Two Poems by Daniel M. Shapiro

Roseanne Conner in The Terminator

—for RB Mertz

Come on: I make more sense
than that bimbo with the part
down the middle. If the future
is run by machines, let them be
Easy Bakes & Slurpee churners.
Don’t leave our fate in the hands
of Los Angeles, of lives plucked
from botoxed phone books.
It takes Midwestern sit-com spit
to ball up the wad, to close
the red-light eye of industry.
I’m the modern Mary America
has earned, ready to bed down
with whatever eye-candy immaculate
you got. Bring on the apocalypse.
You know I’ll be back, catching
tech noir flies like manure.


Roseanne Conner Reunites with Her Daughter Darlene

—for RB Mertz

Remember the time
I caught you smoking?
I made you finish
the whole pack
in one sitting. Tough
love is the only love.

We hadn’t talked
since you thought
I pulled the alarm
in the voting booth,
condemned us all
to 4 years of cancer.

No head is hard enough
when the sky is falling,
so I built you a house
out of panic room parts,
loaded it with flannel &
those vanilla wafers you like.

All moms want
is for their kids
to be safe. The last time
I let myself be vulnerable,
I kissed a woman &
spat out the American flag.

We can still be that same
plaid couch, you know,
same ugly throw. Don’t act
like you won’t love ugliness.
I can still tuck you into it
at the end of a long day.


Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of several books and chapbooks, including The Orange Menace, Heavy Metal Fairy Tales, and How the Potato Chip Was Invented. He is the senior poetry editor and reviews editor for Pittsburgh Poetry Review.