christopher mulrooney


shop ’til you drop
I. Brokeback Market
you check your guns at the door
the lonesome cowboys on the soundtrack
watch your every move
with rustling eyes
II. HQ Super
this is the peaceable kingdom
swans and geese are for sale
pigeons and sweetmeats
fans and automobiles and diapers
III. meat market
the lonely matador leaves his ring
for security at the carniceria
you can fight it at four
and have it on the table by seven

if I bark up the wrong tree
sure a squirrel at his nuts
will chatter of the Trinity
all God all Man no
Ghost of a chance
at loggerheads


take it both ways
when the methane gas rises
there is nothing you can do
but hold a sale like the oracle
above her fissure in the earth


all of the focus groups

gathered at one point of fine concentration
really gathered together
linked up
holding hands at one together Ouija board


see that he’s met at the door
but let’s not be over-indulgent
get him some coffee or a drink if he wants one
that’s it

how do you do I’m saying
how do you do Mr. Boxsall
do you like my art collection
it’s my favorite this one
it hardly cost me anything
now it’s worth oh millions
but that’s not why I love it

I read your review this morning
and I wondered if we might have a chat
do lunch no I have staff for that believe me
do a meet there are young people who say that
no I just wanted to have a chat

look I respect the freedom of the press
you remember Cary Grant saying an unseen power
or something like that yes
that was a long time ago
look here old man
I don’t want any trouble with you
or with your organization
but what are you saying
we let the free market decide
what’s right and wrong with our product
you can’t buy happiness with love
it takes real money
there’s a capital investment here
that reaps a whirlwind of cash
flowing in and out all the time
think of the payrolls on our units
we have space to burn here
and our time is valuable
valuable so would you mind
do you mind if I don’t see you out
just go back the way you came
don’t ask Dorothy anything at all
just don’t darken my door in future

Dorothy I didn’t think you’d mind if I went
to North Hollywood for a few hours
just to see how things are going for a while
just don’t cancel all my calls
and see to it the gentlemen are entertained

is he gone well that’s a relief
when the boss gets back just say
I was pretending to be someone
it’s part of my acting therapy
who reads the critics anyway

where’d he get that painting did you say
oh it was here when he moved in
there’s something about it but I don’t know what


1. market for the linen wear

it’ll all come out in the wash
agitator and spin
tumble dry
you’re where you started

long threads woven
dye and weave
some lint remains
and drainwater

or you do it by hand
dry it in the sun

2. madhouse blues

stick a stamp on it
if you’ve got a stamp
or know where to find one
mail it or today
skip it just forget it
wipe it out of memory
let it go right along
or like Wodehouse
fling it out the window
for a passerby to drop
into the mailbox


from the home office
frame for future reference
on the home new wall
beside the fireplace that saw you coming
and the drift of that is the course of things
on the mighty Zambesi River
that flows mighty good and long and how far fast


the price of admission
you kick the sign in your forehead
with your own left foot
it isn’t a guarantee by any means
something about your grace when doing so
must win the heart of the machine



© All material on these pages is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any
form without written permission from the individual authors.