John J. Trause

Endangered Generation: Hanging On

How should this pretty scary tale begin
of how coronavirus came about?
Behold the pretty scaly pangolin:
prehensile-tailed and with ant-eating snout,
carnivorous, that’s insects mostly, kin
to true anteaters and nocturnal too,
with imbricated scales of keratin,
so prized in China, but who can know who
in Wuhan, Hubei, first ran foul of that
poor pangolin, down on its luck and bit
by that odd batshit crazy horseshoe bat
to render pandemonium, COVID-
19, that caused the death, as this tale spins,
of humans and endangered pangolins.

Hopeless Cases

are Zen Buddhism, 
Picasso (except for a few pieces that are nostalgic for me, 
only a tiny portion of his massive splooging),
Rilke (in German and English translation), 
Aristotle's Poetics (in Greek and English translation), 
Cy Twombly (except for the sculptures, 
one "Rococo" room in the Twombly Annex of the Menil Collection, 
and some late drip paintings), 
Jazz, the Blues,
Ingmar Bergman,
Richard Dreyfuss before Down and Out in Beverly Hills
Philip Seymour Hoffman (except in Boogie Nights and The Talented Mr. Ripley), 
eggnog, pound cake, tuna fish in a can, anchovies, tripe, onions, garlic,
baked beans, sauerkraut,
and mayonnaise (the Devil's spunk).

John J. Trause (Wood-Ridge, N.J.), the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of six books of poetry and one of parody, the latter staged Off Broadway. His translations, poetry, and visual work appear internationally in many journals and anthologies. He is fond of cunning acrostics and color-coded chiasmus.