Were there justice in this world, Daniel M. Shapiro would have
recorded a soul masterpiece called "The Explosive Daniel M. Shapiro!"
in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Upcoming publications include his chapbook
"Trading Fours" (Pudding House Press) and "Interruptions" (Pecan
Grove Press), a collection of collaborations with Jessy Randall. He
lives in Pittsburgh.

Archibald and the convenience-store dispute

Even Archibald has his crises,
such as the time he bought a bag
of Zoo Animal Crackers, which led
to layers and mounds of dismay
fueled by blatant chicanery--
the discovery of lions, rhinoceroses,
and gorillas consorting with rabbits.
Archibald wondered where he could find a zoo

with rabbits. He also noted
proportional atrocities: owls
the size of bears, penguins towering
over camels.

Yet the clerk at My-T-Mart
refused to grant Archibald
a refund, citing the Opened-Bag Clause,
caveat emptor in re shapes of cookies.
So Archibald shouted, decrying
the state of truth in advertising,
the rise of lagomorph charlatans,
the mocked legacy of Darwin.

Soon, a large group formed
around the disturbance, rendering moot
Archibald's plea for an honest depiction
of a zoo.

Mephistopheles at Costco

Wearing Crocs with socks, he poses
behind a movable counter, offering
an inch-long sliver of chocolate pretzel.
"Do you play fantasy baseball?" he asks,
whines about Jeter's ineffectiveness
at tracking the path of a grounder.
He cackles like a wood chipper
after I accept the free sample,
claws inside a petite fanny pack
for bottled water. "You're the one
I read about in the company flier," I say.
Beneath the easy fit of pylon-orange cap,
he makes eye contact at a slight discount.

Poem Sparked by Scraps of Iggy Pop/Lou Reed Lyrics

Johnny's yen for gimmick,
the beating tease of drugs,
begins with a uniform itching.
Brains rational as a soldier
deprive the sidewalk of flesh.
Million-piece machine chickens out
amid hypnotizing skin, liquor
sleeping like lotion to soothe
the scant torture of a single ear.

The rings dug in, too painful
for eyes to admit. Matilda darkened,
her fingers like tramps. Afraid
of crashing nowhere, the girl sped
through the gray-car world,
paying chance a penny instead of twenties
to leave room for a deep red mood.
She whipped around, careful to draw
the truth that stood high as a lonely hotel.

Elvis' Set List (Philadelphia Spectrum, 9/16/85)

1. Intro: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Oberheim OB-Xa Version)

2. Every Time You Go Away

3. Suspicious Minds (featuring Pointer Sisters)

4. Ballad Medley: Love Me Tender/It's Now or Never/Blue Moon

5. Every Breath You Take

6. Rockabilly Medley: That's All Right/Milkcow's Calf Blues/Mystery Train

7. Some Like It Hot (featuring Robert Palmer)

8. Rock 'n' Roll Medley: Hound Dog/Jailhouse Rock/Blue Suede Shoes

9. Perfect Way

10. Gospel Medley: How Great Thou Art/His Hand in Mine/People Get Ready

11. We Are the World (featuring Pointer Sisters and Robert Palmer)

12. 1980s Hits Medley: Just Say No/C'mon Let's Grind/Burning Love '85

13. Suspicious Minds (reprise)

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