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About this Poem 

“‘Psalm in the Spirit of Dragnet’ was inspired by Aaron Smith’s Appetite, Lauren Shapiro’s Easy Math, the moon prompt in Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Encyclopedia of Ordinary Life, two decades of faithful Nick at Nite viewing, long conversations with my spouse on the Hollywood Broadwalk, and an enduring love of the word zamboni.  It is part of a new collection in progress called Quick Change Artist.

—Julie Marie Wade

Psalm in the Spirit of Dragnet

Julie Marie Wade

Tonight all the stars are just celestial swag
in the moon’s handbag, flashy & overpriced.
All the angels are pinheads, & not even pinheads of light.

Here’s what I know: I am good
at déjà vu but bad at karaoke.  I am good
at Magic 8-Ball but bad at bicycle-built-for-two.

Axiom, from the Greek meaning “No rebuttals,” meaning “Whatever I say is true.”
For instance, the heart is shaped like a Hungryman dinner,
indestructible as Styrofoam & always divided.

Somewhere in the cosmos this moment
the ghost of Jack Webb is asking the ghost of Harry Morgan
for “Just the facts,” & Morgan is laughing his ethereal ass off.

Axiom, from the Greek meaning, “No facts, ma’am, only interpretations.”
When the smooth, voluptuous moon falls into the ocean,
like bait on fishing line, I see her for the yo-yo she is,
& God, who is learning to walk the dog.

Speaking of dogs, I decree they all shall be mutts & all named Fido.
All shall have spots & ride starboard, at least once, on a flaming-red fire engine.

Joni Mitchell shall play on all the jukeboxes in all the coffee shops, especially
at the Axiom Diner, from the Greek meaning “greasy spoon,” meaning “tops in food.”

But getting back to that moon, who can be such a diva sometimes,
who only ever buys her triple-shot mocha frappuccinos from Starbucks.

It’s a hard job keeping her up all night, that moon.
The baristas are grouchy in their green aprons, swigging their Ethos water.

Now the weatherperson predicts one hell of a zeitgeist arriving on Tuesday.
There is talk of losing all the apostrophes in a bad grammar meteor shower.

Sometimes the sky is calm & white & pleated with cirrus clouds.
Sometimes the thunder sounds like God driving his old Zamboni across a starlit, skating rink floor.

The moon has only a few good moves & is never going to nail that triple Salcow.

Axiom, from the Greek for “stick the landing.”

The moon doesn’t mind.  The moon is already a gold medal.

As for my guardian angel, it’s a toss-up:
I’ll take Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha from Bewitched,
or Nietzsche, as himself, exactly.  

Copyright @ 2014 by Julie Marie Wade. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 4, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Julie Marie Wade. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 4, 2014.

Julie Marie Wade

Julie Marie Wade is the author of, most recently, When I Was Straight: Poems (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2014).  She teaches at Florida International University and lives in Dania Beach.