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the drunken Italian dictator shouts,
legs extended, like Stalin
in repose before the fireplace,
lost in books and leather and the madness
of dreams gone wrong.

He laughs, suddenly,
a dark, cold, merciless laugh of
brutal irony, joyless mirth; reminiscent of
gulag exemptions denied,
of goombas murdered with fireballs in the street.

He throws the brandy snifter against the wall.
"GREAT THINGS!" he roars,
re-iterating his main premise to the blank walls...
the resultant silence replaced by a soft chuckle,
dead in the air, muffled
by the books and the leather.

"Where is the music?" he mumbles, humming
the theme from his first great campaign... trails off,
then silence.
he stares at the Persian rug, lost inside himself
he begins tweaking his mustache,
the one thing that remains vibrant
on his craggy face;
well-waxed and black as sin,
the life-energy of the land absorbed
in those hairs;

"GReat things," he whispers, drooling, in hiccup,
a smile rudely stretched across his face,
souring into grimace...
he does not call for the princess
for she is dead, turtle shell in the head;
self-inflicted, clutching a note with one question:
"where has my plumber gone?"

by Seth "Fingers" Flynn Barkan

from the collection BLUE WIZARD IS ABOUT TO DIE! - Prose, Poems, and Emoto-Versatronic Expressionist Pieces About Video Games (1980-2003).

Used with permission

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