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Here’s another freebie from Dispatches from the Swinging Door Saloon...

On Punctuation

Forget the comma,

that little busybody.

I propose a toast to

the unfettered line

gleeful and whistling

as it speeds along in its roadster

flicking cigarette ash out the window

blowing red lights

sending semicolons

and asterisks

scrambling for cover

as the forgotten comma,

stiff-lipped and proper,

directs traffic in

the intersection,

its whistle blaring,

its little white gloves

ordering everything

to a halt,

everything but the rogue line

which speeds

headlong into

the night

its long hair

blowing in the wind

its yee-haws and hell-yeahs

echoing down alleyways

and into young ladies’ ears

as they dance in their kitchens


drinking wine from the bottle

their parentheses

jiggling in their blouses

their imaginations carrying them away

to bedrooms full of exclamation points

far away from this nagging fear

about missed periods

and that lazy brotherhood

of potbellied question marks

known as their husbands.

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