Freedom with a Hint of Cherry
The White House lawn was paved over to make way for a used car dealership that sells exclusively Hondas and Mazdas. The marines wear clown costumes and shoot seltzer bullets at suspected brown people. The bullets taste like freedom.
The Secret Service make balloon-animal Bill of Rights for the kids, but none of them can read. It's okay; neither can the Secret Service: they've fired all the teachers and replaced them with Japanese sex robots who vomit pre-digested compliments into the willing mouths of the young. Strangely, it doesn't make the schools smell much worse.
The Washington Monument was replaced with an ad for Crazy Earl's Car Empoorium (sic). He'll give you a good deal. You can trust Crazy Earl because he's crazy. Everybody knows that, but nobody says it too loud just in case.
The president stands out front of the White House waving to and fro like one of those inflatable balloon guys. You can hear him laughing all the way to the bowling alley. His wife is leaving him for Crazy Earl. She's tired of used, ready for new.
The short man carries a cane which he uses to crack the knees of anyone he can reach so they fall beneath his gaze. We step wide around him, but sometimes the hallway narrows so that we're drawn close. The short man's ears point inward, but he loves to admire those of others. He mumbles lists of surgeries he's had to lengthen his arms, thigh bones he's broken in hopes they'd reset longer. It's only when he's syllogizing that his knobbed cane sits still.
is the author of the young adult novel Sunlight
; three poetry collections, _____(Want/Need)
, and Leap Year
; and a short story collection called Naming the Animals
as well as five forthcoming books. A poetry chapbook, Goodbye to Noise
, is available online here
. Another, The Man Who Killed Himself in My Bathroom
, is available here
. He's been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 8 times, had 2 stories selected as Notable Stories by Story South's Million Writers Award, and has been nominated for Best of the Net twice. He blogs at Murder Your Darlings
. Bledsoe lives with his wife and daughter in Maryland.