"Paisley Purpled Political Head Rotation" and "Until All Hope Is Gone"

Paisley Purpled Political Head Rotation

A purple paisley owl
surreptitiously sat upon the lamp post.
She called the lunar crescent
to descend toward the soothing sound
of her who-who-who hooting.
Then chug-a-lug and she turned
frantic. The owls are not what they seem
and soon its hair color will change
into too many cigarettes.
Tenderlings linked together.
Into the whirring factory sound
of a gigantic pez dispenser pumping out
paisley coated candy cigarettes of myriad color
while pathetic pontificating politicians
postulate pointless propaganda.
Distilled spirits shoot themselves
accidentally, act as if it was a purposeful ploy
against power dynamics and thus now
their arms deserve to transform into owl wings.
Owl pellets sing purple praise to all
that is paisley or pink
because pink is perfumed
precisely like its progenitors:
the purple paisley predator
and the deer-eyed Peromyscus.



Until All Hope Is Gone

Bamboo covered the mountainside,
hiding the piebald pandas,
beneath a leafy-green canopy.
In the distance, a smoky haze
obfuscating the ever-growing glow
of blazing reds and orange.
A ruby-crowned kinglet began to tell a tale
compartmentalized into dreams and nightmares.
In this dream, they wished to be the captains
of a tiny ship swimming in a tidy kitchen sink.
Then the sink massively expanded.
In this nightmare, the ship ended
in an enormous public restroom
urinal about to be flushed.
And then the panda's tartane weathered
the cyclonic maelstrom
which spun widdershins
and popped out into
the southern hemisphere of the globe
somehow landing inside
a massive yet obscure bird's nest structure
that might or might not be
the panda's tree house.
But who was in charge of this space
which, for the time-being
was an incubation chamber
for eleven lapis lazuli eggs.
Each of the eleven dark blue eggs
contained one rotating eye,
continually blinking as it stared up
towards the top of the sky,
at black and white floating balloons,
which weren't balloons,
but floating bicolored pandas
much larger than birds
but much smaller than planets
and very hard to determine
if they should be observed as a sign
of progress, deterioration, alienation,
or aliens dressed as flying pandas.
What if they had meteoroids for eyes?
On the other hand, what if they were mediators?
Mediators coming to Earth
from beyond the Milky Way
to castigate our world leaders,
sent to chastise them for raping our Earth
and to either disabuse them of their ways
or to overthrow them all
before one tyrannical species is allowed
to completely annihilate the third planet from the sun.
Inside the incubation chamber disguised as a nest,
the blinking eyes staring up high from the blue eggs
are replacements if the current planetary system is obliterated.
One of those eyes is meant to become a new planet.
The other ten eyes will collapse, fall, sink down
underwater, take their lapis lazuli eggs with them,
and either drown or turn themselves in
to a new breed of whales.
If the eye that was meant to become a planet
decides to close its eye, all hope is gone.



Juliet Cook

Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in a small multitude of print and online publications. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, most recently including red flames burning out (Grey Book Press, 2023), Contorted Doom Conveyor (Gutter Snob Books, 2023), and Your Mouth is Moving Backwards (Ethel Zine & Micro Press, 2023). She has another new poetry chapbook, REVOLTING, forthcoming from Cul-de-sac of Blood in fall 2024. Her most recent full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2018. You can find out more at https://julietcook.weebly.com/. Juliet recommends Planned Parenthood.

Daniel G. Snethen

Daniel G. Snethen is a naturalist and poet native to South Dakota. He spends much of his free time chasing lizards, removing other reptiles from harm's way on our road-systems and watching birds. When he is not playing biologist, he can be found reading weird fiction. His favorite piece of literature is Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Daniel recommends Roots & Shoots.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Friday, July 5, 2024 - 13:13