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Frugal Proceedings

You must race to cross under the aegis
and bounty of cool green light

that washes like a wet forest over the innocent
white stripes of the crosswalk.

Do not waste the seconds of safety
with observation at forty feet

but squash the gap at a run before
bloody red releases the pent beasts

and closes your path—that, yes—will open
again as that waiting, God-like green

parts the rushing metal seas, but you will
never regain the minute

—and a bad habit does it breed.

so keep your eyes on the signal
and take your steps with conscious speed.


  John Zedolik__

Dimension Dreams

Oh, rebar-duck of gross dimensions!
You sit yet in the lot

where the non-profit purveys
used goods as you certainly have been

            (though for what use I cannot say.)

already twisted rust when the years
began your heavy stay.

If only a giant’s garden needed you
as a prop for bird-houses, butterfly-rests,

feeders for all sorts of critters, even a folly
for the eyes to feast,

             (yet too rough for clutch of child’s hand).

So blame not your cyclopean self—
it is the world, too small
for your heroic proportions—

and as you remain, growing heftier
under sky and seasons, hope for expansion,

continental drift, tectonic shift, or just
a plain blowing-up, the earth ballooning,

beefing up, to proper gas-giant girth.

  John Zedolik __

Light Show

Newly arrived in the school district,
Nelson twirls the butterfly knife
in front of the long-residing boy

(much more movement
than the one the boy’s father
carries to dress a taken deer)

as they have been sheared off the tail
of the seventh-grade procession back to the gym
from the football field

so the boy compares the shifting blade
to its namesake and finds it apt

—shine of steel in the fall semi-sun—

though not quite as the nectar-seeker,
since it shick-shicks in the shuffle of fingers

for the sake of Nelson’s show
that the boy further determines
is just that, no sharp thrust expected

so the lepidopteron

—flicker—

returns to the jean-pocket chrysalis,

the two trudge up the hill to the bricks and linoleum
under endless fluorescent tubes

secret shared of the wings that might
in a flash flutter into the light


  John Zedolik__

Moot Wager

I dreamed a radio stretched up
from the ridge above my maternal
grandparents’ house, complete

with raw and tiki bars
in its mall-like base beyond
the ticketing booth

but in the bright next day
Google Mapped the spot
to find only coal-strippings

then thick leaves leading
to a power line on the far
downward sloped, just a suburban

township reached,

yet pondered if kitsch were the better
choice for the summit of the rise,

re-created the image of faux-palm
and bamboo in waking review

determined the question:

            el sueño             -             the life

a bookie’s dream—a push.


  John Zedolik__