Three Poems

by Jon Roche


Poems Copyright (C) 2009, Jon Roche.
Images Copyright (C) 2009, Rudy Rucker.
350 Words.


My Uncle is a Cyborg

The stubborn Irishman, a retired auto mechanic

who survived polio in his youth and is mostly deaf

and has lived alone, with only a spaniel for company,

since my aunt died,

crawls down two flights of stairs

crawls out the door

then, propping himself up by the elbows,

somehow manages to get into the seat of his riding mower

which he employs as a starship

to traverse the galactic distance between house and car.

Then it’s off to the store.


He refuses assisted living or the pleas of his relatives.

He’s not ashamed to crawl

but will never beg.

His home is his starship, he firmly believes,

and on wheels

he’s the king of the cosmos



Digital Bop

Now that we’re all

slaves of the algo-


Can we still hear

any beat but

the 010101010101010101 to infinity

damnable disco drum machine



Mozart CD

Chaplin DVD

Public TV

Political POV


Don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing



The Pope of Neverland

Call the hearer of confessions,

The wispy one, and bid him whip

In kitchen cups Jesus Juice and concupiscent curds.

Let the altar boys dawdle in such dress

As they are used to wear, and let the butler

Bring them Big Macs in Happy Meal containers.

Let seem be finale of Beat It.

The only pope is the pope of Neverland.


Take from the dealer in Disney,

Lacking a buyer, that blanket

On which was embroidered Micky Mouse once

And spread it so as to cover his face.

If his horny ears protrude, they come

To show how bewitched he is, and dumb.

Let CNN affix its beam.

The only pope is the pope of Neverland.


About the Author

John Roche is an Associate Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. These three poems appear in his 2008 book Topicalities, and two have appeared separately in Jack Magazine and Le Mot Juste. "The Pope of Neverland" is a parody of the Wallace Stevens' classic, "The Emperor of Ice Cream."

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