3 Poems — D.G. Geis


How far we’ve paddled
from Ye Olde Tidal Pool!

Between the shark liver oil
in Preparation H

and eau de vie of jellyfish
in Prevagen,

we soldier on.
Life’s stinging tentacles

the world’s our oyster.

And fins forgotten,
we’ve landed on our feet.

From top to bottom,
our memories jogged,

our troubled wrinkles stilled,
we gimp gamely

into a future
where even The Heavens

declare the non-event of
our passing —

And as we make
our unhurried transition

from ashes to diamonds
or dust to eco-friendly planters,

we wave goodbye,
a final act of attrition

to commemorate our timely dispersal.
A castaway’s hallelujah!

at the sighting
of death’s black sails.

To leave a bauble
for our bubble

at the check-out counter
of this cosmic dollar store

and pennies on the dollar,
pledge our depleted atoms

at The Heavenly Pawnshop;
to be redeemed or rearranged —

whichever the hell
comes first.



And if you ever get on my show, the rules
hold fast for you – no trading boxes
after the selection.

Monty Hall

That could be the devil talking.
Or just a voice in your head.

That Stalin was a doodler
and Hitler a vegetarian.

That in this oh so astonishing world,
you can Adopt-a-Manatee

or “lose 7 pounds in 7 days” —
all the time waiting giddily

for the PCH Prize Patrol.
That Elvis sang Gospel

and delighted in
Dilaudid-spiked milkshakes.

And that at Busch Gardens,
away from prying eyes,

the Great Apes watch cartoons
and wildlife documentaries.

It’s the little things that make us human.
As innocence once had a tale —

the same appendage our forebears used
to climb, grasping things

we no longer grasp, gliding wordlessly
through the canopy

before our esteemed Co-Pilot
hit the button and ejected us.

Which is where our vestigial tail ends:
costumed bargainers at a gameshow,

contestants all clamoring
for the chance to choose.

As excited as Komodo Dragons
in a petting zoo,

as happy as Minoans
loving, living, laughing —

dancing on the palace walls
at Knossos,




In Heaven,
resting on his laurels,

Charles Elmer Doolin,
the inventor of Fritos,

looks down —
the earth off-kilter

like a painting
that won’t stay hung.

Meanwhile in Kyrgyzstan
an old black and white TV flickers,

its sign-off pattern
still intact:

Chief Darkness
in his war bonnet

slouching towards Sioux Falls,
his grief as inviolable

as a tray of fancy plastic desserts
at an interstate Denny’s.

And a heartbreak,
which if left untreated,

will later develop
into an enormous

double chin.


D.G. Geis is the author of Fire Sale (Tupelo Press/Leapfolio) and Mockumentary (Main Street Rag). Most recently, his poetry has appeared in The Irish Times, Fjords, Skylight 47 (Ireland), A New Ulster Review (N. Ireland), Crannog Magazine (Ireland), The Moth (Ireland), Into the Void (Ireland), The Naugatuck River Review, The Tishman Review, Zoomorphic (U.K.), The Kentucky Review, Ink and Letters, The Journal of Creative Geography, Solstice, The Worcester Review, Broad River Review, Press 53, Passager, and Under the Radar (Nine Arches Press UK). He was shortlisted for both the 2017 Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize (Ireland) and the 2017 Percy French Prize (Strokestown International Poetry Prize, Ireland). He was also a finalist for The New Alchemy (University of Alaska) and Fish Prizes (Ireland); and a finalist for the 2016 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition, the 2016 Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize, the 2016 Louis Award, the 2016 Rash Award, and the 2017 Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry. He divides his time (unequally) between Houston, Galveston, and Dublin, Ireland.