MacArthur Park in Five Parts

By Fernando Gallegos
By Fernando Gallegos

By Marie C Lecrivain

Life is a lively process of becoming – General Douglas MacArthur


A pair of swans
glide through the water
while the mallards
cleave to the lake’s edge
and ignore the remains
of the dead seagull
that float by.
An old woman
totters under the weight
of her 99-cent store haul.
A family huddle
over lunch
under a brace
of palm trees
as a thrift store mendicant
summons Armageddon
through a bull horn
on the corner.

These disparities
are bound together by
the bright blue sky.


A red lily languishes
on the ground,
velvet petals on the verge
of wilt, stamen in
vagina dentata formation
as a trail of ants climb
into its crimson shadows.

The industrial revolution
goes largely unnoticed.


Near the Red Line Station
stands a snake-handler
decked in the solar-colored coils
of a boa constrictor.
No reed basket,
pipes or bazaar,
just travelers in transit
too busy to notice
the low tech tribute
to Mr. Kipling
and the Karma Man.
The serpent
raises its head
toward the sun…
maybe it’s dreaming…


99 cent store;
the 21st century answer
to the Middle Eastern Marketplace.
Hope burns in the heart
of an emo Jesus candle.
in purple canisters
promise seven nights
of sleep ease.
Even food,
in all its forms;
real, or Monsanto.

All things can be
found here
almost –
all things.

No one is smiling.


I walk back along
a cement path strewn with
used dime bags and dry grass,
a perfect metaphor
for wasted lives and dreams.

The muse within
makes fun of me
as I compose these lines.

Previously published in A New Ulster

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