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February 2008 - Vargo
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  Sam Vargo

          Bad Love is Eaten Like Hot Dogs

Sally Norton
Had a worse mouth
Than all the jackals
At Fee Fie Foe Fum
Saloon on Market
And Quixote Streets.

She was my first love
And I guess
You could say being
In love with her was like
Being in love during
Chemotherapy or being
In love, maybe,
With a septic tank
Or a pipe bomb.

Sally was nothing
To look at—
She sort of resembled
A telephone pole,
Only plainer,
Stiffer and more rigid.

But her overbite made her
The nastiest all-you-can-
Eat-hot dog competitor
On the West Side
Of Sioux City, which
Meant a really neat
Night out with her
Every now and then.

I'm kind of sorry
I broke up with her.
Leaving her was like
Having my arm cut off,
Then reattached again
At the first station break.


Seventeen or so
Very black, black birds
Sit high on a wire
Above a snowy field in Pennsylvania,
Maybe Vermont
Or even North Dakota,
To the new day
As if in some religious way
They are worshiping Yahweh.

Eighteen or so
Blackbirds with red, red wings
Sit high on the wire
Making enough racket
To start a hockey game
As the ice about them falters
And flickers to be melted by the dim
Winter sun— yellow, cold & fickle.

Fifteen birds now,
Oh-Most-Wonderful One
Who knows everything about
Every one of those heckling,
Horrible, winged creatures
High on a telephone wire
Somewhere in a snowy field
In America
In the dead of winter,
Good morning.
It's always good morning
With You.

Arts & Crafts Menu Border - Ca. 1910

Sam Vargo was fiction editor of Pig Iron Press in Youngstown, Ohio, for 12 years from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. He worked for a few decades as a newspaper editor and reporter, and also as a college English instructor, and holds an MA in English and a BA in Political Science from Youngstown State University. His poetry and fiction has appeared in many publications, including Antithesis Common, Ascent Aspirations, Cake & Crocodile, Censored Poets, The Circle, Clark Street Review, Connecticut Review, The Cynic, Dandelion, Double Dare Press, edifice WRECKED, Electric Acorn, FolioWeekly (Jacksonville's top entertainment tab), Guideposts, Gypsy Blood Review, Higgensville Reader, Late Knocking, Licking River Review, Lynx Eye, Mastodon Dentist, The Nocturnal Lyric, nthposition, Ohio Teachers Write, Poetry Motel, Points in Case (part of the National Lampoon Humor Network), Projected Letters, Red Dancefloor, Reed, Small Press Review, Verve,, White Leaf Review U.K., Word Riot, and Yasse, as well as others.

Sam says he is currently working with an online literary publisher to have a collection of short stories published. It will be a full-length, digital work.

How To Measure Accurately
Modern Cookery (Scientific Cookery):
"requires a system of accurate measurements; this is absolutely necessary to insure success. Scientific training has exploded the old idea that 'with good judgment and experience measuring ingredients by sight will do.'" ~from New Dinners, ca. 1910.
Elizabeth O. Hiller

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