A Poem By P. Scott Cunningham

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

The Colonel

What you have heard is true. I was in his house. There was a kidney-shaped pool and a Donkey Kong, Jr arcade game. We sat in the living room. His wife brought out a tray of mint juleps and a plate of Extra Crispy dark. A remote control sat on the base of a bowling trophy. With a gigantic paper napkin covering his white suit and black bolo tie, he picked up the pieces of chicken one by one, cleaning the bones dry in exaggerated sucking motions then breaking them and slurping the marrow. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. There was talk of Dave Thomas. The Colonel said what was served in America in the shadow of his visage was slop. His wife took everything away. On the television was a commercial. It wasn’t him. It was Randy Quaid. There is no other way to say this. The Colonel told Randy to shut the fuck up, then lifted his heavy body from the couch and disappeared. He came back with an unmarked bag and turned it over, spilling a mass of chicken strips onto the coffee table. They looked like human fingers. He took one and dropped it into a glass of cola and, in a few minutes, pulled out what appeared to be half of a beak. I am tired of fooling around, he said. I’m forming a legal team. We have case studies, an office outside Lexington. He swept the strips off the table and held the beak in the air. We’re looking for a poet to write our anthem! Meanwhile, my friend and I were on the carpet, picking up the chicken strips and eating them. Five second rule, we said.

P. Scott Cunningham is the founder of the University of Wynwood. For more, visit his Tumblr.

In this life you take what you can get. What you can get today is more poetry. Take it here, in The Poetry Section’s archives. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.