Shootout at the Two A.M. Corral
The sheep, long since counted,
lie dead in the pasture,
and someone must pay.
The usual suspects yell and strut;
the banker shouts down the office worker,
while the movie star shrieks at the doctor.
They kick up dirt and sod,
stomp and bellow around woolly carcasses,
till someone pulls a pistol
and the others jolt to action.
Shots echo from mind-corners
with grey puffs from black barrels;
synapses fire from all corners,
behind stuffed and brimming trash cans,
from tranquil beaches to corner offices,
an extended brainscape
behind wide-open eyes.
Chaos pushes hair out, stray shocks
on a head that pulls apart
while the clock ticks toward
another dust-cloud morning.
This poem peers inside a brain that refuses to sleep, something I and many about whom I care know all too well. I start with the proverbial sheep but have them come in already killed off, letting the sheep play the role of Archduke Ferdinand for this particular war.
I let the characters and everything in the landscape reflect various concerns and desires that might flood a mind on any given night, an effort to give an allegorical feel to the action taking place while reflecting the chaotic feel in the mind of a person who just wants to shut it all off.