After a day beginning with vertigo, middling to read many (many!) entries, and ending with the usual, busy parenting; this judge is finally ready to announce a winner.
And that is:
Yard Sale Blues Number 397
by Trent P. McDonald
a kumquat peeler
a device to strip citrus
or an x-rated toy
let me know
how to use an endive fork
a thing I never knew
was a thing
someone else’s garbage
but you are happy
a sign of yard sale is heaven
a lunchbox from a sitcom
from 1973 that nobody remembers
is only 95
an earwax washer
only slightly used
a grey frilly table cloth
a mexican poncho
from sears roebuck
You peel out the bills
like a kumquat
and fill the car
Extra points if you catch the reference to Frank Zappa 😉
Congratulations, Trent! You are the most terrible poet of the week!
I received a bumper crop of rotten poetry this time around, which was fantastic! The downside of this, of course, was that that many poets increased competition. I began setting mental rules like not rhyming, staying on subject, and mimicking free verse enough to make a recitation painful.
Trent’s poem just barely beat out at least 5 finalists because it reminded me the most of a free verse poem; but in a terrible, terrible way. He and others threw in random secondhand junk. He and others rambled at what may have been a story. He and others utilized terrible elements. I’ve said it nearly every week and I’ll say it again: good job, everyone! This decision was very difficult to make!
Don’t believe me? Read on, if you are able:
Second hand sale in a garage
by Bruce Goodman
I went to a second hand sale.
It was in Peach Street.
It was in someone’s garage.
There was an old broom with a few bristles missing.
There was a garden fork with some of its prongs gone.
There were a couple of old cushions with the stuffing coming out.
And there was grandma!
Grandma! Grandma for sale!
Maybe your own grandma has croaked
and you want another.
She might be second hand,
but she can be a grandma to your kids
if their own grandma has kicked the bucket.
Also she knows how to help with the dishes.
Although I’m into antiques
I didn’t buy her
because she wasn’t in very good condition.
But I certainly will be keeping an eye out
at other garage sales.
Besides, she was too expensive,
and I haven’t sold the kids’ maternal grandma yet.
Grandma! Grandma for sale!
Maybe your own grandma has croaked
and you want another.
It was today, in fact:
Dozens of us, gathered in one place hoping to divest
At least a part of the clutter gotten from yet another
Medium channeling second-hand nick for which
They had a knack, a paddy full of wack, whatever
The iris bulbs we labored to pull from the stubborn
Crowded soil. Those went best, one dollar a dozen.
Most of the rest sat like a lump or hung from the rod.
Going nowhere. Everyone had much the same kind of
At least the local helper of the disadvantaged poor
Brought their empty trailer and left it parked.
I can feel good that the surplus winter gear can
Keep someone warm when they would otherwise
be exposed and freezing.
Best of all, I didn’t have
To take any of it back home.
Next time, we will go straight to give
Completely bypassing sell again
by Deb Whittam
dawn, sun glinting just above the horizon
cars, chariots of the road, engines revving
it is a blood red sky
but green is the color of their eyes
they roam the highways, the back lanes,
parking on easements, with pure disregard
trolling through bins, bags, boxes, basements
hardened hearts, no regrets
mercy is not a word they comprehend
bitter voices, bartering, harsh words, recriminating
scuffle, hands grasping, eyes like chips of broken glass
victory doesn’t favor the brave, it favors them
first light on the first day of the rest of my life.
i leap from my bed and fling up the sash.
my heart also leaps from its bed and flings up my mood.
the sun and birdsong and automatic-sprinkler sounds hit me in the face.
i fling off my pajamas and some lingering doubts.
skip breakfast although it’s the most important meal.
go out front and pull up the croquet wickets and collect the newspaper.
i’m clearing the front yard.
hurry to telephone poles around the neighborhood and tack up my signs.
and back home, roust out the kids and feed them.
and finally, out front with them where i attach all the price tags.
they’re expensive but worth it and even if i sell only one it would be a great start.
One day I went to a garage sale where
a man was selling his nothing. “What
is it?” I asked him. He pointed at
his empty garage and said, “don’t
you see? It’s nothing. And it can be
all yours!” I looked at the nothing
then back at him then back at
the nothing. “What does it do?”
He looked at me. “Nothing. Nothing
does nothing.” I nodded. Makes sense.
“Well, what can you do with
nothing?” “Well,” he said, “you can
stare at it. You can walk around in it.
And you can even pretend that it’s
something.” After a moment, I said,
“how much is it?” “It’s free, nothing is
free.” “I don’t know if I have room
to put it.” He smiled. “You can put
it anywhere. After all, it’s nothing.”
Finally, I said, “no thanks.” “What?
Why not?” But, I didn’t have
Wandering round the stalls and jammed full car boots
Sellers imploring you to hand over your hard earned loot
In one car boot an autobiography from Donald Trump
Read that, no way rather have a session with a stomach pump
Then a special offer on CDs from U2 and Bono
Give you money for that, you got more chance of seeing a flying Dodo
Then a car boot with a portrait of a politician, Jacob Rees Mogg
I’d rather have my leg humped by a rabid flee ridden Rottweiler Dog
Some numpty called Farage is selling knocked off cheap French red wine
He bought the bottles with loose change from his European Pension goldmine
Then finally a chance to buy the actual Boris Johnson our countries so called leader
I bought him for 10p he’s now planted pretending to be a Japanese ornamental Cedar.
Ode to Sweat
by The Abject Muse
O, Saturday Tag Sale:
my Nirvana, my Shangri-la.
The anticipation makes me euphoric:
all that junk to riffle through,
not to mention smelly, worn clothing!
My God, it makes me hot.
So, so hot; ain’t nothin’ hotter
than when the sun beats down
on my bald spot
mercilessly, and then
the salty sweat gets in
my eyes, runs down
my neck and back
and finally trickles,
(oh so delicately!)
into my shorts.
The sensation makes me want to squeal.
But I don’t.
Me and Our Stuff
by Ruth Scribbles
Garage, I mean garbage sales blarg…
Flea markets be d*mned
If no garage available use your yard
If no yard, the front steps will suffice
My garbage is your treasure, really?
Have you ever tried to sell your garbage to the public?
I have had two garage sales
Maybe three if you count when I sold my toys
Without my mom knowing
And the toy store around the corner sold me crap
Garage sales hurt one’s back
Be careful what you say when browsing
Someone may hear you and start crying,
or snatch the treasure out of your hand
You get the item home and it stinks
Cigarette smoke galore
Oh the stench
now on the heap for the next
by Pensivity 101
Stalls left and right,
Goodies to be seen and had.
Certain things for pence or a pound,
A bargain if you knew what to look for.
Look at that!
I had one like it,
Time to get me a pair
If I can remember where I put the other.
Bookends or doorstops,
I’ll make use of it.
Ten pounds goes a long way
With Christmas coming,
Rubber ducks, paperbacks,
Toys and games in battered boxes,
Something for everyone.
Beggars can’t be choosers,
Nice to be remembered
And it is the thought that counts.
Fleas In My Basket
I’m going to a yard sale today
I’ll come back with fleas in my basket
But I don’t mind about bugs
I think they are cute
With their bubbly eyes
And their vampire tendencies
I’m thinking about a new t-shirt
Or a bohemian floral dress
But I won’t try panties on
Because I’m not that poor
I make my own money ya know?
I’m kinda proud of this
If I had more cash on me
I would avoid the flea market
I would go to Nordstrom instead
And fill up a gigantic shopping cart
With Chanel makeup and… and…
And other unnecessary stuff!
Then, after an exhausting day
I would sit in front of the TV
With a pack of Oreo cookies,
And wait for my favourite cartoons
To magically appear on screen
Let the Moomins begins!
I used to know a guy in Michigan
He asked me if I would like to go sailing with him some weekend
I asked what kind of boat
He said he used a pickup truck not a boat
I thought that was weird
What lake I asked
No lakes, garages he said
His name was Bruce
This is a true story
The Garage Sale
Tables roughly set,
All the junk I can find
Set out haphazardly
A mad woman’s breakfast, you might say.
At dawn, they begin to assemble
The junk dealers, predators
Looking for a free bargain,
If they can get it.
Haggling over the silliest things
Want something for nothing
Watch for the pilferers.
Grandma’s old vase, cracked and crazed
Still partially covered in sixty years of dust
Has a presence it hasn’t entertained in so long
The buyers understandably ignore it
I was thinking it would go in a flash
But no at days end it sits alone on the far table
Just as its always done,
Neglected, lonely, making a statement
No idea what,
“Grandma had poorer taste than I thought?”
No matter what we got rid of stuff
People happy to pay to take away my crap.
The wonder of the Internet – the Electronic Age!
No longer do we need to drive for miles
to buy that missing piece we need to fill up holes in our lives,
or just find something that amuses us.
No longer a need to trawl hundreds of tables, trays,
boots or booths full of random junk others have deemed
no longer worth keeping
(was it ever in the first place?)
so’s to strike it rich finding
the ‘one thing i really need today’.
No! – now we have e-Bay!
E-Bay, where everything in the entire world
(North Korea possibly excepted)
you could ever need,
and even more that you never will,
is categorised, alphabetised, price-listed (up or down!),
even auctioned –
(Starting at just 99cents – Ends in 3 days time!)
Best of all – it can be posted
with no need to leave your living room,
or bedroom for that matter,
depending upon lifestyle,
or lack of.
More Than What You Bargained For
by Peregrine Arc
Yes, ma’am what we have here is a bonafide Tupperware collection of warped plastic. They were used to store the leftover bread from the feeding of the 5,000.
And over here? Well that’s my collection of Pet Rocks. They all have Ph.D.’s. Piled High Deeper, you know. That’s a rock thing.
Oh, that milk jug there? Glad you asked. Lincoln drank out out of that. And that toothbrush? Made out of Washington’s false teeth, the wooden kind.
This here gun was used in the Revolution; and this necklace? Worn on the neck of the queen herself. Queen Cleopatra that is. Victoria’s sold yesterday, I’m afraid.
Well here, how about this book : it’s an ancient copy of Chelsea Owen’s “Terrible Poetry Guide.” It was printed nearly a hundred years ago. She defines free verse on page 63.
And this ain’t it, son.
Thank you so much for entering! Please, come back tomorrow around 10 for next week’s prompt.
Trent: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner: