John Skoyles

SPITE FENCE | THE HUMAN CANARY
August 10, 2015 Skoyles John

SPITE FENCE

 

My neighbor forced his abutter
to raze the warped and rotten fence
because he didn’t want to see
the sagging wood when he sat
on the porch in the morning
having coffee with his wife.
The fence was removed, replaced
with something new, so now
the neighbor has breakfast
facing a row of garden gnomes,
some naked, and a few
of those anatomically correct.

 

 

 

THE HUMAN CANARY

Times Square

 

Before he became famous, Tiny Tim
sang falsetto in the basement
of Hubert’s Freak Show
as Larry Love, the Human Canary.
He stood between Frito,
a midget scarred in a childhood fire,
and the hirsute, one-legged
Monkey Girl with two sets of teeth.
When he crooned “Tears on My Pillow,”
You don’t remember me, but I remember you… 
a woman in the front row made
tsking sounds and said,
“Such sad things there are in this world.”

 

John Skoyles’ most recent book is The Nut File. He is the poetry editor of Ploughshares.