Sunday, August 25, 2013

If Anthony Weiner had met Little Red Riding Hood Instead

The plot is flawed; the dialogue is unbelievable.
The wolf lacks a compulsive trait.
Why not make him a politician
with an addictive sexting problem
and pump him up with arrogance and a stump speech?

As for Red, wearing a velvet coat
black tights, satin blouse and high-heels,
just add a pouting mouth, legs of a runway model
and the endurance of a triathlon athlete.

Now put them somewhere downtown in Manhattan
with the Budweiser horses panting
around a clock in a smoke-filled bar,
blaring music and six-dollar beer calls.

And let’s say she doesn’t have a florist’s heart
for long-stemmed roses or daffodils,
or drink imported wines or eat French pastries.
Instead, she’s smitten by the scent of loud cologne,
dizzy with come-ons and roving hands –
their conversation stale as the popcorn and Frito-Lays.

We know the odds, perhaps ten thousand to one,
like the first day of major league baseball tryouts.
But he’s determined and she’s willing,
lust floating in his brain and love in hers.

Oh, I’ll spare you the happiness forever after
and little-lost-girl-saved-by-a-prince routine.
There is no rise in concentration
of some polypeptide hormone
in his hypothalamus. Besides, he’s married.
They wake up with separation swirling in their hearts,
lost in a forest of ordinary in the haze of day,
lying with the promise to see each other
before his next political debate.

He rises out of bed, taps a text message
on his iPhone, counts the bills in his billfold
to make sure, then straightens his tie
while she brushes her hair, her bare arm
twitching as the door clicks shut.

“Red Riding Hood” was originally published with a different title in Spoon River Poetry Review, 1993.


  1. A New Yorker political stranger
    Who called himself SeƱor Carlos Danger
    Was once on the rise
    Both ways we'd surmise
    But showed himself quite a shortchanger.

  2. Since not a single sext receiver was happy or satisfied by what Weiner had to offer, what makes anyone think that what Weiner has to offer as an elected official will make people happy and satisfied?
    Besides, I have less hair to brush than Red Riding Hood after he finishes screwing me.

  3. How did your poem manage to overcome what is obviously such time sensitive material connected to a specific politician and and a series of events? Well, you did it in the first stanza.

    Nine years mean next to nothing in the mire that is American political morality - or lack thereof.
    Only the poem's names will change to protect the not-so innocent.