Man Walks into Penny Arcade, Never Walks Out

This is before surveillance cameras, before
you could steer a CGI theropod killing machine 

of the Cretaceous Period—Tyrannosaurus rex— 
through cyber-landscape Brooklyn. Man walks in,

disappears from memory and reliable eyewitnesses;
is declared D-E-A-D after the usual number of years

and allowed to transmogrify into whispered footnote.
Maybe the guy fed SHOOT the MOTHER-IN-LAW 

with Home Sweet Home gilded portraiture, aiming
at an arm-target on a circling-a-couch housedress,

a spit curled best-guesstimate of All We Despise.
Maybe he DING-DINGed it until he understood

how unfathomable the collapse and walked
into the remnant night. Misplaced forever.

Maybe he raised a white flag of surrender.
Maybe mystery became him in that place:

one noisy reversal crowded into another,
a red-red EXIT sign blazed and he step-

stepped as if testifying to what he saw
and the small deaths before the last.




About the Poet, Roy Bentley: I’ve won a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in Poetry, an individual artist award from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and six IA fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council. These four books have appeared: Boy in a Boat (Univ of Alabama), Any One Man (Bottom Dog), The Trouble with a Short Horse in Montana (White Pine), and Starlight Taxi (Lynx House Press). A chapbook -- "Saturday Afternoon at the Midland Theatre in Newark, Ohio" -- has just been released from Mudlark: An Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics.