Summer’s Almost Gone — William Trowbridge

“Summer’s Almost Gone”
William Trowbridge

The squirrels are spreading the rumor: no more monkey business.
The Dow Jones hops up, then down, then back up, trying for attention,
           up against dog days.
The Capitol dome rattles like a witch doctor’s gourd. “More Republicans,”
           warn the talking drums.
The networks labor underground to stockpile T, A, and blood capsules
           for Sweeps Week, when all hell won’t be enough to save some.
Pedestrians slip into light coats of pollen and mold spores.
The Enquirer reports the sighting of Satan’s image over Chicago during
           the heat emergency. His words were, “For the hottest deals in town,
           see Sal at Mutto’s Chevrolet on East Wacker.”
The old elms shrug: “You think this is hot: we could tell you about hot.”
Walmart and Kmart burgeon into crooked towers of back-to-school
           candy. They’re heaven-bound, via the moon. Greeters offer
           themselves to the lowest common denominator. There’s a Blue-
           Light on moon caps.
Representatives from Tire City have announced they intend a hostile
           takeover and cleansing of their former territory, now known as
           Carpet City. Furniture City will not intervene.
The NFL’s negotiating for rights to the Baptist Church.
The carnies have packed up the Tilt-A-Whirl and Ferris wheel, leaving us
           up to our ass in free parking.
Everyone under 30 dreams of shoplifting some Air Jordans for school.
Everyone over 30 dreams of going to prison for shoplifting.
The hypochondriacs wake up noticing little dark spots in front of their
           eyes, think they could be in the middle of something serious.
“Winterize now,” say the prime-time commercials. “Spend, spend, spend!”
           cry the cicadas and katydids over the scorched, moonlit lawns.

“Kong Looks Back on His Tryout with the Bears” — William Trowbridge

“Kong Looks Back on His Tryout with the Bears”


William Trowbridge

If it had worked out, I’d be on a train to Green Bay,
not crawling up this building with the Air Corps
on my ass. And if it weren’t for love, I’d drop
this shrieking little bimbo sixty stories
and let them take me back to the exhibit,
let them teach me to mambo and do imitations.
They tried me on the offensive line, told me
to take out the right cornerback for Nagurski.
Eager to please, I wadded up the whole secondary,
then stomped the line, then the bench and locker room,
then the east end of town, to the river.
But they were not pleased: they said I had to
learn my position, become a team player.
The great father Bear himself said that,
so I tried hard to know the right numbers
and how the arrows slanted toward the little o’s.
But the o’s and the wet grass and the grunts
drowned out the count, and the tight little cheers
drew my arrow straight into the stands,
and the wives tasted like flowers and raw fish.
So I was put on waivers right after camp,
and here I am, panty-sniffer, about to die a clown,
who once opened a hole you could drive Nebraska through.