Jose Luis Peixoto – Four Poems

Jose Luis Peixoto

Four Poems

A Joke


now that aliens have been legalized, alf
pushes a supermarket cart on the streets
of los angeles and spends most of his time
drunk and annoying people. willie died of
cancer. kate moved to a trailer park in
the suburbs of detroit with the love of her
life. the kids grew up and nobody knows what
happened to them. everyday alf waits for me
when i leave home in the morning and everyday
i hand him a one dollar bill in exchange for
a joke. everyday he tells me the same joke
and everyday i pretend to laugh only because
i don’t want to hurt his feelings.

A Mission

(Hill Street Blues)

captain furillo is depressed. last night,
joyce left him alone in the bath till the
skin of his fingers began to wrinkle and
the water became cold. tonight, he will
have his revenge. she expects a candle
light dinner but, instead, she will find
a threesome. on the phone he says: no
problem, that’s nice from you, be there
at eleven then. on the other side of the
line, i say: i won’t be ready before half
past ten, i’ll take champagne, no problem
eleven it’s great, see ya.

A Reason

(Star Trek)

lieutenant sulu was upset for a reason.
commander spock hadn’t spoken with him
for two months. people tend to overreact
when they drink too much, sulu thought.
and he kept playing with a pen between
his fingers, a silver pen, the exact
same pen that started the whole issue
and the one i used to write this poem.

A Secret

(The Love Boat)

when it happened for the first time,
gopher spent the whole morning locked
in his cabin. he was ashamed. it took
him a lot of courage and a good sense
of timing to find a way of mentioning
the secret to isaac. it finally happened
when they reached acapulco. but, then,
it was almost growing out of his shirt.
it couldn’t be hidden for much longer.

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