Poetry by Ann Pedone

Previously I had only seen it in photographs. At exactly 6:30
this morning one of the pilots in the first class lounge stood
up on his chair and announced that the airline was expunging
the term boy prison” from all of its promotional material.

I was asleep when all of this went down, but ran out to the
office as soon as I heard. Spent the rest of the day holed up
in the conference room trying to figure out whether it was
an act of resistance against empire, or what happens to a man
after the sheep have sucked him dry.

For years I held a grudge against my father. For years I
couldn’t hear the word spatula” without wanting to drive
my car into a tree.

Here are five examples of, what I think, are six of the most
beautiful phrases in Standard American English:

  1. Values driven”

  2. Only in the sense of malware”

  3. Because that’s what Wikipedia says”

  4. In this triangle with my mom, my boss, and him”

  5. A Xanax will do the trick”

  6. I need a recording of that Sarah Palin speech right fucking now”

Maybe I’m an idiot. Maybe I never should have let
my ex to tie me to the bed while he emptied all of his
mother’s ashtrays.

If I asked you to describe my tits using only this list of
the most commonly found adjectives in local American
papers from 1952 to 1964, would you do it for me?

That’s me in the photo. That’s me running in 84. That’s
me at Yaddo. That’s me unpacking someone’s groceries.

Earlier you said you now suspect that the email
from the bank is total bull shit and they aren’t really
going to burn all of their money tonight after dinner.
But if that’s the case, then what do we do?


Head on” was all I could think to say when the gynecologist
asked me to put my feet up in the stirrups. It was already passed
noon and he was still going on about the Rosicrucian summer
camp he had sent his son and daughter to.

I’ve always been amazed how you manage not to confuse me
with another patient since my vagina has no distinguishing
marks to speak of.”

And he nodded.

No one has told him that the WiFi has been out in the office
for the last sixteen years.

No one has told him that the real reason why Elizabeth Taylor
only married Eddie Fisher once was because, no matter how
hard she tried, she couldn’t bring herself to accept the
Dasein of his cleft lip.

For years I tried making a living writing poems about all of
my parents’ bad behavior, but then Ma Bell was broken up and
someone came out with yet another translation of Ovid.

The importance of always storing all of your data in a cool, dry
place, or I really am just that afraid that my orgasm will never
be anything other than a small, after hours get-together at
the Bulgarian Embassy.


It’s the inside/outside of every potato just before it’s boiled.

It’s the inside/outside of the first pleated skirt I ever wore.

It’s the inside/outside of all the men who get hard at the
sight of a slightly cracked egg.

It’s the inside/outside of every one who has ever screamed,
“Then why don’t you just fucking get married?”


Once I’ve finished this coffee I need to finally get serious
about all those large language models I keep reading about.

And I still have way too many Mary Tyler Moore episodes
that I need to watch.

Like the rest of suburban California, I was not well
prepared for the end of modernism.

Ann Pedone


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