Four Poems by Katie Hibner

Katie Hibner

Smart Varmints

You talk about how they’re smart varmints:

they crawl out of a splintered helix,
grow up crust-plucking
for gratuities.

They want to sic their reliquaries on ours,
semantically blitz
through our amber waves.

They’re not cute and they’re not cubed
they gnaw on our breaded trade winds.

You talk about how
bots admit them through our firewalls,
ignoring their flagrantly-laundered

pedigree sacks,
retouching them into fixer-upper
buds of muesli,

as if they don’t really yearn to sticky
Mama’s homemade ribs,
to smirch her mammary glands.

You talk about how it’s just too bad they’ve spent their wafers,
outrun their mileage of past participles:
porked, picked, embraced, lost—

you just talk.

Their Great Walls

They mayo our hydraulic dashboard
so we can only father

They paste our steers with reports
of “jumping parasites”
and drone-hazing on the eastern front.

Attractions teem in the walls’ shadows:
theaters of marionettes
strung with our excess wince-pork,

peddlers of tan line-pops and coonskins,
tanks of former basemen
smiling through quicksand.

Next to their elegiac rotary
of domestic specimens,
I install an exhibition

of our protest kernels,
our filibusters
of mayflies.

No one questions
their parceled fists
or poinsettia copters.

No one questions
the still-open floodgates
of the Oriental Trading Company.

The Tennis Court Oath Circa 2016

If 2016 was a year of revolution,
I would’ve been satisfied with just monarchial constitutions inscribed

on thousands of community center tennis courts,
with the analysts of each local think tank rallying

to perfect their domestic replay techniques,
with their restocking of municipal Day-Glo bins and freckle mangers

to grow a sovereign moppet.
I fantasize that the analysts would insert a musicked IV

to flood her with kennings, that they would bundle her in house-warming paprika,
that they would feel out her cheek for her rosy embed code,

then lotion up her every ping.
That when the analysts opened their courts to the public,

their regal ragamuffins would charm
even the litters
of suckling boars.

Here’s how we relocate the crumbling conservatives,

hasten their tumble
off the nation’s visual cliff:

rehabilitate them in arthritic tents
enhanced with gummy, illusionistic periaktoi.

Install a chute to dispose of their blasons,
plus latent plugins of documentary footage.

Tamp their cudgel unit of robber barons,
the circumference of their flash-fried maw

(glut it with synthesized Chick-fil-A soup,
a hard swallow of bathwater).

Plant an honest feedback loop
in their priapic charm.

Curate a well-timed bell choir,
a salve of unsexy muses, and eventually,

we’ll launch
an all-white settlement
of our kin.

Katie Hibner is a confetti canon from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, inter|rupture, Timber, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Vinyl, and Yalobusha Review. Katie’s criticism can be found at Entropy, Heavy Feather Review, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. She dedicates all of her poetry to her mother, Laurie.

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