Poetry Drawer: The Action Figure is Alive and Snowball Effect by Samuel Strathman

The Action Figure is Alive

After the book “Midlife Action Figure” (2019) by Chris Banks.

It starts with a close call,
the wiener dog’s
weaponized hindquarters
shimmying on the rug.

Our hero escapes
under the sofa,
waits until it’s safe
to make his way
to the laundry room.

He finds refuge
in a clean pile
of sheets.

The rumble of the dishwasher
lulls the weary warrior
to sleep.


The next morning,
he wakes to the sound
of a gouged mouse
screeching from a rattrap.

Can’t save squeaky now.

Sitting up, he counts
the bees buzzing
around his head,
feels dizzy, decompresses
back into the basket.

Mutant boy idles,
replete in the linens
until the housekeeper
shuffles over, lifts the lid
in full Yoda mode.

“Sunken treasure, you are!”
she exclaims,
and if the lionheart could,
he would smile back.

Snowball Effect

The office pet eats butter
off the kitchen counter,
makes the rat jealous.

Mom calls, tells you
she’s getting a divorce.

The VP’s favourite
seduction tactic is limerick.
You’re already surfing
for a new job
in a stolen boat –

anyone asks,
you’re babysitting
for a friend.

Mrs. Berger changes
the report deadline
from a week
to three hours from now.

The kicker is that the research
must be typed blindfolded.

Another catch is
the building is under fire,
bulletproof trolls with Uzis.

Chunks of concrete
dislodge, crack
of the icecap.

Hide the penguin
under your desk.

Better to apply
the adult diaper now,
meet your maker later –
but soon!

To think, last night
was spent eating
cheese puffs in front
of the TV, naked.

“Normal behaviour” is
training for a shootout,
*Tyler Durden sermons
blaring in the background.

Turn the lights off
before closing the door,
conservation before annihilation.

*Tyler Durden is the main character in the 1996 novel “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk. He is a ringleader who brainwashed his club members to commit crimes across the city.

Samuel Strathman is a poet, author, educator, and editor at Cypress: A Poetry Journal.  Some of his poems have appeared in Dreams Walking, Feed Magazine, and Mineral Lit Mag.  His first chapbook, “In Flocks of Three to Five” will be released later this year by Anstruther Press.  

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