My Own Private Chernobyl

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John Carpenter “Escape From New York”

T-minus five minutes
That’s DEFCON 1 right?
Guess now would be an appropriate time to panic like a crazed Hispanic
Given that red is the color of both alert and blood spurting
As disaster needs no formal invitation to get flirty

After panic comes deserting
It should be right about this time that shit begins to get real manic
Fleeing from the scene until our knocking knees start hurting
Good luck trying to curtsy once cacodemons come a lurking
Frenetic is one thing but potentially equates to twenty-four more when schizophrantic

Would it be pedantic of me to address the half-tonne elephant in my pantry?
You see, from the footprints in the butter, I had a clue that we were headed for catastrophe
How many home truths are we expected to neck down before puking up guts at the merest notion of reality?
Need we label our tapes as explicit on account of the profanity?

Similarly, need we run from the blast?
It’s not been the first and suspicions that sneak do suggest it will not be seen dead coming last
Besides, how fast are we expected to dash with buckled knees and heavy heart?
Perhaps, it would be sane to entertain staying after all
At least, until we possess an intimation what we’re playing for

Should this be keeps, then the riverbank it need not weep
Provided we assume correct positioning and prepare for one helluva long-legged leap
Calling out fallout with no Geiger to count on
No convenient shoulder holder for our loose cannons to mount on
Before we can inquire which part of Poland Anne Frank was from
It’s T-minus three minutes
And this appears to still be counting

“Oh, holy fuck” cried the apostle
As he jostled for the exit
Blissfully unaware that this process is as drawn out and goddamn tedious as Brexit
Those track star skills are supremely wasted once we eagerly await a fate that some other pained artist painted
Short-changed by estranged rage, we play the same games that chained slaves play
Refuse ourselves any right of way as we wrote that shit off back at must I really fuck off and die
Tis enough to bring a mist before the eye

T-minus two and thirty
And there are thin beads of sweat collecting upon my qwerty
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
That’s all I’ve got
Not a lot when you consider what I haven’t got is a solitary jot of time in my chock-full diary for either shining or reclining
I checked and double-checked this cloud and will be hung by the neck til dead and disemboweled if I can find the silver lining

This is not for lack of trying and there is plenty death-defying bout the way I’ve dug my heels in since they rationed all the meals here
Perhaps I was born on a leap year
That would actually go a ways to explaining the whole never, ever failing faith thing
It’s T-minus two by the way
Just so we’re clear

Should I stay or should I go and, should I stay, could there be trouble?
Would it trouble my double to double-up on said trouble and burst the whole troubled mind bubble?
If there is one thing a nuclear blast with a 20-mile range has a hot spot for then it’s snuggling
Holding us close to the nipple of its bosom just to act as futile cushion while our skin commences bubbling
And all the while, it hustles for the sting

So here’s the thing
You see, the thing about explosions is that they can still be controlled
Providing we know when to execute our best-timed combat roll
We have to be prepared to challenge something Joseph Conrad wrote
We live as we dream – alone.

While the army of one mentality may serve the troops admirably
There’s approximately sixty seconds left on the clock and this could be about to conclude somewhat tragically
Naturally, this jagged little pill may take some time to filter through constricted airways
But it only takes a minute to locate just one thing finite
And that’s a full half deck more to play with once the paper plane starts blazing

While all the other sheep are busy grazing
A pair of identical twin flames could be staging a recovery
It pays to have a spotter
But there’s a lot more to survival than mere fitness
We may be feeling vulnerable but the disowner of a lonely heart will only care to bear witness to the strength in such genuine endeavor

With storms now weathered, there’s still the whole T-minus deal to box us in most cleverly
Currently, there’s thirty left
And, should I hazard a guess
Then I guess hazard is indeed up next
Unless I play MacGyver
Strip some wires and realign them

Clearly running out of time here and I fear that T is getting disquietingly close to minus
Will take more than a touch of the midas to provide a happy ending
Traditionally, this is where the payday lenders come swooping in and stoop to the kind of lowly depths that betide us no woe whatsoever
Less than twenty seconds to comply and it would be the ideal time to remind ourselves of leaps of faith and why they never do fail, ever

The pressure is on like Game & Watch
And Donkey Kong has us over a barrel
No time for conservative apparel
It’s apparently defective
Not to mention non-reflective of the kind of blessed perspective with a vested interest in doing level best to pluck this writhing serpent from my chest

Ten seconds left
Got to solve this pox-ridden riddle
Hatefully eight
Time’s a wasting. Fancy that
Viciously six
It smells like pig swill in the middle
Four to the floor
May be time to grab the cat
Two left to tango
Is it just me or did I hear a second fiddle?

Always did love me a fandango

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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