Courting Disaster: For the 63rd Anniversary of My Birth
by Gilbert Allen

“This poet isn’t afraid to take risks.”
—more reviews than I care to count

1. Lycidas

If Milton had been really
sincere, he would’ve leapt
into something wetter
than a pastoral

elegy. He would’ve tapped
the Rockies of that watery bier

and tippled—at least
till he’d had the decency
to stop

2. Di

Dumb, beautiful, decent,
she got everything she ever wanted
to deserve, and less.

Another commercial—but then
her chauffeur was tanked.

I’ve always wondered why
certain companies don’t sponsor
the local news, since they’re
generating most of the footage.

Not ads, just public
service announcements:

This crash was made possible by a grant
from Porter Corporation, which invites you
for a spin, on
our next funding cycle.

3. Paparazzi

crawling over the dead Mercedes
like scarabs, feeling
her pulse
with their free hand, they

weren’t afraid to take
risks—scorn, imprisonment,
by Rupert Murdoch.

Art never waits
for the ambulance.
They had images
to develop.

4. Squadron Supreme

Mark Gruenwald, 43, a Marvel
Comics creator, was
cremated, scattered over an ocean
of ink, and then bequeathed

to the single-volume
version of his masterwork.
“He wanted readers to know
he knew the dangers involved.”

5. Author’s Message
or, it’s only my metaphorical ass on the line

Me, I don’t take risks.
Oxygen junkie.
I just put my rectum
on the spectrum, and write.

Got any problems with that?

Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.