Rob MacDonald

Rob MacDonald

I invented Dr. Pepper Spray.
I went wee-wee-wee.
I said don’t tase me,
Lieutenant Seymour!
Do I need a real reason
for putting this particular foot
in front of the other?
I’m living the rest of this life
under protest. Put that
in your Sunday paper.
I invented the interview.
I invented movable metal type,
and the printing press
invented my whole aesthetic.
It doesn’t make sense,
but there’s something
about Dolby pro logic
that doesn’t sound quite right.
When did they rewrite
the definitions for words like
protect and serve? Verb,
from the Greek for empire,
as in they got protected, and
we got served. It’s the death
of common sense that
may be the death of us.
Until then, let’s invent
empathetic magnetism.



In one version of the world, there is just enough
of everything. You’re scrambling to find candles
for your niece’s birthday cake, and there in the
drawer, waiting—exactly eight. The bookstore
where you’re hosting a reading has twenty-five
folding chairs, and that’s the precise number of
bums that show up. It’s a magic that no one takes
for granted. In fact, we’re all so thrilled with this
subsistence existence that we decide to throw
a worldwide party one night, everyone invited.
Clean-up is easy—not a drop of wine, not a crumb
remains. The next day, as we’re picking grapes
and baking, staring smitten into space, it will be
too soon to see we’ve ruined it—we’ve all fallen
in love with the same girl.



On a beach in Bermuda,
would you be surprised
to find a tuba,
waves sloshing
softly through it?

You think harmony
is perhaps pink
and brass and blue?

A tuba, an abandoned shell.
A subprime mortgage.
A foreclosure.

And you, with your
madras shorts,
wading toward
a new sort
of blindness, mute.


Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of Sixth Finch His poems can be found in notnostrums, H_NGM_N and other journals.

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