantime, may your next issue
be stillborn. No reason to make it
different from the last.
Old Style cans in Lacrosse, Wisconsin